Two artists live across the Chesapeake Bay from each other – Kacey Carneal in Gloucester and Mama Girl on the Eastern Shore.
They’ve never met but might be soul sisters of a sort.
Both are self-taught artists who rely on creative visions that they say are channeled through them. They’re part of a show of paintings and sculptures by 16 such artists at the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center, “The Beat Goes On: Self-Taught Artists and Their Visionary Art,” organized by Gayle Paul, center curator.
“I think I have spirits who help me,” Carneal said of her work. “I call it magic. It goes whichever way it wants to go.”
Carneal has lived in her 17th century home on Free School Creek for 40 years. Her late husband inherited the historic schoolhouse and 60 rural acres, and Carneal has transformed the two-story structure with antiques, her clever, painted furniture and dozens of her folk paintings.
Her house, that’s reality.
“The studio is my not reality,” she stressed during a tour of her home last week. “The real world is not in there.”
Carneal’s sacred place for painting is a small, 1930s cottage surrounded on three sides by water. It’s a short walk from her home along a strip of land where deer may cross her path.
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