Mangum to Appear at The Country Bookshop Saturday
William Mangum, painter and author of “North Carolina Beautiful,” will be at the Country Bookshop Saturday, June 25, for an all-day painting and auction event, beginning at 10 a.m.
He’ll be engaging the public in discussions about art, as well as offering tips for artists of all levels, followed by an auction of his painting at the end of the day.
A North Carolina native, Mangum was born in Pinehurst and attended Sandhills Community College before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He got his start in painting during his college years, then went abroad as a young man to paint things outside his comfort zone.
“Traveling around the world really stretched my skills,” says Mangum. “The best teacher is doing the work yourself and making mistakes.” However, he found himself drawn back to North Carolina for several reasons. “North Carolina is such a unique place. Not only do you have the mountains and the coast; you also have four clearly distinct seasons,” he says.
“North Carolina Beautiful,” his latest book, captures those traits that make the state unique. From snowy mountains to flower-strewn highways — and even the village of Pinehurst — all of North Carolina is represented. But the paintings, however, are far from photographic representations.
“Many (people) take for granted the amount of artistic license I take in my paintings,” Mangum explains. “With the right contrast, I can take the wave farthest away and make it the focus of a painting. I think of my job as a conductor in a symphony. I emphasize what is relational.”
Mangum will sometimes drive around for two or three days to find things that inspire him for his paintings. Other times, inspiration takes him by surprise. “I was playing golf and I remember seeing some movement,” he says. “I turned to see what it was, and it turned out to be sailboats racing each other. I told my friends to go ahead so I could do a quick sketch.”
It’s these “aha moments,” as he calls them, that he tries to capture in his paintings. “You can always paint a brick wall in a very representational way, but what I try to do is paint a door on that wall and crack it open a bit for the viewer to escape.”
Not only does “North Carolina Beautiful” feature his artwork, but it also contains writing on his methods for each piece. “This book is probably my most ‘writing heavy,’” says Mangum. “It really allows someone to understand what went into each painting, where I was, and what I wanted the focus to be.”
Mangum is the author of several other books of paintings, including “Behold The Beauty and Carolina Preserves.” He also owns a gallery in Greensboro that showcases his paintings from North Carolina and around the world.
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