Here’s help in how to buy art. No, it does­n’t need to match the sofa. You may have pur­chased a new home and want to dec­o­rate. Or you have have seen an art­work in a doc­tor’s office or art gallery and it cap­tured your atten­tion. Well good news. ART does not have to match your sofa. It only has to make you hap­py, remind you of good mem­o­ries or keep your interest.

If you are in the mar­ket for art (paint­ings, sculp­tures, one-of-a-kind fur­ni­ture, quilts, etc.), you only have to love it.  Sure, it should look appro­pri­ate in the room. But don’t think of fine art as just decor – because it isn’t, it is Fine Art and it should be expe­ri­enced as such.

    You can peruse art gal­leries, hope­ful­ly local art gal­leries, espe­cial­ly those owned by artists, like Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts in North Car­oli­na. If you are moved by a piece of fine art because it makes you hap­py, that is a good rea­son to buy It and take it home with you. That way, you would have the art to lift your spir­its every sin­gle day. Art is functional.

    You can always change lit­tle things in your room to make the art fit your decor. For instance, take col­ors from the art­work and bring in those col­ors with pil­lows, table cov­ers, anoth­er work of art or an accent rug.

    The art­works you choose do not need to match. There are no rules for choos­ing art accept pur­chase the art you love. The com­mon thread will be what they have in com­mon which is THAT YOU LOVE THEM. You don’t have to find the same col­ors, style or even the same time period.


    How to Com­bine Dif­fer­ent Styles

    Think out­side the box in arrang­ing art. For instance, a paint­ing does­n’t have to hang on a wall. It’s very bohemi­an to lean it on a man­tle or against the wall. Throw out the idea that items have to match. Jux­ta­po­si­tion makes things inter­est­ing. Mix round and square sculp­tures or high and low art­works. Find some­thing they have in com­mon to bring dif­fer­ent styles togeth­er. It can be col­or, sub­ject mat­ter or loca­tions. Group art. Hang one large piece, with small­er pieces. Same with sculp­tures. Groups items with same themes or var­i­ous styles or sizes. To group pho­tographs, frame them all with the same style and col­or frame.

    Don’t be afraid to mix styles. That can add excite­ment and ener­gy to the space. If you have a large blank wall, cov­er it with an extra large paint­ing and it becomes a focal point, a show piece.

    And there are times when you should think ‘inside the box.’ Think of your jew­el­ry that you love, but don’t see it very much as it is hid­den in your jew­el­ry box. How about plac­ing it in a shad­ow box and enjoy it every day.

    Jew­el­ry by Ari­an­na Bara


    Orig­i­nal Art vs Prints

    Orig­i­nal art­work is a good way to add some­thing unique and last­ing to your home, but it can be more expen­sive than a print. If the orig­i­nal art is a paint­ing, it will be more lumi­nous that a print and the col­or more lus­cious. It may have a com­pli­men­ta­ry tex­ture as well that is part of it’s char­ac­ter that can’t be trans­lat­ed in a print. Three-dimen­sion­al art like sculp­tures may not suf­fer that same dif­fer­ence, but an orig­i­nal will be one-of-a-kind.

    In the end, the best way to buy and dec­o­rate with art is to buy what you love. Oh, and make sure it makes you smile and feel good.





    ~Jude Lobe



    Take a Hike, by Jude Lobe. 11X14.

    Look­ing for a fun way to build endurance and strength? Take a Hike. It’s the healthy thing to do. Not only does a hike in the woods give you a sense of com­muning with nature, it has been found to decrease neur­al activ­i­ty in the part of the brain that is asso­ci­at­ed with anx­i­ety and depression. 

    Mar­tin Nie­der­meier, PhD, lead author on the PLOS One  (Pub­lic Library of Sci­ence ) study, says that nature—and green envi­ron­ments in particular—can reduce per­ceived stress and fatigue. “The visu­al stim­uli in nature serve as so-called soft fas­ci­na­tions,” he says, “which might result in a low­er per­ceived stress and fatigue.” Nie­der­meier says these find­ings are impor­tant for a sim­ple rea­son: “Peo­ple tend to stick with forms of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty they enjoy.”

