OUR ARTISTS

Meet Our Member Artists

JILL BANKS

This artist accepts commissions, offers drawing instruction and provides home visits for selection & installation assistance.
The Dancer by Jill Banks

“To capture the dancer, I must see and feel her dance."

Jill Banks

Jill Banks
Jill Banks at a plein air festival in Telluride, Colorado

I learned an invaluable lesson many years ago. In a master class of portrait painters, we hired a model to come sit for nine sessions of four hours each. It wasn’t until the seventh week of witnessing our bellydancing subject work through little movements to get into the official pose that it dawned on me to ask her to dance.  She did. How beautiful! Hearing the music, watching the fluidity of her movements made me realize how dull a single frame, out of context, is – no matter how precisely painted. Put the subject in motion and some magic happens.

My goal is to capture life’s magic… to transport you inside the painting – to feel that breeze, hear the sounds, watch what happens, smell the beer. I make sure my dancer dances.

MARKET DAY - 36 x 48 - oil

Stylistically, I continue to evolve from realism with feeling to impressionism with even more emotion and simplification. Painting plein air and figuring out what I’m truly working to convey naturally led to details and extra stuff falling to the wayside.

 

VICKI VIDAL BLUM

This artist accepts commissions and offers painting instruction.
Vicki Blum

“I enjoy expressing the vibrancy of my subjects through color while maintaining the tradition of realism. I call my style ‘saturated realism.’ My paintings exaggerate these ‘pure’ colors, which the eye often overlooks.  By saturating the colors, the subjects appear more alive"

Vicki Vidal Blum

Penns Grove Peonies by Vicki Blum
Portrait Commission by Vicki Blum
PORTRAIT COMMISSION - 18 X 24 - oil

Vicki was born in Coral Gables, Florida in 1964 and currently resides in Clifton, Virginia, where she focuses on portraiture and still life oil painting. She graduated from Sweet Briar College in 1985 with a major in Art History. In the belief that you can never learn enough about art, she continues to take workshops and courses from renowned portrait and figure painters, including Nelson Shanks, Burt Silverman, Robert Liberace and Danni Dawson. Vicki strives to portray the spirit and personality of each sitter, focusing on the individuality of each person. Vicki paints in a classical realist style, with a hint of impressionism in her still life work. She is able to work from photos and from life.

PENNS GROVE PEONIES - oil
 

CHICA BRUNSVOLD, AWS, NWS, NWWS, VWS

This artist provides programs, demos, and one-day workshops using watercolor on Yupo.
Chica Brunsvold with "Filigree"

Contrary to more rational artists, Chica prefers to forego any planning and instead plunges immediately into painting. More often than not, this results in chaos, but loving a challenge, Chica searches the surface for images to develop. After careful study, most often animals and particularly birds appear and she eagerly enhances these images. Her early formal schooling in the principles of art at the U of Michigan School of Art, has assured her confidence in developing sound, worthwhile compositions. But her clear love for fanciful creatures is hers alone.

Pussyfoot by Chica Brunsvold
PUSSYFOOT - 16 x 22 - watercolor

“Schooled in abstraction, I begin my work non-objectively but I delight in finding images within that chaos. My greatest delight is in finding and defining those images so that others may enjoy them."

Chica Brunsvold

She is currently working with watercolor on Yupo, a plastic, water repellent surface which allows the paint to move and dry on the surface. There it can be wiped off and reapplied numerous times. The colors remain vibrant and ripe for creating amazing surface textures using stencils, stamps, sprays, scrapings, etc. It is a challenging, fun filled process which has delighted her for years. Every piece is uniquely a Chica creation.

Geisha's Menagerie by Chica Brunsvold
GEISHA'S MENAGERIE - 19 x 33 - watercolor
 

WEB BRYANT, WSLP

This artist accepts commissions and offers drawing instruction.

“I paint Washington and the places that I identify with, and the people I find interesting."

Web Bryant

I turned to oil painting and fine art after a long career designing and illustrating newspapers, including USA Today. The deadline-driven world of journalism required mediums that could be executed quickly; I started out with watercolors, and then mastered digital painting with pixels. Now, I’m using oil glazing and other techniques of the Old Masters, and learning to be patient.

