Winners & finalists from The Artist’s Magazine’s annual competition
This story was featured in the January 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Click here to view the winning artists in each category:
What inspired this painting? I often travel down this road into Valdez (a small town north of Taos, NM) because there’s so much beauty to paint there. The road is paved, but I don’t paint paved roads because I prefer the nostalgia and feeling of old New Mexico. On this particular morning, the strong eastern light was radiating like I’ve never seen before—it was like an angelic feeling over the landscape.
Where did you study art? I earned my bachelor’s degree in fine art and art education at Eastern New Mexico University and my master’s degree in art and psychology from the University of Utah.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Two major highlights were being on the cover of Southwest Art in June 1999 and receiving the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2012. Other highlights in recent years include creating a poster for the Santa Fe Opera and having one of my paintings selected for a thank-you card that President Obama mailed to voters.
What are your goals for the future? My goals in life are to inspire young souls in the arts and for my work and efforts to be recognized long after I’m gone. Other than that, I try not to think about the future too much. I just take one day at a time and thank God for waking up each morning.
What inspired this painting? I often travel by motorcycle. Every turn, every hilltop, every open field is awe-inspiring. Coming around a bend, the beauty of that tree took my breath away.
Where did you study art? Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? For years I was busy working and raising a family. I was fortunate to be able to satisfy my creativity through my career as a creative director in advertising. Eventually I started to think about picking up a paintbrush again. I had not picked up a brush since art school three decades before. The moment I did, I remembered how much I enjoyed painting and the ability to get lost in creating a piece that could also make others smile. Someone told me about a charity art show at the university. Each artist was allowed to submit three paintings. I did and sold all three. I was hooked. Other people liked what I painted. It was thrilling to receive recognition for something that I received so much enjoyment in creating. There have been many highlights in my art career. I have been the largest-selling artist in many shows. And I have ongoing solo exhibits and representation internationally.
What are you goals for the future? To continue to grow as a painter, to put smiles on people’s faces, and to make a living.
Where can collectors find your work? www.john-adams.ca.
What inspired this painting? I was inspired to paint LOW TIDE AT DRIFTWOODS while walking along the beach at the golden hour—that brief time of day just before dark when the sun bathes everything in a beautiful, golden glow. Driftwoods is a surfing spot along the Gaviota Coast just north of Santa Barbara. It is an iconic Southern California coastal scene that is timeless and enduring. Since Santa Barbara is where I was born, grew up, and still live, scenes like this are part of who I am. I love how the land intersects the ocean with its warm yellow-orange cliffs reaching right down to the cool, blue water.
Where did you study art? I studied at Santa Barbara City College; University of California, Santa Barbara; and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Seeing one of my paintings in the movies when it was used for the set design in Sideways in 2004. It was in the background, but on the big screen, it looked huge to me.
What are your goals for the future? My goals are simple: to capture the elusive quality of light and air that is so characteristic of the Santa Barbara area, to transcend time by capturing a moment in time, and to make paintings with a serene, luminous glow that lift people’s spirits.
Where can collectors find your work? Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.
What inspired this painting? The inspiration for EVENING SHADES comes from the lake view three minutes from my house. I have painted it in what I call cubist impressionism. Because I have such a close relationship with the lake, its sunsets are a recurring theme for me. I love where I live; it’s truly beautiful!
Where did you study art? Though mainly self-taught (I have studied the works of so many great artists over the years), I do have a degree in design, which informs my composition and color theory. I attended the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver and earned my degree at Vancouver Community College in British Columbia, Canada.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? My recent emergence in the gallery scene has been a true pleasure. To know that each painting might find a home with a family that loves it is such a treat! Being a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s competition and seeing my art in print is also a highlight.
What are your goals for the future? I would love to paint with oil again and spend time focusing on portraits in a style reminiscent of John Singer Sargent. Also, to keep learning and honing my skills; there is always something new to learn!
What inspired this painting? COMING STORM is one piece in a series of paintings inspired by the works of the Hudson River School painters. This piece in particular pays homage to Albert Bierstadt. My passion for landscapes began in my youth growing up in New England.
Where did you study art? I received my bachelor of fine arts in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design followed by my MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I have had the privilege of working with Arcadia Contemporary as well as, more recently, McColl Fine Art. I was also selected as one of the winners of Southwest Art’s “21 Under 31” emerging-artists competition and as a finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s International ARC Salon competition.
