The Conference On The Front Porch at Plein Air 2017

Recently I heard about a very “Art, Food, Home” type event. It’s called “The Conference on the Front Porch” and it’s being held at The Mill at Plein Air – in Taylor, MS – so if you are anywhere near Mississippi and want to be part of something really cool, you may want to check this out. This event is October 18-19, 2017.

Here’s a quick summation from Campbell McCool:

Our conference focuses on the significance of what the front porch represents. What forces drove it out of popularity after WWII. What brought it roaring back. How communities changed as a result.

This year John T. Edge is keynote speaker – head of Southern Foodways Symposium. Bill Dunlap is speaking on the front porch and art. Scott Baretta on how the blues came to be as a result of the front porch. Cooter Ramsay, (from Beaufort), on the resurgence of front porch communities.

As you’ll see from their website, this event celebrates the front porch – music & food, but even more than that – there are going to be some great speakers including:
John T Edge (writer and more), Scott Barretta (blue’s historian), William Dunlap (artist and sculptor), John Maxwell (theater), Cooter Ramsey (architect with Allison Ramsey Architects), Jay Watson (Professor of Faulkner Studies), Curtis Wilkie (journalist, college professor and historian), Tricia Walker (singer/songwriter), Garlan Gudger, JR (owner of Southern Accents – the South’s largest collection of architectural antiques), Michael Dolan (journalist, television writer/producer and author) and Ralph Eubanks (author). Read more about each of these speakers on their website!

This conference is open to architects, developers, planners, social historians and everyone who loves a porch. I usually try to feature house plans with at least one porch. Porches are vital living spaces – a place to congregate with friends or neighbors, a place to have your morning coffee and read the paper, or a place to spend the day. I grew up with a house with a porch overlooking the river in Michigan. In the summer it seems watching the river, the boats, the activity is much more fun than being inside watching the television.

Registration for this unique event include six meals, an evening porch concert and a porch play. This is so creative and sounds like such a good time!

Click HERE to register – this is the second year of this conference and it’s a hit! Registration is limited to the first 180 people who sign up.

Wondering where to stay – oh, so beautiful!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Image via, used with permission…



Featured Artist: Philip Frey!

Tandem by Philip Frey 24×24″ Oil

Philip Frey. I’ve been an admirer of his work for many years. His paintings have always been something special. I love the movement and vibrancy in this painting. The hair high in the air mid-jump. The reflections in the water are stunning – this is fabulous!

I love all of Philip’s subjects. He paints interiors that are so wonderful (go see!) – as are all the paintings he creates. This one stood out as different to me. Fabulous!

View more of Philip’s work via these links:

Website  |  Instagram  |  Workshops  |  Exhibitions

Read a bit about Philip, from his website:

Philip Frey is a visual artist whose colorist and painterly work is focused on the here and now, the feeling or connection to his everyday experience: evocative colors; unexpected light and the sublime quality of ‘ordinary’ objects and surroundings. His work address our relationship to visual space and the paintings surface by gently asking us to observe, to look again and again. He invites us to ‘walk through’ the painting, from dark to light, from enclosed to open spaces, from shape to shape…to enjoy the indescribable patterns, shapes, colors, brush strokes and marks on the canvas.

Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist and has been featured in many publications including: Art New England, Art of Acadia, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review and the Maine Sunday Telegram. The University of Maine Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of his work in 2016. Currently, his work is held internationally with prominent private collectors and the corporate collections, including that of writer Harlan Coben, Rep. Chellie Pingree & Donald Sussman, Dick Wolf Films and the University of Maine Museum of Art. He will be featured in 2017 exhibitions at Carver Hill Gallery, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Edgewater Gallery and Maine Art Gallery.

Philip has studied with artist Alan Bray and graduated from Syracuse University in 1990 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting. He maintains a full-time studio practice nestled in the woods along bold coast of downeast Maine and teaches select painting workshops each year. Continue reading HERE

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

Featured Artist: Guy Corriero!

Watercolor by Guy Corriero  18×24″  – Available at Camden Falls Gallery

Guy Corriero. An artist with wonderful paintings! His seascapes are legendary. Whether oil or watercolor they capture the tumultuous seas so beautifully. Of course that isn’t the only subject that Guy paints, he has some beautiful Southwestern paintings and many centered around Maine. I am in love with his snowscapes at the moment (heat index 105) – there is an ethereal beauty to them… check them out!

Read a bit about Guy, from his website:

The sea in all it’s calm and fury has always been the most fascinating subject to me. I spent years as a ocean lifeguard on the shores of my home town of Long Beach, New York and that must have had some influence on my work. It was a lot of fun but I also learned to have a deep respect for the ocean.

