Jesse Blalock: August Artist of the Month

Quick background on how you came to be, please!

Well, this whole art vision found me in high school! One day, I asked my teacher to give me a week without assignments to work on something personal I had a dream about. Having an open minded art teacher - gave me a chance and I went to town on the nearest piece of paper! I was like a kid in a candy shop twisting and turning my page as I went about in a fluent way! Each expression was either something I've seen before or an internal expression I see in my imagination!

Since that week of production I immediately put my designs on apparel/shirts and began selling them in high school. It took off from there!

I kept it up and never doubted what I was doing - a story untold to unfold right before my eyes. I was just drawing with pen and ink then, but I started painting when I was 20 years of age.

I'm 24 now. My first mural was a wrap around design on a place called Mobile Marine on Washington Avenue. That was my first painting ever. I was unsure at first, but did my best and made the best of it. I'm a self taught artist by all means and have been growing ever since!

This year will make my 5th year of participating in the Peter Anderson Festival here in Ocean Springs. I have lived and sold art in New Orleans for 2 years as well. I am actively involve the community through door signings to support local art, and teach kids at our local museums and schools!

Art should always be a gift giving back! So, I've exercised, and not given up on, my dream and here I am. Plus, I just introduced videography to my art form. I have had great feedback with a documentary with John Reyes this year, where I painted a mural on the inside of Leo's Wood Fired Pizza! My apparel has progressed as well and I'm just doing what I do best with what little time we have on this planet!!! 

If we gave you a biscuit and asked you to use it as a canvas, what 4 colors would you use on it? What would you do to the biscuit? Feel free to send us a sketch.

I would use gold, purple, turquoise, and bright red! I would break it in half and create a splotchy background with all the colors then make faces out of what I see as art.

Here at the Greenhouse, we really love cats. Though when we look at your art, we think of far off tropical lands, with parrots and toucans. If you had a pet toucan, what would you name it?

My pet toucan would be Toucan the Man! 

Also… Do you have a cat? What is its name?

I dont have a cat - I'm a dog kinda guy and her name is Sheeeeva.

Has painting given you a stronger sense of where you want to go in life?

I think painting has brought me growth and confidence along with patience and finesse for the skill at hand! It's a well rounded form of art everyone should exercise for sure!

Public art seems really important to you. Can you talk about that a little?

Public art means the world to me! You don't have to know someone to inspire them for a lifetime! It's a beautiful thing to see everyone come together and express art! In a world where everything is mine and yours - for a second it's ours and that's beautiful to me! We need more of this influence right now! If we want to see a flourishing future with art without boundaries and ridicule!  I'll always be open to anyone wanting to let go and be free.

Is there a difference between murals and graffiti to you? I see you have done both. Are your intentions different with the two types of projects?

Yes! There's a difference between graffiti and murals. I'm more inclined to say murals are more artful because it involves more of a critic and brush work. But graffiti has its own form and light in the arts that I equally respect! I'm learning more about spray as I go along but I adhere to paint first!

What’s with the doors?

The doors are a natural canvas that is already framed in most cases! All of these doors are recycled by my hand, going out and finding them on the street! The doors are a great symbol to me because it teaches everyone that you don't have to just buy canvas to do art! Plus you can help the planet by reducing waste! It also serves the purpose of community door signings and opening up people's minds that may have never gotten the chance to freely express what they feel! It's an awesome thing in its own light.

You have done a lot of work for/with Blackwater Brass. You painted a tuba. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a painted tuba. Did they approach you to do that, or is that something you came up with? And you did the cover art for their new release? How does it feel to have your work on Spotify?

Gary Cooper, the drummer for BWB, approached me with his djembe hand drum first and asked if I would paint it for him . Of course I said yes!  Being that was my first instrument I've ever painted and it's a beauty for sure. Then the sousaphone player, Andrew Heston, asked me if I would paint his instrument as well , and out of the love for those guys and the spirit of music and art I do so as well! And last but not least I painted Zach Fellmans djembe as well so keep an eye out - I got mad love for Black Water Brass and the funk they bring to this world ! Great energy!

It's an honor to have done there cover art by all means! They bring the funk through music and I do so as well through art! We are a perfect match and I am glad it can be shared with the world! 

