Marshall, Merit, and Microscopes

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Lucia /chalk and pencil on toned paper/18×22″

I’ve had my studio here in Marshall, NC for over six years now.  I had no illusion of this small town offering me exposure to larger galleries or wealthy collectors and neither of those hopes flourished to keep me here.  What drew me to stay on in this small outpost north of Asheville was an environment conducive to merit. The low cost of living, the reprieve and revitalization of the mountain trails and swimming holes, the time for projects of importance, the community that values all these in the name of a life that isn’t slave to reaction; all this combines to allow for quality, the making of something, whether it be paintings or another art form, that is unrushed, cared for, and true to the makers vision.

Someone else could say all this better but it’s important for me to put it into my own words and remember why I’ve rooted here, and to trust in the priority of quality work over any other gauge for success.  With the completion of my next large figurative painting I hope to be able and take the merit I was able to realize here and find a wall to hang it on in a more prominent gallery.  I’ve chosen to bet that the degree of quality I’ve slowly worked towards here in Marshall will help make up for the sacrifice I’ve made in networking. And, if I’m wrong it will at worse amount to having more time for improvements.

While I’m on the subject of microcosms like Marshall I wanted to include mention of a weekend project, the building of a microscope that can be used as a camera with my phone. I used a small lens from an old microscope that can butt up against the lens of the phone, then took apart a cheap flashlight and rewired the LED’s to illuminate objects under the lens. I’m not sure if I can apply it towards painting but at the very least it’s fun. Here are some images from various items around my studio:

detail of a painting
detail of a drawing
bronze/gold pigment
a stick of conté
dragonfly wing
burnt sienna pigment
cad yellow
nozzle of paint tube































the microscope with my phone over the lens