Featuring… Emerging Artists: Scott Dwyer, Jane Albin and Jerome Rochon!

ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

Recently I have added a Submission to Be Featured page to my blog (at the top). Once you click on it, you’ll see Architect Submission, Artist Submission and Emerging Artist Submission. I would like to share with you three of the Emerging Artist submissions I have received… be sure to check these artists out – and check back with them! It takes a lot to become an artist. A LOT! Sure, it’s “fun”, but it truly is a job. You have to be dedicated, manage your time wisely, and in many cases, still work a full-time job. However an artist reaches his/her peak, I truly believe it’s through struggle, (as Jerome says… DRAW, it’s the foundation!), practice, failure (which you learn from) and humble sincerity.

I’ve included a sample of each artist’s work… click on their name to be taken to their website.

All images (and Bios) via artists website, used with permission…

Town Square by Jane Albin

Town Square by Jane Albin

Jane Albin – As you’ll quickly see, Jane paints in Oil and Watercolor, she also paints Plein Air. Great work Jane! More pen and ink! Very nice!

Jane Albin creates in watercolors, oils and ink.   

A resident of Lewisburg Pennsylvania,  Jane’s subjects range from local street scenes to views of the Susquehanna River and surrounding countryside.   She paints out of doors whenever possible.  
In 2013, she won Artists’ Choice and First Place awards in the Plein Air Camp Hill Quick Draw.  
Two weeks later she won first place at the Gettysburg Festival plein air quick draw.   
She won the Plein Air Camp Hill Quickdraw again in 2014!

Jane worked in fashion design and production after acquiring a BFA from Parsons School of Design in NYC.   While working for Calvin Klein Inc., Jane met and married husband, Bob.   They had two children and started their own children’s clothing company.  Jane and Bob operated KatieCo. for 17 years.   Today, they own and operate the Tawsty Flower B&B.   

Jane currently teaches adult watercolor classes at the Sunbury YMCA Arts Center in Sunbury Pennsylvania.    You can find her most Thursday mornings and some Saturdays at Brushstrokes in Lewisburg. 

Marsh Sunset by Scott Dwyer

Marsh Sunset by Scott Dwyer

Scott Dwyer – Scott has one of the best website I have ever seen for an artist. I was blown away. The importance of having a good website should be very high. Unless you sell your work through galleries, and no one needs to see your work online. These days everyone wants to see your work, read about you, and not just your awards, achievements and shows. People like to know a bit about YOU. It makes buying art from you more personal, and Scott has excelled at this. I am envious of his website, truly I am. Check it out, it’s beautiful, and I love how he mentions his family, his motivation for painting, etc. Stories like this keep us connected to an artist. Great work Scott! Keep on painting, we all look forward to following you!

As an emerging artist, Scott appreciates the challenge and elation that goes into making a piece of art. To an untrained eye, the tasks are masked by the simplicity and beauty of outcome; to those that study, practice, fail, and persevere, the success represents so much more – it represents the enormity of something bigger that culminates inside of a picture frame.

While considered an artist, Scott understands and respects the other titles he wears with pride. Husband, father, and finance professional quickly come to mind. After graduating with a Bachelor of Finance degree, Scott pursued a career in higher education financial administration and later obtained his MBA. It is clear that throughout his life, the quest for knowledge, acceptance of challenge, and the pursuit of the uncharted have been Scott’s hallmarks. He constantly looks for ways to make himself more educated, well-rounded, and cultural, each in an effort to make his life more meaningful. The journey towards becoming an artist is no exception.

Through competing demands, Scott finds solace in the evenings and weekends that provide precious focused time to devote to his craft. He spends that time in a combination of balanced learning and practice. When not at the easel, his artistic education is focused on a litany of art education books, magazines, and digital media. Well-thumbed books and frequently-viewed educational DVDs are only a few of the resources he uses to learn at his own pace. Those physical assets are augmented with online exploration of other artists’ work, attendance at lectures and demonstrations, and exploring galleries whenever possible.This package of educational opportunities complements his self-guided approach to art education, relying on recognized professionals that are willing to share their experience and knowledge. As an extension of that thought, he is actively seeking a mentor that can provide guidance, insight, and support to his artistic journey. For any and all of the above, he is eternally grateful.

