Welcome to Willow Wisp Farm Studios

Willow Wisp Farm Studios is a 6.5 acre art facility located in the Asheville area of the Smoky Mountains on highway 74A in Fairview, NC. We specialize in oil and pastel plein air painting, and the woodworking creative art of marquetry. Regular weekly ongoing art classes for both adults and children are offered in addition to art workshops. Ask about our private workshops designed just for you  including lodging. We want your art experience to be one to remember! 

Weeky Art Class Schedule
Thursday, 1:30 - 4:30 pm  Adults
Thursday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Adults
Friday, 3:30 - 5:oo pm Kids
Saturday, 9:00 - 12:00 Adults

Come and see us here in the mountains or visit our website: www.willowwispfarmstudios.com 
or our ebay store: www.wnc-galleria.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Painting Opportunities

Willow Wisp Farm Studios is making full use of all facilities on the property in an effort to make this a place where artists can come, stay, play and learn. We are located in one of the most beautiful places in America, in the mountains of Western North Carolina with four seasons and many painting opportunities.


If you can survive the free music used on our little movie, the images you see are all on our property at Willow Wisp Farm Studios. You can paint here or drive two miles down the street to find beautiful rolling farmland.

••••We are currently offering:
•our gallery showing the work of Peggy and Mike Taylor, open by appointment
•weekly ongoing painting classes for both adults and children.
•your own private painting workshop including lessons and lodging (price is based on length of workshop 3 - 5 days)
•if you are an artist looking for a place to teach, we will rent you our studio during available times.

CALL US to find out more about Willow Wisp Farm Studios and your Western North Carolina Painting opportuities.
828-348-4732 ext. 5

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oil & Pastel Pochade Boxes

Willow Wisp Farm Studios has been known for our quality custom-made pochade boxes for many years now. We are still making them and we have scaled down our selection to the most popular ones. Following are images of what we have available these days.

ArtAttack 1 This box has lots of work space because the sides that fold out. You can also store tube of paint inside the box. The downside of this box is there is one place on the box to store wet paintings.

ArtAttack 2 This box is much more compact and has less work space than the ArtAttack 1. This box has storage for tubes of paint inside and you can also store two wet paintings of the same size from 6x8 to 9x12.

ArtAttack 3 This is our pastel box and probably the best selling box we make. Because of the design of this box it will hold approximately 250 half sticks of pastels. The box has inserts you slide in so you can close the box.

ArtAttack 5 The Steering Wheel Easel which is not pictured here is for those days when Mother Nature won't let you out to paint. Hang this from your steering wheel and you are set to paint on a rainy or cold day.

Get more details on these pochade boxes on our website:


Monday, October 6, 2008

Painting Adventures

Recently the plein air painting group I belong to, Western North Carolina Plein Air Painters was invited by a property developer to paint the area they are developing as a "Green" community called "Whisper Mountain." The property is located in Madison County, NC and is quite beautiful and unspoiled by man. There are beautiful far off vistas, streams, wooded areas and views overlooking farmland below.

How much would you be willing to pay for this view? This is certainly a view for someone with very deep pockets!

Our mission is to paint, paint, paint; and that we can do pretty easily. In the end, the mission of the developer is to schedule events where land owners and prospective land owners gather at the "community building" and find a variety of art depicting the view from their land. The developer will collect a commission which will be donated to a local land conservancy. The planned result is recognition for both the artists and the developer.

They have been treating us like royalty at Whisper Mountain; providing lunch with wine and the works. Stuart Roper is showing us his new baby as Jim Southerland looks on, and Robert, the developer brings more food.

We took advantage of this thunderstorm to do some planning for out first event at Whisper Mountain. Jim, Richard, Stuart and Linda Cheek discuss the upcoming show.

If the results go as planned, we will all make a few dollars and get our names out there in the public. This is something our group has been trying to do for years without having to do all the work involved in making it happen. It has occurred to us with all of the development going on in our area we should investigate doing this with developers more often. One day all of the natural beauty will be gone; covered with more giant houses, and if nothing else, we will have done our bit to document "the way it used to be. One of the things we like about Whisper Mountain is they have limited the number of house they are building so they can preserve the feeling of solitude you get from being nestled in the mountains and hollows of Western North Carolina.

We really do paint. This is Richard Oversmith taking a picture of Scott Boyle to prove it. Scott drive almost from Charlotte to paint with us, so he is always eager to get in as many paintings each time as he can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beautiful Days Outside

We have so many irons in the fire here at Willow Wisp Farm Studios we are finding it hard to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather we have had here the past several days. For awhile it was extremely hot for here, but the last few days it has been in the low 80's and today it is in the mid 70's. The humidity is very low, so it feels great! I'll be going to Lake Lure tomorrow to teach my painting class, so nice weather is welcome. Not long ago I went to Brevard and painted with a couple of gals and this is the result of that day of painting at Conestee Falls.

Mike has been doing some really neat things. I just discovered he has not been taking photos of this newer things, so we will have to put him to work! He is getting into some very creative and beautiful stuff. Following is a sample of a wall hanging with some local scenery.

I am in the process of completely revamping our three websites and tying them in with a new shopping cart. Once this job is done, it will be less work. For the time being, it is taking up a bunch of my time since I have lots of images to deal with and then there is the overall look of the sites that are changing. The best part is they are all linked together with the shopping cart, so you will feel as though you are in one place instead of three different places.

