[event] American Impressionists Society Exhibition Sept. 28 – Oct 30, 2013 – Charleston, SC!

"Morning... Her Chilled Breath We Feel" by Kenn Backhaus [image]
“Morning… Her Chilled Breath We Feel” by Kenn Backhaus [image]
October and November are fabulous times of the year to visit Charleston. There is usually a lot going on in this art-loving city, but hang on to your hat… Tomorrow the American Impressionists Society (AIS) 14th Annual National Juried Exhibition begins! It’s being held at M GALLERY OF FINE ART  (soon to be renamed PRINCIPLE GALLERY) right here in beautiful Charleston, SC! This show runs from September 28 – October 30, 2013 at 125 Meeting Street. The AIS reception and awards presentation is October 3rd, from 5-8PM and a public reception will be held October 4th from 5-8PM in conjunction with the French Quarter Art Walk. This is one event you won’t want to miss!

Kenn Backhaus, AISM (American Impressionist Society Master) is the Judge of Awards and will be conducting a painting demonstration in the gallery Oct. 4. Personally, I can’t wait for that!

The list of artists who have been juried into this show is amazing. Eric Bowman, Roger Dale Brown, Gene Costanza, Chris GrovesShelby Keefe, Elizabeth Pollie, James Richards, Greg Summers

J U S T   T O   N A M E   A   F E W ! 

There will be demos, workshops, and receptions… Gather your friends and head to M Gallery! Like them on Facebook to keep up with the latest, or join their mailing list!

Here is the AIS SHOW GALLERY… just look at these paintings! It’s like a dream come true for this many wonderful paintings (and artists) to be in one city!

View the AIS prospectus, lots of great information!

A blip from a newsletter from M GALLERY OF FINE ART:

A few quick thoughts on American Impressionism and Contemporary Realism. As we unpack over 200(!) boxes containing the very best recent work in the genre, it occurred to us Impressionism IS the original Realism. All of these ‘isms’ aside, the thrust of the expression is on being true to the moment and leaving the viewer with an enduring mood or narrative- as does Contemporary Realism. This upcoming show celebrates the incredibly varied voices that differentiate American Impressionism from its more intellectual European counterpoint. During the rise, fall, and re-introduction of AI, American Impressionists were witness to familiar surroundings in rapid, dynamic transformation from agrarian to industrialized communities. The general malaise of wartime and the Depression led many an Impressionist to evoke a more nostalgic and familiar life. Rapid brushstrokes and dynamic color were two marked principles that contemporized the reassuring lines of a more pastoral life and expressed the inner life of the figure. M Gallery is honored to be hosting this multi-faceted show and support the enduring legacy of plein air and Contemporary American Impressionism.
– October 3rd 5-8pm we’ll be toasting the country’s very best Impressionists at M gallery     http://www.americanimpressionistsociety.org/s2013.html

Hope to see you there! Catch you back here tomorrow!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…  Dr Oz’s 5 Step Plan to Prevent Alzheimer’s!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O… Artist to watch… Gary Akers!

Featured Artist… R Gregory Summers!

"In Ailie's Glade" by R Gregory Summers
“In Ailie’s Glade” by R Gregory Summers

R Gregory Summers. Amazing work. Love his biography… We the people like to hear the intimate parts of an artist’s life (not to be too nosey) as well as info about your art, who your mentors are, who your fellow painters are… and Summers shares with us his personal story as well as the story about his art career. So interesting.

“In Ailies’s Glade” won 2nd place (oils) in the 2013 STEM Plein Air competition and it will soon be on its way to Charleston, SC – and will be included in the American Impressionist’s Show this year which will be at M Gallery of Fine Art in Charleston, SC. The show runs September 28 – October 30, 2013 with the opening reception on October 4th in conjunction with the French Quarter Art Walk!

Read a blip about Greg (from his website):

Inside the artist,

Born in the Flint Hills of Kansas, the oldest boy in a family of 8. Summers has always had a love for art, and the great outdoors, spending much of his youth on outdoor excursions, or indoors with pen or brush in hand.

Enlisting in the USAF in 1974 paid his way through college on the GI Bill earning an Assosiciates Degree in Commercial Art. Fresh out of school Summers married his 1st wife and began his professional career as an artist at Hallmark Cards Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri.

During the next 20 plus years, he raised 4 children being very active in their upbringing, and helping in community service projects, scouting, coaching, sports.

The 21st century brought many changes in his life. The biggest was the realization that alcohol was not the cure-all that he thought it was, and that the only way forward was to put it behind. With this knowledge, a new marriage to a loving and supportive wife Summers was able to focus on what he did best, and that is paint.

Through a continuing education course at the Kansas City Art Institute he was introduced to painting “en Plein air”. This was the real turning point in his art. Never before had he considered going outdoors to paint. It was the spark that was needed to rekindle the fire that had almost been smothered.

It is the love of the land and the people that he went on to form the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, and Brush Creek Art Walk. Sharing his visions of a world joined as one through art.

We go outdoors to enjoy the land, or stay inside to avoid it. It is Gregory Summers an outdoor artist that brings the outside in.

We look forward to welcoming Summers to Charleston – be sure to check out his website! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Image: RGregorySummers.com  


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…  Monhegan Island… Artists Everywhere!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O… Artist Ken Auster’s book: Intellect and Passion!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Tom Balderas!

“Still life with purple brush” by Tom Balderas – Image: Sharp Art Gallery

Fred and I were meandering through M Gallery in Charleston, SC where we came upon a piece by Tom Balderas, it was so striking. Those dark darks next to the light lights just pull you right into the painting, and those bits of white where the canvas shows through, I love that! I found this piece at the Sharp Art Gallery (which appears to be strictly an online gallery which is quite interesting… if you’re an artist you might want to check it out!)… If you’re located in Charleston, SC (or are visiting), Tom does have work at M Gallery, stop in a take a look!

This is the painting that recently sold, very striking…


“Child and still life” by Tom Balderas – Image: M Gallery

And now, for the best part (other than the actual paintings)… the “About” Tom Balderas… this is so interesting! AND SO CREATIVE, but what else would you expect? From the Sharp Art Gallery website:


Third son of four. painter. writer. musician. photographer. thinker. creator.
listener. observer. human. social. loner. understanding. misunderstanding. giver. taker. wanter. perfectionist. imperfect. mess. father.

Found himself dwelling upon an emotional and artistic precipice since birth.

Growing up in Torrance, California, Tom Balderas lived only a few miles from the ocean, which has made nature, along with his family, the main inspiration of his paintings.

Balderas attended Loyola Marymount University, where he studied film production and art. After graduating, he worked several years for NBC Productions and made many made-for-television movies.

He then began studying under the tutelage of his photographer father, as well as Joseph Mendez, master painter and teacher. Balderas considers the time spent studying with Mendez to be the cornerstone of his growth as a painter. 

Also, studied with charles, anne, jennifer, daniel, sophia, lynne, joseph, harold, zen, elliott, starbuck, dan, andrew, dr. block, zinaida, david, e. charlton, michael, rose, ken, walter, selden, chris, armin, joaquin, edward, bejar, valentin, george, edward, jesus, pierre, rachel, mort, to name but a few of so many.

Works towards progress.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Gene Costanza!

