If there’s one thing you know about us it’s that we are not the best at keeping secrets and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from y’all it’s that you love bright, bold, and happy color! So this post is too good not to share!!! Today is the day and we are finally welcoming Charlotte based artist Clarence Deaton as she launches her latest collection of bright and joyful collages into our collection. We are thrilled to welcome Clarence to our roster of talented artists and are thrilled to finally make her introduction. We cannot wait for y'all to see more of Clarence's work but until then, get to know the woman behind the Xacto knife by reading her responses to our rapid-fire questions below. Welcome, Clarence

What is currently on your nightstand?

My kindle (always reading something), a lamp, little dishes for jewelry and a glass of water – can’t go to bed without it!

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

Other artists – past and present; Mother Nature – color, movement, shape; Family – their taste and support; my son Parker – his perspective!!

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

I can’t pinpoint one thing to be honest, but most of my happiest memories involve my brother and I doing something outside, whether at the beach or at our grandparents’ farm.

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

My Xacto knife! I love the texture that the cutout shapes create in my collages.

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

I’m not sure I can pick a favorite! It’s more about individual pieces that are scattered throughout our house that make it a home. I’m very sentimental when it comes to home décor, love antiques, hand-me-down furniture (luckily, I have the same taste as my parents and grandparents!!) and old family photos. I love hanging art, arranging tables and built-ins and moving knick knacks and photographs around so that we see them with fresh eyes!

What is your biggest score online?

I love scouring online art auctions for treasures...probably a Henri Maik painting or an Andre Hambourg sketch?

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

When you have mostly blank walls or hand-me-down art, buying art that you’ll have forever can be really intimidating. Well + Wonder is a well-curated gallery that offers a well-vetted and diverse collection from which to choose. Well + Wonder’s inventory emphasizes that most styles of art complement each other and that too much of one style or color will not hold your interest as a collector!

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

Oh goodness…this might be the hardest question yet…I LOVE visiting art museums. Growing up, my parents took us on wonderful trips, and they always took us to art museums in the cities we visited. I credit this as my introduction into art and what made me fall in love with it (I was an art history major in college). Impressionism is my favorite art movement, so if someone will buy me a ticket to France, I’ll happily spend a day at the Musee d’Orsay, another day at the Musee Marmatton and my third day in the Matisse Chapel. Matisse is my all-time favorite artist – he was a genius at color and creating happy yet sophisticated compositions.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

The Goring in London 😊

 If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

Coral – even though I can’t pull that off when choosing a lipstick, it’s my favorite color and always adds vibrancy to a room.

I can never get on a plane without….

Noise-canceling headphones and a playlist…I’m not the best flyer but, in the case of air travel, it’s not about the journey but the destination!

How did you get into the world of art?

From day one, I loved art in school and my parents always encouraged me to draw and color. They also always hung my brother and my pieces around the house, which really helped to boost my confidence as an artist. Traveling and being exposed to art in museums and galleries established my interest in art history. I started selling art in the form of invitations and Holiday cards, and then evolved into largest scale painting and collage.

What do you do to relax?

Go for a walk with my husband or a friend, cook, read a good book, girls’ nights, watching old movies with my son.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

While working on multiple pieces at a time!

Prediction for the Color of 2023?

Yellow? Every room needs a little bit of yellow!

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

Dinner out…and then coming home to one more cocktail in front of the fire. I always love a good night cap.

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

It’s always the latest one I’ve created. And then I seem to like the next one better.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

Buy the piece you can’t stop thinking about…it may not be the piece you’re first drawn to, but it is one you’ll love forever! And even though you asked for onepiece of advice, my favorite pieces of art are those that carry a memory. I love buying art on a trip. A great place to buy art - a flea market and antique stores (you can always find treasures that just need a bit of cleaning and reframing) and these also help to diversify your collection between the fresher more modern pieces and the traditional. I’m a big believer in mixing the old with the new to create a collection that truly reflects who you are.