Sunday, January 20, 2013

WinterFest 2013

Saturday night in Asheville was quite the deal. The streets were full of happy folk sampling food, art, and local shopping while being treated to the work of our street performers.

These were my stops:
Haen Invitation
  1. Haen Gallery opening, Wintertide 2013, a winter group show and introduction of Gretchen Howard's whimsical work. Howard currently resides in New Orleans and that great joie de vivre often associated with New Orleans shines through the work. Thank you Haen Gallery for bringing this work to Asheville.
  2.  Chestnut Restaurant I've eaten here three times and all three times I've had the oh so delicious Calamari and Kale Salad. I actually think about this dish–it's that good. The staff is delightful and helpful, service prompt and, as I mentioned, the food is memorable.
  3.  The Magnetic Theatre I've seen some pretty funny productions at the Magnetic Theatre, Sex and How to Have IT!, was no exception. This play spoofs our BIG, BLUE recycling program, usual porn pizza delivery/plumber/electrician references and local cheesy advertising. It was funny. No heavy lifting, just a break from all the political wrangling and inclement weather. Go, have yourself a few good belly laughs.

A Royal Affair, oh my this is a splendid movie. Billed as a great period piece (which it is), the film made me think of all the power grabs going on currently. With Adelson, the Koch brothers and Art Pope buying elections and installing their own political puppets it does give one pause. I urge you to see the film and then contemplate the political climate in our country. You will understand what I mean.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Review of R&F Handmade Encaustic Paints

Originally submitted at Jerry's Artarama Art Supplies

Explore new creative avenues with R&F Encaustics—handmade wax based paints with brilliant pigments and unique properties you won't find anywhere else! In the simplest of terms, encaustics are a type of wax-based paint. If you've never tried this fascinating media, let us tempt you...

Crazy about the encaustic pellets

By Mary Farmer from Asheville, NC on 2/25/2012


5out of 5

Pros: Best

Cons: Best

Best Uses: Work

Describe Yourself: Professional

Encaustic Medium in pellet form is one of the best ever ideas. It easy and quick. Sometimes you just need a little pinch of medium, the pellets are there and ready to use.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 2012 Mary's Update

Twilight Serves Her Country

My painting, Twilight, has been chosen by U.S. Ambassador William Moser and Mrs. Moser to hang in our embassy in the Republic of Moldova. The painting will remain in service for two years.

I consider cultural exchange to be most valuable and I am honored to participate in the Art in Embassies Program.
Here’s a bit more information about the Art in Embassies program from their mission statement:
Established in 1963, the U.S. Department of State’s office of ART in Embassies (AIE) plays a vital role in our nation’s public diplomacy through a culturally expansive mission, creating temporary exhibitions and permanent collections, artist and cultural exchange programming, and publications.
AIE’s exhibitions allow foreign citizens, many of whom might never travel to the United States, to personally experience the depth and breadth of our artistic heritage and values, making what has been called a: ''footprint that can be left where people have no opportunity to see American art.''
Our Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, writes: “To create more friends and fewer enemies, we can’t just win wars. We must find common ground and common purpose with other peoples and nations so that together we can overcome hatred, violence, lawlessness, and despair.
Through its temporary exhibitions and permanent collections, ART in Embassies intrigues, educates and connects—playing an ambassadorial role as important as that served by traditional diplomacy. Connecting people to people through the visual arts advances freedom of expression and invites an exchange of ideas.
ART in Embassies reveals the rich history and cultural heritage of the United States and the experiences that we share with peoples of different countries, backgrounds and faiths. Every exhibition reminds us of the diversity of mankind and the values that bind us together.”

Cast Iron Cook-Off
The Cast Iron Cook-Off showcases West Virginia’s culinary talent and attractions, it is populated by West Virginia restaurant owners whose teams compete.

My team, Team Cimino, of CafĂ© Cimino in Sutton, West Virginia, won for “Best Use of West Virginia Value-Added Products”. As the purpose of this oh-so-fun event is best be described as West Virginia’s culinary trade-fair we are pretty darn proud of this award.

Plus, I’m excited to add “award winning chef to my resume”. For those of you who remember me when, “ Yes, I CAN cook.” Granted I came late to the party and, therefore, am making up for lost time. You can come by to check out my cast iron award any time.

Asheville Area Arts Council names Kitty Love Executive Director

Kitty is a big vision woman and she can get things done; I think this a great combination for AAAC. Expect to see amazing things from our rejuvenated Arts Council.

Kitty is the force behind the now two-day Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) and she was instrumental in establishing the Artists Resource Center.

