Library Friday – Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited

Today, we’re reaching back out to steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner, for his selection of another book from our library for this week’s Library Friday post…

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

We’re especially excited for this selection, and how he compares the work of this great artist to Steve’s own works, and how it seems to have served as inspiration for him. Read below for Xavier’s latest Library Friday pick:


Today, I decided to discuss the Washington, D.C. based artist, Morris Louis

Morris Louis
Morris Louis

He is known for experimenting with Color Field painting, a style of abstract expressionism, characterized by large simplified compositions in which the use of color is independent of line and figuration. 

Morris Louis Alpha-Pi (67.232)
Morris Louis Alpha-Pi (67.232)

This art movement was a popular choice among the New York painters during the 1940’s -1950’s, but Louis separated himself from the New York group and kept to himself in D.C. with his work. He would dilute an oil-based acrylic, which was created for him, and brush it into an unprimed canvas.

Morris Lewis, Point of Tranquility
Morris Lewis, Point of Tranquility

Eventually, Louis stopped using a paintbrush in order to get a more even and clean surface. I see resemblance with Steve’s walnut studies, which look watercolor-like.  It is obvious why Steve has this book in his library.  Inspiration can appear from the past or the present as we move forward in art and design.

Exactly our sentiment, Xavier – great selection! How do you feel about these abstract, colorful watercolor works? How do they speak to you??

Painting Out Loud with Ruth Franklin

Ruth Franklin is interested in painting, or to be more specific, the process of painting. “Paint is such a lovely medium, it’s a shame to ignore the possibilities that pushing it around can create. Recognizing the possibilities is the trick,” she says.

Ruth Franklin, working in her Decatur studio.

Steve and Jill were immediately taken with Ruth’s work – and soon after, Ruth herself – the first time they laid eyes on one of her pieces, years ago. Now, the friendship has come full circle, and we’re thrilled to share, steve mckenzie’s will be hosting “Painting Out Loud,” a show featuring Ruth’s works, in store, launching Friday, September 18th!

"Untitled" (#4049) 48x48 - by Ruth Franklin
“Untitled” (#4049), 48×48 – by Ruth Franklin

A reception, taking place in the steve mckenzie’s showroom that evening, from 5-8pm, will be the kickoff to this fantastic show and you’re invited!

"Untitled" (#4344), 12x12 - by Ruth Franklin
“Untitled” (#4344), 12×12 – by Ruth Franklin

Based out of Decatur, Ruth Franklin is a contemporary British artist, whose expressive paintings and drawings are exhibited and collected internationally.

"Untitled" (#4071), 48x48 - by Ruth Franklin
“Untitled” (#4071), 48×48 – by Ruth Franklin

Ruth was born in Kent, England in 1964 and grew up in the picturesque and quintessentially English countryside of East Anglia. She studied at the Lowestoft College of Art before attending Brighton Art School, where she earned her BFA (Honours) in Painting. Ruth started showing & selling her work in the US a few years later.

"Untitled" (#4345), 12x12 - by Ruth Franklin
“Untitled” (#4345), 12×12 – by Ruth Franklin

Ruth lived briefly in Barcelona and was duly inspired, creating a striking body of work in soft pastels which were exhibited in New York to enthusiastic collectors.

"Untitled" (#4041), 48x60 - by Ruth Franklin
“Untitled” (#4041), 48×60 – by Ruth Franklin

Shortly thereafter, Ruth emigrated to the US and set up a home base and studio in Decatur, where she continues to live & work.

Ruth’s Decatur-based art studio

Her studio is a cave of cut out images, large art books, and photographs, piled amongst the giant coffee tins that she uses to hold her brushes and water. Sketches and drawings are push-pinned to the walls and lie on the tables – a constant reminder of possible paintings.

Works in progress in Ruth Franklin's studio.
Works in progress in Ruth Franklin’s studio.

