Decorating with colorful art

There has been a shift to all-white rooms in interior decorating in recent years. One of the major advantages to this trend is that white creates a perfect backdrop for art with a big dose of color, which is also a great way to add some interest to a monochromatic room. Listed below are some of our favorite artists that use a wide variety of bright colors in different ways throughout their art. Click the images for a better view, and contact us if you want to see any of these lovely pieces in person.

Michael Banks

Michael is deeply creative, with experimentation and resourcefulness always integral parts of his process. His painting of disparate imagery on salvaged boards, using acrylic & enamel with an over-painting of turpentine and tar all add to the intrigue.

Susan Easton Burns

“Spontaneity and intuition are the two most important concepts I try to convey in my art. The spontaneous underpainting gives way to an image that appears intuitively. The nature of paint is messy and I like to acknowledge that. This is a reminder that in nature, order comes from chaos.

I choose to paint nature because I am a part of nature. We humans are much like animals. The main difference is that animals have no fear of the future. They live their lives with great awareness and intuition.” - Susan Easton Burns

Joey Clay

During extensive travel, Joey found himself frequently drawn to Hawaii, a place he still considers a second home. He was particularly attracted to the art scene on Maui. On one of his trips there he found what would ultimately be his main inspiration to become a painter through the work of artist Gil Bruvel. It was not just the work itself that inspired him but also Gil's philosophy of having unlimited freedom from reality in his paintings. Joey had always been attracted to realism, but the combination of realism and fantasy became the direction that his work has taken.

Kathy Cousart

“Once upon a time that little girl mesmerized by color and texture and design stored up all those bits of magic until she could say something really special with paint. Moving frequently as a Minister’s child found me holding onto rich traditions that I loved along the way but always willing to weave in new experiences. I find that holds true with my paintings today as I integrate rich traditional subject matter with a fresh contemporary look that has an abstract edge to it.

My work has recently been described as having a “beautiful thread of softness and grace.” I strive daily to live deeply connected to Love through Peace and Grace. My wish is that from my paintings people receive Peace and Grace through the Love that I painted them with.” -Kathy Cousart

Miranda Herrick

Herrick’s drawings tend to be very structured geometric patterns. These drawings begin with penciled grid lines and grow out with repetitive, pen-and-ink line work which is done freehand. The process is meditative in nature.

Subdividing the space on a sheet of paper with pen marks has evolved into recycling post consumer aluminum cans to fill in blocks of color on a wooden panel. The shift in materials allows Herrick to create larger designs and gives the shapes and colors a subtext. A careful observer can discover what product these aluminum cans carried before they were re-purposed. A thoughtful environmentalist might be made uncomfortable anew with the evidence of accumulation in the repetition of the pieces.

Hannah Lane

Galvanized by the marbled papers in Florence, Italy, Lane began collecting and working with papers in 2012. Not long after, she began pigmenting Japanese and patterned papers with ink to further transform them before layering with pastels and acrylic paint. The mystery and exposure in the materials create a process that is just as gratifying as the finished piece. Intent to take risks, Lane pushes the boundaries of mixed media past the familiar. She continues to work with common forms and figures while breaking open her creative vocabulary.

Andrew Portwood

"My pictures are personal statements rendered through a dialogue between materials, echoes of my own personal experience, and the emotions connected to those experiences.
Working from memories and the mind's eye, dreams and emotions inspire my processes and provide a basis for portraits, figures and landscapes.
I think that ultimately, I paint to please myself. Painting, for me, is a means by which I find personal peace and self-actualization. Painting is a therapeutic vehicle by which one's own stories can be told." -Andrew Portwood

Brad Robertson

In the beginning, he painted trees and lakes. Over years in college, due to a lack of interest in structure and order, Brad made many less than successful attempts to be an architect, industrial designer, and graphic artist. Then an art professor discovered his ability to work with color, which sets the tone for his paintings, and texture, which creates depth in his work. The professor worked with Brad for several years and told him that he was never to paint a tree again, or at least not one easily recognized by a casual observer. From that point, Brad has spent nearly 10 years working to find innovative ways to combine these elements in his work. It has been and he hopes it will remain a rewarding challenge. When people look at his work and are able to define it in their own terms, Brad feels like the painting has accomplished his purpose. 