I love the box above. It is so much fun! This is a sample of all the great new things you will find on our new website once it is complete. In addition to the websites, I have a number of other things up my sleeve these days too. They are all ideas I've had floating around in my head for a number of years now, and I decided it is now or never. So, get ready, exciting things are yet to come from Willow Wisp Farm Studios.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Painting Buddies

This past week I organized a painting get-together with a small group of women. I happened to know all these women, but none of them knew each other and they all thought no one lived near them who enjoyed plein air painting. So after a number of calls to get it organized and set a date that worked for everyone, we painted in their neighborhood and had a very enjoyable time. In a few days I'm heading off to paint in another location with a few more friends for a couple of days. Painting buddies are essential for a number of reasons. Most importantly, there is safety in numbers. We should all be sure to know where we are painting and always have a plan of what to do just in case... My brother gave me a little stun gun just in case I ever need to defend myself. The biggest fear I have is I might have to use it someday and I'll accidently fry myself in the process!

Another good reason to have lots of painting buddies is the advantage of having like minded people around. There is something to be said about being able to talk with someone else who knows where you are coming from.

These are a couple of my painting buddies taking a break from a hard day at the easel. Now one thing I can tell you for sure, it is only another artist who really appreciates how hard a day at the easel really is. Lots of people think we are out there goofing off all the time and that we must be nuts to think our work has the value of the price we have put on it. If people only realized what goes into a plein air painting they would never question the price. Another buddy of mine once sent me his artist statement. Actually, it was a list of things and he suggested I select the one I liked the best. My favorite one went something like this: "I've been snake bit, mugged and shot at; that's why my paintings cost so much."

Yep, being an artist is hard work, but someone has to do it. It sure beats wearing a suit and a 9 - 5 job. I just told my daughter the other day I liked being an artist because I can dress the way I want and feel good about being comfortable in my T-shirts, jeans and sandals.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Life in the Fast Lane

We just returned from a vacation to Colorado Springs to visit our daughter who was taking an "early out" from the USAF. She had been in 13 year, worked her way up through the ranks to a Captain with a Masters in Aeronautical Science; her husband had done the the same. While we were there, she was being courted by big business to do their bidding with the US mililtary and at price I thought was not bad. While we were there, we looked a real estate since the cost of living the the Asheville, NC area has really gone crazy. We were there for a week and this is what we discovered: You can buy a VERY nice 3000 - 5600 sq. ft. house there for $347,000 to $500,000. The quality of construction there is considerably better than here. They do not charge you bunches more for your view like they do here. There are so many views, you are a fool if you don't end up with one! Utilities there are 1/4 of what they are here. If you are tired of mowing your yard, never fear, the thing there is to landscape with rocks and forget about mowing. There, people get stressed because they have to spray "Round Up" on the weeds. You have heard there are Evangelicals in Colorado Springs? Yep, it is the home of James Dobson and "Focus on the Family." But guess what, half the people who live there say they don't even know who James Dobson is. And, he certainly does not effect their own person life in the Springs.

The Chapel at the Air Force Academy was awesome. It looked like a giant jet shooting for the stars. I was really impressed!

Now, getting to the subject of what we are here for; art. Art is selling in the Colorado Springs area. The art community there is in a town called Manitou Springs. It is a very neat hillside community with lots of studios/homes built on the hills. The town is a combination of over development/progress with a bunch of tourist shops and the old art community. I talked with a few people and they all said "life is good." I'll be honest with you, I have not heard many artists say that in a couple of years now. At first I thought they were telling stories, then I talked with other people who verified their tales. I did notice they have their art priced less than we have ours priced in the Asheville area, but then their utilities are less and their real estate is less too, sooooooooo.

So I came back and found a very interesting email from a company that is starting a new auction site similar to ebay. The difference is it is an art auction site and instead of being nickel and dimed to death with all the fees they have on ebay, this company charges a very reasonable annual fee and that is it. You can put all the art up there you like and leave it up there for quite some time. It can put work up for auction or sold as "buy it now." I have already signed up to give it a try. The following image will be my first auctioned item.

Go check out this new auction site at: http://www.art-bidder.com my user name is pht_art if you want to find any of my listings.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Times Are Changing

The original intent for Willow Wisp Farm Studios was to be an art school that offered workshops by nationally known instructors to people from all across the US. We spent many years planning WWFS and eight years in the business of offering art workshops. We met many wonderful people and expanded our knowledge of art and the people associated with the workshop world. There came a time when we realized this small business had totally consumed our lives to the point I could not even take the workshops because I was so busy organizing and planning everything. So, it was time to look into the future to see what was out there for two baby boomer artists. Our last workshop was held the end of October 2006. As much as we loved all of the experiences and opportunities it afforded us, we have not looked back with regret, but with fond memories of many wonderful years.
Mike has continued to make oil and pastel pochade boxes and he has added a new dimension to his work– marquetry. He has become quite good and has an entire line of items from jewelry boxes, trays, executive desk boxes, wall plaques, hat trees, and more. Since he began this journey, you can really see the growth in his work. This image of the Blue Ridge Parkway is an example of the detail he puts in his work.
As for myself, I have been out there plein air painting, but a lot less these days. I've also spent a bunch of time in the studio working on still-life using my Middle Eastern memorabilia as subject matter. So life just keeps on going and we are trying to keep up with it.
Recently we decided to take a challenge from a a friend and do some art cards to auction on ebay. We haven't gotten rich yet, but people are bidding on our works. So while everyone else is doing "a painting a day", we are doing miniature art cards at a similar rate. Art cards have to be 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. Doing this is taking us back to our roots in miniature furniture making and miniature paintings all done in 1:12 scale.
This is great fun and we are going to keep it up! You can go to our Willow Wisp Farm Studios auction home of http://www. wnc-galleria.com and check out our ebay store. Mike currently has a mini version of the Blue Ridge Parkway up for bid this week. I have a mini original reproduction of "The Laundress" after Toulouse-Lautrec offered as well.
We have been quietly making our art here at WWFS, and behind the scenes making plans for our next great art adventure. We will be ready to release info about it to you by August. Stay tuned!