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Sandy Springs artist Clara Blalock adds abstract artwork to Winter Exhibition at Quinlan
Clara Blalock’s abstract paintings are on display until Feb. 20 at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville as part of its Winter Exhibitions.

Quinlan Winter Exhibitions

When: Through Feb. 20

Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville

Cost: Free

More info:

Having the desire to paint all her life, Clara Blalock is living the dream in her studio at her Sandy Springs home.

“All my life all I’ve wanted to do is paint,” the Atlanta native said.

And after two years at a liberal arts college followed by a transferred to Atlanta College of Art, Blalock earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

But she didn’t enter the artisan world immediately. She worked for admissions at her former college for a couple of years, then took some time off to have a family and do other things.

However, for the past 23 years, Blalock has been solely focused on her paintings, which have ranged from commissioned work to gallery showings.

“I paint every day. I paint a lot on the weekends. I paint whether I have anything to paint for or not,” she said. “I’ve got seven or eight galleries around the country.”

One of those gallery shows include the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. Blalock’s pieces are part of its Winter Exhibitions, which will be on display until Feb. 20.

Quinlan Visual Arts Center Executive Director Amanda McClure asked Blalock to have her artwork along with works from others at her studio as part of the exhibition. Blalock agreed to her longtime friend’s request.

“When I chose these people to be in the show, I chose people whose work I knew very well and felt like it would be well compatible,” she said. “(I felt) that everything would work together while everyone did something a little different. I told them to do what they wanted to do, because it was a big room (and) large pieces would work well.”

As for her own art, Blalock described most of her pieces as non-subjective abstract paintings.

“When I was in art school, I learned to paint abstract paintings then,” she said. “I learned to appreciate and love abstract paintings. I’ve done a lot of landscape paintings over the years just to kind of change things up, more abstract landscape.”

Showing her work at Quinlan is not new for Blalock. She has been involved with the Gainesville-based gallery since the early ’90s. In fact, Blalock pointed out her work in the Winter Exhibitions was created for the show itself.

“At least three were specifically done with the show in mind,” she said. “When I was painting I was thinking about the show. I don’t ever think about a subject. I just kind of get started and let the painting take on its own life and I never know what I’m going to end up with when I’m finished, which is kind of dangerous. I get a lot of canvases that aren’t something that I would really love, but it’s just kind of the way I have to work.

“I think the show looks really good,” she said.

Blalock’s artwork is a part of the show “Seeing is Believing” on display at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center as part of its Winter Exhibitions through Feb. 20. For more information, visit