Portfolio | The Great Outdoors

Meet 11 artists who paint the landscape

This story was featured in the June 2020 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2020 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Kathleen Denis

Kathleen Denis, All That I Need, oil, 11 x 14.

Kathleen Denis, All That I Need, oil, 11 x 14.

What inspires you to create art? When I see strong light striking an object and creating interesting shadows and vibrant colors, I long to paint it.
How would you describe your style? My paintings are impressionistic. I enjoy emphasizing light and shadows, vibrant colors, and juicy brush strokes.
How did you first get interested in art? I took my first art lessons at age 4. The teacher was a fashion illustrator who taught me how to draw figures by having me copy a photo, then removing the image and having me sketch it from memory.
Where did you study art? I received a degree in graphic design from the University of Miami and took workshops from artists such as Kenn Backhaus, Camille Przewodek, Joseph McGurl, and Anne Blair Brown.
What is your creative process like? I create studies for composition, values, and color. Once I select a study that best represents what I want to depict, I transfer it onto canvas with a warm color. Then I apply the darks with thin paint, followed by middle values, and then the lighter colors, building up to thick brush strokes.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? In the mid-1990s my art was discovered by numerous companies that applied my images to home décor and gift products. When a major wallpaper company introduced a full book of my images, this began an exciting career as a licensed artist. Later I formed a nonprofit called Door of Hope Outreach and began using my art to minister to women in jails and youth detention centers.
Where can collectors find your work? Our Place In Paradise Gallery, Islamorada, FL; On the Waterfront Gallery, Apalachicola, FL; www.kathleendenis.com.

Terry Houseworth

Terry Houseworth, Last Light, oil, 18 x 36.

Terry Houseworth, Last Light, oil, 18 x 36.

What inspires you to create art? Seeing an interesting landscape, building, object, or even just a shadow or an abstract patch of light. My goal is to capture my initial excitement, focusing the painting on that first spark.
How would you describe your style? I have a realistic style with an expressive quality.
Where did you study art? As a kid, I took every art class in school. After taking a break from art for several years and working as a musician, I went back to school and got a degree in art. This got me started on a new career as a graphic designer. In 2009 I transitioned to painting landscapes full time. Initially, I took lots of workshops with some of my favorite professional artists.
What is your creative process like? I use only my own photographs, sometimes working up a composite of them in Photoshop first. Many problems are worked out there; others are tackled during the painting process.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? Every time I get my work juried into a show is a highlight. One of the best recently has been getting accepted into the Laguna Art-A-Fair, an annual summer show in Laguna Beach, CA. My work has also been shown at Chemers Gallery, 29 Palms Art Gallery, Randy Higbee Gallery, Brea Art Gallery, Borrego Art Institute, Crystal Cove Gallery, Balboa Island Artwalk, and Tustin Art Walk.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? Taking road trips with my supportive wife, which provide inspiration and new ideas.
Where can collectors find your work? www.terryhouseworth.com.

Judy Maurer

Judy Maurer, Steel Creek, oil, 9 x 12.

Judy Maurer, Steel Creek, oil, 9 x 12.

What inspires you to create art? My inspiration comes from appreciating the beauty of nature, the flow of light, and the truth of our natural world.
How would you describe your style? I paint what I see and what I feel, so I would call it representational.
How did you first get interested in art? I had a brother six years older than me who was physically handicapped. Unable to run and play, he spent his days drawing, with me by his side. By the time I entered kindergarten, I could produce drawings beyond my age.
Where did you study art? Because it felt more like drawing than painting, I started with pastels, studying with Signature members of the Pastel Society of America. After achieving Signature membership status myself, I decided to try using a brush and attended many workshops with oil painters I admired.
What is your creative process like? My focus has always been on creating small studies with photos as backup. I seldom have a successful piece that didn’t start with a notan [a basic design focused on light and dark values] that I was satisfied with.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? In 2004 I was awarded a residency at Buffalo National River in north-central Arkansas. For three weeks I explored, painted, and photographed the bluffs, forests, streams, and valleys. Another highlight was winning the Gold Medal at the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional show in 2018.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? I am active with our local art club, and I enjoy gardening and traveling, always looking for inspiration for paintings.
Where can collectors find your work? www.judymaurer.com.

Marz Doerflinger

Marz Doerflinger, Into the Reach, oil/aluminum, 4 x 6.

Marz Doerflinger, Into the Reach, oil/aluminum, 4 x 6.

