Wanderlust Studio is the newest shop and gallery to join the downtown art scene in Elkin. Artist Candy Brown, a native of Hamptonville, has been creating art for close to 25 years. Her partner in the business is Maureen Postle, who assists with building frames and preparing canvasses, as well as greeting customers in the gallery.
Wanderlust Studio opened just a few weeks ago at 122 E. Main St.. The exposed brick walls in the gallery are filled with bright colorful artwork that practically leaps out at the viewer.
Brown lived in Florida for 20 years before returning to the Elkin area three years ago. Her time spent further south greatly influenced her work as an artist and many of her paintings showcase a tropical theme with motifs of palm trees, turtles, flamingos and surfboards.
When first opening the shop, Brown said she decided to paint some things more representative of the Elkin area such as mountains and cows. The tropical theme, however, has been most popular so far among shoppers.
“They go right over to the beaches, they look at the mountains, but they’re purchasing from the tropical side of the gallery,” Brown said.
The name Wanderlust seems a perfect fit for the gallery’s range of themes.
“It’s really just a love of travel and doing things,” Brown said of the studio’s name. “Elkin has this theme of Mountains to Sea [with the trail system], that was the whole thing of traveling from the mountains to the sea and seeing what all you can get into in between.”
She described her own style of art as “very whimsical and fun.”
“I just like to make people smile,” Brown said.
When she first began painting, Brown said her style was much more realistic.
“One day I just broke free and just painted things with lots of color and lots of character,” she said. Her works also have lots of texture and depth and include various mediums.
Wanderlust Studio also features furniture, mosaics and mobile-style hanging artwork. Brown said they plan to offer many other items in the future including some jewelry.
Much of her career as an artist Brown has spent time traveling to various art shows around the country. Seeing the many different styles at art shows also has influenced Brown as she said she’s always trying to create something different and unique.
“That’s one of the things I hear at my booth a lot, ‘I haven’t seen anything like this,’” she said.
Brown will continue to travel to several art shows a year in addition to creating art for the shop.
Wanderlust Studio offers captivating artwork that appeals to all ages, and pieces that can fit any budget. Not only does Brown create larger pieces, but she offers a wide variety of smaller paintings that are affordable for the beginning art lover and collector.
She said it was something she had always done, even though she often spends just as much time, or possibly more, creating the intricate designs on a smaller piece. She recalled a child who would visit her booth at an art show in Stuart, Virginia, every year.
“He came to that show and he spent his own money, every year I would see this kid get bigger and bigger. Now he’s 16 or 17 and he’s been collecting my art since he was little.”
She said it was an outstanding feeling to see how her work had meant so much to someone from a young age.
Wanderlust Studio is open from 10 am. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 336-258-2757 or visit the Wanderlust Studio Facebook page.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.