We are so very lucky to have Kitty Love working as an advocate for the arts in Western North Carolina. She is dedicated, thoughtful, approachable and full of community building energy. I predict a great future for our artists and our arts community.

You may reach Kitty at . She will welcome your input–just be ready to roll up your sleeves and pitch in.

Oh! Yes, I’ve been making art!

Don’t worry all this exciting and fun stuff has only fired me up. I have been very busy in the studio and am pleased with the outcome.

I’ll have 20+ pieces featured at New York Art Expo, the world’s largest fine art trade show now in its 33rd year.

My work is included in the “Wax Foundations: Encaustic Work in the Southeast” show at Meredith College in September of this year, and in the Sixth International Encaustic Conference show at A Gallery, Provincetown, ME this June.

Anytime you feel like checking up on me just give a call (828.712.3786) to come see the work and/or to see me in action making the work.

Class Schedule
For 2012, I’ll be teaching at Constance Williams Gallery in the River Arts District. Dates are: March 5-7 or June 18-20 or Sept 10-12. To receive information about my classes please contact Tina at the gallery.

This is a fast paced from zero to intermediate class. You will make a ton of work and have a whole bunch of fun. Meanwhile, you will have learned up to intermediate technique in encaustic painting. All this in three days! Come join the fun.

What the heck is a Pecha Kucha ?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clay Scot Artworks: Mary Farmer in a Solo Show

Clay Scot Artworks is proud to present the work of a new artist to the gallery, Mary Farmer.

Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, September 3, from 6 to 8 PM.

Inspired by the continuum of emotional and physical moments in her life, Mary Farmer is a
painter whose portfolio of abstract encaustic paintings is imbued with color and visual resonance. The multiple layers and complexity of encaustic painting allows her to express depth, sensation and lush colors in her work.

In support of their hard work, Mary will donate a percentage of sales to Triumph Services.

Forsythia Amid the Mist

Sunrise In the Glen

Mary's show will run through Saturday, October 2.
Hope to see you there!
Clay Scot Artworks
2915 Highland Avenue
Birmingham, AL 35205

The gallery is open by appointment only through September 2.
Regular gallery hours will resume September 3.

Clay Scot Artworks | 2915 Highland Avenue | Birmingham | AL | 35205

Friday, July 30, 2010

From Grace: Solo show at Clay Scot Artworks

From Grace

I’ve been busy this summer preparing for my September show in Birmingham, Al. Clay Scot Artworks will feature my work in a solo show: FROM GRACE. The show opens on Sept 3, 2010 and I will be there to share the work with you. I’m pretty excited to have the chance to catch up with my Birmingham friends and family.

Sprigs and Blossoms, Encaustic on 3 panels, 2010 ©Mary Farmer

This show at Clay Scot Artworks has very special meaning to me. I spent my early adulthood in Birmingham, my family lives in a small town 30 miles to the east and I went to the Magic City to attend Samford University and The Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. This will be a happy homecoming for me.

Also, the work sold at this show will benefit a very worthwhile organization, Triumph Services whose mission is to serve the historically under-served group of adults with mild developmental disabilities. Just to give you an idea of the magnitude of funding short falls, of the 30,000 individuals who are struggling with Autism in the state of Alabama, 40 percent of them do not qualify for government run services. Brooke Stephens, founder and director of Triumph Services will also be on hand to answer your questions and share information about this valuable organization.

I ask that you come out purchase art and help me support the amazing work done by Triumph Services. I am donating 10% of my sales to Triumph Services.

Clay Scot Artworks
‪2915 Highland Ave S‬
‪Birmingham, AL 35205‬

Videos: I’m a You Tube Inductee

I have produced a series of short videos about various aspect of art making. It was a very fun project, my producer, Marty Gillen, did a fantastic job and I invite you to view one here:


Hey, let me know what you think.

You may view all 9 videos on You Tube. Don't worry, they are all short pieces.

Encaustic Classes

The summer has been a busy teaching time. Due to high demand, I have added a class in Asheville. The dates are Aug 28, 29, 30, if you have any interest in learning encaustic techniques, I’d love to have you in the class. This three-day intensive workshop combines beginning and intermediate techniques for a complete and balanced introduction to encaustic painting. Students will learn about the history of encaustic painting, supports, grounds and panel preparation, how to layer and collage with wax to create your very own encaustic paintings. Each student will have the opportunity to experiment and create 5 – 10 finished paintings. I will happy to send you information on the three day class just give me a call 828. 712. 3786 or email me:

In October, I will present an advanced demonstration of the new and cool techniques I picked up at the Encaustic Conference I attended this June. The Conference was the most fun ever! Same thing, if you’d like information about this demo, let me know.

Atlanta Art Findings

I made a quick trip to Atlanta in late July and stopped into a few galleries.

