Saturday, September 29, 2012

I am truly honored to be awarded Outstanding Artist at the Bernie Awards.
From the Sun Journal -
Communities become vibrant and exciting through the cultural riches they offer, and an artistic environment is born of excellence in art education, artistic endeavors, and support by those who value the fine arts. Craven Arts Council will recognize some of those contributions through its first-ever Bernie Awards on Saturday evening during a Wine Tasting Event at the Craven Arts Festival.

Winners for the premiere event include Janet Francoeur, Dawn Pollock, Dr. Jim Congleton, and Mimi and Charlie Sforza.
Jan and Linda Staunch - photo by Michaele Rose

The work of Francoeur, named Outstanding Artist, celebrates New Bern and can be found in homes and business both here and throughout the country. Originally from Michigan and then Colorado, Francoeur moved with her husband, Michael, to New Bern in 1989, where she began capturing the downtown area’s grace and charm in watercolor, oil, and clay. 

Carolina Creations, founded by the couple in 1990, quickly became a favorite place for locals and tourists alike to shop.

“Jan’s gallery was the first to really invest in downtown New Bern; in effect, she was instrumental in creating the city’s art district,” said Carol Tokarski, executive director of Craven Arts Council and  Gallery. 

Bernie Award - Raku bear by Jim Bisbee
Tokarski added that Francoeur has that rare combination of outstanding artistic ability and business and marketing sense that is critical to giving art a strong place. 

Pollock, Outstanding Arts Educator, has been inspiring and encouraging Craven County art students for 27 years. For the past 15 years, she has taught at New Bern High School.

“In addition to being a great teacher, Dawn is somewhat unique in how she also teaches her students how to give back to the community,” Tokarski said.

Pollock’s students created more than 100 bowls for Religious Community Services’ Empty Bowls project. Each year, they also contribute to Habitat for Humanity’s Chair Project. Online comments from students include: “She is very knowledgeable in art and clearly has a passion for it.” “I love her class, and I will miss her. She is like a mom to all of us.” “…we did a lot of fun projects. I loved her class and requested her for next year.” 

Congleton was awarded Outstanding Community Supporter of the Arts. 

“When I first came to New Bern in 1989, Jim was an important supporter of the Arts Council, and when I returned to become executive director in 2004, nothing had changed,” Tokarski said. Craven Arts Council’s permanent collection of fine art, now on display at Craven Community College, began with Congleton’s Purchase Award made during the Council’s 2008 Juried Art Show. He has hosted Arts Council events at his home, was one of the original sponsors for works on display at New Bern’s Sculpture Park, and commissioned “Spider Lily,” New Bern’s first major contemporary sculpture.
Outstanding Volunteer was presented to Mimi and Charlie Sforza, volunteers for more than two decades at Craven Arts Council. 

“Among other volunteer activities, Mimi and Charlie have literally worn every costume this Arts Council needed, including the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter,” Tokarski said. 

The couple coordinated the effort of preparing the Arts Council’s newsletter, Luminary, and for the past eight years coordinated the monthly volunteer schedule for docents in the Gallery. 

Tokarski said nominations were solicited from the arts, education, business, and community leaders of Craven County, and nominees were judged on their long-term contributions and the impact they have on the artistic life of Craven County.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch at Carolina Creations

Velvet pumpkins and Glass Pumpkins Galore! Velvet by Daria Knowles, glass by Lisa Oakley, The Glass Forge, Luke Adams, Stephen Kitras!
and a couple felted ones that the top comes off! Great for poppouri.

And last but not least Paul Lockwoods FABULOUS gourds!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Prayer Towers

We just got in some new Prayer Towers by Holden McCurry. Beautiful.

North Carolina ceramicist Holden McCurry began making clay prayer towers and shrines after a trip to Mexico a decade ago. He was inspired by the colorful and creative forms found in the local artwork and architecture.

The inside of each tower holds a piece of paper on which you can write a message or prayer, giving each piece your own special meaning.

Holden McCurry graduated from Auburn University in Architecture and has since studied ceramics at Penland School of Craft in N.C.

Holden also has a background in drawing and painting that influences the way in which his ceramic sculpture is built and finished. He creates organic and architectural objects from clay slabs, extrusions, coils and pinched forms.

Texture is applied to the clay surfaces with found objects (driftwood, rocks, corals) and handmade ceramic stamps and roulettes. Painted and drawn surfaces incorporate terra sigillata, layered underglazes, slips, oxides and sgraffito.

Click here to see them all on our website or to order.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thinking of our dear friends

     We have dear friends that we have traveled with, played cards and games with, put puzzles together with, ate with, sat and stared at the ocean with, counted dolphins, shopped, gambled, kayaked, read, laughed, spent every New Years Eve with for the past 15 years, vacationed with on and on.
      We lost one of them yesterday and can't let the day go without acknowledging it.
      RIP JD we love you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yikes Getting Old

Through the years my preferred medium for my artwork has changed. 

I never really drop any, I just keep adding to.

In college I did some watercolors, some clay, but drawing and printmaking were what I loved to do. I started drawing in pencil. One weekend I was at an art show and a young man said "have you ever thought of using a rapidiograph?" Frankly I didn't even know what it was, but I sought one out and spent the next 25 years doing my drawings with one.

Mostly doing drawings of architecture, some railroad scenes and birds.