What are your goals for the future? I would like to continue to develop my skills in order to paint works that, at the moment, I cannot fully realize on a canvas. I am also interested in exploring a greater variety of environments from which to base my work and even, eventually, introducing figures into my landscapes. While I’ve done some teaching, I hope to make classroom instruction a more significant part of my career moving forward.
Where can collectors find your work? McColl Fine Art, Charlotte, NC.
Jane W. Ditri
What inspired this painting? The beauty of the area in which I live inspires me. I was captivated by the sweep of the dune and also by the tree and its shadow in contrast to the sunlit sand. I placed the small sitting figure to lend scale to the majesty of this dune.
Where did you study art? Upon retirement, I knew I wanted to do some kind of art. After learning from several artists, I decided to focus on learning from just one excellent artist and teacher, Richard McKinley. I have studied with him for almost four years.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Highlights include my first pastel class, where I fell in love with the medium of pastel. The second event was traveling to France for a painting workshop that changed my life. The next highlight was receiving Pastel Society of America signature membership in 2013. Winning an honorable mention in the 2014 Pastel 100 competition was an extraordinary honor, as was selection as a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s competition this year. These events offer validation that I am on the right path.
What are your goals for the future? My major goal is to become the best artist that I can be in the time that I have left.
Where can collectors find your work? www.janeditrifineart.com.
What inspired this painting? I was a guest on a whale- and seal-hunting expedition with Yupik Eskimo students (I was their science teacher) to the Yukon River Delta and the Bering Sea. The Yukon Delta, which is the size of Oregon, is one of the great, trackless, wild places on earth. The exotic landscape and environment inspired this painting and others that are still in the planning stages.
Where did you study art? From ages 8 to 11 with a private tutor in Japan. Subsequently at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Also, workshops and time spent with Millard Sheets, Robert Bateman, Judi Betts, and Dr. John O’Neil. My undergraduate degree is in zoology from Auburn University, and my graduate work is from New Mexico, Alaska, and Louisiana.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? A young blind boy was at one of my openings. Everyone present fell silent as he started touching a painting with both hands. Suddenly, he exclaimed, “I see a tree!” It was the best review I ever had.
What are your goals for the future? I am currently preparing for the 5th Biennial Art and Conservation Show at the Cibola Nature Center and Farm in Boerne, TX, in 2015.
What inspired this painting? This painting was inspired by a walk along the Aviara Trail in San Diego. The light filtering through the trees was stunning, and I wanted to capture the beauty of the shadows. I took a few photos on my phone and sat for 30 minutes to do a quick color study in watercolor to help remember the color impressions that wouldn’t be reflected in the photos.
Where did you study art? I have a bachelor of fine arts from Baylor University. After a lifetime of making art and a career in graphic design, I discovered pastels in 2009 and was drawn to the immediacy and intensity of the medium. For the last four years I have studied under Kathleen Newman, and I have also attended workshops with Richard McKinley, Doug Dawson, and Desmond O’Hagan.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I have been juried into several national shows, including the International Association of Pastel Societies 23rd Juried Exhibition and the Pastel Society of the Southwest’s National Juried Exhibition. I also enjoy teaching several pastel painting classes in La Grange, IL.
What are your goals for the future? To continue evolving as an artist by exploring the creative use of color within the value structure. As my body of work grows, I’m looking forward to more exhibition opportunities and gallery representation.
Where can collectors find your work? La Grange Art League, La Grange, IL.
What inspired this painting? I had been looking for a painting spot on Vashon Island, just across from Seattle, and was frustrated by not finding a place where I could pull over and paint water. Suddenly, I came around a corner and rediscovered a little park on the beach that I had liked in the past. The shapes, glitter, and shine of that sunny, late afternoon pulled me in immediately.
Where did you study art? I have a minor in art and have taken workshops and lessons from, and been mentored by, Mitch Albala of Gage Academy of Art and Pacific Northwest Art School. I’ve studied at the Marchutz School, the Institute for American Universities, and with Kathryn Stats, Charles Emerson, Camille Przewodek, and others, most recently with Eric Jacobsen.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Being a finalist of 7,200 entries in The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition. And when my reaction to elements of a certain natural environment flows with ease and energy from my brush onto my painting surface.
What are your goals for the future? The next year my life will be a personal painting retreat. I don’t think I’ll enter any contests or pay much attention to the business of art at all, just so that I can concentrate on moving to the next level artistically.
