Read the Storyline at Blue Spiral 1

Six regional artists exhibit work in Blue Spiral 1’s “Storyline: Works on Paper,” now on display in the lower showroom of the gallery. From the delicate drawings on rice paper by Jessica C. White, to the expressive paintings of Roger Clay Palmer, Storyline presents six distinct contemporary aesthetics, and is quite enchanting. At times bittersweet, at times funny, and at times educational, this line up of artists is not to be missed. The show hangs until September 30.

Taiyo la Paix, an Asheville artist known for his anime-inspired narrative paintings, presents a series of drawings for Storyline that are more nuanced than his paintings but just as captivating. The drawings are tenderly rendered with color pencil and present versions of himself and his imaginary muse, a cherubic lass named Papillia. La Paix deftly captures all the curves and luscious details of his subject matter — from Papilla’s cherry red motorcycle suit, to the spray of freckles across her bonny cheeks.

Austere women and heavenly spirits attempt to engage each other through vast fields of untouched white paper in Kreh Mellick’s panoramic drawings. Rendered in black-and- red gouache, Mellick’s open-ended narratives evoke traditional American folklore and are every bit as remarkable as her sense of composition. Below, is “Bark of Her Tree,” gouache on paper, 22″H x 30″W.

White also exhibits panoramic works featuring pastoral narratives of children and animals. At times, White’s work is reminiscent of Henry Darger’s “Vivian Girl” painting,s through the use of nostalgic imagery borrowed from children’s storybooks. Many are deceptive with their charming imagery that delivers a subtle existential outlook on the world. “The Birds of North Carolina,” for example shows a variety of birds attached by strings to children that appear to be flying them like kites.

Keeping in line with the bittersweet motif, Palmer’s brilliant scenarios of imagined creatures, environments and people on paper are funny and heartfelt in a Lynda Barry kind of way. His inspired sense of material and subject matter provokes universal feelings of longing and hope. The eye wanders through mazes of expertly composed scenarios — one involves a zombie ostrich, another a junkyard dog. A quip scrawled onto “Haystack” poetically describes the projection of motherhood onto a bundle of hay. It is both heartbreaking and hilarious. Below is Junkyard Poodle, pure pigment on rag, 40″H x 36″W.

Also on display are Phil Blank‘s old-timey posters detailing Southern folk legends, and Gabriel Shaffer’s mythological characters drawn upon found love letters and ledgers. for more info.


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