Hickory – Hickory native Kent Paulette will be painting live during the Downtown Hickory Art Crawl at Bottega: A Soulful Place. The Art Crawl is today, Thursday, May 18 at 5pm.

This is a homecoming for Paulette. It’s been three years since he’s painted in Hickory. He’s been living in the mountains and painting live in downtown Banner Elk at Studio 140 and next door at Sorrento’s. Paulette’s style has been evolving rapidly, and he wanted to come to Hickory to share that process with his hometown community.

Paulette says, “I first met Sarah Frisbey when she was having art events at The Warehouse back in 2010. I read an article that described her style as Bohemian Funk and I knew right away that she was going to be someone I wanted to work with. Sarah has promoted my artwork throughout the years and has arranged exhibits for me at many locations in the Hickory area. She’s done so much for the local art community and I was thrilled when she opened the art gallery Bottega in 2015.”

“Downtown Hickory holds a special place in my heart. During middle school I was a paperboy, and I’d ride my bike to each business along the Square delivering papers and making friends along the way. Then later during high school, Drips’ Coffeehouse was my regular hangout spot, and they were the first of many downtown businesses to give me a chance by displaying my paintings for sale.”

Kent Paulette (a.k.a Derfla) is a self-taught artist who uses uninhibited, energetic brushstrokes to create paintings that leap off the canvas, alive with color, texture, and movement. He finds inspiration from the natural world that surrounds him and regularly hops into the mountain creek in his backyard to help rejuvenate his spirit and senses.

For Paulette, each painting is a gamble, a leap into the unknown, a wild ride of exploration and experimentation. He paints to figure things out, not to achieve a specific result. Unexpected or unintended outcomes are welcome; they offer openings through which new possibilities can be glimpsed, imagined, and developed. Paulette works to exploit these opportunities, continually pushing himself and his paintings beyond the boundaries of habit and into the realm of chance.

Paulette strives to insert the present moment into each brushstroke. To make room for this spontaneity and to breathe life into his paintings, he has developed a whole range of special brushstrokes: Ninja Splats, Building Blocks, Scratching Thoughts, Windows, Kisses, Slaps, Screams, Spells, Jellyfish, Leafing, Whispers, and many more.

Paulette will be painting outside in front of Bottega, located at 256 Union Square, from 5 pm – 8 pm on Thursday, May 17th during the Art Crawl . His work can be viewed online at www.KentPaulette.com or by following Kent Paulette on social media.

Photo: Paulette with his Rolling Stones painting