katie runnels

The Constant Gatherer

"my town"

Kathy P. Thompson (my favorite artist and mentor) and her brilliant Hboxes!

"artists", "f", "mixed media", "my town", "vintage"Katie Runnels1 Comment
If you've read my blog or guest blogs for some time you may have previously read about my dear friend, artist and designer, Kathy P. Thompson. She was gracious enough to share her home with readers on Design*Sponge for my guest series of posts on the women artists who have shaped my artistic career and lifestyle.  Kathy has been in the process of developing a new business- Hboxes (H short for History) and has created a fantastic website to share her concept.

Meet Kathy P. Thompson...
I described a bit about how I came to know Kathy in my D*S post...please read here if you missed it! but I'd like to share more with you now as I feel it has been a long time coming for me to share her work and the profound influence she's had in my life.

Self-Portrait by Kathy P. Thompson
Kathy has been creating self-portraits for most of her career. My earliest style of painting was an attempt to work in a similar style...my apologies, Kathy! All I can explain is that I was young and InSpiRed! Kathy never let on if it bothered her that I was so under her influence- a little copycat!-and let me slowly figure out my own style as I developed. She in fact invited me to exhibit in  my very first group show in her downtown studio. Kathy ignited a fire in my heart that I badly needed since leaving my first college experience after three semesters following a serious meltdown. (I'll spare you the details!)
Kathy in her downtown Fayetteville studio-where I first took classes from her and discovered the bountiful and magical magpie qualities of mixed media artist's studio.  The sight of it makes my heart sing!

 Hbox by Kathy Thompson
Kathy has been a "constant gatherer" since her childhood and her work, even her paintings contain a very object-oriented quality. She moves effortlessly between found object assemblage and sculpture, mixed media painting, and ceramic painting on molded platters and bowls and tile installations. I know Kathy's example gave me the independence to work in the same spirit.

The Hboxes above are installed at The Fayetteville Arkansas Public Library.  Kathy also designed the Library's Cafe and several other locations for the towns favorite neighborhood coffee and pastry house, Arsagas! (click on the images to enlarge!!)

Kathy's latest venture, Hboxes is- I believe- a culmination of her life's work and natural inclination to  collect and assemble the meaningful minutia of life by thoughtfully arranging the pieces in a new order that agrees to her sensibilities, and thereby developing a new understanding or appreciation. Only this time, it occurred to her that she could preserve the treasures of others so that they may enjoy and find comfort in their preservation, rather than allowing them to be lost in attics or the shuffle of everyday life.

Kathy's hands. In addition to my own mother's... I cherish and miss these hands dearly! Here she is creating a box to celebrate a couple's recent wedding using the bride's dried winter berry arrangement.

Views of Kathy's bustling studio.

These illuminated installations are two in the series of Kathy's original idea for Hboxes. Kathy embedded them in the walls as part of her incredible interior design for Fayetteville's most exquisite Italian restaurant, Bordino's(see image below). Don't miss this spot if you find yourself in Northwest Arkansas! View more interior shots of the space and the Hboxes on Bordino's website.

Interior Shot of Bordino's Dining Room Hboxes installation.

Kathy beginning construction on an Hbox.

Watch Kathy's video introduction to her Hboxes Series...
The filmmaker- Archetype Productions- together with photographer M Taylor Long did a beautiful job capturing Kathy's aesthetic and demeanor and the spirit of the Hboxes.

Kathy never boasts about her credentials but I've always been impressed and intrigued by her accomplishments as a female studio artist. I'm waiting for her to create another website that catalogs her thirty years of creations-no pressure, Kathy! I'll be sure to let you know when that's available! xo
Visit Hboxes website to get more details to commission Kathy for your very own personal work of art!

Guest Blogging @ Design*Sponge!