 

Given my journalism background, it’s not surprising that my work skews toward realism. I still love to tell stories through my art. I’m drawn to landscapes and to capturing the details of a scene – whether it’s a construction site or a waterfall.

Web Bryant
Web at his solo show at the Torpedo Factory in 2015.
Under the Whitehurst by Web Bryant
UNDER THE WHITEHURST - 20 x 31 - oil
Study of the Little Dancer by Web Bryant
STUDY OF THE LITTLE DANCER - 20 x 31 - pastel
 

ELLEN DELANEY

This artist accepts commissions.
Ellen Delaney

“It is the process of abstraction, of finding something really simple and strong in what we see outside every day that makes me want to paint."

Ellen Delaney

I am constantly inspired by the abstract patterns and colors I see in the landscape. I traveled to Iowa regularly over the course of 2 years for an architectural job and fell in love with the patterns of planted fields and the big skies that dominated the flat terrain. In painting those scenes it was important to me to distill the forms into their most basic elements while maintaining a strong sense of place. I am always pleased when a viewer comes into my studio and sees something familiar in of a painting of mine even though that person has never been to the area depicted.

Bright Before the Storm by Ellen Delaney
BRIGHT BEFORE THE STORM - 24 x 24 - acrylic
Near the Orchard by Ellen Delaney

Watercolor was my first painting medium, but I moved to acrylics because of the more vibrant colors, and also because my process is one of endless editing and refinement. My paintings are based on photos, and recently I have begun not only cropping but adjusting color, composition and other visual effects in Photoshop as a planning tool. I use palette knives rather than brushes to apply paint, and sometimes add painted strips of paper to create texture. Color and composition are most important to me. I enjoy playing with different color combinations and often repaint an area 2 or 3 times to make the colors sing. 

NEAR THE ORCHARD - 30 x 30 - acrylic on panel
 

ELAINE ELINSKY

This artist accepts commissions.
Elaine Elinsky

“Art is not what you see but what you make others see."

Edgar Degas

I like to explain my painting process as a ‘conversation with the canvas.’ For a landscape painting the ‘conversation’ may begin with an overall intent to create a piece with a low horizon line or to work with a cool palette of colors. The intent may also be as specific as creating a series of paintings based on my walks on the Green Cay marshes in South Florida. As I begin to apply paint however, my focus turns to what is happening on the canvas. I respond to what is working and proceed from there, adding colors, lines and texture as the work evolves. A similar process applies to my non-representational work. In this case, I start with paint, charcoal, graphite and ink and continue to work with these materials until I a reach a satisfying arrangement of the disparate elements.

Marsh 2 by Elaine Elinsky
MARSH 2 - 30 x 40 - acrylic on canvas
Grey Marsh by Elaine Elinsky
GREY MARSH - 30 x 30 - acrylic

In addition to brushes, I use palate knifes, trowels and old credit cards to apply and to scrape paint. I frequently add a liquid medium to my colors and let them drip or flow on the canvas to create interesting patterns and unexpected patches of color. These ‘happy accidents’ are often incorporated in to the final painting and contribute to the overall dynamism of the work.

Watch Elaine at work in her studio.
 

LAURIE FIELDS

This artist accepts commissions.

“For me, a walk through Home Depot is as inspirational as watching a sunset. The aisles filled with different materials stir my imagination as I think about new ways to use them."

Laurie Fields

Laurie Fields
Laurie working on elements of a new painting.

My process first involves making individual fragments, to be used as building blocks for a larger piece. I keep these in different bins, which include modeling paste/acrylic pieces, acrylic on the reverse of plexiglass, encaustic wax pieces and patina metal pieces.

Circle Game by Laurie Fields
CIRCLE GAME
20 x 31 - mixed media

When I am working on a new piece I go through my different bins and try out different combinations of materials. After a lot of trial and error, the final composition is glued down The final piece often contains fragments currently done, as well as those done years before.

 

Working this way I come up with possibilities that often surprise me, or that I would not have envisioned otherwise.

Twin Peaks by Laurie Fields
TWIN PEAKS - 20 x 31 - mixed media
 

ELIZABETH FLOYD

“Elevating Everyday Moments Into Fine Art - This is my mantra. I am drawn to objects of beauty that still have the impression of the craftsman’s hand. I value all hand-cultivated arts and strive to incorporate these items into my paintings."

