Queen of Hearts

In October of 2009, Green Rice Gallery owner Carla Garrison and Artist Paul Hastings sat down over a few glasses of wine at NoDa’s Dolce Vita for a brainstorming session. The purpose of this meeting of artistic minds was to come up with the perfect donation for what they believe to be one of the most important fundraisers here in Charlotte; the American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Ball Auction. After numerous ideas about what might excite the bidders, they came to the most obvious conclusion…the city of Charlotte itself!

Although the two artists have slightly different styles, their close friendship and similar tastes (as well as a passionate love for painting) provided them with the perfect combination of talents to create a unique and colorful version of the Charlotte skyline. Paul and Carla decided that the skyline must be on a large canvas, and Paul’s handy creative side led him to construct a frame for the canvas out of a recycled door. He built rounded sides and affixed them to the door, then stretched a canvas tightly over the frame. The duo then prepared the canvas and began to paint the perfect Carolina blue sky, a color so beautiful that Paul could “almost lick the palette knife like it was frosting!”.

Next came the fluffiest clouds for the most beautiful day, and then on to the buildings which formed a near perfect triangle; the sturdiest and strongest form according to the old masters of the Renaissance period. Paul blocked in the building colors, exaggerated to create a dynamic effect, while Carla provided the tiniest of details, bringing the piece together for a finished product. As the piece came to a close, they discussed how on earth to sign the piece cohesively. After some wise words from a fellow artist, they signed the piece as Garrison & Hastings, Inc., on a building in the lower left corner. The big reveal came during a volunteer’s meeting at Ruth’s Chris on February 2nd. The piece, titled “Queen of Hearts” will be included in the silent auction at the Heart Ball on February 13th at the Civic Center. The painting is approximately 80” x 32” and is oil on canvas.

Carla Garrison is the owner of the Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte’s Historic Arts District known as NoDa, and Paul Hastings is an Artist featured in the Red Sky Gallery. The duo met two years ago at Green Rice when Paul moved his studio into the gallery, they became fast friends and artistic soul mates immediately. They plan to work together on many more collaborative works of art. As Paul states, “we never came to blows, nobody got hurt, so I guess we make a pretty good pair!”, and Carla responded with, “well, he brought me snacks, so of course it worked out!”.