Last year, she was voted ‘Best Established Visual Artist’ in Atlanta, by the readers of Creative Loafing. Her work was most recently shown at the Harlem Fine Arts Show, RAW Art Fair in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and in the 2013 MoCA GA show: ‘Georgia Artists Selecting Georgia Artists’.

Ruth's work on display.
Ruth’s work on display.

When asked how she envisions people living with her art, she says “good art matches the sofa better than bad art.”

Ruth Franklin, at work.

Ha, we appreciate that last tidbit for sure! We’re so excited to celebrate this fabulous show featuring works by Ruth Franklin, with an art show reception Friday, September 18th from 5-8pm – we look forward to seeing you there! Please reach out to the team at steve mckenzie’s for additional information.

Jeremy Brown at Kai Lin Art

Jill and Steve recently attended an exhibit of Jeremy Brown’s art at the local Kai Lin Art gallery and were quite taken with this “graffiti-guided” artist! So much so, we thought it would make a great blog post for those of you who could attend the show, to encourage you to plan a visit, and for those who may not be able to make it to a viewing, an opportunity to learn more about Jeremy Brown and his fantastic work…

Our friends at Kai Lin Art were so gracious when we requested to feature the show, they even had Jeremy answer a few questions from us for all of our blog readers out there!

Jeremy Brown
Here’s a bit about Jeremy Brown’s exhibition at Kai Lin Art:

LOVE marks the spot is a solo exhibition featuring graffiti-guided Jeremy Brown. This is Brown’s first solo show he explores passion, energy, and drive through the act of creation. His artworks are layered tiers of color fields, inspired thoughts, and abstracted shapes depicting unconditional love encapsulated in physical form. Through Jeremy’s work, love marks the spot.

And here’s our Q&A with artist Jeremy Brown:

How long have you been making art? Since I was about 15 years old, replicating a Mark Rothko painting for my mother. 

Do you have formal training? No, self taught. A lot of trial and error. 


Tell us about your studio where it is what it is like. How does the studio impact your work? My studio is located in the Inman Park/ Old Fourth Ward area. It’s an industrial space with a large roll-up door, yet clean and modern. Fresh white walls, modern contemporary furniture, concrete floors & bright colored artwork. The only wall that is not white, is the wall that I hang my canvases on while I paint, that wall is covered in many different colors. I think having a minimal, white wall interior, inspires my use of bright colors, adding a little pop to the surroundings. 

Does the Love theme always emerge from your work or was it just this body of work? Where did you pull your inspiration for this current work. Thus far the Love theme has always been the focal point of my artwork. It come directly from my view of unconditional love, as well as romantic love being the greatest for of art there is.



Do you have a favorite piece in this current show at KAI LIN ART? My favorite piece would have to be “Even diamonds start as coal”. I even have that phrase tattooed on my chest, written backwards so that I can read it in the mirror..  Everyday is an opportunity to better yourself To become a better son/daughter. A better artist.  A better husband, even to become a better stranger. 

The work is really moving I thought of it as Visually Expressed Urban Poetry, how would you describe your work? I like that description. I’ve always been better at expressing my thoughts & emotions through my actions/artwork, and I’m definitely inspired by the use of text by one of my favorite artists Jean Michelle Basquiat.


Is there a favorite place you like to go to for inspiration? I attend a Buddhist monastery in Brookhaven from time to time, for their guided love and compassion meditation. The colors inside the monastery and teachings of the monks are always a great source of inspiration for me.

Who or What would be your dream collector? Honestly. Anyone who is inspired or touched by my work. 


What is next for you following this show? There has been a great response to the pieces and message of this show, so I’d love to keep it going. To keep creating pieces that spark positivity and inspire unconditional love.

We hope his words and works have inspired you to view Jeremy Brown’s outstanding exhibition at Kai Lin Art before it comes to a close! We left energized and inspired and know you will too…

If you’ve already visited the gallery for this showing, did you have a favorite piece? Perhaps you’re imaging one of Jeremy’s works in your own home? We’d love to hear what others thought about the show!