Elizabeth Floyd

Elizabeth Floyd
January by Elizabeth Floyd
JANUARY - 36 x 24 - oil

On the eve of turning 35, I left the architectural profession to pursue being an artist full-time. I parlayed the strong observational and sketching skills gained from being an architect towards mastering representational oil painting. By establishing a self-directed study plan, I gained proficiency by attending art classes and workshops, and by copying masterpieces at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Now I work and teach in my home studio and garden, creating paintings that are firmly rooted in intensive observation while celebrating the seasons of the year.

I am an artist and teacher living in Alexandria, Virginia. I'm someone who seeks clarity of ideas, and I'm drawn to color, pattern, and detail. In my artwork, I am fascinated with incorporating beauty observed in my surroundings, always striving to celebrate the simple moments of life. 

It is with much gratitude that I find myself an artist today. This was not always the case. I went to school to be an architect, and then practiced for nine years.

Sisters by Elizabeth Floyd
SISTERS - 16 x 16 - oil
 

BETTY GANLEY

“What never ceases to amaze me is how my career has evolved. I started out just wanting to be good enough to frame one painting. Then could I please be accepted into just one juried show - just so that I would have SOMETHING to put on a resume. At this point in my career I have surpassed any goals set and I paint only subjects that constantly dance in my head, crying to be captured in paints."

Betty Ganley

Marina Diva by Betty Ganley

Having been self taught in oils, I switched to watercolors in the 1980's. That medium was more portable.Having no separate studio I could then use the kitchen table and set up in 5 minutes. Taking classes were necessary in switching to watercolor. Lesson learned: taking classes, reading how-to books, going to exhibits-are all great learning tools, but actually PAINTING OFTEN, is the best tool for learning and improvement. I also have a firm belief that every third of fourth painting should be experimental. Try a new technique, a new subject, a new type of paper, a different brush-just experiment with no anticipation of turning out a masterpiece. Most likely those will be the most fun filled and fulfilling hours spent painting.

MARINA DIVA - 20 x 25 - watercolor

For an artist there is no simple journey-to the store, to the beach, to a marina, to a garden center. Every trip is an adventure presenting itself as an unfolding drama, be it due to a passing stormy sky, a gentle fog, the early morning light, or just a single dew drop decorating a fragile petal. The artist sees this all and always strives to capture that brief fleeting moment of beauty.

Lemon Parfait by Betty Ganley
LEMON PARFAIT - 15 x 22 - watercolor
 

CAROLYN GAWARECKI

This artist offers painting instruction.
Carolyn Gawarecki

“The spontaneous nature of watercolor allows unlimited diversity and immediate access. Through this medium I am able to achieve the richness of color, clarity, and glowing glazed effects that is in my paintings."

Carolyn Grosse Gawarecki

Watercolor fascinates me with its challenge of maintaining a balance between control and spontaneity. I always have a plan, but I try to allow for the unexpected nuances that appear when paint and water mingle. The mystery and moods that light and shadow lend to works of art and the interesting shapes created by cast shadows have been the subject of many of my landscape and still life paintings.

 

Although my works are rendered in a realistic manner, they are first designed in the abstract. Rich colors and strong value are hallmarks of my watercolors. Teaching and sharing my knowledge with others has been a driving force in my career as a professional.

Bluebird Alley by Carolyn Gawarecki
Fiery Croton by Carolyn Gawarecki
FIERY CROTON - 21 x 14 - watercolor
BLUEBIRD ALLEY - 14 x 21 - watercolor
 

JEAN K. GILL, AWS, NWS

This artist juries art shows.

Creating a piece of art is a personal and cerebral pursuit;  each artist must find a unique, satisfying means of expression for both process and product. I paint (process) using techniques and sequences that motivate me.  My work (product) is representational, though not realistic, and I like to incorporate areas of abstraction. I am more interested in shape than in form, and I employ a mix of planning and improvisation. Colors are chosen in advance for each painting, and I usually do a simple line drawing, but I am intuitive about edges, values, and intensities, which evolve as the work progresses.  I resist doing so much preparation that the process becomes merely the execution of a plan;  instead I prefer having a compositional strategy with options.

