Featured Artist: Greg LaRock!

Church Hill Alley by Greg LaRock 16x20" Oil
Church Hill Alley by Greg LaRock
16×20″ Oil

Greg LaRock, most of you have probably heard of him. His work is fabulous… crisp and clean. His brush strokes are intentional and his light is incredible! The sunlight dances around this painting, so nice! I love the tips of the fence. Brilliant!

I swear I have featured Greg before, but when I checked… I haven’t… I. Am. Slipping. Read on to find out more about Greg…

Blocked In by Greg LaRock 18x24"  Oil
Blocked In by Greg LaRock
18×24″ Oil – SOLD

Just look at this light! A working area that some wouldn’t think would make a great painting actually makes one of the best paintings! It’s when you paint the atypical that magic appears.  This is amazing!

Greg will be giving a workshop along with Ken DeWaard May 11-13 at Florida’s Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational– click HERE to read more… or click HERE to purchase tickets to attend the workshop!

Read a blip about Greg from his website:

Greg LaRock’s passion is to capture the outdoor landscape and its ever-changing light and beauty. The challenge of depicting the three-dimensional world onto ­canvas is a difficult pursuit, but when it all comes together, it is an extremely rewarding experience. “When the gap between believability and painterly expression is merged, I’ve done my job.”

A signature member of AIS, LPAPA and ASMA plus an artist member of the CAC, Greg has won numerous awards for his painting excellence including the $5000 first place/grand prize at the Easton Plein Air event in Maryland and the top purchase prize awards for the Newport Bay Naturalist Mural Competition in California and at the Callaway Gardens Plein Air Show in Georgia. Greg has been juried into four of the Oil Painters of America national shows, awarded a “Jury’s Top 50” at the Greenhouse Gallery’s Salon International twice, was an invited artist seven times to LPAPA’s annual Plein Air Invitational. He has also been ­featured in Southwest Art’s “Artist to Watch” column and included in Jack Richeson Fine Art Series book “Plein Air New Mexico.”

A sought-after instructor for plein air workshops, he resides in Newport Beach, California with his wife and their two basenjis.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

F L A S H B A C K !

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:           Bowens Island Seafood – the Menu!

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:        Artist Nancy Collela!

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:   Nothing like a good belly laugh!


Featured Artist… Dee Beard Dean!

Early Snowfall by Dee Beard Dean
Early Snowfall by Dee Beard Dean

A stunning painting, right? Dee Beard Dean is well know nationwide and has quite a following. Dee’s work is nothing short of amazing, she paints both plein air (outdoors) and does studio paintings.  I thought I would feature a few of her winter scenes. I love snow scenes (especially in the heat of the summer!), there is something that feels like home about them. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in Michigan? Dee’s paintings make you feel as if you are there! She has quite a way with light and shadow, wouldn’t you say? I love that little splash of red in this painting…

After the Snowfall by Dee Beard Dean
After the Snowfall by Dee Beard Dean

Yet another fabulous winter scene, where you can feel the cold from the snow but also the warmth from the sun. Again, amazing light and shadows. I love the dark branches with the highlights of white… She’s got great color and brushstrokes in the snow and it’s nice how you can feel perspective in this painting – simply fabulous!

The holiday season officially kicks off and is in full swing. Many of you are out and about today on “Black Friday” trying to find just the right gift…  Have you considered the gift of art? It’s the gift that keeps on giving, year after year!

These paintings are available (as I write this a few days ahead) at Galerie on Broad – located at 29 Broad Street, Charleston, SC – you can contact them at 843.410.6332 or email them at galerieonbroad@me.com. Better yet, if you’re in the area stop in and say hello!

In case you aren’t familiar with Dee…

Dee Beard Dean - Biography

Dee Beard Dean has been painting all her life.  She was raised in the Amish countryside of rural Indiana and studied at Grand Rapids College, Kendall College of Art, and the New York Academy of Art.  After marriage, she moved to the Florida Keys where she became a professional painter and passed the gift of painting to her two children, Terry Sargent and John Beard, both of whom are now successful artists.  Before gaining recognition as a portrait and landscape painter, Dee pursued a career in fashion, designing and manufacturing her own clothing line with a national label.