When you aren’t making art, which it seems like you always are, what do you do?

When I'm not making art, I'm usually cooking in an artful way! I love to cook and culinary art is my Jam!! I've always had an extreme liking for well prepared and good tasting food! And the best way to go about that is to cook it yourself! I also have been skateboarding for 11 years now and that is my bread and butter for sure. It's a huge fit of inspiration for me and a sense of being free to express my love for the sport! I love spending time outdoors with my dog Sheeva, Bruce and partner Kelsey Wishik! We enjoy traveling and learning holistic ways of life. Outside of that I like to find peace within my spirit and become one with the universe as well

Trivia Masters Natalea and Rhea!

Natalea and Rhea are amazing. Twice month, they toil over the books/web to find the perfect questions.  They always make sure that the topics are cohesive, smart and that there is a bit of humor in there too.  We are ever grateful to our trivia masters and what they do for us and the community.  You see... they do all of this for biscuits and plum ginger tea... and to help raise money for different charities around the coast.  They are practically angels.  Here is our interview with them. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  

Can you give us a good trivia question about baking/biscuits?

Natalea: What’s the term for the substance that causes biscuit dough to rise? (Answer at the end of the post)

Rhea: I completely defer to Natalea on that one.

Natalea: Hey, remember when I entered “Hold Me Closer Tiny Biscuit” into the biscuit tournament, and it reached the semi-finals?

Rhea: Hey, remember when I basically forced you to watch The Great British Baking Show?

Natalea: No regrats.

How did the idea of Trivia Night come up?

Natalea: I was a frequent attendee of trivia nights at The Bridge Bar in Pensacola, and after I moved here last summer, I immediately wanted to find a fun trivia experience. I didn’t have any luck, so I approached the Greenhouse about starting my own. And here we are a year later! Huzzah!

Rhea: I love trivia nights so when Natalea said she was starting one, I immediately said I would come. Then she realized she needed a scorekeeper/editor and forced me into the position.

Natalea: You’re welcome.

Rhea: I’m also way too competitive and like knowing all the answers so it works out well.

What, if anything, do you feel you’ve gained from hosting Trivia Night?

Natalea: I’ve gained so much from hosting Trivia Night! An addiction to iced lemongrass/plum tea for starters...an increase in useless knowledge, better oratory skills, creative excuses for wearing costumes...

Rhea: Agreed, I’ve gained a complete dependence on iced lemongrass/plum tea!

Natalea: But most importantly, we’ve met some incredible people and gained lots of new friends! I love all of my trivia goers...Hey, remember The Janitors? RIP.

What is your favorite trivia question you’ve ever had?

Natalea: Your mom

Rhea: Do we have trivia this week? (which I ask almost weekly because I’m terrible at remembering dates)

Natalea: SMDH

Where do you source your questions? Or is that a secret?

Natalea: Edward Snowden

Rhea: I know everything.

Natalea: I know everything x infinity.

Rhea: You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Natalea: Touche.

Did y’all know each other prior to Trivia Night? If so, where did y’all meet?

Natalea: Rhea and I went to middle school and high school together in Ocean Springs, and I messaged her on Facebook as soon as I moved back to the coast. We became work colleagues at OOMA shortly thereafter, and I peer pressured her into being my scorekeeper/editor/security blanket.

Rhea: I’m pretty sure my response to that Facebook message was “YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!”

Do either of y’all have cats? If so, what kind of cat, and what’s their name? If not, what does your imaginary cat look like?

Natalea: I have a Persian mix named Minnie Pooh who is gorgeous and misanthropic and loves whipped cream (it’s like we’re the same person). My imaginary cat is simply Minnie Pooh ten times her actual size, and I would ride her around town, and we’d have matching sunglasses.

Rhea: I don’t have a cat. However, I regularly try to cat-nap my sister-in-law’s orange Maine Coon. His name is Loki, he’s the size of a small rhinoceros and the most majestic creature I’ve ever seen.

Natalea: You obviously haven’t seen Minnie.

Have you ever asked a question nobody could answer? What was it?

Natalea: All the time. I intentionally include questions that no one can answer in attempts to undermine others’ confidence.

Rhea: And then she laughs over how frustrated everyone will get - really the power of trivia master has gone straight to her head.