Dramafications by Jean K. Gill
DRAMAFICATIONS - 22 x 30 - watercolor
Jean K. Gill

“I stress pattern and shape, incorporate abstraction, and infuse my paintings with energy, celebration, or drama. I work mostly in pure hues and enjoy exaggerating contrasts, negative painting, and preserving a sense of flow."

Jean K. Gill

Frond Flow No. 2 by Jean K. Gill
FROND FLOW NO. 2 - 13 x 20 - watercolor

Most of my painting is done with the paper standing upright letting gravity facilitate the flow of water and color. This process has an element of risk that is fun for me.  It is also promotes granulation, produces soft edges, and shows the action of the medium (flow) which I like to preserve in the finished work. I encourage the movement of pigment by spraying areas with water, allowing colors to mix on the paper instead of on the palette. The beginning of each painting is a fast process, but I slow down for the finish, sometimes taking weeks to contemplate the work and apply the details.

 

LINDA HENDRICKSON

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.

Painting in acrylics suits my temperament since it dries quickly to allow me to push forward and continue to explore the possible working on 2-6 pieces at once. I always begin with “doodle starts” where I simply play with the paint. This allows inventive passages and a pentimento of surface to develop. Lately I have enjoyed painting with copies of my sketch book doodles, unusual papers made in Nepal and other far away places, pages from a Greek book, fabric and old pattern paper.

 

My mixed media pieces stretch me to integrate line, color, texture and composition to express myself. I had an opportunity to see thousands of flamingos in a preserve in Celestun Mexico and their dramatic whimsical color and form have been a frequent subject for me. Animals of all sorts, and pets in particular are my favorite.

Getting Our CnOlors O
Linda Hedrickson

“My greatest desire is to convey joy and spread happiness to the viewer by depicting their pet, garden or whatever catches my eye in a fresh whimsical way."

Linda Hendrickson

See Linda at work in her home studio.

When patrons, clients and students view my work the word “Happy” is the first word I hear. Such a simple word but a blessing, painting brings me happiness.

GETTING OUR COLORS ON
40 x 30, mixed media
 

MICHELE HOBEN

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.
Michele Hoben

“Initially I was a representational watercolorist with an architect's eye for detail. Discovering acrylics was freeing! The medium moved me to a looser and more spontaneous expression which incorporates movement, layering and light."

Michele Hoben

Too Much Information by Michele Hoben
Starting Over by Michele Hoben
STARTING OVER - 30 x 22 - acrylic and graphite

My paintings draw upon the decades I’ve spent as an architect. Drawing is my primary tool of communication. Different lines have different meanings-centerlines, grid lines, contour lines, etc. I use line patterns to indicate different materials, symbols to convey content.

My paintings incorporate both collaged images as well as the hand drawn. I work primarily on paper, initially in graphite or charcoal, creating many layers in acrylic paint or collage, scratching through to find the original structure below. This process parallels my love of the ‘bones’ of a building; what is behind the walls, under the flooring to the steel and concrete or wood structural frame.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION - 22 x 30 - acrylic and graphite
 

DELL KEATHLEY

This artist offers painting instruction.

“The challenge is in bringing life and freshness into a painting."

Dell Keathley

Dell Keathley
Peonies and Roses by Dell Keathley
PEONIES AND ROSES - 16 x 12 - oil on linen

My subjects are chosen from my everyday environment with an eye toward elegant simplicity. Color and light are what draw me to a subject. Focusing on the still life and figurative subjects allows me to explore challenges in design, composition, color and light.

 

The light I choose is very important as it produces the contrasts that emphasize design elements in the composition and nuances between color, texture and shape. I can spend days painting a pear or a bowl and never tire of it, for each time I look at them something new- a blemish, a hint of new color- can be seen.

Red Pearls by Dell Keathley
RED PEARLS - 7.5 x 13.5 - oil on panel
 

DEBRA KEIRCE, MAA, ARCLA, MPSGS, HS, CPA

This artist accepts commissions and offers painting instruction.
Hosts workshops for contemporary master painters.
Debra Keirce

“My goal on this art journey is to put a smile on the face of everyone I meet. Viewing my art is seeing what feelings look like."

Debra Keirce

Everything in my life revolves around art. This is me living my dream. I was a biochemical engineer in the 1980's and 1990's, and built a commissioned art business in the decades that followed. In 2010 I devoted myself to the life of a full time professional fine artist, and I've been smiling ever since.

I am classically trained. My art study has been self directed, with a focus on realism. Along the way, I met artists in the true miniature fine art world who mentored and inspired me. Painting in little has opened many doors for me, and is a big part of my art journey. 

Half a Mind by Debra Keirce
HALF A MIND - 12 x 16, oil on panel
A welcome message by Debra introducing viewers to her art and YouTube channel.

My subjects are varied and my work ranges in size from palm sized pieces painted under magnification to full sized mantle art. I enjoy being versatile enough to paint portraits, still life, pets, and landscapes. Every painting I create has a story that develops while I am working on it. Then, it is my absolute privilege to send my art into the world where it is the catalyst for stories and smiles that collectors and viewers around the world experience.

 

SUSAN LA MONT

I come from a family of gifted storytellers, and while I lack the verbal skills of my relatives, painting affords me the chance to do some visual storytelling.

Endangered Species by Susan La Mont
ENDANGERED SPECIES - 30 x 40 - oil on linen

I focus on people in situations we’ve all experienced or shared, and use the common language of realism to make my point. It’s a language understood by everyone, and it makes the work more accessible. It’s not about me; it’s about all of us— people of diverse backgrounds sharing ordinary events: sitting in a café with friends, having a brief moment of repose in an otherwise hectic world, navigating our way through a strange new city, visiting art museums, celebrating a birthday, or walking hand in hand with your sweetie.

 

I love to hear interpretations of the scenes I portray— two individuals looking at the same painting at the same time will come up with passionately voiced and yet completely different ideas about what’s going on. It’s deeply satisfying to hear how my work touches others.

Click HERE to watch a video of Susan at work in her studio.
Susan La Mont

“My work is a direct response to the world around me. I find fascinating scenarios everywhere and can't wait to put them in fixed form on canvas or panel, though I work in a very slow and time-intensive realist style."

Susan La Mont

Point of View (The Villers) by Susan La Mont
POINT OF VIEW (THE VILLERS)
30 x 24 - oil on panel
 

JONATHAN LINTON, NWS

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.

Faith, Hope, and Charity by Jonathan Linton
FAITH, HOPE, & CHARITY - 45 x 50.5 - oil on linen on panel

Sometimes people talk about art and mention a free-flowing creative state where they are hardly thinking...that is usually not how I work...for me creating artwork generally requires a lot of concentration.

 

The artwork stands as the statement to a million questions... what are you painting ...why...how are you going to paint it...why...is there a better way to express this...what's the best mark to describe that...is this the right color...is this...how about this...etc. etc. I ask these questions all the way through the process - from conception to delivery. It's a thrill to be able to figure out the puzzle and emerge with a product that can have a life.

Jonathan Linton

“My art can be described as contemporary realism with a traditional sensibility. I believe the best art communicates - evoking thought leading toward enlightenment."

Jonathan Linton

A time-laspe video of the making of Jonathan's painting FAITH, HOPE, & CHARITY.
 

GEORGIA NASSIKAS

Georgia Nassikas

Wax from her honeybee hives, damar crystals from fir trees, color pigments from around the world – Georgia Nassikas heats and mixes these three core substances and then uses a variety of tools and techniques on board and panel. Like the meaning of her name, Georgia’s art is “of the earth,” a pursuit of elemental form, color, symmetry, and emotion.

“What I love about this medium is the energy involved – the process of scraping, layering, and scoring is active, engaging, and challenging."

Georgia Nassikas

Georgia describes the technique of encaustic painting in this video using wax from her own hives.
Departure by Georgia Nassikas
DEPARTURE - 10 x 21 - beeswax, pigment, charcoal,
and gold on birch board

Georgia’s gallery shows and thematic series encourage the viewer to look from afar and observe up close. From a distance, the images present the geometry of a still life, a long-simmering notion of a landscape and luminous sky, or a modern deconstruction of a shape, color, or theme. Close up, the paintings take on a third dimension: the scoring and scraping, the marking and layering bring a multifaceted tension among surface, viewer, and composition. Present throughout her art, light plays across the surface, shapes shift from the classic to the abstract, and high thoughts rise in response.

 

BECKY PARRISH

This artist accepts commissions and offers painting instruction.

My name is Becky Parrish. I have been a professional artist and teacher for the past 28 years. I received my BA from George Mason University in 1982 and then later pursued my and received my MFA from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 1996. While I was a graduate student I received the Morris Louis Fellowship which allowed financial and creative freedom.

Summer Lilacs by Becky Parrish
SUMMER LILACS - 23 x 28 - oil on panel

My paintings are abstract, regardless of their representative nature. Whether setting up a still life, or positioning a figure in a portrait, the objective in the paintings is to create an integrated whole. Conjunction of form is inherent to painting. Conjunction of form refers to many important qualities, i.e. color theme, density of space, overlapping of objects and shadows, paint manipulation (scraping, repainting, scraping again and using a palette knife to build up areas where texture is desired) and the reworking of borders and edges. I choose still life as an artform, because it allows me to control all of the above-mentioned elements. Still life in general, is limited in depth and space, therefore, it is a challenge when developing an arrangement to try and capture that multi-layered sense space on the two dimensional surface of the canvas.

“Dallying is essential for creativity."

Becky Parrish

Becky Parrish

I chose to paint in oils because they for me they are the most forgiving and unctuous medium. I love the way they can be handled by layering, scraping, repainting, etc. to create an almost sculpture like effect. My work is not about making a commentary of kind, it's about the medium itself.

Hanging Beets by Becky Parrish
HANGING BEETS - 12 x 14 - oil on panel
 

JILL POYERD, NWS

This artist provides online art instruction.

“Nature is my artistic muse: the colors never conflict, the lighting is never “off,” and patterns are almost never predictable. As Michelangelo so aptly put it, ‘Only God creates. The rest of us just copy.’"

Jill Poyerd

Learn about Jill's YouTube Channel featuring art appreciation videos.

When painting landscapes, I like to focus on a single element in a scene, usually a very mature tree. Older trees have such character. Not in the same way that humans have character, but like humans each tree is unique and some present beautiful characteristics such as gnarled branches, massive trunks, or a unique overall shape. Some look as though they are clinging to life while others show the marks of trauma from the works of nature.

 

As an artist, I want to highlight these features, much like I would try to capture the unique character of a human. It’s telling their story in a single moment.

 

In all of my paintings, there’s a balance to my thinking. Certain aspects of the scene may be abstract and minimal while other parts may be quite realistic and detailed.

Jill Poyerd
A time-laspe video of Jill's painting process.
 

TRICIA RATLIFF

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.

Tricia Ratliff

“My passion as an artist is to create beautiful, meaningful oil paintings as a legacy to this and future generations."

Tricia Cherrington Ratliff

At 12 years old, she could be discovered spontaneously drawing beautiful historic locations around town. She accepted early that she wouldn't keep the fruits of her excursions as passers by purchased nearly every drawing she created. This provided natural encouragement and established a trend that that continues today.

Watch Tricia at work in her professional art studio
Fresh Linens by Tricia Ratliff

Tricia has studied with master painters from around the world. As a result, her work today is influenced by both contemporary realists as well as the old masters (Rembrandt, Titian, Vermeer and Caravaggio). She employs a combination of contemporary colorist methods and classical painting approaches that allow her to tackle any subject in any style that inspires her.

 

Her work is a constantly evolving dialog of peaceful realist still life paintings reflecting the joys and complexities of everyday life. You can enjoy her work today knowing that a common thread that brings her current series of works together will surely inspire a whole new exploration of visual ideas in her next series.

FRESH LINENS - oil on canvas
 

LIBBY STEVENS

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.

“I am inspired by that perfect time of day when the light brings out all of the natural colors. Capturing those moments really brings the viewer into the picture. You can almost smell the fresh air and hear the babbling brook."

Libby Stevens

Learn about pastel painting with Libby Stevens.
Libby Stevens

Still life paintings are amazing because you can depict every day objects in extraordinary ways. I love to work with seasonal fruits and fresh flowers with a variety of interesting containers and inspiring shapes.