 Dee is a passionate and prolific artist who has studied with many renowned artists and is nationally recognized for her painterly landscapes and her expertise in many media including pastels, watercolors, and oils.  Her greatest inspirations have come from painting en plein air where her eye for color and composition, and her elevated senses guide her hand in creating paintings filled with evocative light and dramatic shadows. 

 Dee founded the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAP-SE), a professional organization of acclaimed plein air artists living and working in the southeastern US.  Her workshops are in great demand, offering instruction in this country and in beautiful locales around the world.  She is also well known for her portraits and has done many noteworthy commissions.  Dee has received many awards at juried art competitions and has been published in regional and national journals.  Her artworks can currently be seen at fine art galleries around the country.  Dee resides in Charleston, SC with her husband, Dr. Nicolai Chalfa.  Her first book, A Painter by Providence, is in publication.

Images and bio via DEEBEARDDEAN.COM


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…       The Flatbread Company, Portland, Maine – Pizza with a View!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   The most awesome saute pan ever!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

[featured artist] D A N I E L A L D A N A !

Vines at Night by Daniel Aldana
Vines at Night by Daniel Aldana

Daniel Aldana has a fabulous style. I love his loose textured brush strokes as well as every subject matter he paints. This guy is good. I love his story, as told by Roger’s Gardens Fine Art Gallery. It shows how strong a passion for art can be. I think it’s great that he followed what he really felt in his heart… I think this is a good reminder to us all to be passionate about what we choose to do in life if at all possible!

That yellow light against the darkness of the house is stunning! It wasn’t easy to only pick a few, so be sure to check his website out for yourself!

The Morning Heat by Daniel Aldana
The Morning Heat by Daniel Aldana

Another nice painting! Can’t you just feel the warmth from the sun? Lovely in every way! Be sure to check out Daniel’s blog, its wonderful!

Also… an article that was in Southwest Art magazine – A Passion for Plein Air – Meet 12 Artists who honor the landscape by capturing it in person: Daniel Aldana is one of those artists!

Read a blip about Daniel from Roger’s Gardens Fine Art Gallery website:

Daniel Aldana is an early career artist living in Southern California. He has had a lifelong love of art and like many artists, spent his childhood drawing. After high school he attended a small liberal arts college and majored in art. His primary interest was art history and figure drawing. Unlike many artists, he then decided to go to medical school.

He attended Yale School of Medicine (1989-1993), which gave him ready access to a large Art school where he took classes between his medical studies, and to New York City with its art collections.

He began to paint during his internship, the first year of a three-year specialty training in pediatrics, and would paint when he had a chance (despite work weeks that sometimes stretched more than 100 hours).

After specializing in pediatrics at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, he taught hospital management of children and evaluation and management of child abuse victims. His academic and patient-care activities left little time for painting, and when he married and had his first child, he found that the time with his family was also getting squeezed.

With the support of his wife he began a plan to leave his practice of medicine and become a full time artist. In the spring of 2005, he took a plein air painting class and became enamored with the challenges and opportunities of painting outside and realized that it afforded a setting to grow as a painter. That summer he began to paint full time.

Since that time Daniel has become a Signature Member of Laguna Plein Air Painters, received numerous awards and has become one of the leading plein air painters in the region. Daniel is one of the permanent artists on display throughout the year at Roger’s Gardens Fine Art Gallery.

All images via DanielAldana.com


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…       A Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe… Just Like Grandma’s!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Pink Sky in the Morning…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

[ e v e n t ] Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational – October 13-20, 2013

15th Annual Laguna Plein Air lpa fb

If you are in the Laguna Beach area, this is an event not to be missed! Do you realize how many fabulous artists are going to be in one place painting their hearts out? Lots… this is the LIST OF ARTISTS, and it’s a doozy!

Click here to buy your tickets (for lectures and collector’s party) – I saw some great photo’s on Ken DeWaard’s website, paintings from last year at Laguna as well as images of artist painting, it’ll give you a feel for how fabulous this event is!

Read a little blip from the Laguna Plein Air website:

Each year Laguna Beach, a famous seaside community and historic artist colony, turns into an outdoor studio with the always-exciting Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational. This event showcases the nation’s top plein air landscape painters who compete for prestigious prizes and participate in the week-long festivities including public paint outs, environmental awareness activities, and educational events.  Culminating with the highly anticipated Collectors’ Party and Public Sale.  Proceeds from this event will benefit Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization.

