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Carlton Gallery’s Meet the Artists at Avery Tour de Art Features Alan Gordon, Mary McKinley and Brian Carney

June 26, 2014. The sixth annual Avery Tour de Art begins on Saturday, June 28 at Carlton Gallery as well as other local galleries and artists’ studios in Watauga and Avery Counties. The Tour de Art is a monthly event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of each month in the summertime from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. June through November where artists open their studios to the public and galleries hold special art events.

Maps can be found at each location on the tour. Participating galleries and studios this year include:

  • Alta Vista Gallery
  • Carlton Gallery Fine Art and Toni Carlton Studio
  • Kevin Beck Studio
  • Linville River Pottery
  • Art Purveyors with the Studio of Mike Hill
  • Studio 140

Carlton Gallery will host a “Meet the Artists” day during the Tour de Art with three gallery artists available to discuss their art with visitors. Enjoy meeting Alan Gordon and Mary Martha McKinley who are using a humorous perspective but with very different styles.

Mary Martha McKinley brings light humor in her eloquent approach to still life painting in oils. Her technique is realistic with a surreal perspective of placement in her still lifes creating reflections, sometimes of a hidden subject. Her most recent artwork captures a landscape setting in the background of her subject, bringing the still life forward to another understanding in creative precision. Titles such as “High Country Canning Thyme” or “High Country Wine Pearing” represents a sample of her artwork that is elegantly creative, detailed and implemented with graceful humor. McKinney’s paintings are also very personal, as she uses objects belonging to relatives in her still life art and her landscapes evoke memories of places she has experienced.

Allan Gordon, new to Carlton Gallery, captures both humor and storytelling at one. He uses watercolor and pen and ink with multiple images of characters to create a story. His images, drawn with sketchy lines, however are very decisive. The composition is centrally focused with dry humor which adds to the contemplation of the viewer resulting often in hilarious laughter.

Looking at the world with a great deal of whimsy, he focuses on figurative or animal/bird like images, musicians, old-time mountain themes, etc. with depth of character and expression. Titles such as “3 Birdbrains and a Genius,” Owls and an Aristocrat,” and “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” are examples that must be seen in person to capture the lighthearted jesting of Alan Gordon.

“I hope that most of my work adds positive energy to a space and a smile to your face,” Gordon said. “I really appreciate that people will view my art and whether you like it or not, I celebrate our differences. Thank you for looking at my art.”

Both Mary Martha McKinney and Alan Gordon are enjoying their artistry by using humor in different ways. Both are fresh and thought-provoking.

Meet Brian Carney as well while he demonstrates his new drawing techniques during the Tour de Art on Saturday, June 28. His exquisite use of pen and pencil captures the spirit of the creatures with whom we share home which becomes a recording for future generations to enjoy. His attention to detail and precise lines are many artists’ dream.

Carney has drawn and painted all of his life but discovered his niche and artistic style for painting wildlife after seeing a whitetail deer with an impressive rack trotting across his backyard one winter morning. His unique impressionistic and semi-abstract wildlife paintings as well as his current pen and pencil work includes whitetail deer, cougars, birds and other wildlife.

Visit Carlton Gallery to “Meet the Artists” Mary Martha McKinney, Alan Gordon and Brian Carney during the “Avery Tour de Art” on Saturday, June 28 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy the ongoing Spring Group Exhibition and “Energetic Expressions by Egi and Edie” which runs through July 15. Appreciate the new art by the standing gallery artists whose work ranges from traditional to contemporary in paintings, glass, wood, sculpture, clay, fiber and fine jewelry.

The gallery is located on N.C. 105 in the Foscoe/Grandfather Mountain Community. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.