The Appalachian Mountains have always been calling Gaylene Petcu home. As a child, trips from her birthplace of St. Louis, Missouri to her grandmother's home in Avery County, North Carolina were the highlight of her summers. Then, during a visit over vacation from college, she spent long, carefree summer days painting watercolors of local wildflowers. That sealed it for her – the mountains of western NC was where she was meant to be.
Relocating wasn't immediate, however: for 25 years Gaylene worked for the Boeing Company as a graphic designer back in St. Louis. Though very different in style to her work in pastels, this experience taught her a strong sense of color and composition.
Finally, in 2008, she followed her heart and made the High Country her year-round home. She can now develop a richer sense of these mountains, exploring a myriad of trails and back roads, while researching her family's lineage here. The mountains continue to reveal themselves to her; as she explores, she is delighted to view the Highlands of the Roan or Grandfather Mountain from a different angle and fresh perspective.
Painting in pastels is now a full-time occupation; Appalachia is Gaylene's muse. Artists she draws inspiration from are Johannes Vermeer, early California painter Percy Gray, and contemporary pastelist Elizabeth Mowry. A common thread among these painters is their ability to portray familiar, ordinary subjects with exquisite sensitivity. A sense of quiet solitude in their work draws Gaylene in to share the connection they felt to their subjects. Similarly, she hopes to share with her viewers the beauty of the remote, quiet places she enjoys here in the mountains.
For information on availability and pricing of art works, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Events for 2013:
January 19 - March 31: "Regional Art Leagues: Selected Works", at The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts, in Highlands, NC. 828.526.4949 www.TheBascom.org
May 10 - June 8: "Bloom!", one woman pastel exhibit at The Design Gallery, Burnsville, NC. 828-678-9869 www.the-design-gallery.com
• Bachelors of Science degree in Art; Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO (1979)
• Graphic Artist for The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO (1981 – 2007)
• Member of Sandra Gates' 'Wednesday Painters' in Burnsville, NC (2008- )
• Founding member of the Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild (BRAG) (2009)
• Individual pastel exhibit at Mayland Community College. Spruce Pine, NC
• Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild First Annual Exhibit. Burnsville, NC
• 'Women of These Hills'. Transylvania Community Arts Council, Brevard, NC
• 'Pastel Views of the High Country'. The Dickson Gallery, Linville, NC
• 'Annual Members' Show'. Avery County Arts Council, Linville, NC
• 'Drawn to Nature'. Avery County Arts Council, Linville, NC
• 'Route 80 – Back to Our North Carolina Routes'. BRAG exhibit at the Toe River Arts Council, Spruce Pine, NC
• 'Season's Change'. The Dickson Gallery, Linville, NC
• 'BRAG on Avery'. BRAG exhibit at The Dickson Gallery, Linville, NC
• 'The Power of Ten'. Toe River Arts Council, Spruce Pine, NC
• 'Regional Art Leagues: Selected Works'. The Bascom Center for Visual Arts, Highlands, NC
• *'Bloom!' Individual exhibition at The Design Gallery, Burnsville, NC
• *Recipient of a Regional Artist's Project Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, used for the purchase of materials to create new work (2011)
• Cover artist, The Laurel of Asheville magazine (June 2011)
• 2nd Place and People's Choice Award for Morning Light. The Banner Elk Paint-Out (2010)
• 2nd Place for Elderberry. Blue Ridge Parkway Plein Air Competition (2010)
• 3rd Place for Shawneehaw Creek. The Banner Elk Paint-Out (2011)
• 3rd Place for Into the Blue. Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild First Annual Exhibition (2010)
Appalachian Pastel Society
Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild
Toe River Arts Council
The Design Gallery, Burnsville, NC, 828-678-9869, www.the-design-gallery.com
*This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources with additional funding from local arts councils in Avery, Buncombe, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey Counties.