    Hik­ing car­ries lit­tle risk of injury, builds fit­ness and bone den­si­ty, uses calo­ries, com­bats depres­sion, helps to reduce heart dis­ease and strokes, and helps low­er blood pres­sure just to name a few of the many benefits. 

    So, TAKE A HIKE in the woods. BUT.…..

    If you can’t get out to a woods this week­end, come instead to Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts and view OUT OF THE WOODS exhib­it, fea­tur­ing artists Mar­cy Lans­man, Ellie Rein­hold and Jason Smith. It will sure­ly lift your spirits. 


    by Jude Lobe
    for Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts



    Here’s the great news. Every­one who comes to your stu­dio are com­ing BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SEE YOUR WORKKeep that in mind. ALL are poten­tial buyers. So make it a great expe­ri­ence for them.

    Pho­tog­ra­phy by  © Iakov Fil­imonov |


    • Greet them at the door and make them feel welcomed.

    • Make it an expe­ri­ence — have some wine or hot cider, grapes, cheese or anoth­er snack.

    • Have nice music playing in the background.


    • Here’s where Less is More. I know it is a big temp­ta­tion to put out ALL your work, think­ing if they don’t see it, they won’t buy it. However, if there is too much to see, it could work negatively. It will be visu­al overload and per­sons won’t be able to focus on that one object that will speak to their hearts. Have faith. Though there will be less work, you will end up sell­ing more. You can con­tin­ue to fill those emp­ty sold spots with anoth­er piece. Don’t hang from ceil­ing to floor. Negative space is gold­en. It draws atten­tion to the piece that is sur­round­ed by space.

    • Price every­thing so if you are busy talk­ing with some­one else, anoth­er per­son will know the price and not get frustrated and walk out. Give price, medi­um, and if pos­si­ble, a short descrip­tion of your inspiration for the piece.


    To follow up, you MUST get their email and address. Thank them for com­ing to your stu­dio. If they agreed to be on your email list, add them to your month­ly newsletter. You want to keep your name and what you do in their minds. I’ve had several peo­ple call me up when they were look­ing for a gift. Follow‑up, follow‑up, follow‑up. This is your busi­ness. You want to sell year ’round. Not just at shows.


     If you are doing your stu­dio tour through an Arts orga­ni­za­tion, to get the biggest bang for your buck, don’t just rely on the Stu­dio Tour’s advertise­ments. Send out newslet­ters, tell your friends, pass out your brochures everywhere you go. Write up your own press release on, send out post­cards, and so on. And list links to the Press Release on sites for free like Post the Press Release link on your Face­book page, Insta­gram, Twit­ter and in your newsletter.

    Excerpt from Jude Lobe’s ‘So you want to have a Stu­dio Tour’ pamphlet

    YES!">Do We Need Art? YES!

    DO WE NEED ART? Yes! 

    Art has been with us for over 30,000 years. Ori­gins of art are ancient and lie with­in Africa, before world­wide human dis­per­sal. The ear­li­est known evi­dence of ‘artis­tic behav­iour’ is of human body dec­o­ra­tion, includ­ing skin col­or­ing with ochre and the use of beads, although both may have had func­tion­al ori­gins. 

    Mod­ern cos­met­ics and tat­toos have a his­to­ry, orig­i­nat­ing with the use of ochre for col­or­ing the skin hun­dreds of mil­len­nia ago. The human love of body dec­o­ra­tion involves the appli­ca­tion of col­or. The old­est known use of ochre is ∼ 164,000 BC from a South African culture.

    So art has been all around us for mil­len­ni­al bring­ing us joy by mak­ing us pret­ty; col­or­ing and design­ing our cloth­ing; and adding visu­al art like paint­ings and sculp­tures to record ani­mals, his­to­ry, hon­or famous per­sons or just to make love­ly struc­tures. There are many rea­sons artists cre­ate. Michelan­ge­lo described his incen­tive as ‘I saw an angel in the mar­ble and carved until I set him free.’

    There is sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence that there is a neu­ro­log­i­cal rela­tion­ship between visu­al cre­ativ­i­ty and lan­guage. For the view­er, art is healthy for our men­tal health. Think of the joy you get from going to a con­cert, vis­it­ing an art muse­um or watch­ing a dance recital. 

    With recent advances in bio­log­i­cal, cog­ni­tive and neu­ro­log­i­cal sci­ence, there are new forms of evi­dence on the arts and the brain. For exam­ple, researchers have used biofeed­back to study the effects of visu­al art on neur­al cir­cuits and neu­roen­docrine mark­ers to find bio­log­i­cal evi­dence that visu­al art pro­motes health, well­ness and fos­ters adap­tive respons­es to stress.” (Beth Daley, the Con­ver­sa­tion, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion)

    New exhibit at Hillsborough Gallery of Arts


    Art gives mean­ing to our lives. It helps us under­stand our world. It is an essen­tial part of our cul­ture because it allows us to have a deep­er under­stand­ing of our emo­tions; increas­es our self-aware­ness, and allows us to be open to new ideas and expe­ri­ences. “Addi­tion­al­ly, sci­ence has shown that view­ing beau­ti­ful art­work can actu­al­ly cause you to expe­ri­ence the same phys­i­cal reac­tions we get when we fall in love.” (Pro­fes­sor Semir Zeki, a neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gist with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don)

    So go fall in love. Vis­it the Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts new exhib­it, SWEET IMPOSSIBLE BLOSSOMS with Ari­an­na Bara, Chris Graeb­n­er and Ian Herdell. Now show­ing March 22nd to April 24th, 2022.

    ~Jude Lobe



    Art is good for the soul, and you have it all around you every day inside and out­side your home. It’s not only a paint­ing or pho­to­graph on a wall, or a sculp­ture in your gar­den. It is the gar­den, the jew­el­ry you wear, the pil­low on your sofa, the table­cloth, the design on your sil­ver­ware.  But art is not just some­thing to look at and admire, rec­og­nized it is func­tion­al, too. It gives you joy in view­ing it, every day it lifts your spir­its, it is good for your health. 

    Sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies sug­gest that art improves health and well-being among indi­vid­u­als. Ben­e­fits of art include improve­ment of mem­o­ry and low­er stress lev­els. Pop­u­la­tions stud­ied found that when per­sons viewed tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­po­rary gal­leries it pro­mot­ed well-being in them and includ­ed a pos­i­tive social impact and cog­ni­tive enhancement. 

    Saman­tha Kaplan believes that “Art is gen­uine­ly a gift to the world. It’s what we crave in the human expe­ri­ence. Art gives mean­ing to our lives and helps us under­stand our world. It is an essen­tial part of our cul­ture because it allows us to have a deep­er under­stand­ing of our emo­tions; it increas­es our self-aware­ness, and also allows us to be open to new ideas and expe­ri­ences. Art there­fore con­tin­ues to open our minds and our hearts and shows us what could be pos­si­ble in our world.”

    Eric Saun­ders, “Tree in Fog No. 4”,photograph

    In clos­ing, our phys­i­ol­o­gy is deeply effect­ed by feel­ings and emo­tion. Try to keep a bal­ance of good feel­ings in close prox­im­i­ty to your­self dur­ing the day. Per­haps a small paint­ing on your desk, or larg­er one on the wall. Maybe a piece of art sculp­ture at home in your win­dow sill to look at before you walk out the door. Or a calm­ing art­work on the wall of your bed­room to send you off to a peace­ful night’s rest. And be aware of the beau­ti­ful fab­rics you choose for a table­cloth, or your cloth­ing, the jew­el­ry you wear or the lamp by your chair. Art is all around us. 

    HGA arti­cle by Jude Lobe


    Here are my mus­ings about the new show. 

    It’s always fun when we brain-storm to come up with an inter­est­ing title for our Member’s show exhibits in Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary. This time the vote went to ANYTHING GOES for the Jan­u­ary exhib­it. There are so many deci­sions that every artist has to make in cre­at­ing just one art piece and this new title offers the artist a challenge. 