This year the Invitational will be held at the Aliso Creek Inn in the majestic Aliso Canyon – The “Yosemite” of Laguna Beach and the location of the area’s original homestead built by the Thurston family, the ancestors of current Laguna Mayor Kelly Boyd.  This event celebrates the artistic legacy of Laguna Beach.



O N E   Y E A R   A G O…      To do in Charleston… CHARLESTON TEA PLANTATION!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Artist to watch… Tom Curry!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

[featured artist] Millie Gosch!

"Montana Canola Fields" by Millie Gosch
“Montana Canola Fields” by Millie Gosch

Millie Gosch is a plein air painter from the Atlanta, Georgia area. Her work is fabulous! Millie’s compositions are interesting, the brushstrokes are nice, and that beautiful green in the distance.. LOVE IT!

"First Light" by Millie Gosch
“First Light” by Millie Gosch

Had to include one more… I would say she nailed it! Millie has a fabulous website, here is just a short blip (read more on her website) about her…

I love to paint from life and I love to be outdoors, so naturally painting en plein air is a good fit for my art. During the spring and fall, I spend a lot of time painting field studies. From those studies, I paint larger pieces in the studio. I don’t use photographs at all. I paint what I know, and what I love is nature. My favorite subjects are big open fields, sunrises, sunsets, trees, the lowcountry, and the southland. I use a limited palette of primary colors. In my work I strive to bring my viewer into the painting and let them make it their own experience. 
-Millie Gosch


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…  What’s for dinner? Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken… quick and delicious!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O… Artist to watch… Tollef Runquist!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

[images] via MillieGosch.com

[featured artist] Alexandra Tyng!

"Docksiders" by Alexandra Tyng
“Docksiders” by Alexandra Tyng

This is an amazing painting, by artist Alexandra Tyng. It’s entitled “Docksiders”… looks like a great Maine vacation, doesn’t it? Boats, easels, artists, dogs, family, swimming…. a cool cottage with wet beach towels drying in the sun. I love happy paintings, and this is definitely one of them! Alexandra has a show coming up at Dowling Walsh Gallery, located in Rockland, Maine – this from the gallery: Openings are 5-8pm Friday in conjunction with Rockland’s First Friday Art Walk unless otherwise specified. So look for Alexandra’s work if you’re in the Rockland, ME area… beginning this coming Friday through September 30, 2013. It’s going to be a fabulous show!

Read a blip about Alexandra from her website:

Alexandra Tyng is a realist painter whose work combines traditional methods with a contemporary viewpoint. Alex was born in Rome, Italy, and has lived in Philadelphia most of her life. Primarily self-taught, Alex chose an academic education over art school. She learned traditional oil painting techniques by examining the work of the old masters, reading about the methods and materials of other artists, and watching artists paint. 

Alex’s portraits incorporate descriptive backgrounds and a uniquely figurative sensibility. Her non-commissioned figurative work focuses on people in the process of living and interacting in their own environments, rather than in formal poses. In other paintings the figures become distant focal points while the setting predominates. Alex’s landscapes range from intimate views of particular places to mountaintop panoramas to large-scale aerial views of the glacially carved land formations of coastal Maine. 

Alex has had solo shows in New York, Maine, and Philadelphia. Her work is included in many public, corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Her figurative paintings and portraits have garnered awards from the Portrait Society of America, the Allied Artists of America, the Woodmere Art Museum, The Artist’s Magazine, and American Artist. In 2008 Alex was selected as one of Maine’s outstanding artists by Maine Home +Design; in 2009 an article on her landscape work appeared in that same publication.  Her Maine landscapes have also been featured in The Art of Monhegan by Carl Little, and in art magazines including Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art Collector, The Artist’s Magazine, International Artist, and O&S (Poets and Artists). Alex leads workshops in Maine and Philadelphia, and teaches portraiture in the Philadelphia area. Alex is a member of the Maine Landscape Guild, and the founder of Portraits For the Arts, an ongoing philanthropic project that uses the power of portraiture to raise money for the arts in the Philadelphia area.

Catch you back here tomorrow!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…  MONZA… quite possibly the best pizza on earth?

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O… Sullivans Island Home Tour, Day 4!

[featured artist] Marcia Burtt!