"blogs", "my artwork", "my town"Katie Runnels2 Comments
Hello! I hope you'll visit me this week over at Design*Sponge! Grace has kindly offered to let me share some posts with you this week as she begins her new life as a married gal! Thank you, Grace! xo
My guest posts are very special to me as they are sneak peeks into the homes/studios/and shops of the Southern women who have influenced my desire to live a more artful life. This talented group includes Amy Zurcher- my dear friend and co-creator-now director of shopSCAD, Winifred Ross Riley-Baton Rouge, Louisiana artist and designer, Kathy P. Thompson, Fayetteville, Arkansas artist and designer, Pam Pemberton, Fayetteville, Arkansas floral designer and owner of Flora, Bonnie Runnels, Fayetteville artist and mother most dear, and Elizabeth Demos, Savannah, Georgia designer and owner of @Home. My deepest gratitude to all of them for so graciously participating in this project...and most of all for sharing their ideas and kindness with me throughout the years. xo
*Image is a mixed media painting I made years ago called First Home- made in celebration of purchasing and nesting my first home in Savannah!

Ice Storm hits my hometown...

"arkansas", "my town"Katie Runnels6 Comments
As the power slowly returns to areas around Fayetteville, Arkansas, I've been seeing these heartbreaking photos come in from friends and family. Arkansas is usually blessed with fairly mild winters and short periods of sweltering heat...but once in a while, something like this hits and utterly devastates the landscape. It looks like a very dangerous situation with those limbs hanging, downed power lines, and treacherous roads. However, today it is forecast to be in the low 50's, so I imagine the scene is about to get even messier. My heart is with you all as you begin the work of digging out...xoxo
Looking down my parents driveway.

Looking out onto the front pasture and tree-lined drive to the right.

Gate going through to the backyard and pasture.

A precarious tree looms over the road.
Photo by my friend and photographer, Mitzi Jones.

Mitzi also caught these three little signs of nature's perseverance.
I always worry about the animals...but I know they are smarter than I am!
Photo by Mitzi Jones. (Thank you!)

Columbia Antique Mall

"antiques", "brick and mortar", "my town", "vintage"Katie Runnels5 Comments
I don't usually mention too many places around these parts...never really too impressed. But today I visited Columbia Antique Mall on the corner of Blossom and Huger streets and was blown away by all the antique treasures! There are two old filthy warehouses full of expensive things...the dirtier the costlier it seemed. I managed to finagle a few items which hopefully will appear in some artwork shortly. I've been preoccupied with setting up my new studio digs. I could not have picked a worse time to move...as you may have noticed, I've missed out on selling much for the holidays...woe is me! Hoping to be more productive in the new year, in my new space, with a lower overhead! xoxo
Columbia Antique Mall-South Carolina

My favorite kind of shopping experience!

Be still my heart! She has the most beautiful blue
bow in her hair too! There is also a matching girl with a little
flapper hairdo that was too blurry to post.

Pretty white wood tramp art box mixed in with all sorts
of dirty treasures!

I've always wanted a great set of gams!

Tiny wood and metal sink-did this really work at one time?
The plug seems to suggest a yes!?

I wanted this so badly, it hurt! Maybe if its still there
in the new year! Those are chenille flowers-tag read
"mourning box"

Incredible blue chandelier I cannot afford.

Handmade Tabby Church

Interior of Church

On the way out of the parking lot I noticed this
perched in the bushes.
So lovely!

Open Studio Sale!

"artists", "ceramics", "etsy", "jewelry", "my artwork", "my town"Katie Runnels5 Comments
This Saturday, October 4th is Oktoberfest in downtown Newberry, SC and to celebrate we are having an open studio sale at The Constant Gatherer! Kirsten and I have invited our Greenville neighbors to join in! In addition to Kirsten's handpainted ornaments, tree-toppers and cards, my wreaths and mixed media, we will also feature the incredible ceramic work of Lily Pottery and the one-of-a-kind jewelry of Blue Moss by Michelle Taylor! We are so completely excited and honored to have them-so please come out and join us for a fun day on Main Street!

Fayetteville Arkansas Farmer's Market

"my town"Katie Runnels2 Comments
Saturday we visited Fayetteville's amazing Farmer's Market! The rain didn't stop any of the fun! The flowers and vegetables were bountiful and it seemed to me to be a bigger and better market than ever before! There were also several artists, musicians, even a juggler that made it magical!

