A sick day turned out to be serendipitous for artist Billy S. He’d received a box of paints as a Christmas present one year. He never thought he’d use them, but as he made the decision to call in to work, he noticed them sitting there collecting dust.
“As soon as I called in, I started painting,” said Billy S, a folk artist from the Breezy Hill community near Graniteville whose works will be on display beginning Friday, Nov. 9, as part of his annual P.E.A.C.E. Show art exhibit at Gaartdensity Gallery, 1155 Broad St.
“I had done 10 paintings. Some were colors just moved around; others were actual objects.”
He showed his brother his artwork the next day.
“He punched me in the arm and said ‘You’re an artist,’ ” he said.
Billy S has a signature style emphasizing bold colors and random shapes. While many of his pieces have a story behind them, Billy S said he likes for people to interpret them for themselves.
One painting he created could be interpreted as a butterfly. He started painting it outside as the sun began to set, putting random strokes of color on the canvas and watching how the light set the colors off.
“I added shapes, but you decide if you see a butterfly,” he said.
Billy S won’t be the only artist featured at his annual P.E.A.C.E. (Poetic Expression & Creative Enlightenment) Show, which he has been doing at various galleries and downtown locations for about 15 years.
He started the show as a way to give back to artists and as a way to encourage some who might lack the self-confidence to promote their own work or who are shy about showing it to others.
The P.E.A.C.E. Show is a shot in the arm to them, he said.
Sometimes Billy S doesn’t know until the day of the show how many artists will be participating.
The show will open from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and will be up through November.
Billy S is also a musician and songwriter, and his newest CD, pwr, luv, & snd is available on iTunes.