    The pos­i­tive thing about a chal­lenge is that it stim­u­lates the artist’s cre­ativ­i­ty. They have a theme/topic to which they should adhere. Here’s how they begin. What piece of art can I cre­ate that express­es Any­thing Goes? What sub­ject, what medi­um, what size, what sur­face, and the list goes on. Some­time an artist may sit in front of a can­vas for hours or they may doo­dle on paper. In any event, we hope you will enjoy and maybe one of  these art­works speaks so loud­ly to you, you’ll just have to take it home to enjoy it every day. 

    ~Jude Lobe View more of Jude’s work at Web­site


    HGA welcomes two new members">HGA welcomes two new members

    Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts wel­comes two new mem­bers, Ian Herdell and Pete Rodrigues. Both are wood­work­ers that cre­ate unique fur­ni­ture and wall art. 



    Most of my work is made from sol­id North Amer­i­can hard­woods, although I also use shop cut veneers on some projects. I love to cre­ate fur­ni­ture and art with tan­gi­ble func­tion­al­i­ty and down to earth beau­ty. I am inspired by the beau­ty and struc­ture of forms found in nature and I try to bring some small piece of that into my designs. I find that each tree has a sto­ry to tell, a snap­shot into its unique life. My designs incor­po­rate and har­ness the knots, splits, rot, spalt­ing, spe­cial grain and sculpt­ing done by insects, wind and weath­er. At times I also high­light these “imper­fec­tions” with inlaid shells and stone to bring more atten­tion to them. This approach com­bined with excep­tion­al crafts­man­ship allows me to cre­ate time­less, beau­ti­ful work for any space.


    Vis­it IAN’S website



    For me cre­at­ing fur­ni­ture as an art form is a process of visu­al­iz­ing what is pos­si­ble, design­ing, build­ing, and then let­ting it be used as func­tion, as much as form. Over the years, I have con­tin­ued to grow in this process. In some ways it has been more of a per­son­al growth, rather than pro­fes­sion­al. I see us all like a piece of wood with our own cracks, twist, bows and rough cut edges. How­ev­er, when put into the hands of the mas­ter crafts­man, the wood can be turned into some­thing beautiful. 

    Along the way I picked up a quote from the late fur­ni­ture mak­er, Sam Maloof. 

    Too often we who design things take all cred­it for what we do and if we have any kind of suc­cess we become very smug and con­ceit­ed about it. I think all one has to do is look at a beau­ti­ful flower, a tree, or what­ev­er, and real­ize what we do is very insignif­i­cant. We are only the instru­ments who make these beau­ti­ful objects.”

    It has tak­en me a while to real­ize, it’s a lot eas­i­er being the instru­ment, then the mas­ter craftsmen!

    Vis­it PETE’S web­site


    FROGS VIEWED AS GOOD LUCK: In many cul­tures, frogs are a sym­bol of good luck and abun­dance, part­ly due to the very large num­ber of eggs it lays at one time. In Rome, the frog was a mas­cot believed to bring good luck to the home. In Ire­land, the frog is con­sid­ered a rel­a­tive of the lep­rechaun and capa­ble of play­ing tricks on you when least expect­ed. In Aus­tralia, the Abo­rig­ines believed that frogs brought the thun­der and rain, to help the plants grow. It’s easy to under­stand that idea as in actu­al­i­ty, frogs usu­al­ly bury beneath the earth and come out in large num­bers when it rains to quick­ly lay their eggs.

    In that same vein, the Celts believed the frog rep­re­sent­ed cura­tive or heal­ing pow­ers because of its con­nec­tion with water and cleans­ing rains. 
    The three-legged toad from Chi­na is the tra­di­tion­al pet of the immor­tal Liu Hai, who is the Chi­nese god of wealth. In Japan, sea-far­ers wore frog amulets when trav­el­ing across the riv­er for a safe return. The word for frog in Japan­ese is ‘kaeru’ mean­ing ‘return’.
    < ARTWORK BY NANCY SMITH. Is present­ly in the show INTANGIBLES. Avail­able for pur­chase here: NANCY SMITH’S frogs.