As much as Scott understands education provides the foundation for understanding, he is keenly aware that true artistic growth mainly happens behind the brush. Principles of composition, value, color, edge, temperature, and texture culminate in Scott’s impressionistic approach. In particular, he is drawn to the use of broken color and how it takes on a more complex and brilliant visual image seen at a slight distance. Through that process, he has come to love the allure of the brushstroke and how different applications create a variety of visual aspects. Through plein air studies and finished studio pieces, Scott’s artwork continues to advance through exploration and practice of technique. He continually strives for artistic growth.

Scott finds equal inspiration from the landscape and personal relationships. While the connection to the land is obvious in most of his work, the reasons behind some pieces are not. To him, this is the part that is most satisfying, allowing him to deploy his craft as a means for strengthening relationships that he holds dear. Pieces in the possession of Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, and Chick-fil-a in Durham, North Carolina are examples of this.

After a childhood spent in suburban Maryland, Scott now resides in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his wife and two sons. Their contact is his most important influence and source of inspiration.

St. Bernadette by Jerome Rochon

St. Bernadette by Jerome Rochon

Jerome Rochon – This guy can draw like no one’s business! He isso right that if you want to be an artist you need to DRAW. A LOT! He does, and it shows, check out his drawings, they are beautiful. The DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts) is a beautiful place to visit, if you’re ever in Detroit, be sure to check it out! You won’t be sorry! Great work Jerome!

I love to draw and paint. In ’91 I got a BFA from Wayne State University in Detroit. Almost twenty years later through Saginaw Valley State, I was certified to teach K – 12 Art in Michigan. Between times in college, I got a real education drawing perspectives for the top architectural illustrator in the Midwest, my dad, Richard Rochon. He gave me on the job training – the best opportunity to learn to draw. Now I teach other people’s kids how to make art.

I would like to share this bit of advice, from Jerome’s website:

Are you an artist?  Then you know how important it is to draw – a lot.  Do you want to be an artist?  You must start with drawing.  There is no other way to excel.

“Ars longa, vita brevis.”  Very roughly translated: To learn art takes a lot of time.  So begin!

Good advice!

On another note: Thinking about those who have served and kept the country safe. Keep them in your thoughts this Memorial Day! Catch you back here tomorrow!


ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

A sunny yellow start (or end!) to your day! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Crobsy’s Fish & Shrimp!

ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

Crosby’s Fish & Shrimp on Folly Road is one fabulous place! Once in a while they have wonderful dock parties on Friday from 6-10PM with fresh shrimp/fish cooked and served on the dock! Live music, great company – what more could you ask for? Get there around sunset and get some stunning photos while you’re at it! Check out their Facebook page to see if there is a dock party coming up soon!

Check out Crosby’s for your fresh seafood! Is there anything better??

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Gayle Levee!

Botanica by Gayle Levee 22x38" Oil

Botanica by Gayle Levee
22×38″ Oil

Gayle Levee, an artist from Nashville, TN! Stunning work! I love the harmony in this painting, the colors, the subject, it’s all just so perfect. She has such a great style! Head over to her website and check out her work! Then you’ll see what I mean!

Gayle also teaches Workshops & Classes… what a fantastic opportunity!

Read a bit about Gayle, from her website:

Gayle Levée, a third generation artist, was formed by the expanses of the West. Born in Montana, her artistic eye was sharpened by her experiences while growing up in the high, clear air and brisk winds of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. During her studies in Painting at the University of Denver, her work found a following in galleries located in Estes Park, Taos, and Santa Fe. She has since studied with Robert Douglas Hunter and Matt Smith. 

Levée’s artistic style found its true voice in New England, where she began mastering the techniques of painting encompassed by a movement known as “The Boston School of Impressionism“. Boston School impressionists emphasize carefully planned compositions based upon accurate drawing, bold use of color, and the delightful interplay of light and shadow to create atmosphere and depth within a painting. But there is more to what The Boston School offered and demanded of artists; it also developed artists who could teach.