My formal art education began at the School of Visual Arts and C.W. Post College where I studied painting with Jules Olitski, and sculpture with Pierre Bourdelle. Joining the The United States Marine Corps after graduation led to a series of assigments  eventually illustrating for  the Marine Coprs Gazette Magazine. While working as a commercial artist in New York City I taught figure drawing on a part time basis before joining the full time faculty at The State University of New York at Farmingdale. Seven years later, with a Master’s Degree in Humanities,  I joined the faculty at Herkimer County Community College designing and implementing a fine arts curriculum. Receiving The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was a proud moment in my teaching career.

My wife Sharon and I recently moved to Portland, Maine where I can be seen painting by the sea which is located within minutes from our home.

My professional achievements include signature membership in many watercolor societies including The American Watercolor Society. Most recently I’ve had one person shows in galleries in Maine, New Mexico and San Miguel, Mexico. Seventeen instructional videos covering a wide range of subjects from painting, drawing, sculpture, art history and art appreciation can be obtained from Educational Videos in Huntsville, Texas. Producing them was both fun and educational for me. Pressure is on when you’re in front of a camera. Every once in a while I will teach a class in watercolor and oil painting, most often on Monhegan Island, and Kennebunkport, Maine. For further information about these classes see the Workshop link at the top of this page. (There is so much more to this Bio, it’s FABULOUS… continue reading HERE…)

View more of Guy’s work via these links:
Website  |  Workshop Info

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

Featured Artist: Craig Stephens!

Halved Avocado by Craig Stephens 7×7 Oil – Sold

Craig Stephens. This man is amazing, he can paint anything in the world and he does so with his own twist which adds so much interest! I love his strokes, his use of  color and bits of abstraction. He often paints every day items and he does so with pizazz! Visit his Etsy shop, if you see something you like, place a bid, the painting won’t be around long!

In addition to painting, Craig teaches art. Can you imagine having this kind of influence as a kid? They’re so fortunate! Check out more of Craig’s work and you’ll see what I mean!

See more of Craig’s work via these links:

Blog  |  Instagram  |  Etsy  |  Video (Coming Soon!)

Read a bit about Craig, from his blog:

I am an artist living in Northern California. In 1993 I graduated from U.C. Davis where I took classes from Wayne Thiebaud, Dave Hollowell and Roy DeForest. I currently teach art at Chana High School in Auburn California. On this blog I have posted 1000 paintings in as many days. I took a break from that strict schedule for a couple of years but since the beginning of 2014 I have been completing one small painting on a daily basis. The practice of completing a painting a day suits my disposition and aesthetic. I have also found that modeling this sort of daily practice for my students is important.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via Craig Stephens, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

Featured Artist: Curtis Jaunsen!

Three Apples by Curtis Jaunsen  14×11″  Oil

Curtis Jaunsen. I love the abstract quality in his beautiful paintings, it really jumps out at me. Great light in his paintings. Be sure to check out his work! His lemon still life’s… whoa! Be sure to stop by his website, you’ll be glad you did! Beautiful work! Cool signature too!

View more of Curtis’s work from these links:

Website  |  Facebook  | Instagram

Read a bit about Curtis, from his website:

Curtis Jaunsen grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He studied architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a professional architect for the next twenty years. During this time he spent many hours working as an artist primarily painting abstracts. He had a brief affiliation with the short lived Urban Art Gallery in Midtown Atlanta. 

Artist’s Statement: For as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to the emotional potential of art. I began my career as a full time artist by first spending two years at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. Among the so many valuable lessons I learned, one of the most important was learning to appreciate much more deeply the beauty of light. Now, whether I’m painting landscapes, portraits, or still lifes, whether I’m adhering as closely as possible to nature or exploring the abstract possibilities of paint, I remain enthralled by the beauty of light. Today I live with my family on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, painting in my studio or outside, always seeking to filter nature’s innate beauty through the eyes of an artist. Read more here…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

Featured Artist: Jake Gaedtke!

Aspens by Jake Gaedtke  24×16″  Oil

Jake Gaedtke. Powerful paintings. Aspens is just one example. Look at the magnitude of these trees and the way the light hits their trunks. You can see how deep and dark the surrounding forest is, yet these trees shine. Stunning!