My sister and her kids peruse the green beans.

Sweetest little lady-ten years old!

The loveliest gardens surround the downtown
Fayetteville square!

Couple dancing in the rain to a guitarist and homemade bass!

Pretty Japanese turnips!

The Juggler
Artist painting an active market scene.

Etsy Update

"brick and mortar", "etsy", "my artwork", "my town"Katie Runnels4 Comments
I've been using more and more hand-spun yarns which is so much more exciting! I finally got myself down to In The Loop- a fantastic yarn and knitting shop in downtown Columbia, SC! Next door in the same quaint little house-turned-shop is the sweet "paperie," Jot. She carries some great lines of paper goods such as Snow & Graham, Kate Spade, Waste Not Paper, 16 Sparrows, and In Good Company printable stationery. Both are located at 2321 Devine St.
Tiny Bird and Yarn Wreath

Woodland Bird and Yarn Wreath
my personal favorite!

Market Success!

"my town"Katie Runnels1 Comment
Well.....The first downtown Newberry Farmer's Market last Saturday was a great success! There was a strawberry-hungry mob forming before the market even started and lots of folks left with bags full and smiles on their faces-despite the hot, hot weather! I think it was the start of a great market! Way to go! Come out and see us every Saturday! There is something for everyone: seed starting projects for kids, live music, South Carolina produce, homemade bread and pies, plants, and orchids from Newberry's famous Carter and Holmes!

Lever Farm's Produce from Pomaria,SC

Lever Farm's Produce from Pomaria,SC

Strawberry Market Baby!

Market creators Bridget and Kirsten with their girls,
Emma and Hannah! Thanks for all your hard work!

Andy Hawkins fresh bread!

The best tasting pepper-relish I've ever had!

Beverly Ringer and her handmade pies!

Perfect spot for a market, don't ya think!?

Carter and Holmes orchid man makes a new friend.

dailybread Market

"etsy", "handbags", "my town"Katie Runnels2 Comments
We are so excited here in Newberry as tomorrow is the first downtown Farmer's Market! Market manager, Kirsten Lindsay introduced me to these great bags that the Downtown Newberry Merchant's Association will have for sale at the market. Kathijane of Sharpsburg, Georgia creates these sweet and simple reusable 100% cotton market bags called, "Tattletotes". Visit her Etsy shop to see all the clever bags and other fresh-market wares! (Click on the bags to shop!)

Kirsten Lindsay

"artists", "etsy", "my town", "wedding"Katie RunnelsComment
Please meet my new studio mate-the talented Kirsten Lindsay! Kirsten paints really lovely glass ornaments for all occasions! Here is a sampling of her work and more can be found in her Etsy shop, The Painted Palmetto. She also shares her photos and more on Flickr.

Custom Design for
Out on a Whim

Sand Bucket and Shovel
(all can be personalized!)

Kirsten's display of ornaments at Out on a Whim boutique in Newberry, SC. That's her pretty mug in the photo-can you see?!

Newberry Garden Tour

"my town"Katie Runnels4 Comments
Saturday I participated in Newberry, South Carolina's 1st Annual Garden Tour! Every garden on the tour featured a different local artist and I think the combination worked wonderfully! These photos were taken by my friend Kirsten Lindsay-who is also responsible for organizing a new downtown Newberry Farmer's Market-coming in June!
Green antique bicycle at home in the ivy.

My little table setting!

The sweetest little art collector- Thank you, Grace !

Found Object Gardens are my favorite!

Perfect spot for a quick nap!

Cousins, Grace and Emma pose in their garden finery!

that puppy in the window

"my town"Katie Runnels2 Comments
I found this little Jack Russell mix puppy lost last night in our neighborhood. Trying to locate her owners. She has really enjoyed people watching from my studio window today. Wish I could keep her! **Update!! Puppy's name is Lydia and she lives in the neighborhood behind ours! She is happy to be back home now! **