The Boston School carries with it an adaptation of “French atelier” methods of instruction. The techniques, which make impressionist art stand out, are passed from one Master to the next through gentle and intense tutelage. Levée’s artistic family had given her the foundations central to become an artist of The Boston School, but there was an even more rewarding place for her within the movement. Gayle flowered into not only an accomplished artist because of The Boston School, but she also fully embraced the movement’s charge, later described by a mentor as, “to never know something quite as well as when you can teach it”.

Levée became a link in a chain of American impressionist artists produced by The Boston School while studying under Robert Douglas Hunter. According the the The Guild of Boston Artists, “if there were a brick and mortar educational institution called ‘The Boston School’, then Robert Douglas Hunter would surely be their Dean. Mr. Hunter has personally taught over forty successful, accomplished artists, many of whom have accepted the mantle of developing the next generation of American Impressionists.” Levée is privileged to be included in that number.

Fine Art, as practiced by Impressionists, relies heavily upon experiences seen by the artists in real life and space. Too many paintings strive to be photographic and lose depth and meaning because of it. The Boston School of impressionism relies upon capturing that which is seen by the artist’s eye, whether it be in the setting of a still-life, a plein-air landscape, a portrait, or sketch. Nothing can replace the experience captured by the artist better than “being there” and letting the shadows, colors, and form work their magic for the viewer.

Levée’s work in fine art continued while she also pursued a career in commercial illustration and even as a political cartoonist. The drive to create Fine Art, and to teach it, were always grounded in her foundations learned from The Boston School. She taught at Monserrat College of Art, The Art Institute of Boston, and later at the Tennessee Art League, the Centennial Club of Nashville, Cheekwood, and Plaza of Nashville. Many of her students have developed into Fine Artists in their own right, thus adding to the lineage of American Impressionism.

Levée continues to enjoy commercial success in sales of paintings produced at her studios located in Middle Tennessee. Her work is represented and distributed through galleries across the country. Gayle also has produced a number of private commissioned pieces.

An artist’s biography is a difficult thing to capture in words. Many artists will list Juried Awards they have won and exhibitions in which they have participated. Levée’s listing of such accomplishments is impressive; she has been the subject of articles in American Artistmagazine and has a following of students from across the globe because of her award-winning DVD instructional series entitled “Learn and Master Painting with Gayle Levée”.

However, the true accomplishments of a successful artist lie in how her actions and art have influenced the world. Levée’s art is enjoyed by hundreds within their homes, by people she will never meet, because the work is worth keeping in special places. For those collector’s of Levée’s art, she is grateful and knows those pieces will endure because it speaks to those owners in special ways. New offerings of her work appear frequently in her galleries.

Further exciting events are unfolding in the “Great Happenings” of Levée’s art. In addition to her exquisite course curricula of Boston School techniques offered in her wildly popular classes, Gayle is offering innovative, significant, and personalized workshops in exciting, scenic locations in near the future. Ranging in locale from Nashville, to New England’s Cape Anne, to Colorado, to Civil War Battlefields, to even Paris (a year or so down the road), the Boston School is alive under the direction of Gayle Levée Fine Art.

Fine Art isn’t a “thing”. Fine Art is a verb. It is experienced, it is shared, it is felt, it isn’t common. It is beautiful.

Perhaps the most expressive statement about art, the sharing of it, the enjoyment of it, and the creation of it, can be summed up in Gayle’s own words….

Would You Join Me?

Image via GayleLevee.com, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

House Plan: Twitchin’ Minnow by John Tee!

Classic Design...

Classic Design…

John Tee. Architect. Brilliant house plans. Each has such a great layout, no wasted space! I’m excited to be featuring his house plans, they are stunning, and you will be thrilled. Trust me!

The Twitchin’ Minnow (1376) Plan is 1,920 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms – just wait until you see the plan.

Main Floor

Main Floor

The main floor space is dynamite! Look at that wonderful covered porch. I think it’s brilliant how it’s along part of the front of the house and the side. You walk into the kitchen. I know some of you will say, “I don’t want anyone to see my dirty dishes”, but in reality, the kitchen space has become more and more important to us over the years, not only as a place to cook a meal, but as a place to gather, to participate together in making a meal, to visit with friends or family members. AND… many kitchens are truly show places. One of the best places in your house! I like the kitchen sink looking out the front window. It seems like I’m always at my kitchen sink, either washing dishes or washing fruit, or doing something… I would like to be looking out the front window!