"Reflecting Pool" by Marcia Burtt
“Reflecting Pool” by Marcia Burtt

This painting by Marcia Burtt caught my eye right away. The still, glassy water with those amazing reflections and the orangey color against the dark colors just screams WHOA! What a treat it was to run across Marcia’s work! She has a fabulous website… here is a list of galleries she’s in, scroll through to see if there is one near you! The Marcia Burtt Studio is located in Santa Barbara, CA…

"Slack Tide, Haze" by Marcia Burtt
“Slack Tide, Haze” by Marcia Burtt

How serene is this painting? Can’t you just feel yourself sitting on the edge of America listening to the waves, feeling the cool water, smelling the salt air… it makes my neck relax and my shoulders lower away from my ears, ha ha… Everyone should have a painting like this to look at every day!

Read a blip about Marcia from her website:

“Making a painting, for me, is a process of studying a subject over a period of hours or days. Creating meaning from a random collection of natural objects requires receptively seeing in a sensual way while at the same time imposing structure. This dance between perception and intellect to create an object that holds a unique communication is the great joy of being a painter.”

Starting college at the University of Chicago, Burtt graduated from UC Berkeley with majors in pre-med, psychology, and art, earning her master’s degree in art from the University of Montana.

Her paintings have been included in a number of exhibitions in regional museums, including recently “California Art Club Paints Malibu” at the Weisman Museum at Pepperdine and “Saving Paradise,” traveling to the east coast.

Burtt’s large commissioned paintings hang in major healing centers, including MD Anderson in Houston and Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center in Los Angeles.

Marcia and her husband Dave live on 1200 acres in southern San Luis Obispo County. Their ranch has been granted a wildlife easement and will never be developed, thanks to efforts by The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.

Also check out the WORKSHOP section… sounds amazing!

Catch you back here tomorrow!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O:  Day Trip… Rockville, SC!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O:  Artist to watch… JB Boyd!

All images: MarciaBurtt.com

[featured artist]… Kristine Pallas!

"Tasting in the Vineyard" by Kristine Pallas
Kristine Pallas

Vineyards… what’s not to love? Oh how I would like to surprise Fred for our 22nd anniversary and have a wonderful dinner beneath this magnificent tree overlooking the vineyard. Wouldn’t that be something?

I always like to see what it is in a painting that draws me in. In this case it’s the overall feeling that I get from it. Peace and quiet, good wine, maybe a bit of cheese and a hunk of good bakery bread. Silence. The sunlight peeking through the tree dancing on the slats in the back of the chair… and on the ground like fireflies… I think I need to get my paint out so that I can start making some money to make this dream a reality… ha ha… This would be a nice surprise!

Kristine’s paintings all have a good vibe coming from them… here is one more example. She’s got such great style! Check out her website if you get a chance!

"Clouds at Vineburg" by Kristine Pallas
“Clouds at Vineburg” by Kristine Pallas

LOVE the clouds and the looseness of the tree… I truly enjoy plein air paintings, you really can get a feel for what the artist is seeing at that moment in time!

Read a bit about Kristine from her website:

Kristine Pallas About kp

Catch you back here tomorrow!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O:  A Few Photos… Nikon Coolpix P510

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O:  Artist to watch… Frank Bruckmann!

Featured Artist… Michelle Hero Clarke!

"Cove, Monhegan" by Michelle Hero Clarke
“Cove, Monhegan” by Michelle Hero Clarke

I adore Michelle Hero Clarke’s style! It’s fresh and loose and so very fabulous. I see a bit of a Charles Sovek likeness to her work (especially her architectural paintings), at times a little Eric Hopkins (the swirls in the water and some of the clouds)… which make this a style uniquely her own. Her paintings are fresh and have great movement.  You really get a sense of the place… Michelle has several paintings of Monhegan, and let me tell you she captures the feeling perfectly… be sure to check out her website, it’s full of wonderful paintings!

"Monhegan Woods" by Michelle Hero Clarke
“Monhegan Woods” by Michelle Hero Clarke

I love this “Monhegan Woods” painting… it so reminds me of walking through Cathedral Woods, the beauty, the peace, the silence… ahhhhhh! Just by looking at this painting I feel happy! That’s what art should do. Make you happy, or make you feel something!

"Clouds and Rock" by Michelle Hero Clarke
“Clouds and Rock” by Michelle Hero Clarke

Another stunning piece… I love how she did the rocks, the water… ahhhh, I want to have this kind of style!