See more of Jake’s work via these links:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Read a bit about Jake, from his website:

As a second grader, Jake was completely lost and separated from the rest of his class as they toured the Detroit Museum of Art. The paintings that surrounded him had Jake so spellbound that he was cut off from his class, and found himself mesmerized in a sea of art. He wanted so much to be able to do the work he was seeing before him on the walls. That desire never left him.

Like most landscape painters, Jake loved the outdoors and he grew up spending a great deal of time camping, fishing, hiking and exploring. As a teenager of sixteen Jake’s parents allowed him to take the two year Famous Artist Course for Young People. A correspondence art course that started him on a path of learning and discovery of the art world. A high school art teacher fresh out of college bellowed the fire inside of Jake through his passion, enthusiasm, and love for drawing, painting, and art history. His personal interest in learning and growing as an artist is something that has never left him. Unfortunately, other teachers and friends convinced Jake of the old stereotype that one cannot make a living as an artist and he took on other career paths including graphic design and advertising. It was still creative and offered a good pay check, but it was fine art that really beckoned him. After years of struggling with his desire Jake finally took classes from the famed illustrator Gene Hoffman at the University of Northern Colorado. They developed a friendship, and through his mentoring and encouragement helped him grow closer to making the break as a full time artist. He was able to do illustration work for a number of clients and advertising firms. Jake spent a lifetime drawing and painting the figure on the side, but always wanted to learn to paint landscapes and the natural world he was so close to. A plein air workshop with the landscape painter Jay Moore finally convinced him that this is what he wanted to do. He was hooked. Jake took two more workshops with Jay when he invited Jake to take his newly formed one-on-one Mentorship program. After five grueling months of extremely hard work and study, Jake’s growth as an artist took a professional turn and he hasn’t looked back since.

After years of painting landscape subjects, Jake’s  interest turned to another passion he has had all his life in the form of seascapes. The Ocean with all it’s moods and mysteries drew Jake into painting seascapes and has added it to his growing genre of subject matter. After living in Colorado for 35 years, he relocated to Bozeman, Montana where he now lives with his wife Janice. Being in Big Sky Country allows Jake to explore and paint the wilds of the Western landscape he loves so much.

Painting from life challenges artists to concentrate every sensory nerve on the information in front of us. We absorb it all, from sight to sound and scent, from temperature to atmosphere – we recreate the experience by channeling those feelings from head and heart to hand, through paint, onto paper and canvas.

My calling as an artist is to share my vision and experience of the natural world and its many marvels. My goal is to couple my knowledge of art history and the learned disciplines of skilled technique with all the emotion I feel “in the moment” when I am painting – to capture that moment of intense awareness for the viewer to experience and enjoy. 

In both my field studies and my studio paintings, I invite the observer to journey with me into a world of total sensory awareness of the countless wonders and manifold expressions of nature.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.


Featured Artist: Nancy Van Blaricom!

Almost Home by Nancy Van Blaricom 24×36″ Oil

Nancy Van Blaricom. Almost Home is a lovely painting that has so much interest. The wonderful tree line, the curve of the road, the FABULOUS light streaking across the road as well as dappled along the side in places. Touches of snow fill the branches. The road looks icy. There is so much feeling in this painting. Fabulous! Be sure to check out Nancy’s website to see the progress shots that she took along the way!

In our correspondence back and forth I can tell you this about Nancy. She has a great personality, and her enthusiasm is infectious. She has such a great attitude towards life. Her paintings will make you smile.

View more of Nancy’s works via these links:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest

Read a bit about Nancy, from her website (also check out her blog!):

After I had long become an adult, I bought some pencils and a drawing book.  Going through the exercises in that book was the extent of my art education for a number of years.  Eventually I felt more capable and took a couple of watercolor classes.  Before I knew it I was winning local awards which boosted my confidence even more.

Many years later I was reading Winston Churchill’s small book Painting as a Pastime, and I felt myself being drawn to oil painting .  Churchill described oil painting with inspiring words that drew me in, “I write no words in disparagement of water-couloirs. But there really is nothing like oils, you have a medium at your disposal which offers real power, if you only find out how to use it”.  By then I couldn’t wait to try oil paints.

I started looking at oil paintings … really looking.  I could see the brushstroke that made a glass object look like the sun was hitting it.  I could see the dappled sunlight coming through the trees … scenes that were there in other mediums, but, not like I was seeing when looking at oil paintings.  I was hooked.  I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  Now I have discovered oils and I love them. Yummy, squishy oil paints. 

When it comes to art it sometimes seems that the years before oil painting have been wasted, but,  I can see that all of my creativity has culminated to this point. I’m grateful for what I’ve accomplished so far and excited to see where the future leads.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via , used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.