Featured artist… Tom Soltesz!

“Down The Street And Across The Bay” by Tom Soltesz

I ran across Tom’s work years and years ago… I was on a California plein air website and there were so many artists it was hard to fathom! When I looked at his work I fell in love with it!  I love his bold strokes and his subject matter. He did a painting of some trees in Muir Woods years ago that was just out of this world! I still remember that painting. He’s got an interesting story… can you imagine KNOWING you’re going to be a professional artist at age 7? Yep, me either!

You’ll see on Tom’s website that he also give workshops. He even gives weekend workshops for $100! How tempting! Might be a great time for a little vacation to Califor-knee-eye-A!

A blip about Tom from his website:

 In 1954, Tom was born in a small coal-mining town in western Pennsylvania.  There were little or no cultural influences.  At the age of 7 Tom decided to become a professional artist.  He believed that to be an artist came naturally, and that involved little effort.  This was his first major misconception.  Living in a town of less than 5,000 he received little artistic training, and since Tom was from a family of 7 children, being sent to art school was out of the question.  Upon graduation from high school and being voted “most artistic” of his class,  Tom moved to Florida where he talked his way into a job painting billboards for Florida Outdoor Advertising.  In one year, Tom became their top pictorial artist.  After one more year Tom decided there was little chance of growth.  In 1974, he moved to Denver, Colorado and he enrolled in the Colorado Institute of Art where he received a degree in Advertising and Design.  He freelanced his way through college and graduated with a professional portfolio and since he still had the wonder-lust for travel, Tom moved to Manila, Philippines and started a graphic design studio.  He had by now become a painter/designer, and he worked in watercolors and designing logos, packaging, and ad campaigns for some of the biggest companies in South East Asia.  From Manila he moved to Hong Kong to manage the studio of a major designer.  Tom continued to paint and draw while he freelanced for various companies in both Hong Kong and the Philippines.  He was greatly influenced by the artists of the Philippines, both landscape and figurative, especially by the Philippine artist known by the name of Amorsolo.  Tom was asked to move to Papua New Guinea to upgrade the corporate image of San Miguel Beer Corporation, but since there were little social activities in New Guinea, he continued to develop his painting abilities.  In 1981 Tom decided to return to the U.S. and further educate himself as a painter.  He enrolled in the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and studied illustration and fine art.  Tom freelanced his way through the academy and graduated with knowledge of a variety of illustration and painting techniques.  He decided the only way to continue to paint in the various styles that he enjoyed, was to service a diversity of clients.  Tom started working with interior designers by supplying them with custom paintings, murals and screens, and he worked on hotels, restaurants, and residential projects.  He has been involved in projects in a number of countries and has supplied clients with room art custom painting, murals, and tromp L’oeil.  Tom is represented by numerous galleries in California.  His fine art oils are mainly landscapes and florals, however he also does figurative works.  Tom teaches plein air landscape painting, an Artist member of the California Art Club, and The Baywood Group of painters which is a socially active environmental group of landscape painters. Tom recently won “Best in Show” at the annual San Luis Obispo Plien air festival and an “honorable mention “at the 2005 Carmel art festival. Tom was recently featured in the April issue of South West Art magazine, and the April issue of The Artist’s Magazine 2007. Tom has many collectors in the United States and abroad and continues to develop into one of the most important landscape painters in the U.S.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Workshop with artist Colin Page April 6 & 7, 2012! Charleston,SC

Image: ColinPagePaintings

One of our favorite artists, Colin Page, from Maine will be here in Charleston, SC this coming April. Mark it on your calendar! He’ll be here as part of a show at the Smith Killian Gallery, located in downtown Charleston. Colin will also be giving a workshop here on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, 2012. My husband and I met Colin several years ago, he’s a down to earth nice guy as well as a fabulous artist. We met him and a group of artists he was painting with in a cottage down from ours. We were lucky enough to see the artwork after they spent a week out every day painting rain or shine… and the work was nothing short of amazing. Jaw dropping. No kidding! My husband and I were fortunate enough to buy a piece of his work that year, and we absolutely LOVE it! Colin has the uncanny ability to take something mundane and turn it into something spectacular! Check out his WEBSITE (hint: his journal is FULL of information!). Also… contact the Smith Killian Gallery for more details!  Hope to see you there! Here’s some info for the workshop. If the image is too small you should be able to click on it to enlarge…  Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… Mark Horton!

