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

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!