Raiford Gallery in Roswell is a treasure trove. They feature wonderful fiber, pottery, glass, jewelry and some contemporary art. They best highlight the craft and jewelry areas.

Left: Delias Thompson - Ring and Right: Peter Senesac

Huff Harrington in Buckhead, this charming gallery may be one of the most welcoming venues for viewing contemporary art; no attitude; no pretentious unapproachable work. Huff Harrington features solid artists such as: Angie Renfro , Allison Shockley , Liz Barber and others.

Ann Huff and Meg Harrington are providing Atlanta with a very comfortable, familial setting for viewing and selecting artwork. Stop by, you will be nicely surprised.

Emily Amy Gallery on Marietta Street and part of the Westside Arts District is beautifully open space featuring highly refined emerging, mid-career, and established artists from across the country.

I was pleased to see the spiritually infused work of Clayton Santiago, his pieces are organic and deeply layered—you already know of my affinity for layering.

The Art Beltline is becoming a reality. The Atlanta Beltline corridor encompasses nearly eight miles of old rail bed. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is featuring the work of almost 50 artists along its route. Hey, get out there take a nice Sunday stroll and see what’s up on the Beltline.

MOCA ga housed in a serene TULA space is still going strong. I was moved to see several pieces from my beloved teacher, Thomasine Bradford; you are missed, dear Thomasine.

MOCA ga features 600 works of contemporary art by more than 200 Georgia artists, the collection rotates and it’s a great way to celebrate Georgia artists.

Pryor Fine Art-has added the work of three fine artists, John Folsom, Kim Froshin and Felice Sharp.

Left: John Folsom Right: Kim Froshin

Please keep up with me on Facebook I'm posting updates, etc.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview with Stephanie Walker of Walker Contemporary Boston MA

Walker Contemporary
450 Harrison St, Boston, MA

Stephanie thought she would change the world by working with youths at risk. Fresh from college, she had agreed to take a job in rural TN. Lucky for us art world types she realized the possible difficulties of dealing with large, hormonal eighteen year old boys.

This is one “can do” woman; when the local gallery guide set limitations on gallery listings, Walker came up with The Art Map Boston, a more complete and user friendly guide to Boston’s galleries.

While Walker’s first inspiration is working with at risk youth; she has always been intrigued by art, “I talked about art this and art that all the time.” Too timid to pursue an opening in a local gallery a friend of Walker’s quietly submitted her resume.

Much to her surprise Walker was invited to interview. While skeptical of her “no Rolodex, no pedigree” status, Walker’s sheer exuberance wowed the gallery owners and she landed the job.

This first gallery position proved to be fertile training ground and Walker moved on to work with Chase, a position she held for about ten years. Ironically, Chase has moved into the very building that houses Walker Contemporary.

For a short time, Walker ended up in Los Angeles where she decided to open her own business. “I got up every day and went into the 2nd bedroom of our house whose door bore the sign, ‘WC’.” She began to explore and discover the new work from artists previously unknown to her.

Walker is drawn to work that is expertly rendered, complex, repetitious and generally speaks to an environmental component. Frequently the work is bittersweet, ironic and process oriented. Moved by artists who push their materials, Walker best relates to artists who seek to bend their medium as far as possible.

“I admire an artist who will continue on even if the idea is not yet working out. The artist who will face nothing to create something.” When one of her artists is stuck and dissatisfied she encourages by suggesting they, “keep at it, even if the result is horrid, just have the guts to keep showing up.”

For community involvement and local outreach, Walker suggests ICA, The Institute of Contemporary Art, as making contemporary art accessible and intellectually challenging. I couldn’t agree more, The ICA is one of Boston’s jewels with its amazing view of Boston Harbor, cafe, and easy parking, it is a delightful destination.

When asked how she thought galleries were faring in Boston, Walker responded, “While there have been come closing most were not closed for economic reason, it’s a situation of the time has come. A few gallery owners were ready to retire and others were ready for a change of focus. This freed several Boston art dealers to push away their boundaries and try a fresh, new approach to their business partnerships and to present new artists.

Clay Scot Artworks
I’ll be showing this September at Clay Scot Artworks, the show will open on
September 3, 2010 in Birmingham AL. Please accept my invitation to stop by and see me and /or the show as I will be at the opening.

Some of you might not know that I actually have Alabama roots, my family lives near Birmingham and I attended the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University. Ok, I actually graduated from the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and I continue to faint at the sight of blood. Clearly, art is my calling.

A portion of my sales will benefit the very hard working organization, Triumph Services. I know first hand how valuable their work is and I want to support their good works. We would welcome your support as well.