    Whether you live in a cozy apart­ment, sub­ur­ban home, cot­tage by the sea, or cab­in in the moun­tains, your liv­ing room cre­ates a last­ing impres­sion for all who enter. More impor­tant­ly, it makes you com­fort­able. It sets the mood for the home and should be a reflec­tion of the your per­son­al taste. How to begin?

    STEP 1: Vis­it an art gallery and buy the work of art that speaks to you. Art is lit­er­a­cy of the heart. It is func­tion­al. You will use it every sin­gle day. Every time you look at it, it will lift your spirits.

    COLORS: From that paint­ing, pull your col­or scheme for accent cush­ions, rugs and throws.

    LIGHTING: Light­ing can either make or break a room. It can either make it look too dark and dingy or too bright and ster­ile. For a liv­ing room, aim for warm and cosy light­ing and use it to high­light fea­tures. For a mod­ern liv­ing room, sites like can pro­vide amaz­ing light­ing to real­ly set the mood.

    THEME: If that paint­ing moved you, obvi­ous­ly it will make you hap­py when you live with it.
    Accent pil­lows, rugs, cur­tains can all reflect col­ors tak­en from your paint­ing. Look at these three takes on the same room. See how the art changes the mood. If you’re part of a par­tic­u­lar­ly patri­ot­ic fam­i­ly, you may want var­i­ous pieces of Amer­i­cana around the room to reflect this fact. You can con­tin­ue this theme out­side and boost your curb appeal by installing a flag­pole. When select­ing one, you’ll have to think about which height of flag­pole works best for your home.

    Local­ly, a won­der­ful gallery to view art (and the pieces used above) is the Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Chur­ton St., Hills­bor­ough, NC 27278. Click on images to vis­it website.


    Resurfacing In The Aftermath Of 2020

    Jew­el­er Nell Chan­dler was inspired by the title. “I thought of the dif­fer­ent sur­faces I have used in my work and the new tech­niques and sur­faces I have been inspired to try with each annu­al show.  It also rep­re­sents how we have spent more than a year in a weird and dif­fer­ent uni­verse and how we don’t even know the way our lives will be “Resur­faced” once we tru­ly head back in. I found myself revis­it­ing pre­vi­ous sur­face tech­niques on my jew­el­ry and for fun I cre­at­ed a cou­ple of paint­ings on the sub­ject of resur­fac­ing our lives that I’m call­ing Going Back In.”

    For pot­ter Eve­lyn Ward this past year has been full of changes. “Last fall I under­went brain surgery to deal with a painful facial nerve con­di­tion. I am hap­py to report that the surgery was suc­cess­ful.” Work­ing with clay kept her ground­ed. “My time in the stu­dio, with its famil­iar dai­ly rit­u­als, was a refuge and helped to cen­ter and keep me focused on the work. Since return­ing to the stu­dio in Feb­ru­ary, I feel like I’m resur­fac­ing from those dark, murky waters. My head is clear­ing, the pain is gone, and I have renewed ener­gy. I am still work­ing with mono­print­ing but I have been exper­i­ment­ing with lay­er­ing under­glazes and find myself drawn to more sub­dued col­ors. I feel like the new work is qui­eter, using lay­ers to build up a more com­plex surface.”

    For painter Michele Yellin “This past year, dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, time has stood still. And yet some­how moved on. I lost my moth­er this year for the third time. First, I lost her to her advanc­ing demen­tia, then to the lock­down, and final­ly to her death from Covid-19. I mourn. I paint. I think. I paint. I remem­ber. I paint. I dream. I mourn. I paint. I resur­face, back to the light, and I paint.”

    Resur­face will run both online and in the gallery from May 28 through June 20.

    ONLINE open­ing: May 28th, 12 Noon. CLICK IMAGE TO VISIT ONLINE  OPENING.

    GALLERY Open­ing Recep­tion: Fri­day, May 28th, 6–9 pm.