The great room and dining room are off the kitchen, separate, yet very much together. I think it’s wonderful to have a screened porch off the living/dining space! I like that the master suite is on the opposite side of the home. Very private!



Upstairs are two bedrooms that share a loft area, each with their own bathrooms, one with a tub, the other with a shower. That is flexibility at its finest!

Optional Terrace Level Walkout Basement

Optional  – Terrace Level Walkout Basement

Now… if you’re saying, ugh, I love this plan, but need more bedrooms… here you go! An optional (not included in the square footage I listed) terrace level walkout basement with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. What more could you ask for??

Read a bit about John Tee – from his website:

John Tee, Architect

Growing up in the South, John Tee has a deep appreciation for the rich history of Southern domestic architecture and combines over 30 years of experience as a licensed architect with hands-on knowledge of home construction. In addition to designing custom homes, John has also been a long time contributor to Southern Living magazine and has designed four of their annual Southern Living Idea Houses. His work has also been featured in Cooking Light, Progressive Farmer and Coastal Living magazines.

John has been or is affiliated with the American Institute of ArchitectsNational Association of Home Builders and the Institute of Classical Architecture.

All images via JohnTee.com, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Gage Opdenbrouw!

Studio Interior Incorporating Constant Revisions and the Passing of Time by Gage Opdenbrouw 24x12" Oil on Canvas

Studio Interior Incorporating Constant Revisions and the Passing of Time by Gage Opdenbrouw 24×12″ Oil on Canvas

Gage Opdenbrouw. I am mesmerized by this guys window paintings. They are out of this world and so interesting. He’s giving you a glimpse into his space, and a wonderful space it is. What I love…. The darkness in the foreground, with the strokes where light is hitting the floor, the flower, and the window in the distance – and of course that great light coming from the window on the right. Stunning!

First Storm of the Winter by Gage Opdenbrouw 16x9.5" Oil on Panel

First Storm of the Winter by Gage Opdenbrouw
16×9.5″ Oil on Panel

Simple, peaceful, makes me want to be sitting there with a good book, listening to the snow hit the window, or maybe hear the wind howl, while I’m inside nice and toasty. Love that plant. The light on it is amazing.

Gage also teaches, and wow, would I ever like to spend some time learning from him! He’s got such a cool style! So, if you’re in the San Fran area, check it out! He’s got so many stunning paintings and such a great style! I love his use of color and how he paints ordinary things (window) and makes them extraordinary!

Read a bit about Gage, Check out his website for a little more… engageingart.com – also check out the NEWS tab for more wonderful paintings!

A Bay Area artist, Gage Opdenbrouw was born and raised in San Jose, California, who lives, works, and teaches in San Francisco. He is a painter whose work evinces many interests and influences.  Regardless of the style or subject, he aims to distill his images to a point where there is a powerful emotional resonance.

He paints primarily in oil, and the vast majority of his works involve the figure or the landscape in one way or another. Opdenbrouw’s paintings comprise several distinct, yet interrelated bodies of work.

In addition to his studio work, he also teaches painting & drawing both in a private capacity, and at the Sharon Art Studio, where he teaches classes for adults, and NCMACC, where he shares his love of art with children, both in San Francisco.

At the ripe young age of 32 his paintings have been the subject of ten solo exhibitions, and over forty group, juried, and 2 person shows in museums and galleries around the country.

 All images via engageingart.com, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

How To Make Lasagna… Step-by-step!

ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

Lasagna. One of my favorites! I can remember my mom making this when I was a kid. It was my all time favorite! Everyone thinks Lasagna is so time consuming, BUT, it doesn’t have to be! It makes quite a bit, and leftovers, ahhh, yum! You can click on the link below to print the recipe, and then jump down and check out the quick recap so you can see for yourself, it’s not hard!