In the mean time, give a shout to Darrell and get of preview of what I'll be showing in September.

Mary’s Teaching Schedule

July 17, 18 , 19 Asheville NC this class is full
Aug 2,3,4 Charleston SC, Redux Studios
Dec 9,10,11 Fairhope AL, Eastern Shore Art Center

My recent show in Atlanta at Kai Lin Art, GRACE, received a wonderful review:
Grace Review . It was a fantasticshow and I'm so honored to have shown with two other fine women, Anne Davnes-Elser and Sun Hong.

Lobbying in Raleigh, NC
While I’ve only been in Asheville for two years, I’ve certainly learned a whole bunch about creative economy. I am so happy to be in a state that understands the importance of its creative workers. You might be surprised, I was, to know that the creative industries in North Carolina contribute $41,000,000,000 to the state economy (yes, that’s billion with a B) and we are responsible for almost 300,000 jobs.

Now, let me clear here, $41 billion dollars to the NC economy, seems we are due a bailout similar to the one received by Ford and Goldman Sachs. Artists pay mortgages, employ many other workers and pay taxes on the income generated by art sales. We are mighty economic engines and hardworking small business folk.

Here's a link to a study done by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources on creative economy. Now you know just how important art is to you and to your community.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MerleFest 2010

MerleFest Blog

My first MerleFest 2010–one spectacular musical extravaganza: folk, roots, Americana, bluegrass, country, something for everyone. I have so many favorites, I think I’ll just post names and websites. You may decide on your own.

North Carolina, be proud as MerleFest surely represents.

These are the group I actually heard:
Balsam Range
This North Carolina based group brings bluegrass, gospel and country all infused with their beautiful harmonies.

Belleville Outfit
Belleville outfit combines inventive blend of Western Swing, jazz, country, and pop.

The Duhks
Lead Singer is simply awesome.

Rhonda Vincent and The Rage

Taj Mahal

Donna the Buffalo

The Waybacks

Cadillac Sky

The SteelDrivers
This is full throttle contemporary bluegrass, packed with various other elements of country, pop, and soul.

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

Joey + Rory
Funny and cheeky lyrics.

Dailey and Vincent

Dierks Bentley
Yes, the music is really good, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's just that Dierks is so darn cute.

Sam Bush

Little Feat

Red Molly

The Wilders


Rousing and raucous, Scythian plays kicked-up Celtic and world music with hints of Gypsy and Klezmer, all infused with a touch of punk-rock sensibility. Take a pair of classically trained dueling fiddlers, toss in a rhythm guitar and the occasional funky accordion, then power it with the driving rhythm of a jazz percussionist, and you've got the ingredients for a show you won't soon forget. Their high-energy, adrenaline-peddling, interactive brand of music has one goal in mind; to get people on their feet and dancing. Their repertoire ranges from traditional and contemporary Celtic and folk music to the alluring and dramatic strains of Gypsy and Eastern European tunes, and then crosses back over the border to pick up some good old-fashioned bluegrass licks.

Scythian’s perfomance in the Dance Tent resulted in a RAVE! It was something.

Doc Watson
(with Richard Watson, Sam Bush, T. Michael Coleman, Mitch Greenhill, and Jeff Little) Doc Watson was presented an honorary doctorate degree from the Berklee School of Music at MerleFest and he played Elvis.

Steve Martin with The Steep Canyon Rangers

Elvis Costello and The Sugarcanes
Elvis Costello

The Lee Boys and The Travelin’ McCoury’s
Playing together these two groups make one whoppin' big sound.

W. P. A.
WPA is about as close as you'll come to an Americana supergroup. Luke Bulla, Sean Watkins, Greg Liesz, Glen Phillips, and occasionally Benmont Tensch, Sara Watkins, and other guests. Superb musical skill with thoughtful, intuitive songwriting by Phillips and Sean Watkins.

The Avett Brothers

Midnight Jam with Zac Brown
Great songs have allowed Zac Brown Band to rise to the top of the country music world, but it is the amazing live performances and incredible instrumentals that set apart the six man band from the rest of Nashville.

Zac’s sense of humor is an important part of the music and he brought it to the Midnight Jam. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to hear various folk from various groups play and sing together. It was

Larkin Poe
Larkin Poe stared as the The Lovell Sisters, consisting of three sisters and three additional players. Fans of the sister band may be sad to see them go, it’s not as sad as it may seem at first. The oldest sister, Jessica, is attending college now and was recently engaged, leaving little time for traveling with the band. The two younger sisters however, Megan and Rebecca, will continue to perform as Larkin Poe.

Elvis Costello is such a fan he said, "These sisters stole the show, last year."