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‘Intuitive Connections’ at BRAHM

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Article Published: Nov. 14, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 14, 2013
‘Intuitive Connections’ at BRAHM

'Colors of Snow' by Debbie Arnold

Carlton Gallery presents an exhibit, “Intuitive Connections,” featuring local artists Debbie Arnold and Toni Carlton, at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum in downtown Blowing Rock.

The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 4, can be viewed Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission on Thursday between 4 and 7 p.m.

“Intuitive Connections” explores the painting process used by Arnold and Carlton, who agree that their technique “allows the painting process to connect with the inner self and to the invisible spirit and soul.”

“Their work is the merging of art and spirituality,” Carlton said.

Arnold’s paintings have evolved and changed greatly over the years she has painted professionally. Although she experiments constantly, Arnold said her work has maintained a surprising cohesiveness, as her paintings are very recognizable because of her unique inspirations and personal technique.

Arnold said her paintings end up not only being very subjective, but with images to which she strongly relates, as if the paintings created themselves with her as an intermediary.

The natural environment of the High Country is a source of inspiration for Arnold.

“Trees have always fascinated me because of the fluid organic shapes they form,” she said. “My ‘Dancing Tree’ series came about because I noticed the similarity between tree shapes and the human figure. I worked to find the perfect balance between the tree shapes and the dancer shapes. The ‘Fluid Tree’ series arose from the organic flowing nature of the tree limbs and bark. The strong but subtle use of color and line is a tribute to 17th-century printmakers’ depiction of nature.”

Arnold’s work is in many public, corporate and private collections. She has participated in one- and two-person shows and in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions.

In creating her artwork, Carlton said she seeks and reveals what is unique in each of us and universal in all of us, with many of her paintings representing “the deeper levels of feminine awakening by using multiple layers encoded with images that activate ancient memories.”

Carlton said she is inspired by different cultures, expressing movement and sacred connections in her spiritual journey as an artist. Her work has also evolved and changed over the years, with her current paintings incorporating images from personal life experiences, a love of dance, photographic images taken during her travels and hand-woven fibers, as well as multicultural images to express the “oneness” of all.

Carlton earned a B.S. in industrial arts and technical education, as well as in art marketing and production from Appalachian State University. Her artwork has exhibited in the Carolinas, Washington D.C., Texas, California and New York.

Carlton’s calligraphic paintings have juried in the Invitational World Calligraphy Exhibitions in Seoul, Korea; Beijing, China; and Geneva, Switzerland. She was one of two American women artists whose work was chosen for the “Calligraphy Sprout to the West” exhibition in Seoul. Her calligraphy was also chosen to feature in the International Healing Arts Exhibition early this year in Naples, Italy.

“For over 20 years, my intuitive artwork has been about the connection of all people through the use of different languages, universal images that represent open hearts, as well as respecting our heritage and recognizing our oneness,” Carlton said.

A large collection of Arnold’s and Carlton’s work is also at Carlton Gallery, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and seven miles north of Linville on N.C. 105 in the Grandfather Mountain community. For more information on Carlton Gallery, call (828) 963-4288.

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is located at 159 Chestnut St. in downtown Blowing Rock. For more information, call (828) 295-9099, or visit

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

Additional Images

'Colors of Snow' by Debbie Arnold

'Winter Tree' by Debbie Arnold

'Compassion and Prayers for Transformation' by Toni Carlton

'Butterfly Dance' by Toni Carlton

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