I have been hosting art workshops for many years and it has been a wonderful experience working with so many interesting, talented artists and getting to know each a little better outside the workshops. One day, it occurred to me how wonderful it would be if you, too, could get a glimpse into their personal journeys. Out of that thought these interviews were born.
Here, now, in their own words, they share their influences, creative processes and a some of their life stories.
For all of you who love the art journey - Enjoy!
Our interviewer is the gracious Jeannie Ballew - Thank you, Jeannie!
Watercolor and Gouache
Donna has been painting professionally for over twenty years and is as in love with watercolors now as she was on day one. She takes inspiration from the colors around her, as well as in the works of masters like Matisse, Vuillard and Diebenkorn. Her paintings use nontraditional watercolor techniques that emphasize the medium's ability to express color and spatial ideas, perfect for exploring the area between realism and abstraction.
Mark Daniel nelson
Acrylic and Oil
Mark Daniel Nelson approaches painting and teaching in much the same way: He strives to simplify and organize information until it reaches its most potent, elemental form. A student of both representational and non-objective painting, Nelson regularly fuses seemingly incongruous approaches to create new and unexpected results. “I strive for two things,” the artist states in his characteristically blunt manner, “impact and beauty. Eliminate the unnecessary parts and you’re left with much more powerful, beautiful modes of expression.”
Watercolor and Gouache
Jeannie hopes to inspire individual expression and encourage students to go beyond their current work level and aspire to create exhibition quality works. She creates paintings of people as works of art versus formal portraits and developing backgrounds that encourage a story, feeling or purpose to emerge.
MARK DANIEL NELSON
Peggi Kroll Roberts
Oil / Watercolor / Gouache
Using intense color and value to accentuate her subject, Peggi moved into fine art with a bold palette, a love for small paintings and a very loose style that achieves a lot with a few very energetic brush strokes. She prefers to suggest reality than render it.
Pastel / Oil / Watercolor
Growing up in poverty after the fall of Saigon, Cuong's greatest pleasure was finding time to draw. From doing street portraits as a child to Saigon's Academy of Art while in high school and then earning a degree in illustration from San Jose State University after emigrating to the USA in 1991, Cuong was always fascinated by the human face.
Lyn has harbored a lifelong fascination with the landscape. Her love of places that are untamed or overlooked has always been her muse. Originally for Maine she resided in Florida for 35 years and just recently made the move to mid-Maine to be in an enviroment she loves.
Bronze / Marble / Clay / Wood
Jason Arkles is an American sculptor living and working in Florence, Italy. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America.
Scott Conary is a contemporary oil painter living in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter. He believes that every painting, even the humble still life, has a story in it. It’s told by what subject we choose to paint, how we present that subject, and how we paint it.
Dawn Emerson is widely known for her expressive pastels whether her subject is an animal, the human figure or a landscape.
She has worked with pastel since 1992 and enjoys pushing the medium beyond traditional boundaries.
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I began painting with oils at 15, with some trepidation and a lot of encouragement from my teachers Sr. M. Lucia, and William Whitsett. At the age of 18, I received my first portrait commission, which launched my life as a professional artist. I never looked back. Since that time, my career has taken many paths, but oil paint has always been the medium most interesting to me, and still is.
"I’m blessed to be able to find beauty in everything I see. My work has evolved into an observation of sunlight and shadow, and recently I’ve been playing with more adventurous ways to portray light with color, value, and temperature. Along with themed portraiture, a trendy subject with my collectors has been ranch animals. This works rather well because ranch animals are ideal models of sunlight, and as Claude Monet said, ‘The subject matter, my dear good fellow, is the light.’”
Pastel / Oil / Watercolor
Using expressive color, Vianna interprets the world around her to tell a visual story. Whether she is working in pastel, oil or watercolor she’s inspired to capture a moment by painting light and atmosphere to express emotion. Vianna believes painting is a journey of creative study and encourages her students to learn the fundamentals so they express their own artistic voice.
I draw and paint. It is how I express myself - my thoughts and feelings, sense of humor, response and connection to the world, what moves me ... people, light on objects, nature, memories, gratitude for and example of the Ultimate Artist.
Pastel is my favorite medium because it is both a drawing and a painting tool. Drawing is the foundation of everything artists do. Pastel is outstanding for its color and durability.
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Karen is a full time artist and art educator living in Atlanta Georgia with her husband and two children. She considers herself a contemporary landscape painter with a passion for travel and painting on location. Karen teaches pastel painting workshops around the world as well as online instruction through Patreon. She is known for her ability to make art simple, accessible to all and fun.