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A Balanced Life: Interview with Susan Colwell

In a house full of green plants and neutral landscape paintings of her own and her artist contemporaries as well as the sound of water trickling from her pool waterfall, Susan Colwell’s home exudes feelings of natural stillness and quietude. However, upon greeting me at her door, I was not received by the pensive person I thought I was about to meet. Susan is energetic and full of life, stories and questions. She began painting early in her life and left her conservative family for college in the pre-hippy days where she and her fellow classmates posed nude for each other in attempts to master the challenging painting skill of foreshortening. From there, Susan traveled, married and had children and grandchildren. Leading an exciting and fast-paced life, the balance Susan aims to achieve with her slower more serene art began to make sense. With a cheese platter in between us and a glass of milk for herself, Susan and I talked about her home, life path and artistic inspiration.

Q: You have been an artist since you were a young girl. In what ways has your work evolved since your early days of painting?
A:  Ever since I was a munchkin, I have loved color.  Whether painting an abstract or a realistic rendering, for me it’s all about the color and mood and that has always been the case.  You asked how my work has evolved….I have gone up and down, sideways, all over and hopefully, I will continue to do just that until they roll me off to the Home!
Q: You have lived in the midwest, south and in Europe. How have the different places you’ve lived and traveled to influenced your work?
A: Every place that I have lived influenced me but I suppose that living in Europe when I was an impressionable teenager had the most profound influence.  The family lived in a little town outside of Zurich and every weekend we travelled….I was enthralled and completely in awe.  It cemented my love of art.
Q: Your paintings evoke feelings of serenity and peace. Would you say these are some of your personality characteristics as well?
A: This question made me chuckle because no one, absolutely no one, would say that my personality traits included “serenity and peace”, although those are qualities I hope to achieve in my work.  I’m all about the atmosphere, the subtle nuances of color…I am an intuitive painter.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not painting?
A:  Read, anything on the water, travel, spending time with the most precious grandchildren!
Q: You are friendly with many local artists. How do your contemporaries influence your work? How do you influence them?
A: Every artist that I know is supportive, encouraging.  I think artists are walking contradictions…on one hand there is a fragile sensitivity, perhaps even insecurity and then on the other hand there has to be a bit of narcisstic ego to feel we are “good enough” to put our work out for all to see.  Artists “love” art, all periods of art,  and I admire my contemporaries and I’d like to think they’d give me a nod in that same direction!








To see more of Susan’s work, visit us in the gallery or shop her works on our website.

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Lost and Now Found

From Modern, Traditional, Contemporary and Arts and Crafts, we appreciate all eras and design aesthetics here at Mitchell Hill. Constantly on the hunt for the beautiful and exciting, we are thrilled when we come across artists and craftsmen who have a talent for finding the old and abandoned, and creating new and refined pieces of art. Not only is the re-usable process environmentally sustainable, the results are some of the most innovative and fascinating. Without having to search through a flea market or go through the burden of restoring a vintage item, we’ve curated a selection of “found goods” that still give off that one-of-a-kind, artisan feel.

Cast Iron Bells, $98-123


Shooting for Galaxies by Hirona Matsuda; mixed media, 12 x 10; $500


Recycled Tire Drink Table


“Baby Goat” by Jonathan Bowling, $250


Cast Iron Stick Leg Table


“Mitchell” Fish by Stevie Palmer, $1,995


Antique Camel Pots, $198-240


“Key Cook” by Jonathan Bowling, $75


Vintage Indian Locks; $198-248


Brutal Opposition of all Systems by Philip Durst; law books, packaging, wallpaper paste 38. 5 x 32.5 framed; $2500


“Jack Rabbit” by Jonathan Bowling, $200
jack rabbit

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To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034


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Weekend Recap

And its a wrap! This weekend was a busy one indeed. We love playing a role in the bustling Charleston social scene. Friday night’s event, “Semblance,” was a huge hit. We caught up with artists, clients, friends and King St. strollers who were lured into the cocktail party atmosphere of our brightly lit and decorated space. After a late closing Friday, we got some shut eye and opened the gallery bright and early Saturday morning for Susan Colwell’s live painting demonstration! Peering over Susan’s shoulder and witnessing her process kept many enamored clients (and employees) waiting for the next stroke!  We found it interesting how Colwell used a palette knife as her go-to tool to add texture and a paintbrush to blend the chosen hues. Two large paintings were brought to life on Saturday… Come see them for yourself! Finally, on Saturday afternoon we attended a fundraiser for the Lowcountry Food Bank at Biergarten. We donated one of our famed piggy banks which alone, raised $150 by raffle ticket bidders for the cause.