The Barbershop - Image via HortonHayes.com

Mark Horton is a fabulous artist (as well as a super nice guy). That’s nothing new, however I’m seeing some work like none I’ve ever seen of his and I like it. A lot!  This painting is one from the workshop he and Chris Groves gave in Italy this year. It’s so unique. I love it!

If you’re in the Charleston, SC area be sure to stop in the Horton Hayes Gallery! Stop by, say hello and check out the wonderful art work! If you aren’t in the area, check out Mark’s work on the gallery website. Here’s a blip from the gallery website, there’s more, so check it out!

Mark Kelvin Horton was born and raised in rural North Carolina. After graduating from East Carolina University School of Art in 1983, Horton moved to New York City to begin a career in advertising and design. He carried with him the dream of someday becoming a painter.

Eighteen years of living in New York were spent working as a creative director in various advertising agencies and eventually founding his own design company. Those years also provided an invaluable opportunity for Horton to view and study firsthand the seemingly endless number of masterworks of art in the city’s museums and galleries. Horton became particularly fascinated with the works of George Inness, Herman Herzog, Frederick Church and the tonalist photographer, Edward Steichen. He was also captivated by the realism of John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer as well as the romantic landscapes of the Hudson River School painters. The experience had a profound effect on his artistic development.

During his years working as an artistic director and designer, Horton continued to nurture his “fine art side”, drawing, sketching and painting whenever he had the opportunity. In early 2001 Horton made the decision to devote himself full-time to painting. He left New York City and returned to his Southern roots, moving to Charleston, South Carolina.

Horton is particularly fascinated with the effects of light and weather upon the landscape. He paints beyond a literal interpretation of a scene to portray nature in a way that reflects his own ideas and sensibilities while capturing the spirit, color and changing light of a place.

Adding this a bit late, but just in time… this past weekend we went to a fabulous demo that Mark Horton and Chris Groves gave at the Horton Hayes Gallery, it was about painting the English countryside and it was AMAZING! To watch these guys paint is fascinating. I took notes like a crazy person and can’t wait to try what they mentioned. They are full of information, and lucky for you they have workshops in your future! There are a few in England that will blow you away. We’ve seen the photos, seen the paintings and whoa! If you have ever thought about taking a workshop, check them out! Besides learning a lot, trust me, you’ll have a good time. They’re fun! Click HERE to go to the Horton Hayes workshop link!

Mark Horton demo at Horton Hayes Gallery

You liked his work, didn’t you? Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… SHANNON SMITH…

Fresh Catch by Shannon Smith

Charleston, SC artist Shannon Smith can catch the light in a painting like nobody’s business… whenever I see the sun behind the trees I think of Shannon’s paintings. Very versatile, this artist can paint anything! And she does!  If you aren’t familiar with Shannon’s work, check the Smith Killian Gallery . You will notice there are a few other artists with the last name of Smith. Betty Anglin Smith and her triplets, Shannon, Jennifer and Tripp – All. Amazing.

My sister and I took a workshop from Shannon a while back and it was SO INFORMATIVE. Just the opportunity to watch her paint helps so much! It was a great workshop and I highly recommend it! If YOU are in the market for a workshop in the May timeframe, Shannon Smith and Laurie Meyer will be giving one in ITALY… click HERE for more information. More than just a workshop, it looks like quite the adventure!
If you get a chance, check out my photo blog at http://almostdailypic.wordpress.com – I’ll catch you back here tomorrow…
Image via SmithKillian.com