What inspires you to create art? Nature. I split my time between the Sonoran Desert and Puget Sound. The contrast between those two environments gives me constant inspiration.
How would you describe your style? I consider myself an abstract impressionist who is constantly seeking new ways to describe the landscape.
How did you first get interested in art? I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. My family favored museums over amusement parks, so I was exposed to great art from the beginning.
Where did you study art? I received a degree in fine art from Washington State University. After graduating I pursued a career in graphic design and digital media. I continued to develop my fine-art skills by attending workshops.
What is your creative process like? My plein-air paintings are done with a palette knife in oils and are rarely larger than 8 by 10 inches. In the studio I paint large abstract acrylics. I like to apply the lessons that I learn while painting outdoors to my abstract work. Likewise, I think my abstract work informs and influences my outdoor landscapes.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? The most life-changing highlight was being selected as an artist-in-residence in Truth or Consequences, NM. I spent a month working alongside 10 diverse artists trying to capture the spirit of the Land of Enchantment.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? I’m an avid endurance athlete. I’m out on the trails running distances of 100 miles or more. I also spend many hours a week on my mountain bike, exploring new places to paint and feeling the landscape through physical exertion.
Where can collectors find your work? Art House Designs, Olympia, WA; www.marzdoerflinger.com.

Manon Sander

Manon Sander, Fixer Upper, oil, 20 x 16.

Manon Sander, Fixer Upper, oil, 20 x 16.

What inspires you to create art? Rather than looking for a certain subject, I’m much more interested in capturing the quality of light, which has been an endless source of fascination for me.
How would you describe your style? I consider myself a contemporary impressionist.
How did you first get interested in art? Music, theater, and the visual arts were an important part of my upbringing in Germany. My desire to become an oil painter, however, traces back to standing slack-jawed in front of a Ken Auster painting in a gallery in Carmel, CA. His was the first, and one of the best, painting workshops I ever took.
Where did you study art? For three years I studied at Marin Art School in Novato, CA. After that I took numerous workshops with artists whose work I admired.
What is your creative process like? I start out by doing a four-value thumbnail sketch. Next, I lay down a colorful underpainting to establish a value pattern and temperature relationships. Then I adjust my colors. I finish up by addressing edges, utilizing them to lead the eye through the painting.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? I like to socialize with friends and family. I love being outdoors walking the beach, swimming, and occasionally scuba diving. I also love to travel, ski, snowboard, read, and garden. And I love to zoom around on my little mint-green Vespa named Pistachio.
Where can collectors find your work? Lost Art Gallery, St. Augustine, FL; Arsenault Studio & Banyan Arts Gallery, Naples, FL; The Village Art Studios, Tequesta, FL; www.manonsander.com.

Mark Bowles

Mark Bowles, As the Light Sets, acrylic, 36 x 36.

Mark Bowles, As the Light Sets, acrylic, 36 x 36.

What inspires you to create art? Beautiful Mother Nature. I regularly travel throughout the West and Southwest, drawing inspiration from the skies, colors, terrain, temperature, and vastness of the land.
How would you describe your style? Contemporary representational, walking the line to abstraction. I like representing the landscape and yet changing it up; that is the freedom of creativity.
How did you first get interested in art? My mother was an artist, and she encouraged me with classes in painting, drawing, and ceramics for many years. Having a horse as a teenager, and experiencing the freedom of riding, really locked into my psyche the need to venture into open spaces.
Where did you study art? I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland with honors in painting.
What is your creative process like? My creative process usually begins by either revisiting photos I’ve taken or just starting with an outline of paint on a large canvas. Then I spend a fair amount of time manipulating the colors until I achieve a sense of balance.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? I am entering my 50th year of painting. I am still successfully painting full time, am represented by numerous galleries nationally, and am in the permanent collections of six museums—that’s my source of pride professionally.
Where can collectors find your work? Canyon Road Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM; Coda Gallery, Palm Desert, CA; Dean Day Gallery, Houston, TX; Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ; SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Slate Gray Gallery, Telluride, CO; Trove Gallery, Park City, UT; www.markbowles.com.

Amy Evans

Amy Evans, Summer Sky, oil, 10 x 12.

Amy Evans, Summer Sky, oil, 10 x 12.

What inspires you to create art? I feel a connection with nature and how it touches my soul.
How would you describe your style? My style is tonal at times as well as impressionistic.
How did you first get interested in art? I have loved drawing and painting from as early as I can remember. I still remember sketching trees from my cabin window at Girl Scout camp. One of my early Christmas gifts from Santa was an easel and tempera paints.
Where did you study art? I received a bachelor’s degree in art from Rhodes College, Memphis, TN. I have also studied at the Memphis College of Art and the Art Students League of Denver, and I have taken workshops from painters including Kevin Macpherson, Frank LaLumia, Albert Handell, Doug Dawson, and Fran Larsen.
What is your creative process like? Painting en plein air is where I feel I can gather the magic and emotion of the scene. Sometimes it isn’t possible to finish a painting while in nature, so with the aid of reference photos and carefully written notes, I am able to keep that feeling I want the painting to portray.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? The singer Judy Collins purchased one of my paintings at a juried plein-air exhibition in Denver—I missed meeting her by just a few minutes. Having regular drawing sessions with artists Susan Lyon and Scott Burdick when I lived in North Carolina was another highlight. Achieving Master Signature Emeritus membership status in Women Artists of the West and Signature status in Plein Air Artists of Colorado are also gratifying.
Where can collectors find your work? Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, CO; Two Old Crows Gallery, Pagosa Springs, CO; www.amyevansart.com.