 

Libby received her formal art education at the Tyler School of Art from Temple University in Philadelphia where she majored in metal smithing. In 1992, after her career as a jeweler, Libby discovered her true passion in pastel painting. Her husband, Jack, surprised her with lessons under Margot Schulzke, She was immediately hooked on pastel's vibrancy and range of luscious colors, stating, "It is an amazingly versatile medium that allows for so many different effects!"

Evening Light by Libby Stevens
EVENING LIGHT -18 x 24 - pastel
Libby at work with pastels.
 

DANA B. THOMPSON

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.

“I love it when my paintings make ‘em smile."

Dana B. Thompson

Dana B. Thompson

I can remember visiting the studios of both my grandmothers at a very young age.  From then on, my fate was sealed. I only wanted to be an artist.

Still lifes have always been my first love. Painting the light is what it’s really all about. I can place the light and how it affects the objects where I want it and it won’t move. I guess it’s a control thing.

For inspiration, I’ll go antiquing, to the grocery store or visit my mom’s. Potential subjects are everywhere. I’m always searching. I respond to loose representations of organic and inorganic every-day objects next to one another in dramatic compositions…vintage items next to vegetation. Things that have relationships, maybe in ways most don't think of, maybe with a little twist.

I clearly enjoy painting shiny things...reflective, transparent and translucent. I shoot for compositions that are larger than life, tightly cropped or taken to the edge. I strive to incorporate loose with refined brushstrokes, soft and hard edges, complementary colors in juxtaposition and true observation with exaggeration.

Fruits & Vegges by Dana B. Thompson
FRUITS & VEGGIES - 12 x 24 - oil
Bird Watching by Dana B. Thompson
BIRD WATCHING - 24 x 12 - oil
 

ROBERT THOREN

This artist offers painting instruction & accepts commissions.

I started oil painting several years after graduating from engineering school. My first painting teacher was Eunice Martchenko who had studied in Los Angeles with Sergei Bongart, the traditionally trained Russian impressionist master who had immigrated to the U.S. in 1948. Eunice taught in the Bongart method starting me out executing monochromatic still lifes consisting of very simple shapes (a wine bottle and an apple as an example).

A Rainy Day in Charleston by Robert Thoren
A RAINY DAY IN CHARLESTON - 16 x 12 - oil on panel
Robert Thoren

“My goal as an artist is to become more spontaneous in my painting process. To capture the essence without overdoing the detail."

Robert Thoren

Color pigments were introduced gradually as were more complex still life setups. I credit Eunice for my passion for still lifes. I was truly blessed to have had such a gifted artist and teacher. She launched me on my life long journey as an oil painter. A few years later, I also studied in Los Angeles with several other Bongart proteges Sunny Apinchapong Yang and Joseph Mendez.

Still Life with Lemon by Robert Thoren
STILL LIFE WITH LEMONS - 24 x 24 - oil
 

HENRY WINGATE

This artist accepts commissions but only works from life.

Theresa by Henry Wingate
THERESA - 16 x 12 - oil

“I believe if you are able to render the human figure and face well you will be much more successful at expressing something universal about the human condition."

Henry Wingate

Henry Wingate

There are a great number of reasons why painting a portrait using a live model generally produces a better picture. “Generally” because there are of course many poor portraits that have been painted from life, just as there are some quite good portraits painted from photographs. But, generally speaking, the potential for achieving a truly great portrait is worlds better with a picture painted from life. Some of the reasons for this are technical in nature, having to do with light and form and edges, while other reasons have to do with the relationship established between the painter and the subject.

Large-Scale Commission by Henry Wingate

An artist working from life can avail himself of all the advantages afforded by natural light. Very minor shifts in color are visible in natural light. It is the subtle color shifts that give richness and life to an oil painting. This is the case both in the illuminated parts of the painting as well as in the shadows. When working from life with natural light the shadows are not just dark areas, they are full of color. These most subtle color shifts and minor color variations are difficult, if not impossible, to capture on film.

Click HERE to read more about Henry's process and theory on portrait painting.
A large-scale (13' x 16' oil on canvas on panel) religious commission.
 
Fiery Croton by Carolyn Gawarecki