Preparing for an Upcoming Exhibition of my Art by TMNK


I've been asked to speak at the upcoming G40 Summit. Actually I'm waxing metaphors here. I'm not really speaking. The G40 Summit is a group exhibition of contemporary art and I've been given the honor of having my art, my creative voice included. I tend to view the opportunity to exhibit, like being asked to give a speech, an opportunity to share a profound message with my audience.

"Ladies and gentlemen... ," yeah, that's the hard part. What do I say, and how do I say it? I could just speak extemporaneously, or ramble on, or perhaps tell a few jokes. I could draw abstract references to arcane matters, but none of these are my style. I was inspired by great orators like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and Chuck D., so my message must be powerful and have lasting impact. I view an exhibit as much more than an opportunity to show off my newest work; it's an opportunity to have my work impact future generations. It's an opportunity and responsibility I take very seriously.

The curators of the G40 - The Summit issued a call to arms for political art, so I decided to address domestic terrorism. While much attention is placed on the importance of hunting down those "foreign" enemies that would seek to do us harm, I hope the body of work I contributed to this exhibition will provoke a discussion, and perhaps influence change, about the harm we do to each other. The violence that erupts daily in our streets, destroys innocent lives, and leaves many living in terror.

Yes, exhibits are opportunities for the artist to sell their work, and to share their creative offerings with the public. And sometimes, as history has shown us, art can have social and political relevance. I heard the call to arms, and responded with work that questions humanity's inhumanity, and the influences thereof. I saddened daily by the reports of friendly fire in our neighborhoods and the collateral damage that lay in the wake.
There's a war going on. Art is my weapon.

S.T.A.R.T. has Started! by Carissa Goldstein

After months of planning, the night had finally arrived. I tried to plan every detail ahead of time, but there came a moment when I just had to let it happen. The students showed up empty handed, ready to jump right in and play with the supplies that were included with the workshop. While jamming out to Paul Simon, the instructor, Samantha Donnelly, led them through different exercises and demonstrated several techniques including shading and perspective. After an hour or so of practice, the group was ready to tackle the still life Samantha had set up. Even though this was the first time some of them were tackling representational art, Samantha made it fun and they all had a good time. She took the time to go around the class and answer individual questions while they all worked at their own pace. The biggest complaint was that time passed too quickly!
This definitely helped to get me pumped about all the other classes I have planned. Knowing that people enjoyed the format of the class and the material covered, I am encouraged for the future. This series is also proving to be the perfect stepping stone to our full day workshops. Students left the class eager to sign up for longer drawing classes to learn more. It turns out they just needed a little push to get started!
Interested in finding out more about this program? Visit our website for detailed information on all the classes. For the month of February, we will have Thursday evening classes and then starting in March, I am adding a SECOND section per week. The new section will be on Monday mornings from 10:30a.m. – 12:30p.m. You can also feel free to call me if you have questions! (919)876-6610. I can't wait to meet you!
Samantha Donnelly's Drawing

Tips on Composition of a Painting by Tom Jones


Composition is a very important part of the painting process. A good composition makes your painting more pleasing to the viewer and will enhance your chances to sell more paintings. Let me start by suggesting that you use a pencil to draw a very light vertical line down the center of the paper and likewise, draw a line horizontally through the center of the paper. This will help you avoid placing objects of importance in the center of the painting. The other reason for the lines is to help you from ending or starting object at those lines such as a horizon line or the edge of a tree or building.

(Example) Avoid having your horizon line in the middle of the paper, but rather have it no more than one third of the way from the top or bottom of the paper. An example for the vertical line is do not have the edge of a tree or building stop or start on the vertical center line.

Have the painting set up so you have three planes: something in the foreground, middle ground and background. This gives the painting depth and allows the viewer to walk into the scene.

When painting each corner area should be different. This avoids repetitiveness. When painting or repeating objects, such as buildings or trees, have different shapes and colors. As an example, when painting two trees in the foreground, have one warm in color and one cool. Have one thick and one thinner or one slightly closer in the scene. Overlap buildings to improve interests and design. Add life to the scene with people, animals or birds. Place your center of interest slightly left or right of the center line and slightly above or below the horizon line. Try to have objects such as the tops of trees or sails go out of the frame. Clouds also should go out the sides or top of the frame. This will give your painting a more realistic and professional appearance. When placing objects in the foreground, have trees and fence posts end above the horizon line as this will give you more depth and better perspective in the scene.

After completing a painting take a few days or even a week to study the painting and turn it sideways and upside down. This will help you see little things more clearly. Ask a couple friends and fellow artist to critique your painting. By following my suggestions in this article over and over you can't help but to become a happier and more skilled artist.

You may send comments or questions to me at by email at
And please check out my interactive web site.

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