I tried to post this back in the winter, however… it came out of the oven, it rested and WE ATE IT! NO. PHOTO. Sigh…  therefore the time lapse ;)

Click HERE to print just the recipe as shown below (no photos and all my blah, blah, blah)

ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

A quick run through with photos…

You can buy no boil lasagna noodles or the regular kind that you boil… I tried the no boil but they were weird (to me), so I stick with the regular kind. Boil the lasagna noodles and let them drain…

I buy the kind you cook...

I buy the kind you cook…

Add cooked Ground Beef or Italian Sausage/Onion to the two jars of marinara sauce (I use tomato basil flavor)… (and I use chicken Italian Sausage). You can also use homemade sauce, which I have done, but it’s hard to tell the difference, so… make it easy on yourself!

Use Ground Beef or Italian Sausage

Use Ground Beef or Italian Sausage

Mix up the Cottage Cheese (not as rich as Ricotta, I like Cottage Cheese much better, but you can use the other, really it’s whatever you like!), Egg and Parmesan…

This is what makes it so special!

This is what makes it so special!

Begin layering, start by putting a small amount of sauce (so noodles don’t stick) to bottom of lasagna pan, spread it around, then top with Lasagna Noodles, Cottage Cheese mixture, Mozzarella Cheese, then (as shown below) start layer two, Lasagna, Cottage Cheese, etc.

Begin layer two...

Begin layer two…

You’ll end up with this! Owie! The fabulous smell of this baking is enough to drive you crazy. Bake it, then be sure to let it rest 10-15 minutes – good luck with that part, it’s not easy!

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Sandra Stevens!

Balancing Act by Sandra Stevens 20x20 Oil

Balancing Act by Sandra Stevens
20×20 Oil

First off, I have to say, that Sandra Stevens is such a neat person. I haven’t met her, but just from the emails that have gone back and forth, she’s someone I would like to be friends with. She truly loves what she does and it shows! Each painting is wonderful and very different. It brings a smile for sure!

Be sure to check out Sandra’s paintings, and also her blog! It’s fabulous!

I had to add one more painting… Rose at Twenty-Five… stunning, isn’t it? I would say that Sandra is very connected to the subject matter she paints. Stunning!

Rose at Twenty-Five by Sandra Stevens 15x30" Oil

Rose at Twenty-Five by Sandra Stevens
15×30″ Oil

Read a bit about Sandra from her website:

I paint what I love.

Animals and art have always been the two constants in my life. I grew up on a ranch in Texas, and the livestock and the land are forever a part of my soul.

As soon as I could hold a pencil, I was drawing the horses and cattle on our ranch, and later received private art lessons as a child.

After attending a small rural college, I entered the corporate world and also began a career as a fine-art photographer. When the photographic realm turned digital and became 100% computer-dependent, I sold my darkroom and returned to painting — where, with just a few colors, an artist can almost bring a scene to life — no electricity required!

Other than a few lessons or workshops, my art education comes from observation and practice.

I’m often asked why cattle are my main subject — that’s because they are what I know and care about. My husband and I have several Texas Longhorns on our ranch near Columbus, Texas . These animals connect me to the land and to my own roots. So, it is no surprise they naturally become the subjects of many of my paintings.

When painting in a realistic style, I want the viewer to relate to the same beauty and character in these animals as seen through my eyes. And, when painting in a whimsical manner, I strive to bring a smile or laugh to the viewer. And always, no matter how or what I paint, my wish is to be successful in conveying my vision.

I am very blessed and grateful to be able to support myself doing what I love, and I am honored when a collector chooses to give one of my paintings a home on their wall. Creating my art fulfills me. It gets no better than that.

Images via SandraStevensArt.com, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Charleston Photo: South Battery!

ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

Just look at these grand, historic, jaw-dropping homes in Charleston, SC. Each one more stunning than the next. I love these palm trees. This photo gives you a glimpse of the magnitude of some of the WOW places in Charleston! This location is South Battery!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Charleston Photo: Broad Street in Shadow

ArtFoodHome.com | barbara stroud

Another cool Broad Street photo! I like the striking contrast, and how the palms appear so dark against the bright sky!

Have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!