St. Augustine, FL
Cutter & Cutter Fine Art Galleries, May 1-25
This story was featured in the May 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
The annual Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils unfolds in sunny St. Augustine, FL, this month. The show opens with an artists’ reception at 5:30 p.m. on May 1 at Cutter & Cutter Fine Art Galleries’ Brilliance in Color Gallery. Works by 250 top oil painters from across the United States and Canada are on view. Later that evening, an awards presentation takes place at 8:15 p.m. at the nearby Casa Monica Hotel. This year’s awards juror is California-based artist Huihan Liu. Both the show and awards ceremony are free and open to the public.
A number of events accompany the show, including a paint-out sponsored by Southwest Art on Thursday, April 30, at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. The picturesque park boasts a dramatic shoreline sprinkled with coquina rock formations. Collectors can purchase the resulting plein-air works at Galeria Del Mar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. In addition to the paint-out there are special lectures, discussions, and demonstrations by master painters such as Donald Demers and Louis Escobedo. Here we introduce you to just a few of the artists participating in this year’s show.
Whether Claudia Seymour works in pastels or oils, her colorful, complex still lifes are known to evoke a timeless elegance. The Connecticut-based painter is fond of depicting modern objects like a bottle of Tabasco sauce as well as the same objet d’art that enchanted the old masters, such as vases, vessels, flowers, and fruit. Although Tina Garrett sometimes paints still lifes, it is the human figure that speaks most often to her creative soul. And what catches her eye at times is her subject’s posture. Based in Missouri, the former illustrator studied painting with artist Romel de la Torre.
The Colorado landscape often serves as inspiration for artist Peter Campbell. His tonalist scenes capture the subtle earth tones of the state he calls home. The quiet landscapes usher the viewer into a serene world far from the big city, whether Campbell has depicted the nearby San Juan Mountains or scenes in New Mexico, California, or Arizona. Sheri Farabaugh is another Colorado-based painter who finds beauty in peaceful, intimate slices of life in the wild. For Farabaugh, portraying beauty is all in the details. She calls light and Mother Nature’s many complicated patterns and designs her ongoing muses. When it comes to depicting a scene or figure, Shelby Keefe isn’t interested in creating just another pretty picture. At times what captures her artistic eye is the grittier side of the street or the other side of the tracks in her hometown of Milwaukee, WI. Her eye for capturing a moody sense of place is reminiscent of works by Edward Hopper.
Whether he is painting the Grand Canyon or a European harbor, Vahe Yeremyan has a signature loose, expressive style that results in works that often straddle the line between realism and abstraction. His energetic brush strokes bring movement and life to both his landscapes and still lifes. A native of Armenia, Yeremayn makes his home in Los Angeles today. Rhode Island painter Cindy Baron’s tonalist works combine a visual softness with an earthy realism. A self-described “blended traditionalist,” Baron strives for harmony of color and shape. Her mission is to pull viewers into a painting so they feel as if they are experiencing a scene in real life.
Fruit, farmhouses, birds, and baseball caps are some of the objects that inhabit still lifes and landscapes by David B. Foster. The North Carolina painter took his first painting workshop in 1991 and discovered how much he enjoyed the creative process. Foster eventually went on to study with Robert Warren and today says paintings by Anders Zorn and Joaquin Sorolla inspire him. Canadian painter Masoud Habibyan is drawn to the human figure as subject matter. His signature portraits often convey a romantic sensibility, evoking another era, whether the painting depicts a young girl posing with her favorite doll or a violinist with her treasured instrument. Habibyan cites his mentor, Dan Gerhartz, as a major influence on his art. Meanwhile, Joseph Pfeiffer-Herbert brings a more contemporary take to his interpretation of the human figure. The Oregon-based painter captures intimate glimpses of his subject’s faces, revealing the various nuances of their individual features. Some of his figurative works may suggest a narrative or include an element of mystery, such as a portrait of a woman with angel-like wings.
When it comes to still-life and figurative works by Diane Reeves, the viewer can expect to find an old-world sensibility. Reeves’ subject matter includes Victorian lace, roses, lavender, and china teacups, among other things. The Florida artist says she strives to portray a particular mood, a sliver of time, or the sheer beauty of creation in her paintings. Minnesota’s Mary Pettis is another artist whose work conveys beauty to the eye of the beholder. Her landscapes feature scenes far from her front door, such as Alaskan rainforests, as well as those closer to home. Pettis is fond of saying that as she paints, she gets swept away by the symphony of artistic elements before her eyes. MaryBeth Karaus casts her artistic eye on a variety of subject matter, including sushi chefs and Maine fishing vessels. The Ohio artist also creates tableaux that feature sumptuous colors and textures, such as still lifes brimming with juicy watermelons and delicate pink peonies. Karaus began her fine-art career as a watercolorist but in 2004 began studying oil painting with Dan Gerhartz.
Deborah LaFogg Docherty has been observing nature and wildlife since she was a child. Today when it comes to creating wildlife paintings, her mission is to offer viewers a glimpse of how animals live, raise their young, and survive in the wild. The Florida artist’s quest to paint animals in natural habitats has taken her to locations across the country, including Alaska’s Denali National Park. Alan Larkin brings an imaginative visual voice to his paintings and prints. His still lifes are often dense tableaux featuring patterned backgrounds and unusual juxtapositions of objects, such as feathers, cups, and scissors. His figurative works can suggest a story or convey a sense of mystery—some with a touch of subtle humor. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the May 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art May 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!