Our featured artists, Timothy Pakron and Lisa Shimko at Friday’s event:


Timothy popping champagne in celebration of his successful night! unnamed

Susan Colwell impressing us with a live painting:



Some lucky fellow took home this metallic pig at Saturday’s fundraiser:


Do you have FOMO? Feel like you missed out? Make sure you are “in the know” for our upcoming events by subscribing to our weekly mailing list. Find the link at the bottom right of our website homepage.

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Semblance: Lisa Shimko & Timothy Pakron

This Friday, Michael Mitchell will be hosting an opening reception to debut the newest works by artists Lisa Shimko and Timothy Pakron. Differing in medium, style, color and form, these artists share one commonality- the exploration of the idea of outward “semblance.” Lisa’s paintings appear clear and concise, yet hold the possibility of generating subjective meanings and stories. Timothy’s photographs capture a temporary moment of time- a period in which seized energy creates illusions and second glances. Aesthetic aside, both artists give the viewer liberty to indulge in their own interpretations.

Please join us Friday from 6-8pm to enjoy a light snack, meet the artists and learn more about their unique works.

Lisa Shimko

Caroline Wren Painting Spring; acrylic on wood 18 x 14; $650


Red Bark Canopy II; acrylic on canvas 12 x 12; $175


Bulls Eye; acrylic on wood 5 x 7; $150


Timothy Pakron

New Direction; archival inkjet print 40 x 40; $2200, edition of 5



Untitled; archival inkjet print 40 x 40; $2200, edition of 5


Lazy Blue Eyes; archival inkjet print 40 x 40; $2200, edition of 5



To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034

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When Art and Fashion Collide

 The Fall 2015 runway season debuted countless beautiful handbags that strayed far from the safe and ordinary. Experimental shapes, sizes, textures and colors were seen everywhere. From the hip and alternative Kenzo show to the more classic and refined Fendi collection, designers were fearless in innovative designs and experimental techniques. Many art pieces from our gallery show attributes from the Fall 2015 takeaways. Rest assured that our artists definitely don’t follow or constrict themselves to fashion trends – but it is interesting to draw parallels between the two different art forms.

Kenzo Fall 2015Kenzo fall 2015

 Summer Drips by Emily Brown; mixed media on canvas 30 x 20; $1100


 Chloe Fall 2015

Chloe fall 2015

I Dream of Venice by Alicia Leeke; acrylic on paper – framed 11 x 11 $125


 Fendi Fall 2015

Fendi Fall 2015

Vaporized by Mike Ryon; oil on canvas, framed 36 x 36; $3400

vaporizedProenza Schouler Fall 2015

Proenza Schouler fall 2015

Red Tide II & III by Stephen Elliott Webb; 40 x 30 mixed media on canvas, framed $3400 each


 Chanel Fall 2015

Chanel fall 2015

Foxfire- Tom Potockiacrylic on canvas 40 x 48; $2400


Loewe Fall 2015Loewe fall 2015

Unique Opportunity by Jamie Blackburn; 16 x 16 acrylic on canvas $385


 Alexander McQueen Fall 2015

Alexander McQueen fall 2015

 Quietude II  by Susan Colwell; oil on canvas 36 x 24 $2800

quietude II 36x24


To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034

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This weekend was more equestrian-oriented than usual…

Saturday marked the 82nd Annual Carolina Cup- an elite race in which the Lily Pulitzer fashion overload and “college park” tailgating often overshadow the actual horses. Friday night’s event however, was all about celebrating the majestic animals. Mitchell Hill Gallery hosted an opening reception for the ever-popular works of Karen Keene Day. Spending half of the year in Colorado, Karen’s artistic inspiration is derived from wild horses that she spends time with at nearby reservation. Her fluid strokes and modern style create striking masterpieces. Hearing Karen speak to each different horse she paints as an individual character with unique personality brings even more meaning and significance into her paintings. As if there weren’t enough reasons to fall in love with them already.