Read a blip about Michelle from her website

Painting landscapes provides me with a way to respond and record not only my observations of a place but my subjective experience of it as well. In my artwork I am primarily interested in capturing the essence of places as I perceive them, rather than documenting a photo-realistic scene. All of my artwork is done “plein air”. I paint on–site, and always from life rather than using photographs as references. I find this method the most effective in that it allows me to fully immerse myself in the sensations of the moment.  When painting outside, the biggest challenge for me as an artist is dealing with the potential for rapid change. Light, color, and subject are all in a state of flux. A cloud can move, changing the shadows and intensity of colors, or a dense fog may roll in, obscuring what had been my subject but creating new opportunities.  Responding to these constant changes gives a sense of urgency and immediacy to the act of painting, which I find very energizing. I rarely go back into my paintings and rework them in the studio.  I like to keep the images fresh, authentic, and representative of how I experienced being in that place at that time.  I emphasize elements that strike me; the movement of the water,the interplay of colors, or the thoughts and feelings that I have in response to a particular visual experience.  Each painting I make enhances my appreciation and awareness of the richness of life around me, and I try to share these vivid moments through my artwork. 

The media and materials I use consist of a mixture of alkyd and oil paints on handmade wood panels which I will sometimes layer with primed canvas but often just seal with an acrylic wood varnish.  For larger work, I may use stretched canvases as they are lighter weight and easier to carry in the field.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via Michelle Hero Clarke’s website: www.mheroclarke.com

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…  Bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich that is HEALTHY? Whoa!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…  Artist to watch… Phillip Frey!

Featured Artist… Lisa Mitchell!

"Golden Fields" by Lisa Mitchell {image}
“Golden Fields” by Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is a fabulous plein air artist who shows her work at South Street Art Gallery. “Golden Fields” is part of the People/Places/Things exhibit that runs from  8/3 – 9/1/2013. If you’re in the Easton, Maryland area be sure to stop in to see it!

I am loving the warm colors of the foreground and that wonderful light hitting the barn… to me, those two elements make this a fabulous painting!

Lisa has a wonderful blog that shows her art as well as all kinds of painting tips – a good one to check out! Read a bit about the artist from her website, I see she’s taken workshops from some pretty fine artists:

Lisa Mitchell received her formal art education at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, concentrating her studies in Illustration and Graphic Design. Lisa found employment as an Illustrator creating storyboards and comprehensive illustrations for several leading advertising agencies in the Mid-Atlantic region. She then began a twenty year career painting children’s portraits in her home based studio and has expanded her focus to include landscapes, figures and still life subjects. 

Lisa is a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters, (WSLP). She is a past President and Signature Member of the Maryland Pastel Society. She is now one of 5 “Signature” Member jurors for the Maryland Pastel Society, a Signature member of theMaryland Society of Portrait Painters, and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association.

Educational Workshops Attended:

Lisa continues her art education by attending international conferences as well as national workshops and has studied with nationally known artists such as, Doug DawsonBob Rohm, Richard McKinleyKenn BackhausKim EnglishSusan OgilvieDavid LeffelSherrie McGrawand Peter Fiore. She attends open figure painting sessions each week at the Zoll Studio of Fine Art.


Lisa offers ongoing pastel and oil landscape painting instruction Tuesday mornings at the Zoll Studio of Fine Art in Lutherville, MD.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A fabulous painting by Tim Bell… walking away…

Tim Bell, Artist
Tim Bell, Artist

Monhegan, ME. Artists everywhere. I. Mean. Everywhere! Everyone is busy painting away, doing their thing, and let me tell you , there are some incredibly talented artists who’s work just blows you away! We met artist, Tim Bell (pictured) on the island years ago (I’m thinking 2006?!) and have remained friends with him through the years, and have made new friends through him. He’s such a talented, brilliant artist. Tim had so much information to share that I had to go get a pen and paper. Great, useful information. One year we watched him paint this painting… and as he walked away with it… we had to have it. So it’s pretty cool that we have this painting… good memories. We love every one of our paintings, they’re all special to us in one way or another. This is a perfect example!

Have a great Sunday! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Mary Pettis!

A plein air painting by Mary Pettis
A plein air painting by Mary Pettis

I swear, this woman can paint ANYTHING! There were so many paintings that I fell in love with it was difficult to choose! I love the light in this landscape! How the colors compliment each other so nicely… I am drawn to that light in the sky, absolutely beautiful!