What inspired this painting? I often visit zoos, wildlife reserves, and rehab centers to gather reference photos. I captured the images for HEART WARMING TOUCH while on one of these visits with my mom several years ago. A few months after she passed away, I revisited those images, and I felt this painting would be a fitting tribute to her memory.
Where did you study art? I have been interested in art since I was a little girl, my first lessons coming from my mom, who showed me the basics of drawing. Using these basics, I spent any spare time drawing the wild world around me. While studying sociology at university, I took a class in the fundamentals of design and was reunited with my love of art. After I achieved my bachelor of arts from the University of Guelph in Ontario, I attended Mohawk College, also in Ontario, where I honed my skills and graduated in graphic design. More recently, I’ve taken master’s seminars with Robert Bateman.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? In 2014 I had the privilege of participating in Ducks Unlimited Canada’s National Art Portfolio. I also received an award in the Beaux-Arts Brampton Walk on the Wild Side juried art show. I am honored to be a finalist in this year’s The Artist’s Magazine annual art competition.
What are your goals for the future? I’d like to continue to expose people to the beauty of nature that they may not ordinarily see.
Where can collectors find your work? My work can be found at www.rhondafranks.com. I also participate in numerous art shows and festivals throughout the year.
What inspired this painting? My paintings are inspired and informed by my ranch upbringing. I documented the process of this piece in real time on my Facebook page, where a nice oil sketch morphed into a truly monstrous bovine. If I hadn’t been sharing each stage, I’d have given up. I kept painting and humbly sharing my pitiful process photos, and I was grateful when she began to come to life. It was a good lesson for my followers and me: Art doesn’t always pour out of us. We have to keep working and not give up.
Where did you study art? I learned the basics attending junior college in the 1980s. Lacking formal training, I have learned from the artists around me; Wyoming is really just one big, small town. Alice Fuller and Kathy Sabine taught me about the mental processes of painting and seeing, respectively, and I’ve taken classes and local workshops from Phil Starke, Mike Beeman, and Mara Schasteen.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I have been blessed with awards and recognition, but I’m most pleased when my art genuinely moves people and they identify with aspects and ideas beyond the paint. I also like seeing my art travel—my paintings hang in collections across the United States and on five continents.
What are your goals for the future? I’ll paint until someone pries the brushes from my cold, dead hands.
What inspired this painting? Last year’s winter was very hard up north. The snowy owls were flying farther south just to find food—one was even spotted in northern Florida. I wanted to paint one that I had photographed in a tree but placed it on the ground in the painting to show how these owls can disappear into their environment.
Where did you study art? Though I’ve painted all my life, my first art class was in 1990. It truly opened my eyes to all that can be achieved with paint. I then started taking workshops to learn as much as I could from different artists.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? The best thing that ever happened to me was marrying my husband, John Seerey-Lester. He is an incredible artist and has taught me so much. This year we received an award from Artists for Conservation recognizing our efforts to raise funds for conservation. Also, the first time I made it into Birds in Art was just thrilling for me; I knew then I was a real artist.
What are your goals for the future? Paint, paint, paint. We travel all over the world, and there never seems to be enough time to paint everything I see. John and I are working on a series of digital books to share our ideas and talents with other artists.
What inspired this painting? I find my work is influenced by a variety of sources, including natural history, wildlife conservation, and the southwestern landscape in general. My conservation interests led to an ongoing series on endangered and threatened species, which brought about the OCELOT piece.
Where did you study art? San Francisco Art Institute and the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Being juried into several national competitions. Being selected, for two consecutive years, in The Artist’s Magazine’s annual art competition. Other notable exhibits include America’s Parks II, the Artists for Conservation Annual Exhibition, Paint the Parks, and the International Society of Scratchboard Artists Annual Juried Exhibition. I was invited to participate in the Grand Canyon Celebration of Art for five consecutive years, and I’ve been invited to show at the 2015 Cattlemen’s Western Art Show and Sale, Paso Robles, CA.
What are your goals for the future? I hope to continue dividing my time between studio artist and art instructor. For the last nine years I have taught drawing and painting at the Art Institute wing of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and I have been a mentor at Prescott College in Tucson.
What inspired this painting? Growing up in Twentynine Palms, CA, gave me many opportunities to be out in nature daily. My backyard had no fence, and it opened right up into the desert. I was a tomboy, and chasing lizards was something I got really good at. Everybody knew when you found a desert horned lizard because it was the prized lizard every kid wanted to catch.
Where did you study art? I am a self-taught artist.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Some of the highlights have been placing in the top 100 in the Arts for the Parks competition and being one of the youngest artists selected. Another highlight was that over a three-year period I had 11 paintings selected for Paint the Parks and the PaintAmerica art competitions.
What are your goals for the future? I feel that it is important to always grow and push myself as an artist with each piece of artwork. I want to continue to do so 20 years from now. I want to keep that fine balance of staying true to myself and my artwork and keeping it familiar but also reinventing my work to keep it original and new.
Where can collectors find your work? www.naomibrownart.com.
What inspired this painting? I wanted to photograph a rooster to use as a reference for a commissioned graphite drawing, and I discovered a chicken farm located about a mile from my house. There were four roosters and about 40 hens. One of the roosters began crowing, but the hens ignored him. I took about 300 photos of the roosters and hens, both individually and in small groups. After completing the commissioned drawing, I couldn’t resist composing a scene showing the crowing rooster and his brood of hens.
Where did you study art? I have taken workshops from many well-known and respected artists. My most meaningful workshops were given by Frank Covino, an outstanding artist and teacher. I took many weekly workshops from him over a period of about 10 years. I have been painting and drawing full-time since 2007.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I have won several first prizes and two Best of Shows in different local shows, and I’ve been a finalist four times in The Artist’s Magazine’s annual art competition.
What are your goals for the future? To continue to improve and to make each painting better than the last.
What inspired this painting? I draw and paint a lot of wildlife, especially birds. This particular bird is an emu that I photographed here in Louisiana at a zoo. I was intrigued with all of the different textures and colors involved and knew it would be fun to draw. I also liked his expression—the slight smile that led to the title. I started with his eye and worked my way outward. I chose a simple crosshatched background to make the portrait stand out.
Where did you study art? I majored in art at the University of Texas at Austin, finishing with an art education degree from Northwestern State University in Louisiana.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Getting accepted into the 1999 American Artists Professional League juried show and winning the top award in graphics that year. I’m now a fellow with the organization, and I have a piece in this year’s show, too. Other highlights include earning Signature status in the Colored Pencil Society of America in 2001 and getting my first two museum shows at the Schepis Museum in Columbia, LA, and the Alexandria Museum of Art in Alexandria, LA.
What are your goals for the future? To continue exploring colored pencil and the other mediums I work in (watercolor, pastel, collage, and digital photography) and to gain more recognition and gallery representation, both locally and nationally.
Where can collectors find your work? Pea Patch Gallery, Winnfield, LA.
Nancy R.M. Whitin
What inspired this painting? RAINPROOF DONKEY reflects the irresistible personalities of donkeys. Despite the heavy rain, one of my favorite models was determined to greet me with a smile. It appears that a donkey’s ears can double as an umbrella, and I used iridescent pastels to depict his glistening wet coat.
Where did you study art? I have studied at the Silvermine Arts Center, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Newport Art Museum. I have also had extensive private instruction.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I was flying high when the Boston Globe published my donkey painting in its Arts section. I was thrilled to participate in the invitational exhibit Our Shared Planet, examining animals as the inspiration for art, at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society’s Parsons Gallery. For the last three years, I have been honored to participate in Pastels by Invitation, a national exhibition in Chatham, MA.
What are your goals for the future? While I will continue to paint donkeys, I have a long list of new ideas to attack in my quest to explore art, animals, and history using character and compassion. I am nearing completion of a new series entitled Civil War Horses, celebrating the horses that served a nation. These large charcoal portraits are accompanied by the horses’ biographies. And my painting of George Armstrong Custer’s horse is the beginning of yet another avenue I will pursue.
What inspired this painting? I was initially drawn to the shape of the small oilcans with the long spouts. In poking around an antique barn for things to go with them, I found the Hippo Oil can; the rusty, dented Cold Test can; and the old calendar. I was all set.
Where did you study art? After several years of evening classes at the Art Gallery of Ontario and numerous weeklong pastel plein-air workshops, I enrolled full time at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, ON. That is where I really learned to draw and paint. I graduated in 2013.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Being chosen as a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s 2014 Annual Art Competition from so many entries was particularly satisfying, as was being a finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s International Salon, and being juried into the 2014 International Guild of Realism show.
What are your goals for the future? To continually learn and grow as an artist, to create things of lasting beauty, and to share that beauty with others.
Diane Davich Craig
What inspired this painting? My father and his dog, Clyde, spent many hours riding in an old blue truck like this. The painting CLYDE’S RIDE was done in tribute to my father.
Where did you study art? I am a professional flutist and added painting to my career about five years ago after taking art classes from Charles Brindley.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I am grateful to be represented by Gallery 202. This gave me the confidence to participate in local shows and subsequently join the International Guild of Realism, which resulted in being selected to exhibit in their show at Arizona’s Tempe Center for the Arts and Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC. Winning first place in The Artist’s Magazine’s annual competition has been such an honor and has afforded more opportunities. I actually feel that everything I have experienced and achieved has been a highlight.
What are your goals for the future? Intense study, visiting exhibits, and ample painting time to paint to the very best of my abilities. I would like to expand my gallery affiliations and participate in more shows and exhibits.
Where can collectors find your work? Gallery 202, Franklin, TN.
What inspired this painting? The inspiration came from watching my daughter play with her toys, and every time she walks away from them, I cannot help but notice the light that falls on them. It’s the quality of the light that truly makes me want to paint anything.
Where did you study art? I have been drawing and painting since I was 10. I took many private art lessons with local instructors growing up. After high school, I went to the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Meeting my favorite artist, Morgan Weistling, and getting guidance from him is the coolest thing that has happened in my career. Also, learning to see values and edges and to paint them well is a huge one.
What are your goals for the future? I’m very excited about what the future holds for me, and there are many exciting opportunities unfolding presently. And that’s what it’s all about for me: to focus on the present moment and let something bigger than me come through, and to make beautiful art that people can respond to.
Where can collectors find your work? www.nshanstambolyan.com.
Jean Reece Wilkey
What inspired this painting? We’re part of the natural world, but I think in this technological age, we can become distanced from nature and from our inner selves. I wanted to represent that. The curtain is a common theatrical device and refers to the idea that reality is illusory and that illusion can feel real. It’s also based on Renaissance Madonna paintings where the fabric symbolized a throne. The curtain, along with the fruit on a pedestal, refers to the sacredness of nature, but it also separates us from the natural scene beyond it. On one level it’s a metaphor for our spiritual state; on another level it’s about color and texture.
Where did you study art? At New Mexico State University, and I’ve also learned a lot from workshops with wonderful artists like David Kassan, Daniel Keys, and Casey Baugh at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Meeting wonderful artists and hearing feedback from collectors about how my paintings make them feel. Being included twice in the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art Contemporary Realism Biennial and the first Manifest International Painting Annual and having work featured at the Las Cruces Museum of Art.
What are your goals for the future? To continue developing my work and to show more in galleries outside my region.
Where can collectors find your work? Unsettled Gallery, Las Cruces, NM.
What inspired this painting? I have been working on a series of paintings that explore the concept of marriage. Some have been whimsical—PORTRAIT OF A PERFECT MARRIAGE features a glass of champagne next to a martini glass—while others have been more thoughtful. Gallerie Citi’s owner asked me to paint a “portrait” of a married couple she knows, two men and their baby girl. PORTRAIT OF A MODERN FAMILY is their family portrait using their shoes. Of course, it also references the fictional couple in the popular television show of the same name.
Where did you study art? The Art Students League of New York and University of California, Berkeley. But my greatest teacher is my father, artist Philip Barlow. He is 81, paints every day, and is working hard on a 2015 exhibition. He keeps growing and working. What an inspiration.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? In the past year I’ve had the privilege of being commissioned to create paintings for some amazing collectors. I create “portraits” of people using their belongings or symbolic objects to reveal their stories. These commissions are a shared voyage of adventure, imaginative play, and revelation.
What are your goals for the future? Painting is, for me, a reverent thing. With every painting I try to see more deeply and truthfully, unveiling the essence of a moment or person. It’s this desire to look more closely and feel more deeply that excites me every day.
Where can collectors find your work? Gallerie Citi, Burlingame, CA.
What inspired this painting? I had just returned from taking a weeklong workshop with Alyssa Monks at the New York Art Academy. I was excited to pursue the idea of attaining a high level of realism while at the same time holding on to and expressing what originally drew me to painting: the love of the paint. MAX is a painting of one of my two beautiful children. They serve as constant inspiration and muses!
Where did you study art? I received a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Whenever I evoke an emotional response in someone—whether it’s a smile, or a mother tearing up in response to an image of her child—that’s magic! Several hospitals have acquired my work, particularly children’s hospitals. It is very rewarding to me. I hope the work can lend some distraction in what can be a sterile environment or a frightening experience. Over the years I’ve realized that, while it’s validating to be paid for doing work you love, I am also grateful to be able to support charitable causes through the sale of my paintings.
What are your goals for the future? I’d like to broaden my scope, but most importantly, I want to continue to chase that challenge and spark of excitement that pushes me into my studio every day!
Where can collectors find your work? Gold Mountain Gallery, Telluride, CO.
What inspired this painting? The inspiration for this painting is Dante Alighieri, poet and author of The Divine Comedy, and his muse, Beatrice Portinari. Dante never had a real relationship with Beatrice. He only briefly met her two times in his life. The interesting thing is that she had a profound impact on him and appeared as one of the characters that guided Dante through heaven. In my painting, I have depicted Beatrice pensively reading a book turned to a page showing Dante’s portrait.
Where did you study art? I received my bachelor’s degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I also studied painting and drawing at the National Academy School and the Art Students League of New York.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? A solo exhibition at the prestigious Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH, and being included in the exhibition Women Artists @ New Britain Museum curated by Sherry Buckberrough and Nancy Noble. The show featured artists like Mary Cassatt, Cindy Sherman, Georgia O’Keeffe, and many more.
What are your goals for the future? To make great art.
Where can collectors find your work? Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, FL.
What inspired this painting? My inspiration almost always comes from the people, places, and things I see around San Francisco, where I live. There is always something happening in the city that could make for a great painting. Sometimes it’s a routine occurrence or typical street scene that inspires a new piece, while other times it’s something completely random or surprising that grabs my attention. As long as it’s visually interesting, I enjoy painting both the expected and the unexpected.
Where did you study art? I received a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and I will complete the master of fine arts program, also in painting and drawing, at the end of 2014.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I’ve been juried into several esteemed shows recently, including the Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition and Salon International. I’ve also been recognized in various art competitions, including being selected as a finalist in Southwest Art’s Artistic Excellence competition in both 2013 and 2014.
What are your goals for the future? After graduation, I’m looking forward to finally being able to focus on my own projects and ideas. My overall goal is to produce a body of work that communicates with the viewer through every single brush stroke in every single painting.
Where can collectors find your work? Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
What inspired this painting? It has been a bittersweet challenge and experience. I started working on this painting with a broken heart after I suffered two losses in my family within a month in September of last year. It was the most difficult time for me as my family has always been my closest loved ones. I was flooded with sorrow, but I also believe that time heals all wounds. So I held back my tears, channeled my grief into strength, and focused to paint, paint, and paint. Art does indeed have the power to heal, and painting is the best cure for sadness.
Where did you study art? Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Winning multiple painting awards from Creative Quarterly magazine and selling five paintings at the Academy of Art University’s Fine Art Auction in 2013 and 2014. I worked for George Lucas at LucasArts as a traditional concept artist from 1996 through 1999.
What are your goals for the future? Paint more impressive portrait paintings and have a gallery show to exhibit 100 of my best portraits.
Where can collectors find your work? www.oliversinsart.blogspot.com.
What inspired this painting? The Cult of Beauty is my ongoing series exploring the concept that the human spirit longs for love and acceptance. The paintings examine how a delicate self-worth can be undermined by a society where standards of idealized beauty are hallowed and venerated. RED PETTICOAT considers the burden of sophistication impressed on the next generation of children. Inspired by Vincent Desiderio’s The Feast is Over, which talks about the reproduction of original art into art books for mass consumption, RED PETTICOAT uses fashion magazines to explore the reproduction of an idealized standard of beauty that, along with the dress forms, surround and overwhelm the vulnerable girl, who seems to anticipate the impending struggle to measure up. The symbolic gauge measuring her success is a large yellow circle on the floor. While others encounter different circles during their lifetimes and ask, “Am I successful enough, am I intelligent enough, am I rich enough?” the little girl in the red petticoat asks, “Will I be pretty enough?”
Where did you study art? I have a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts from Laguna College of Art + Design.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? My most interesting career event was having the opportunity to curate a large, juried art installation at the Fairhaven Mausoleum in Santa Ana, CA, from 2005 to 2009.
What are your goals for the future? I would be thrilled to exhibit the Cult of Beauty paintings in a museum environment.
Where can collectors find your work? www.reginajacobson.com.
What inspired this painting? I wanted to paint maturity in order to become familiar with David Kassan’s painting techniques. He paints older people with age and experience alive in their wrinkles and blemishes. Kassan’s workshop was coming up at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, so I wanted to do this as a self-assignment. I posed the model in a corner of my loft where a red faux-painted wall meets a blue wall. This created warm light and colors from the left and cool light and colors from the right. I enjoy the interplay of warm and cool. I also wanted a contemplative pose in a nontraditional way. I posed the model pressed against a wall so the subject and background were united in a real, physical way. Even the shadows knit the background and model together. I painted the model as faithfully as possible. The background, by contrast, was interpreted impressionistically. Blending realistically rendered form with impressionistic or even abstract garments and backgrounds thrills me and forms a fundamental element in my art.
Where did you study art? The Scottsdale Artists’ School, the Art Students League of Denver, and recently, a six-week atelier program with Ron Hicks.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? When people who commission works of their loved ones become teary-eyed viewing the end product.
What are your goals for the future? My ultimate goal is to be a great artist whether or not that is accompanied by commercial success.
Where can collectors find your work? Blue River Fine Art Gallery, Breckenridge, CO.
What inspired this painting? The farmers and ranchers who live and work in the Northwest. The piece seems to capture the quintessential Sunday drive, a retired rancher awaiting his son, who will take them for a cruise along the back roads of Montana.
Where did you study art? I came to this career after teaching and working as a school counselor and school psychologist. I have had the good fortune to study with some remarkable artists, such as Charles Reid, Ted Nuttall, Mary Whyte, Joseph Zbukvic, and Jean Pederson.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Personal highlights include my growing ability to express my emotional connection to my subjects in my painting. It has also been exciting and rewarding to be a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s competition two years in a row, to be a juried participant in the American Watercolor Society for two years in a row, and to win awards in several national shows over the past few years.
What are your goals for the future? Completing a series of paintings that is underway at present. I also am committed to growing and expanding my skills as an artist and always experimenting with new approaches to my work.
What inspired this painting? I love reading almost as much as I love art. A good novel carries us into another world, as does a great painting. I could sense the model’s complete absorption as she finished her book. Was this the final chapter of the book or something else? A story within a story.
Where did you study art? I attended the American Academy of Art’s Saturday Program in Chicago for eight years, where I studied with Bill Parks and Ted Smuskiewicz. I also took workshops with Carolyn Anderson, Dan Gerhartz, Harley Brown, Scott Christensen, and Richard Schmid, among others.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Being named a signature member of the Oil Painters of America and a Master Artist by the American Impressionist Society, the Pastel Society of America, and the International Association of Pastel Societies. Other honors include awards in exhibitions from the Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America, Salon International, and the International Association of Pastel Societies.
What are your goals for the future? The wonderful thing about art is that you can always get better. I view myself as a perpetual student! Specifically, I’m working on improving the emotional and narrative content of my paintings. I’m inspired by the work of masters like J.W. Waterhouse, Zorn, and Sorolla as well as contemporary masters like Richard Schmid and Dan Gerhartz.
What inspired this painting? This painting was inspired by a young man I had hired to model for me for several months. One night he just walked in and took this natural pose, which conveyed such emotion. I wanted to capture this emotion in the painting.
Where did you study art? My undergraduate studies were in Grand Rapids, MI, at Kendall College of Art and Design. My graduate work was done at Vermont College.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Studying at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia was a real turning point for me. My work improved dramatically when working with such great artists as Lea Colie Wright, Stephen Early, and Darren Kingsley. Incamminati has the most talented and dedicated instructors I have ever worked with. Some of the other highlights would have to be meeting Daniel Sprick and Nelson Shanks, and working with Shirley and Numael Pulido.
What are your goals for the future? My future plan is to continue to strive for excellence in my work, keep an open mind, and rule nothing out.
Where can collectors find your work? My website is www.kirkpatrickfineart.com and my studio is in the Button Factory in Portsmouth, NH.
What inspired this painting? The inspiration for my work comes from observing clouds and having a fascination with the subtleties and ephemeral qualities of our atmosphere. It also comes from finding nuanced tones of reflected light dancing throughout the sky, and it comes from realizing the similarities of nature and humanity. Both have qualities of great strength and vulnerability. Each painting explores human struggles and overcoming adversity. The stories are told metaphorically through the landscape with an emphasis on atmosphere. The paintings evoke a sense of mystery and solitude and are expressions of memory, hope, or aspiration.