Melanie Ferguson

Melanie Ferguson, Fall Leaves, acrylic, 16 x 20.

Melanie Ferguson, Fall Leaves, acrylic, 16 x 20.

What inspires you to create art? My passion for nature. I live in a small mountain town, and my studio looks out on open country and mountain views that inspire me every day.
How would you describe your style? I have a loose, intuitive style. I love to explore different techniques, styles, color combinations, and textures.
Where did you study art? I have taken many classes and workshops with great teachers, including Kevin Macpherson.
What is your creative process like? I take lots of photos, paint small studies outdoors, and search for color combinations I want to explore. I mix color and create abstract patterns. I look at the patterns and see certain things I want to bring out.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? There have been many great moments, starting with having shows at Schomburg Gallery in Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to travel and paint in France and Italy. I was chosen to be part of Xanadu Gallery’s podcast on how to get into galleries. And I had a solo show of my florals in 2019 in Salt Lake City.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? One of my big loves is traveling and experiencing different cultures. I also love gardening, reading, hiking, skiing, boating, and playing ball with my golden retriever, Joey.
Where can collectors find your work? Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; www.melaniefergusonart.com.

Julia Munger Seelos

Julia Munger Seelos, Foggy Beach, oil, 24 x 24.

Julia Munger Seelos, Foggy Beach, oil, 24 x 24.

What inspires you to create art? I grew up in Kentucky and had total freedom to explore the woods around our home. The freedom of being outside has always brought me joy, and I try to capture that.
How did you first get interested in art? I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I remember other little kids in kindergarten watching me draw.
Where did you study art? I earned a scholarship to Rhode Island School of Design. I went on to study industrial design at the University of Cincinnati and illustration at San José State University.
What is your creative process like? My process is the same whether outside or in the studio. I use a limited palette and draw the composition with a thin wash of ultramarine and alizarin, then block in the large dark shapes and gradually work up to the lighter values. I try to finish a piece in one session, keeping that plein-air freshness.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? I have been invited five times to paint in the Grand Canyon Celebration of Art. I was honored to win first place in the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s Best of Plein Air show. I also won the Artists’ Choice Award at the North Lake Tahoe Plein Air Festival. I am a Signature member of the American Impressionist Society and the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association, and a member of the California Art Club and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? I love swimming and travel.
Where can collectors find your work? Viewpoints Gallery, Los Altos, CA; www.juliaseelosgallery.com.

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell, A Simpler Time, oil, 22 x 28.

Lisa Mitchell, A Simpler Time, oil, 22 x 28.

What inspires you to create art? The color and quality of light as it moves across the land.
How would you describe your style? I try to represent the inherent quality of the subjects I paint.
How did you first get interested in art? When I was a child I loved to read. I could picture the characters and events of the book so clearly in my mind’s eye. I would then create small drawings based on the stories I read.
Where did you study art? I studied illustration and graphic design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. I’ve also taken many workshops with painters like Richard McKinley, Kenn Backhaus, Kim English, David Leffel, Marc Hanson, Albert Handell, Matt Smith, and Scott Christensen.
What is your creative process like? I go hiking, painting on location and taking photographs. I often take the idea of a scene back to the studio and reinvent the scene, so it becomes more about how I want it to be than how it actually appeared.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? I love teaching, taking my weekly group of students outside to paint on location. I’ve participated in many plein-air events and invitationals. I’m fortunate to have been juried into the prestigious Washington Society of Landscape Painters.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? Spending time with my family. I also like to spend time in my garden.
Where can collectors find your work? McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD; www.lisamitchellstudio.com.

Amos Westmoreland

Amos Westmoreland, Whose Woods These Are…, oil, 30 x 24.

Amos Westmoreland, Whose Woods These Are…, oil, 30 x 24.

What inspires you to create art? I want to bring awareness to the beauty of everyday, mundane scenes in nature. As an artist, I acquired an appreciation for the beauty of gray, barren trees in the winter while driving along the interstate.
How would you describe your style? I’m a modern impressionist landscape painter who works in a very loose style, using a palette knife to apply bold color.
How did you first get interested in art? Even in grade school, I was interested in art. But only after retiring from my first career did I really follow my dream of making art, and now I can’t imagine my life without it.
Where did you study art? I did not study art formally. However, I study every day by observing the effect light has on objects. Neither school nor workshops yields a good artist. As Charles Hawthorne said, “It takes miles and miles of canvas.”
What is your creative process like? I believe creativity is more akin to spirituality than a process. Though I consider myself very creative, I can’t describe creativity in terms of a process. Creativity cannot be taught.
What have been some of the highlights of your career? The extreme joy when people choose a piece of my art to display in their homes. And, meeting so many beautiful, kind, generous artists during my journey.
When you’re not creating art, what else do you enjoy doing? I enjoy being curator for a gallery at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center in Yadkinville, NC, and I love playing tennis and playing jazz piano.
Where can collectors find your work? Alta Vista Gallery, Valle Crucis, NC; www.amoswestmoreland.com.

This story was featured in the June 2020 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2020 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT