Can you believe it's already 2014?

What a wonderful opportunity for a fresh start and to manifest everything you've been thinking of doing, especially in the arts world.

Joint show

Watermedia painter Charlynn M. Knight and oil painter Gingi Martin will both be exhibiting their newest collection of works at the city of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department today through Jan. 31 with a reception from 5-7 tonight.

Knight, the city's current artist-in-residence, depicts everyday beauty in her collection called "In Visions of the Lowcountry Through a New Perspective."

City arts coordinator Ann Simmons, says, "Her recent works feature scenes captured during afternoon walks down well-worn dirt roads and paddling through the Lowcountry's coastal waters in a kayak. Her approach with watermedia captures the glow and vibrant colors and textures of her subjects, which include the marshes, avenues of oaks, Lowcountry wildlife and Deep South beauty and charm that coastal South Carolina has to offer."

Martin's newest exhibit of landscape oil paintings is called "La Tempesta." The artist says she is inspired by the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras and their relationship to the sublime. She says she particularly enjoys utilizing intense colors in her depictions of these super-realistic scenes.

"I rarely represent the human figure because of its historically negative impact on nature," Martin explains.

"Martin has been painting in oils for eight years and finds the medium preferable to others with which she has experimented, largely due to their richness and texture, the ability to apply the paint in multiple layers, and the use of glazes to enhance color and atmosphere. In an on-going effort to understand the potential of color in landscape and portrait painting, she has conducted extensive and in-depth studies of color mixing and color theory," says Simmons.

The reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public. The North Charleston City Gallery is inside the North Charleston Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive.

Inquiries for more information or to purchase artwork should be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department by calling 740-5854. Go to www.northcharleston.org for more.

Workshop for students

Professional artist Charles Williams spends much of his time with middle school and high school art students in Charleston and Georgetown, teaching them the "value of learning the technical foundational skills as well as the business aspects of an art career."

Williams says he was given some great advice about how to be a professional artist when he was young and finds it important to pass on advice to aspiring young creatives so that they progress with not just their technical art skills but also learn how to appropriately market themselves.

He says the students are asked to reflect upon their thoughts, dreams and desires, and illustrate their inner world in their choice of medium.

"The possibilities of these creative kids are mind-blowing and they keep me fresh with their talent and wealth of knowledge. Our workshops are a collaboration between the students and me to drive the success of this next group of young artists from the Lowcountry," Williams says.

Williams will debut the 5-by-7-inch works of his "Collaborative" students on Wednesday at Robert Lange Studios. The pieces will be on display through Jan. 11.

For more information, go to www.cewcollaborative.com.