Where did you study art? University of California, Berkeley.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I’m a very new artist, so my career is rather short—just over three years. However, I’ve already had the good fortune to be in several juried shows. Recently a painting of mine was published in an art book, and I had the honor and privilege of exhibiting two of my paintings at the prestigious de Young Museum in San Francisco.
What are your goals for the future? My goal is to continue to learn and experiment while developing and refining my technique. I enjoy painting large pieces, so I would like to see my work in commercial/corporate buildings. I think that exposure would be incredible.
Where can collectors find your work? www.redbubble.com/people/tbullard.
What inspired this painting? I’m currently working on a series called My City My Town. It’s a study of the unnoticed texture, pattern, color, and geometric shapes on top of buildings that are only seen from a bird’s-eye view.
Where did you study art? I studied painting and drawing at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland for two years and received a bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration and design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Major highlights of my career include becoming a signature member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters, earning recognition in galleries and competitions, and being a finalist in two of The Artist’s Magazine’s competitions. I was also recently accepted into an exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA. Of course, some of my proudest moments are when people are inspired by my paintings and purchase my work, and when I’m teaching my students.
What are your goals for the future? Specifically, I would like to one day be in a museum’s permanent collection. More broadly speaking, my goal is to continue growing, learning, and experimenting with my art.
What inspired this painting? My idea was to create a painting that was minimalistic, use the minimum number of colors on canvas, and use a scraper, instead of a brush, to manipulate the colors. Normally I name the painting after it is completed to allow full freedom in the expression of my creativity. I see THE BATTLE as the portrait of fluidity and anarchism. It depicts my inner desire to be a revolutionist with different perspectives infused with mystery and clarity.
Where did you study art? I am a self-taught artist and have been drawing since early childhood. Very recently, as my hobby, I decided to rediscover my childhood passions and share my artistic vision with the entire world.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? At the age of 12, I participated in an Asian art competition and won. This gave me the strength, courage, and passion to become the artist I am today. The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition was the second competition I participated in. Being chosen as a finalist has given me newfound courage to become a painter, do more solo exhibitions, and sell my work to the world through the Internet.
What are your goals for the future? I hope to be able to create an art style that signifies myself as a person and share this with the world.
Where can collectors find your work? www.dineshasriwardhana.com.
Deborah M. Russell
What inspired this painting? I wanted to create a series of abstract paintings that fused the mystery of birds with my love and knowledge of textile design by incorporating pattern as a unifying element.
Where did you study art? I did independent study at Bradford College in Massachusetts, which included printmaking, photography, and developing and illustrating a children’s book. When I moved to the Bay Area I started doing freelance graphic design and illustration and was fortunate to work with a diverse clientele including magazine publishers and food and wine package-design studios. I also studied textile design and worked in product development at Pottery Barn and with other design clients.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? For the last seven years I’ve been teaching watercolor and acrylic mixed-media classes. As an illustrator, my medium of choice was watercolor, and I was tapped to teach watercolor workshops for textile design. It’s rewarding to share creative energy and knowledge of what some would say is the most difficult medium, and to see my students’ progress over time.
What are your goals for the future? To dig deeper into the soul of my work and see what I can unearth! There are many stories, some of truth and others of distortion, that are the seeds of creative thought and inspiration. Learning how to harness these elements into a visual presentation is my ongoing challenge.
What inspired this painting? At the time I painted CURSED, I felt cursed, somewhat of a wanderer of the earth. The Bible was my reference and guidebook. I then began a series on Biblically based curses.
Where did you study art? I graduated from Northern Oklahoma College with an associate degree in art. Due to my rare allergies, I took many of my classes independently, or I had to sit outside the room looking in. Once, paramedics carried me away because I accidentally walked through the wrong art room. But dropping out was not an option for me. At Oklahoma State University, I was encouraged to explore watercolors. I was used to control and training, and at first, I was intimidated by the watercolors. Watercolor painting can be unpredictable. Once I was able to give in to the paint, I felt liberated. There was no going back.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? One of the highlights was organizing the first art program for home-schoolers in northwestern Oklahoma. I started with one student when I was 17 years old. The next year, I began with 60 students and ended the year with 150.
What are your goals for the future? I am currently creating an online art and music school. I want to travel in my life and to see where the art will take me.
Where can collectors find your work? Collectors can find my work on Facebook.
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