Dream Bear by Kent Paulette

Morganton, NC – Hickory native Kent Paulette has a new exhibit of paintings in downtown Morganton at Root & Vine Restaurant. The exhibit features large colorful paintings of local wildlife and mountain landscapes.

Paulette is a self-taught artist who uses uninhibited, energetic brushstrokes to create paintings that leap off the canvas, alive with color, texture and movement.

Paulette describes how he finds inspiration from the natural world that surrounds him, “Before each painting, I go to Laurel Creek in my backyard to collect a bucket of creek water. I wade through and stick my face in the water even if it’s the middle of winter. The cold water really wakes up my spirit and I put that energy into my paintings! I come back to my studio with mud between my toes and feeling very connected with nature. I then add the creek water directly to paint and use that to stain the canvas with my transparent Creek Washes.”

Kent Paulette, painting

Paulette was born and raised in Hickory where he painted under the pseudonym Derfla. Now he signs his paintings K. Paulette and he paints at his home studio at Powder Horn Mountain and also in Banner Elk.

For Paulette, each painting is a gamble, a leap into the unknown, a wild ride of exploration and experimentation. He paints to figure things out, not to achieve a specific result. Unexpected or unintended outcomes are welcome; they offer openings through which new possibilities can be glimpsed, imagined, and developed. Paulette works to exploit these opportunities, continually pushing himself and his paintings beyond the boundaries of habit and into the realm of chance.

Paulette strives to insert the present moment into each brushstroke. To make room for this spontaneity and to breathe life into his paintings, he has developed a whole range of special brushstrokes: Ninja Splats, Building Blocks, Scratching Thoughts, Windows, Kisses, Slaps, Screams, Spells, Jellyfish, Leafing, Whispers, and many more.

All of Paulette’s paintings in the exhibit are for sale including a large bear with expressive eyes and geometric shapes, wild horses running free, an egret in flight, and a portrait of Janis Joplin. His work can be viewed online at www.KentPaulette.com

Root & Vine’s Chef Brian Miller uses scratch preparations and traditional French techniques married with southern practicalities to create straightforward, unpretentious fare incorporating local produce and fresh fish. Root & Vine, located at 139 W Union Street in Morganton, is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday, and its phone number is (828) 433-1540.