Mary won the People’s Choice Award at the Easels in Frederick plein air event in June 2013 – fabulous painting!

"Umbrellas and Puddles" by Mary Pettis
“Umbrellas and Puddles” by Mary Pettis

Check out Mary’s website if you get a chance, her work is amazing, and she seems like tough competition at these plein air events!

Read a blip about Mary from her website:

Mary Pettis is a classically trained artist who works mostly from life, using the Alla Prima or Direct Method of oil painting. Her lifetime in art is a journey reflected in hundreds of originals and thousands of reproductions and etchings collected in nearly every state and several countries. She currently lives in the beautiful St. Croix National Scenic Riverway along the Wisconsin/Minnesota border. She shares her life with her husband, Randy, and grown children, Matt, Nathaniel, Zach and Amanda Catherine.

Mary Pettis was born in 1953 on a farm in southern Minnesota. Growing up in the country, she followed the rhythm of the seasons: barefoot before the ground was dry in Spring, baling hay, feeding chickens, tromping through the sloughs and ravines and helping “put up” food for the large farm family. At fifteen, Mary discovered that painting seemed a natural means by which she could express her enjoyment and love of nature.

While receiving a BFA in Art and in Humanities from the College of St. Benedict, Mary studied with Hungarian artist Bela Petheo at nearby St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. She excelled in advanced courses in Modern Composition and in Abstract Art at Mankato State University during the summer. She also did extensive research abroad in art museums from Amsterdam to Rome.

Mary’s love for the traditional style emerged in 1975 when she was accepted to a three year full-time student apprenticeship in Classical Realism at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During that period, she also studied copperplate etching with C. Daniel Graves (founder and director of the Florence Academy of the Arts – Florence, Italy). Working daily from antique plaster casts and from the figure gave her a solid foundation and disciplined approach which would never leave her.

Through the years, while continuing to read and study the Masters, she opened a studio gallery, taught classes and led workshops on various topics. She spent many years painting commissions, portraits, and highly illustrative wildlife and genre pictures to the commercial
specifications of various publishers. While this was a sidetrack from “following her muse”, she recognized it as an important part of her artistic journey. As she says, “There is something to be learned from every subject,
every challenge, and every failed attempt. Just when I would begin despairing over my artistic growth, I would see a tiny touch of true beauty in what had come from my hands. I would recognize an edge, a square inch, a
color combination that was truthful… and the passion to forge ahead would possess me all over again.”

In the mid 1990s Mary met Jim Wilcox, who introduced her to the “wet-in-wet” plein air approach. “I spent years laboring over details using layers and glazes, taking weeks or months to complete a picture. This method was totally different. It was sheer fright and utter joy to paint directly, to strive towards putting the right color in the right place in one fell swoop!” With more input and encouragement from Robert Duncan, and Zhang Wen Xin, whose tradition stems from the Russian Realist and Impressionist schools, Mary moved her studio outdoors.

Melding the experiences in her life with her artistic influences have now resulted in an authentic and powerfully lyrical style. “As I paint I get swept away by the symphony of artistic elements in front of me. It is an honor to be able to share through my work those impulses which, more often than not, feel like expressions of private worship.” Today, as she melds technical proficiency with insight and sensitivity towards her subjects, Mary’s art resonates with her deep connection to nature and her love of life.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via MaryPettis.com

Door County Plein Air Event – 7/21/13 – 7/27/13 – whoa!


The plein air event in Door County (Wisconsin) is an quite the opportunity to meet some amazing artists and see some incredible work that they put out over the next week. Here are a few of the artists who are participating this year (I hesitate to do this because they are all so darn good, but here is a glimpse at what you could be missing…) Frank Gardner, Anne Blair Brown, Marc Hanson, Larry Moore, James Richards, Jason Sacran, Dawn Whitelaw, and… and… and… check out the list, it also gives a link to their websites!

The Door County website is masterfully organized… they even have a link that shows the Day By Day Event Schedule as well as Artist Locations By Day which is invaluable if you’re visiting and want to catch a glimpse of them painting!

Door County Plein Air Festival has such an impressive list of artists it boggles the mind!

Last year Marc Hanson won Best in Show & Artists Choice Award for the painting “Monday Morning”. Breathtaking!