Natalea: You love it.

Answer to the trivia question at the top:  Leavening agent

Tommie Larsen: July Artist of the Month

Tommie Larsen's work captures our world so you can feel the climate. You can see what it feels like to be there.  We are so thankful to have her paintings in the shop.  It feels like little windows into different worlds.  Her work will be hanging in the Greenhouse  for the month of July with a reception, featuring music by Thomas Jackson on July 9, 6-9pm.  

Tommie Larsen 1.jpg

Quick background on how you came to be, please!

Attending SCAD and the influence of living on the east, west, and gulf coasts, have all been influential in my life and artistic outlets.  However, another milestone occurred in 2009 when I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma.  Brain surgery and subsequent recovery put my painting on hiatus and both forced and allowed me the opportunity to focus on my health and well being.  It was during this time that I took up running, which as odd as it sounds,I feel is a symbiotic activity with art.  During my runs I have the chance to clear my mind, focus on the world sliding past me, and be free to think.  I find myself contemplating new subject matter, capturing mental snapshots of nature in its rawest form and  generally getting inspired.  

While on this hiatus an artist friend invited me on a yoga/art retreat on Mohegan island, Maine and it was on this journey that i recognized I had strayed from art; distracted me from what I consider important.  This trip, much like running, allowed me to unplug, focus on the creative and reinvigorated my painting (particularly plein air). 

Are you self taught, or did you go to school?

I do have a formal art education, I was awarded a portfolio scholarship to attend SCAD, and graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration.

When do you first remember wanting to paint?

When I think back, I was always doodling as a kid. Drawing on church bulletins, notebooks, and scrap paper I could find. I also remember painting designs on rocks and selling them to other kids in my neighborhood.

If you had to describe what you feel when painting in one word, what would that word be?

Spiritual

What is your favorite thing about painting?

It is the most pure way I know how to express myself and I am always learning something new with every moment I spend at the easel.

What do you do when you aren’t painting?

I day dream about exploring/traveling with my husband Grant. Spend time in nature with my American water spaniel, Muddy Waters. Slowly tackle a stack of books that I want to read.

If you could paint  a piece for the Queen, what would it look like?

A Gold leaf portrait of her corgis lounging on a red velvet sofa eating ice cream with biscuits.

Is there anything else that you want to tell people who are going to come and look at your pieces, or are thinking of coming to view them?

The art on display is a mix of studio and plein air paintings.

Tommie Larsen 4.jpg

Porter Pedal!

We met Ashley and Kellen Lundry before we even opened.  It was a winter night, and we were at the shop working to get the Greenhouse ready to be a real shop.  A group of friendly faces came up on their bikes wanting to check it out.  They asked if they could base Porter Pedal out of the Greenhouse, and we responded with : Why not?!?!  

It has been one of the best partnerships we have ever started and wanted to share a little of this with you.  We interviewed the founders and leaders of the group, Kellen and Ashley Lundry.  Here is what they said: 

Who, what, when, where, and why did yall start this?

Our first ride was October 24, 2014. I know the exact date thanks to Facebook memories and the fact that it's now our wedding anniversary.

Porter Pedal started out as a group of friends, but we were trying to recruit new riders. In fact, if someone ever screams Porter pedal as he rides by you and you're on a bike, that's why!

We started meeting downtown but when we heard about the Greenhouse opening we asked if we could host the ride there. It's turned out to be the perfect location!

 

Can anyone ride with yall? Or do you have to be a racer?

The ride is for everyone! We love when an entire family joins us. We are riding a leisurely pace and won't leave anyone behind.

 

Favorite memory? (from each ashley and Kellen)

Kellen:  It's hard to pick one specific memory.  I would say all the friends and interesting people we've met through the ride.

Ashley: I agree with Kellen, I love that people have made friends through our ride. I also love when we have out of town visitor's, it's a great ride to show them some of my favorite parts of Ocean Springs!

 

Biggest crowd?

Biggest ride, mid-20s. The first time it happened we were blown away. What a great feeling to have so many people show up to something that started as a handful of friends.

 

Is it like you thought it would be when you started?

Kellen: Is it like we thought? Pretty much I guess. Glad word eventually got out and we have some good groups and a number of regulars.