The show has been a success, with four selling thus far ! Karen donates 3% of every sale to the National Mustang Association, which goes towards preserving these beautiful creatures and their home.

unnamed 15-33-36


A guest enjoying Karen’s work:

photo 1 (7)

Majesty will hang for the next few weeks, so stop in and see these beauties in person!


To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034

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Lucky You

Happy St. Patty’s Day to all of you leprechauns out there. At the end of the rainbow lies Mitchell Hill Gallery, of course. Feeling lucky? Stop in this week and you might just take home one of our unique pieces below, that would make anyone green with envy!

Begin Again- Dixie Purvis

mixed media on panel 48 x 60


Knot: Clear Citron clear-citron-knot-334x43014686, Palmetto Island- John Duckworthphotograph on canvas 60 x 40*



Malachite Curve Tray


Abstract Core #0332014- Jim Victor

oil on canvas 24 x 20


Moss Green Snakeskin Boxes



To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034

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Fashion Month Recap

New York- London- Milan- Paris. Whew! Fashion Month has finally come to a close and the Fall 2015 trends have been identified. Earthy colors reminiscent of the 1970’s were a huge take-away. Burnt Orange evokes warm, natural (Dazed and Confused?) impressions that were articulated in many designers collections. At Mitchell Hill, many of our artists are feeling the nostalgia, and have been incorporating the color into their art. From your outfit to home walls, burnt orange is stylistically relevant- then, now and in the future.

From left to right: Celine, Naeem Khan, Tracy Reese, Fendi and Opening Ceremony. Photos: Imaxtree


You Breathed Life into Me- Betty Foy Botts

mixed media on panel 72 x 60


Sunset over Sea Creek Bay- Stephen St. Claire

mixed media on panel 18 x 24



My Heart Belongs to You- Betty Foy Botts

mixed media on panel – diptych 54 x 72


Abstract Core #0262013- Jim Victor

oil on canvas 40 x 30


Mass Attraction- Dixie Purvis

mixed media on panel – diptych 40 x 40 each


Abstract Core #0342013- Jim Victor

oil on canvas 48 x 40


To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034


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Artist Interview: Meet Emily Brown

Humble and camera-shy, Emily Brown is not only an incredibly talented painter, but balances mothering three kids, caring for a blind dog and finding time to enjoy her own hobbies and interests. A multi-tasker extraordinaire, Emily fills her canvas’ with neutral undertones and pops of color- creating optimistic yet calming expressions. Graciously welcoming me into her home despite her insanely busy schedule, Emily and I sat down for a little Q/A session.







Q. What is inspiring you recently?

A. Approaching Spring- the weather getting warmer, spring colors and more daylight!

Q. Do you have any rituals to get in the mindset of art making?

A. I feel like my mind is always making art, but I definitely need my surroundings to be organized in order to really get my ideas out.

Q. What is your favorite thing about Charleston?

A. I am not sure I can pick just one thing. The history, the food, the beach, the art…in my mind Charleston is the perfect place.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not painting?

A. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do- alone or with my kids. Somehow we are always in the kitchen “creating” something. I also enjoy reading and yoga.

Stop by Mitchell Hill to see more of Emily’s work! GiftCard

To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034

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Artist Spotlight: Hirona Matsuda

In celebration of Hirona Matsuda’s birthday on Monday, now is the perfect time to highlight the works of this very unique artist. Taking found goods that catch her eye from the streets of Charleston, Hirona manipulates them into collages that convey  visual messages. Her pieces combine the worlds of art and engineering as many of her works have functioning and moving parts. Hirona’s ability to find beauty in the disposable and forgotten is a part of what makes her so talented, and inspirational. Hirona’s framed contraptions invite us inside the miniature world she has created, or encourage us to decipher meaning for ourselves.

The World As It Is To Me; mixed media, 12 x 12; $750


Underneath it All; mixed media, 9.5 x 14, $350


Piano; assemblage on panel 33 x 48, $3400


Tree House in Pieces; mixed media sculpture 21 x 10, $575



To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to

To shop items seen in this post visit or give us a call at 843-564-0034

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