Gene Costanza, artist at M Gallery of Fine Art {image}

Isn’t this a fabulous Charleston scene? I remember many years ago it seemed like so many of the paintings were the same… most of the Charleston paintings were pastel in color and all the same in subject matter… things have been changing for years now. The paintings are more modern even though they’re not contemporary… I think it’s the influence of working plein air for many artists. There is nothing like that quick loose style, it’s fabulous. This painting was done by artist Gene Costanza. Happened to see on Facebook that he’s in town painting right now…  (as I write this)… that’s one thing about our city. You can be walking around downtown and run into artists set up on the street painting. I still marvel at that. I love to watch someone paint. Everyone approaches it so differently. There are truly SO MANY GREAT ARTISTS it blows my mind. We are very fortunate to have such a strong art community. We support the arts and all the different events… our galleries work hard here in Charleston to keep the public involved in the art… art walks, receptions, they get very creative, and we are very lucky indeed!

Gene Costanza is an exceptional artist, and I’m thrilled to know that he’s being shown here locally at M Gallery! Check out his work, or his website (or both!)… catch you back here tomorrow!

Image and blip from the artists website:

American, b.1954 
Gene Costanza is a contemporary realist painter of traditional subject matter, focusing primarily on landscape and man’s interaction with it and nature. Equally at home painting “en plein air’ as well as in the studio, Costanza orchestrates paintings that engage the viewer to enter the subject with him by capturing the light and atmosphere.
Over twenty-five years of his life was spent in Law Enforcement in such specialties as SWAT, K9 Handler, K9 Supervisor, Patrol Supervisor and Detective.  About mid career, the desire to return to artistic endeavors surfaced after having been abandoned in his early twenties.  Though dormant, there was a constant underlying desire to again delve into the mysteries of paint, light, and subject matter.  Costanza believes it took a decade and a half of discipline to mold his personal tendencies so that he could study and work as hard as one needs to in the very difficult endeavor of making a good painting.  Costanza retired from law enforcement to become a full-time painter.  
Primarily “self-taught,” he has studied with a number of great contemporary artist/teachers including; Kevin McPherson, Matt Smith, Jeffery Watt, and has a long standing close personal as well as professional friendship with Scott L. Christensen.  It is Christensen whom Costanza credits with most of his growth.  Frequently these two can be found painting, fishing, hunting or just enjoying the fellowship of intimate friendship.
His work is in collections from coast to coast and is included in the permanent collection of the Academy Museum in Easton, Maryland.
Costanza is married and has two grown sons and makes his home in Eugene, OR.

Featured Artist… Robert Spooner!

“Gloucester Morning” by Robert Spooner

I really enjoy Robert Spooner’s work. The golden light in this painting is pure magic! It reminds me of Mackinac Island, MI… so many great paintings to choose from, I couldn’t select only one, sigh…

Robert’s plein air pieces are amazing. In many ways they remind me of the way our friend Tim Bell paints. Fast and loose and with such incredible style. Of course I love the ICE CREAM HOUSE! Matter of fact I would love to pop in that little ice cream house right now… His work has ‘air’, you can feel it. If you get a chance, check out Robert’s website. I look forward to seeing some of his pieces in person at M Gallery in Charleston, SC!

A blip about Robert from his WEBSITE :

Robert Spooner was born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1956. He received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Louisiana Tech University in 1978 and pursued a career in graphic design. It was not until 1998 that he developed an interest in oil painting after having taken it up as a creative antidote to the structured advertising world where he was working as a designer and illustrator. He became further motivated to continue on this path of expression when he enrolled in painting classes at the Denver Art Students League and studied with noted painters Kim English and Quang Ho.

 The dimensions of his canvas are determined by the story needing to be told. Robert works from large shapes in a scene to the small, all the time keeping his values in check. Arriving at the focal point, which in many cases may be a face, he slows down to spend more time on what he considers to be the heart of the painting or story.

 Robert explains that his art is not about any one approach but it is about developing as an artist by exploring various visual approaches. The discoveries he makes along the way are what fuel his desire to be an artist. He also finds inspiration from a number of artists and their works including Quang Ho, Alex Kanevsky, Dan McCaw, Dennis Miller Bunker, Morgan Weistling, Matt Smith, Anders Zorn and Valentin Serov.

 Catch you back here tomorrow!