B Lucy Stevens

B. Lucy Stevens is an internationally recognized mixed-media artist living in Providence, Rhode Island. Lucy paints intuitively, and her work is vibrant and expressionistic as daily life is imagined in a brilliant cacophony of color and pattern with deeply affecting results. She is inspired by primitive and outsider art and her far-flung travels, from South America, to Indonesia to the South of France, where she lived for a year on a flower farm.

“Writing used to be my way of expressing myself — I was a newspaper reporter, a fiction writer, a college professor– but then words became like dough that stuck to my fingers. So now I paint and draw and make things, stuff I used to do as a kid.  Like I’ve come back to myself. My paintings are everything I think and feel and witness, everything I find funny and sad and absurd. They are my offering of myself to the world.” -B Lucy Stevens

Toni Swarthout

Painting from her studio in Nashville, Swarthout explores her work by removing judgment from the creative process and embracing the fluid nature of reacting to paint in the natural ways inside and outside of the studio. 

An avid hiker and outdoors person, attending college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Toni found her love of painting through her close connection with nature. She began her art education by attending various institutions and workshops and has studied under Anton Weiss. Swarthout's works are collected by a wide range of businesses and private collectors throughout the United States.

If you’re interested in adding some bold color to your decor, come by the gallery to see your favorite works in person.

Behind the scenes: Peter Kuttner

One of the things that excites us most about this blog is being able share some of the behind-the-scenes happenings that make our gallery and frame shop tick.

Of course, we wouldn’t tick at all if we didn’t have the wonderful clientele we have, and the art is what brings a lot of people in, even if it’s just to browse. We’re pleased to present this first installment of a behind-the-scenes look at one of our artist’s processes.

Peter Kuttner’s work is always a breath of fresh air. His use of materials creates his signature aesthetic, and his technique in creating that aesthetic is fascinating. Click through the link below to see how he works:

Interior Decor: Still Life Art

Still life art is not as common as it used to be, but it still works in almost every environment. While the masters of old painted scenes depicting wealth and prosperity , modern still life artists turn everyday objects into masterful compositions. Below are the artists we represent that work in still life painting:

Dean Fisher

Mr. Fisher enjoys the challenge of arranging objects in a way that captures the compositions he sees in his mind’s eye. He uses desaturated color to just give a hint of tone. Even in his pieces with figures, there is often a nod to still life work, as seen in Figure Passing Through a Room below.

John Kelley

Whether it’s apples, teapots, or coffee accessories, John Kelley’s compositions are wonderful. His rich colors and realistic portrayal of objects would be beautiful in a kitchen, dining area, or breakfast nook.

Paul Weber

The works by Paul Weber are deceptively simple. His straight-on perspective and clean lines accentuate his skillful brushwork. These pieces work in any environment, and look excellent on light walls to make the deep, rich colors stand out.

Come by the gallery to see the works of these talented artists in person.

Custom Framing: Plexiglass boxes

We like to say that if you can get it here, we can frame it. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done, but we love a challenge and enjoy exploring framing options with and for our clients.

When it comes to three-dimensional objects, there are a few options for displaying them, including in custom plexiglass boxes. Plexi boxes are the perfect solution to display an object (or set of objects) in a way that showcases the entirety of the piece. Below are a few examples of plexiglass box framing.

If you’re looking to frame a three-dimensional piece for full display, come by the frame counter to see your options. As always, no appointment is necessary, and our frame designers are happy to guide you.

A new chapter for Bennett Galleries

Elizabeth Perkins - The new face of Bennett Galleries Nashville

Elizabeth Perkins - The new face of Bennett Galleries Nashville

Bennett Galleries has been a staple of Green Hills shopping for over forty years, and we’ve recently gone through a big change. Our fearless leader, Bill Bennett, has retired and is now spending his free time on the golf links.

It can be a bit scary to go through such a big adjustment. Luckily, the new owner is more than just a business person, she’s our very own Elizabeth Perkins, manager of Bennett Galleries for over two decades. Her knowledge of the customer base, as well as her experience in the art and framing business, has made what could have been a difficult transition very smooth.

Elizabeth’s boundless energy and can-do attitude are a wonderful compliment to her leadership skills. While much of the business is staying the same, there will be some natural changes that happen as time goes on and we settle in. While we do miss Bill, we’re so pleased he gets to kick back and enjoy retirement.

Come by the gallery and introduce yourself to our new leader, or, if you’re a familiar face, congratulate Elizabeth on her new business venture.