‘Sticks and Stones’

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Aug. 28, 2013 | Modified: Sep. 8, 2013
‘Sticks and Stones’

Stephen Brooks’ paintings are being showcased at Art & Artifacts in Blowing Rock.

Art & Artifacts and Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes and Land, two businesses under one roof, are featuring the works of popular Catawba Valley painter Stephen Brooks and are debuting the works of award-winning jeweler Susannah Ravenswing of Germanton.

The two-artist exhibit, “Sticks and Stones,” will run through Sept. 7.

Susannah Ravenswing

For nearly four decades, Susannah Ravenswing has been known throughout the region for her craftsmanship.

In 1974, she became an exhibiting member of the craft guild, Piedmont Craftsmen Inc., which includes juried members from 14 Southeastern states.

Born in Winston-Salem, Ravenswing spent her early years as a child of a park superintendent growing up in Morrow Mountain State Park in the Uwharrie Mountains. There, she began her lifelong fascination with myths, ancient history and archaeology. These themes inform her work.

Ravenswing creates fine hand-wrought jewelry and ceremonial objects in her atelier, Jewels of the Spirit, which is located in a forest.

Sought out for her craftsmanship and knowledge of symbols and archetypes, she was commissioned to create a chalice for the re-consecration of Britain’s famed Stonehenge.

In addition, she has designed and created ceremonial chains-of-office for Wake Forest University, Emory & Henry College and Mary Washington University. Over the years, she has won a number of awards and grants for her excellence.

Stephen Brooks

Stephen Brooks, from Hickory, is a furniture designer by day and a painter in oils in his after-hours “real” life. He and Adrienne, his artist wife, and their teenage son spend many hours in the Blue Ridge Mountains hiking and exploring the trails. Brooks’ connection to nature is expressed in vivid colors on large boards that adorn the walls of individuals, collectors and corporate clients throughout the country.

“My paintings are becoming increasingly abstract,” Brooks said. “They are less about representation and are more about light and color.”

He crafts his paintings on boards rather than canvasses, starting by building up thick pigment on a rigid panel. He builds up the images by layering color upon color. Then he sands the surface to reveal the color breaking through from beneath.

When Brooks has completed sculpting a painting, he employs the 1,000-year-old Dutch technique of glazing — applying transparent paint to the surface. This technique completes the images of trees, rocks and mountains for which he is so well-known.

For Brooks, his works are increasingly studies of light and color with interruptions by the architecture of the images — be they trees, mountains, rocks or water.

Art & Artifacts features the work of more than 30 professional regional artists. The art gallery shares space with Blowing Rock Gallery of Homes and Land, a full-service real estate agency. Both are located at 159 Sunset Drive in downtown Blowing Rock. For more information, call Lynn Hill at (828) 414-9400.

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 (frank@mountaintimes.com) or (828) 264-6397.

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