Ashley: I think it's better than I thought, but when we first started we were meeting at different places. Having the ride at the Greenhouse truly makes it feel like a community event.

 

What would you like the future of Porter pedal to look like?

We would love to have the rides get bigger and eventually do some bike friendly advocation and grand scheme a bike co-op where people can share tools and skills to fix and build their own bikes.

Keith Wooten: June Artist of the Month

Keith Wooten's work is hanging in the Greenhouse for the month of June, and it different from the past Greenhouse art shows. While Keith's pieces are certainly worthy of hanging on your wall and being displayed in your home, they are actually meant to be worn!  He creates masterpieces...  from antique and vintage jewelry and trinkets.  They are full of whimsey and wonder and instantly become the counterpoint of an outfit!    Keith is also a shop owner... Buddyrow, in downtown Ocean Springs.  Please go visit him there too!  The reception for this show will be June 10, 6-9pm! 

Quick background on how you came to be, please!

After being laid off from a corporate design job in, I think 2001 or 2002, I went cashing about for what next to DO. Sitting on a beach on the outer banks of the East Coast, I rang up an old Texas pal. She read to me a poem by James Kavanaugh, entitled, There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves. Then, she asked, what do YOU want to do? I decided that was to go to San Francisco, and make big necklaces. And so I did.

If a biscuit inspired a necklace, or another piece of jewelry, what kind of biscuit would it be, and what would it look like?

It might be argued that EVERYTHING I make could have been inspired by a biscuit of one sort of another. What would they look like? Look at the pieces.

What do you do when you aren’t making jewelry?

When not making jewelry, I’m tending to my vintage boutique/gallery - Buddyrow...and eating biscuits.

Do you have any cats? If so, what are their names, If not, why not?

Dog guy here. If I need a cat to visit, there’s always the Greenhouse, or a visit to my favorite cat, in Tupelo, named Kudzu.

What is your favorite thing about making jewelry?

Seeing what pieces want to marry each other.

If you could make a piece for the Queen, what would it look like?

“THE” queen or “A” queen? Either way, they’d probably look like what I do anyway.

What is the best thing about owning your own business?

Control-or at least the perception of control.

Is there anything else that you want to tell people who are going to come and look at your pieces, or are thinking of coming to view them?

I’d leave that to others. I’ve always hoped the pieces spoke for themselves, to the people who are listening.

 

BIscuit Tournament 2016!!! FINALS!

WELL, THIS IS THE END OF AN AMAZING BISCUIT TOURNAMENT!  We've made incredible memories!  We've laughed, we've eaten and now we have decided the best of the best in the final FINAL round of the 2016 biscuit tournament.  

In the savory side of the competition:  

TEXARKANA AMOR (TA):  Poblano, corn and tomato biscuits with black bean hummus and sour cream fluff by Matt Sukiennik.

In the sweet side of the competition:  

FANCY CAMPER (FC): Graham cracker biscuits with dark chocolate, marshmallow fluff and salted caramel by Maura Worch.

HERE IS WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THE BISCUITS:  

WE ASKED FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND THEY WERE GREAT!  ( I WILL USE THE INITIALS OF THE BISCUITS THAT ARE BEING COMMENTED ON)

FC: I will "fancily camp" outside the greenhouse whenever you serve the fancy camper
TA: Because "the the way I like it"
FC: The delightfully crumbly biscuit was perfectly complemented by the sensual caramel, seductive chocolate, and fluffy-awesome marshmallow fluff!
TA: Tasted like El Chap himself created this South of the border masterpiece!

We've got some MAJOR talent within our voters!

AND THE WINNER OF THE WHOLE SHEBANG IS:

FANCY CAMPER by Maura Worch!!!

Biscuit Tournament 2016!!! SEMI FINALS!

SEMI FINALS!!!! Already?  Really?  YEP! 

In the savory side of the competition:  

NACHO CHIP (NC): Nacho chip, oregano, and cheese biscuits with pico de gallo and feta fluff by Cathy Colquett.  
VS
TEXARKANA AMOR(TA):  Poblano, corn and tomato biscuits with black bean hummus and sour cream fluff by Matt Sukiennik.