We were in Aspen Colorado when I started adding color to my ink drawings by painting the birds I drew with my pen.
color added to bird

I had worked in black and white so long I no longer knew how to mix color but I could handle painting a single bird.

When we came to New Bern I started drawing our waterfront and adding color to my architectural drawings.
Ink drawing with watercolor added

I gradually dropped the ink, using just watercolor.
Different papers give different looks

Then we bought a house and we wanted to put our mark on it. So got some clay and starting making tiles, which led us to a whole other art form.
Painting on clay with underglazes

Since then I've dabbled in acrylics and most recently in oils. I am really intreigued with them.

However, like I said - I never quit working in any of my other mediums - each one has its place for a particular use.

Today I had to do a detailed house portrait, haven't done one in a couple years (lately my house portraits have been done in watercolor) - so today when I picked up my pen and started drawing those fine lines - I could really tell the difference in my eyes! I can't see like I used to, guess I'm getting old like I said.

Makes me remember that Monet (not comparing myself to him just making a point) was almost blind when he painted the large waterlily paintings - some of which are in the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris (one of which I slid down after tripping while viewing - that is another story).

He painted with wide brush strokes because that was all he could see creating impressionism.

So maybe that is why I am attracted to oil painting right now!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Not your typical recycled bottle glasses

The story was born from the idea of combining manufacturing engineering, innovative product design, and environment awareness. Their goal was to create a fun consumer product that makes a difference. 

Glass designer, Paula Sansone-Johnson combined her glass cutting skills with her manufacturing experience by using state of the art diamond-wheel engraving technology to create unique designs that completely alter the look and feel of the wine bottles. 

The result is a sexy re-purposed 12oz antique blue DOF or Wine tumbler, - a win for everyone! A percentage of all sales will be donated to help spread environment awareness, one bottle at a time .

Another thing not mentioned is the rim. It is rounded, unlike 99.9% of recycled bottle glasses you see on the market. Made in USA!!

And a set of 4 is just  $64. Purchase online!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Window

Just love our new fall window at Carolina Creations!! Many Thanks to Lou!

Can't you just see this guy riding through the countryside!?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

French Impressionism Meets North Carolina

Brenda Behr is no stranger to oil painting. Her dad gifted Brenda her first set of oils and private painting lessons when she was just ten years old. She remains forever grateful to both her late parents for always standing by her and generously giving their support to her pursuit of art.

Brenda will be the featured artist at Carolina Creations, 317 Pollock St, Downtown New Bern, September 1 through October 31. The opening reception will be during ArtWalk, September 14, 5-8 pm. She will be on hand demonstrating and answering questions about her art throughout the evening

Behr is also no stranger to plein air painting. In the spring of 1981, working as a full-time graphic designer in Minnesota, she decided she needed an outlet from her thriving freelance business. She signed up for a class in watercolor at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. There was no mention in the class of painting from photos. She explains, “We either painted a still life that was in front of us, or a live model, or we took our paint and easels outside and painted on location. Thus, Brenda was introduced to plein air painting.

Brenda holds an M.F.A. degree from Syracuse University and she has studied with the late Robert E. Wood, Cheng-Khee Chee, Frank Webb, Don Andrews, Albert Handell and John de la Vega, and Susan Sarback.

Brenda’s introduction to the work of California artist Susan Sarback, a colorist with whom Brenda had the privilege to study has greatly influenced the works Brenda has in North Carolina Meets French Impressionism. Sarback is a former student of Henry Hensche, an American painter linked to renown French Impressionist painter Claude Monet.

The French Impressionists set out to paint light. Light is determined not only by the time of day and the season of the year, but whether it’s a sunny or an overcast day. All these things affect the temperature with which a painting will be executed. Cool and warm is as important now to Brenda’s paintings as are tonal value and composition. Another way Brenda identifies with nineteenth century Impressionism is in her choice of subject matter. She explains,

“Because my backyard and a sunflower field have more to do with my day-to-day experience, I’d rather paint the commonplace. I paint my share of landmarks, but I am more concerned with the here-today-gone-tomorrow kinds of rural landscapes and structures. Much of this, I’m sure, has to do with my having been away from home for thirty-seven years, seeing how things changed over time, and now wanting to capture various scenes and architecture for the sake of posterity.”

Brenda will be teaching two plein air workshops on the New Bern waterfront Sept 29-30 during the upcoming Craven Arts Festival. Her watercolor workshop will wet the feet of watercolorists ready to take a step outside. In the oil workshop, those ready to explore color temperature as it applies to plein air painting are encouraged to enroll. More information about the workshops is available through the Craven Arts Council.

For more details on these pieces follow this link.

For more information about Brenda’s show at Carolina Creations, contact the gallery at 252-633-4369, or visit the website at

New Pieces Andree Richmond

Just in!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sticks Deck the Wall Sale

 Visit our website on September 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 and place your order or come in! Visit our site by clicking here.  Sale prices will be posted at 12:01 am Sept 6 and taken down 11:59 pm Sept 10. Four days only - only on mirrors, perpetual calendars and wall clocks.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Dog on Bike in time for MS Bike Tour

A perfect piece for any bicycle enthusiast! Made using scrap, reject and other metal parts. Some parts include transmission chain, steel drops, and a propane canister. Made in the USA. 28 x 8 x 24.