On display August 28th through November 5th, Paul Downs is showing in the back room and Nicole Black is showing in the front. A public reception for this exhibit will be held on Sunday, October 7, from 7pm to 9pm.
Sights from the Studio by Nicole Black
I was inspired by and created these works in Studio Insight: A St. Luke’s House Life Skills Program Artist Collective. Working in a group creates certain energy. It is hard to put into words what happens when poets are reading aloud during musical breaks that inspires new directions in a piece of work. Or while making a piece a conversation allows me to see possibilities and push further. I consider myself a colorist. I decided to ask some members their favorite colors, and combined them. Sights from the Studio #2 were a long list of colors that I do not usually work with. The accomplishment in combining them and exploring a new shape to work within was the jumping off point.
The Generations photo collage is a collaborative work with my father Melvin Black. Growing up with a photographer who is also a musician blessed me with a good eye. Music and visual art are inseparable to me. I feel that I compose with color and stroke of brush. Choosing photos that span decades gives an insight to where he has been and how that influences where I am going.
Through Variations of Soft I explored more of my brush technique. The Elder members of Studio Insight have the controlled hands of experience. After conversations with them I could let go and allow the brush to skate across the canvas and lead me to another place with the color.
Color is one of the languages of freedom. To speak in a global dialect is the goal of my painting endeavors. I see rhythms coursing through life. Exploring the tones of these rhythms is the enrichment that becomes a painting.
As a self-taught artist I have explored the United States expanding my knowledge of technique and traditions of the multitude of cultures that create our current society. The landscapes of New Mexico and California have shaped my openness to color dynamics.
I began to hone my talent in my youth after the discovery of the folk art traditions. As I matured I became inspired by the meditative expressions of eastern traditions. Currently I am creating works influenced by the fusion of ancestral spoken disciplines and modern rhythms. In 2008 she found a home at the Studio In Sight outsider art collective.
To view more works please visit my website www.nicoleblackart.com. To contact me please use the email address of or by phone (301) 775-3530.
The Night of the Stick Bubbles
Art from Nature by Paul Downs
Artist Paul Downs has created a style of art using sticks from the forest that is truly one of a kind. Instead of using charcoal or paint he renders his designs of animals, nature scenes and Native Americans using the forest as his medium for his artistic creations. “My palette is the white oak, the wild black cherry, tulip poplar, sassafras, red twig dogwood, and maple sticks.” says Paul.
Throughout his career Paul has honed his skill down a trail no one else has ventured to go. His artistic expressions range from an ‘other-worldly’ party of stick people on a bridge, to scenes from a West Virginia railroad trestle to a sea horse. He brings the viewer into a world of color and design and seemingly gravity defying wall hung sculptures that will delight and amaze while at the same time bring a feeling of peace as one would gain from a stroll in the woods.
A native of Greenbelt Maryland, Paul grew up exploring, playing and falling in love with the woods – the Great North Woods, as he calls them – of Greenbelt Maryland. This 225 acre belt of green came under the threat of development in the late ’80’s. Paul was a leader in the successful crusade to save these woods – now named the Greenbelt Forest Preserve. His art form developed alongside his conservation career over the past 25 years. The woods and his art now enjoy a certain freedom which expresses itself in the very grain of his work. During those 25 years Paul initiated the now traditional Children’s Pumpkin Walk as a way to get folks out to the woods. Paul has a long standing interest in the thrill and scare of Halloween and his most recent show “The Night of the Stick Bubbles” features 18 new bubble shaped pieces. Many of these works engage the themes of peace and nature. However, for the first time, Paul has brought his sense of humor around Halloween themes into his work. These take the form of Comic Sticks with such works as “Waiting for the New Renters”, “Goat Man Livz” and “Tombstone Pumpkin”. Also highlighted in the show are some of Paul’s most intricate and beautiful pieces including “Gladitude”, “The Sea Horse” and “The Bridge to Everywhere”. To contact him go to Facebook, see Twig Art;; 301 474 7465 or 301 281 1106.