In the sweet side of the competition:  

SLOW AS MOLASSES (SAM): Spiced molasses biscuits with sweet fluff and apple butter by Dani Bailey. 
VS
FANCY CAMPER (FC): Graham cracker biscuits with dark chocolate, marshmallow fluff and salted caramel by Maura Worch.

HERE IS WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THE BISCUITS:  

WE ASKED FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND THEY WERE GREAT!  ( I WILL USE THE INITIALS OF THE BISCUITS THAT ARE BEING COMMENTED ON)

NC: In my mind, Nacho Chip is the perfect savory biscuit! It has a hint of spiciness that is so great with the fixins.  
FC:  The Fancy Camper is  a perfect blend of flavor.  
FC: This was the hardest tournament Wednesday yet.  I have to go with Fancy Camper.  It stood out through out the whole tournament.  
TA:  I still love the black bean hummus and sour cream fluff on this biscuit so much that I always find my self having to vote for the TA. 
SAM: Just right!  Spiced fluff! 
NC: Tasted exactly like nachos
TA: Absolutely amazing!  I enjoyed the black bean hummus.  I love spicy food and this dish had a perfect of amount of spice like Buttercup from the Powerpuff Girls.
NC: YUM!
FC:  A can't miss!
FC: I truly got the whole amores effect, with bursts of dark chocolate even a subtle graham reference.  Fancy camper is fun!
TA:  This one is tough!  They're both flavorful and in the same southwest family.  My ultimate vote, though, goes to TA.  It has smooth finish (if you will) with poblano and cilantro in front.  
SAM: Because DANG!
FC: Awful Guuuuuuuudddd!
NC: Can you REALLY vote AGAINST Pico de gallo and feta Fluff?  I tried but failed! 
SAM: Honoring my life's motto: "Slow as Molasses" Only choice in this one!
SAM: the best of all 4!  The apple butter with molasses is the perfect combo. 
FC: OMG MARSHMALLOW + CARAMEL <3
TA:  Amor a primera vista! 
SAM: Give me some mo o' that molasses baby!
FC: The caramel put it over the edge!
TA: The black bean hummus was a revelation and the touch of poblano in the biscuit was sublime! 

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

TEXARKANA AMOR by Matt Sukiennik

FANCY CAMPER by Maura Worch

Biscuit Tournament 2016!!! Round 11!

OH BISCUIT TOURNAMENT! What an adventure and full of surprises!  

In the savory side of the competition:  

BUFFALO BLUE BOMB (BBB): Spicy green onion and blue cheese biscuit with blue cheese and buffalo sauce fluff by Laura Wyness
VS
TEXARKARNA AMOR (TA):  Tomato, cilantro, corn &  poblano biscuit with black bean hummus and sour cream fluff by Matt Sukiennik

In the sweet side of the competition:  

JUST PEACHY (JP): Peach cobbler biscuit with peaches and lemon hibiscus fluff by Mattie Martinez
VS
HAPPY CAMPER (HC): Graham cracker biscuits with marshmallow fluff, chocolate and salted caramel by Maura Worch.

Here is what you thought of the biscuits:  

WE ASKED FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND THEY WERE GREAT!  ( I WILL USE THE INITIALS OF THE BISCUITS THAT ARE BEING COMMENTED ON)

JP: Loved the lemon hibiscus fluff
BBB:  I usually don't like anything with buffalo sauce on it.... And I almost didn't even try it-- But OMG! It was delicious!  Spicy but not overwhelming.
TA: The black bean hummus sold me!
FC: Gave me a mouthgasm
BBB:  At 40 years of age, I just had buffalo sauce for breakfast for the first time ever.  Well done!
FC: Best combo for dessert for breakfast.
TA: Black bean hummus is soooo good!  YUM!
BBB:  Buffalo sauce in the morning!  Who Knew?
FC:  Just need a fire pit.
TA: Everything all in one! 
FC:  Holy crackers & caramel!  This is MF good!
BBB: Seriously! THE BEST!  Please put it in regular rotation!
JP:  a perfect breakfast treat!
TA:  DAYUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
FC:  makes me want to pack my bags!
JP:  HOLY HIBISCUS!
TA:  Warm taste of  black bean and tang of sour cream make this an earthy lovely treat!

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

FANCY CAMPER by Maura Worch

TEXARKARNA AMOR by Matt Sukiennik