"Monday Morning" by Marc Hanson [Image]
“Monday Morning” by Marc Hanson [Image]
“Monday Morning” was painted at the 2012 Door County Plein Air Festival in Fish Creek, WI. It’s a beauty!

I’ve seen some of the paintings that have been completed so far this week and they are amazing…  This event is high on my list.

This would make one fabulous vacation!!  Check out their website, I think you’ll agree… and if you’re ANYWHERE close by I would BE THERE!!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Thomas Jefferson Kitts!

"The Tin Shed" by Thomas Jefferson Kitts Image: Thomas Jefferson Kitts Facebook
“The Tin Shed” by Thomas Jefferson Kitts
Image: Thomas Jefferson Kitts Facebook

Fabulous, right? The colors, THE BRUSHSTROKES! The looseness of it all… I’m not the only one that thinks this is one nice painting…

“The Tin Roof”, 8 x 16″, oil on mounted canvas, was juried into the American Impressionist Society’s 14th Annual National Show. Woo hoo!

I’m excited to say that the American Impressionist Society‘s exhibition will be held at the M Gallery of Fine Art in Charleston this October! Click HERE for more info, including a list of artists!

Here’s a little blip about the painting from the artist…

This painting was executed inside 40 minutes one evening late last August after driving around on the East side of Mt Hood, frantically watching the light fade. I didn’t have much hope for a strong finish when I set up but then the sun dropped behind the trees and dappled the roof in a lovely way. You never know what your subject will do, or even be until you actually start working. Which is why each painting starts off as a mystery to me.

The Tin Roof is a personal favorite of mine from last year so I am pleased to see it recognized in this way.

If you aren’t familiar with this artist’s work… his website is a treat! He also has a Facebook page “Thomas Jefferson Kitts – Impressionism + Realism” that you can “Like”.

Here’s a blip about Thomas from his website:

Thomas lives in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1984, after which he returned home to paint en plein air in the Pacific Northwest and California. (Picture of him left shows Thomas painting the Californian coastline somewhere south of Carmel.) Thomas is an active member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, the California Art Club, the Oil Painters of America, and the American Impressionist Society. He travels extensively and maintains an active and distinguished exhibition history – one which includes the Laguna Art Museum, the Maritime Museum of Curacao, the Academy Museum of Easton, Oil Painters of America National & Regional Exhibitions, Arts for the Parks Top 100, and three New York Art Expos. Thomas has been commissioned by such prestigious entities as the Publix Corporation, the Mariott Corporation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Kaiser-Permanente Collection. His work is collected throughout North America. For more information on Thomas Kitts, read his bio.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Mark Lague!

"Midtown Afternoon" by Mark Lague
“Midtown Afternoon” by Mark Lague

I think Mark did a great job capturing that big city feel, don’t you? This is an impressive 60 x 60. Mark has a fabulous loose style that has a uniqueness to it… I love how the light is hitting the taxi and the fabulous colors in the road, especially where the sun hits. Whoa. This one really keeps your eye in the painting doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but mine starts on the taxi, then travels up to the large TV on the building, to the top of the building on the right where the light is hitting… over to the oh-so-very-cool green traffic light, following the arm of the light down to the red on the building to the white parked car and back to the taxi. Where does your eye go? Paintings have so many aspects that are just so interesting… like this ‘keeping your eye in the painting’ deal… but it’s so true! Check out Mark’s website, it’s a nice one… He also has images from Plein Air Richmond 2013!

Read a blip about Mark from his website:

Mark has developed an international reputation and has won numerous awards, both in his native Canada and in the United States. A dedicated painter, Mark Lague was born in Lachine Quebec in 1964 and he has had a fascination with drawing since childhood, a skill he practices constantly, even to this day. Upon graduation from Montreal’s Concordia University in Design, Mark embarked on a 13-year career in the animation industry, working primarily as a background designer and art director. During this time, despite working full time, he began recieving international acclaim for his watercolour paintings through competitions, juried shows, and solo exhibitions. In 2000, Mark switched to oil as his primary medium, and in 2002 made the jump to full time painter. As an artist he is a realist, who is open to virtually all subject matter. What keeps him excited about painting is his endless quest to simplify and get to the essence of whatever he paints. Mark has been featured in numerous national art magazines, and continues to recieve international recognition for his distinctive style of painting.

Catch you back here tomorrow!