First Friday Jimmy Craig Womble II

Painter Jimmy Craig Womble II finds beauty in often-overlooked objects and settings

sbarr@newsobserver.comSeptember 28, 2013 

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    First Friday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., is a monthly art event in downtown Raleigh. Galleries stay open late, and many restaurants offer special deals. To learn more, go online to

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    Artspace, 201 E. Davie St., “Entomology,” ceramic wall pieces by Pat Scull

    Blake Street Shops & Studios, 300 Blake St., work by artists from the City Market Studios collective

    CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St., “Surveying the Terrain,” a look at how 10 contemporary artists use maps, mapping technologies, cartography and more in art

    Designbox, 307 W. Martin St., “Dia de los Muertos,” featuring painting, pottery, jewelry and mixed media by various artists

    Flanders Art Gallery, 302 S. West St., mixed-media and murals by Derek Toomes and textile and paper by Andrea Myers

    Gallery C, 540 N. Blount St., 919-828-3165, “The Glass Rains of Planet Azure,” blown glass, ceramics, sculpture and chemical reactions by Sally Resnik Rockriver

    LGBT Center of Raleigh, 411 Hillsborough St., paintings by Kevin Peddicord

    Litmus Gallery, 312 W. Cabarrus St., “Music of the Spheres,” pottery and paintings by Sharon Schaffer and water colors, batiks and pastels by Susan Espin

    Local Color Gallery, 22 Glenwood Ave., “Games People Play,” by mixed-media artist Adrien Montoya and stained-glass artist Lizzie Bailey

    Lump, 505 S. Blount St., “This Land Is Not Your Land,” an installation by Rich McIsaac

    The Mahler, 228 Fayetteville St., “Casting Light,” oil landscapes by Chris Stephens

    Nature Art Gallery of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., “Natural Beauties,” pastel artists Vinita Jain, Dale McEntire, Wendy Musser, Carl Peverall and Patricia Savage

    Nicole’s Studio and Art Gallery, 719 N. Person St., paintings by John Poon and Rick McClure

    Visual Art Exchange, 309 W. Martin St., “Still,” juried show featuring depictions of inanimate objects

— Jimmy Craig Womble II has painted old barns, abandoned houses, rusted-out cars and old fish houses.

He finds beauty in those oft-overlooked objects and settings – both the colors things take on as they deteriorate and the stories they tell about people and places.

“It’s funny,” said Womble, who works from a studio in Beaufort. “We’ve got so many beautiful landscapes here, but I’m prowling around the grittier area.”

A collection of Womble’s recent work will be on display starting Friday, Oct. 4, at Adam Cave Fine Art at 115 ½ E. Hargett St. An opening reception will be held during First Friday.

The show, “Flotsam,” features many images from the coast, along with several from Raleigh.

Womble said that his goal in his most recent work is not just to create something beautiful, but to pull the viewer into the scene.

“The unifying thing with all of these paintings, hopefully, is the path of light, which the viewer can travel through,” he said.

Womble grew up in Nash County and always was interested in drawing. After graduating from the School of Design at N.C. State in 1995, he headed back to Nash County, where he painted and worked odd jobs to make ends meet.

He started out painting the county’s old barns, and when he moved to the coast about a decade later, he turned his attention to its docks and boatyards.

Womble will sometimes learn the history of a place, but he often is content to imagine what went on. He likes his paintings to be general enough that any viewer can appreciate them.

“I don’t want to get too bogged down in the particulars,” he said.

Womble said he is in constant conversation with himself as he refines his work.

“I want each piece to have poetry, intensity and honesty,” he said. “How I get there is sort of what I’ve been wrestling with.”

That’s one plus of an event like First Friday, he said. It gets him out of his head and talking to people.

After looking at his paintings for three or four months, he finds himself wondering, “Is this any good?”

Viewers will let him know.

“You’ve just got to wait and see,” he said.

Barr: 919-836-4952

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