Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Everything round invites a caress. – French poet, philosopher, Gaston Bachelard

Local Food by charlotte hutson wrenn ©2011

roundness in the palm of my hand

Everything Round

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(God’s House) by John Biggers

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This is a painting by Gastonia, North Carolina, native, John Biggers, 1924-2001. It is owned by the Smithsonian and is called, Third Ward Shotgun. It was painted in 1966 with tempera and oil. Shotgun houses are considered an African American form of vernacular architecture. They acquired this name because, supposedly, a shotgun blast fired through the front door would pass straight through the house and out the back. John Biggers instead, suggests that the name is a corruption of the word shogon, a Yoruba term from West Africa that means “God’s House.”

Black Artist John Biggers, The Smithsonian

Shotgun Third Ward by John Biggers, 1966

This piece I find just incredibly timeless. I have been living on Edisto Island, South Carolina for two years, and this scene is still one that is recognizable ‘pon top. African American families that have continuously lived on Edisto Island since Recontruction keep strong family connections to this day.

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Art, when really understood, is the province of every human being. -Robert Henri

The Art Spirit is a small book that awed me when I read it. I remember him for this book more than his paintings, but he was a fine portrait painter. He taught that “when the artist is alive in any person… he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for better understanding.”

… And that “an artist’s job is to surprise himself. Use all means possible.” Don’t you love that?

A collection of his work is now showing through the first week of August at The Mint Museum, uptown Charlotte.

The Art Spirit. Robert Henri.

Lowcountry Carolina meets Niki de Saint Phalle:)

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Oil on birch. 12x36 Homage to Niki de St Phalle

This is a painting inspired by the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Edisto Island in particular. It began as the St. Pierre River which is at the end of Peter’s Point Road, off National Scenic Byway SC 174. Then I got enamoured with Niki de St Phalle’s work and out this came! It is oil on wood, 12×36 in cradled birch. I think she is finished…what do you think?