Brent Smith

The works of contemporary painter Brent Smith can be recognized by their serene simplicity. They are created to draw the viewer through the window to an open sky or dramatic cloud formations. The distant horizon is a metaphor for the future.

Influenced by classic American landscape painters like those of The Hudson River School, as well as Rothko and Jasper Johns, the works seem to float between abstract color fields and traditional realism.

Inspired by the diverse landscape of the Gulf Coast, Brent considers himself a regional artist painting the wetlands, fields, bays, and beaches near his home of Mobile, Alabama. Working in acrylic and mixed media, the paintings are brought to life through multiple layers of thinned paint and glazes, creating a palette that is sensuous and earthy. Although contemporary, the works retain a certain timeless quality; each seems to bear a history of its own.

Brent received his B.F.A. From Auburn University in 1993 and works as a full time artist in Mobile.

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ART GALLERIES & ARTISTS OF THE SOUTH

Nan Cunningham, as described by a contemporary, “is a powerful colorist who makes any subject her own: from still life to figures, with animals, or dynamic abstractions, her style is unmistakable and riveting.”  But Nan is more, much more.

The Process.  From the heritage of a deep south upbringing, from the staid traditions and unsettling turbulence of Montgomery, Alabama in the 50’s and 60’s, through her academic and studio experience at Auburn University, to the life of a working artist and teacher; Nan’s reflections upon the journey are the artistic records of her deep explorations.  As expressed in her own words, “It’s about the Process not the Product.”

The Magic.  But those products are the tapestries and signposts from the world of color and form that she magically crafts for us in paint, and in the hands-on guidance of the engaging workshops for which she is so well known and loved.  When asked about the details of that process, she says, “I don’t really know exactly where it all comes from, an abstraction, an image or, well, a pot of hydrangeas… whatever the subject that catches my attention… it is, the feeling, the emotion, the light of a good day that shines through it.  It’s magic.”

The Story.  “My mother was a naive artist who began to paint late in life, just as I began to teach.  Her work informs me to this day, as do the words and works of all my students.  She gave me color… her color; a great living gift.  We once had a pink house with fish and kites on the ceilings… a crazy, wonderful thing to look upon, to wonder about.  It was not the typical house next door, and I am not the typical neighbor next door.  I am however, very comfortable in the traditional forms because it is what I grew up with, but I also grew up breaking through these forms… color and light shining through.

The Mark.  Nan Cunningham’s process begins with the first touch of the brush to the paint; the paint to the surface; and then movement of the emotional energy through the medium.  She says, “The brushstroke is the most telling thing.  The moment one puts the first mark on the paper or the canvas, the movement begins… the movement of the medium and the emotion.  That is how the story begins; with the mark, the first mark.  The movement surpasses the subject.  If the student, the artist, is honest and the work is honest, then it just happens: we tap into it, whatever IT is.”

Nan Cunningham

Nan Cunningham, as described by a contemporary, “is a powerful colorist who makes any subject
her own: from still life to figures, with animals or dynamic abstractions, her style is unmistakable and riveting.”  But, she is much, much more.From the heritage of a Deep South upbringing in the staid traditions and unsettling turbulence of Montgomery, Alabama in the 50’s and 60’s, through her academic and studio experiences at Auburn University, to the life of a working artist and teacher;  Nan’s reflections upon the journey are the artistic records and deep explorations.

As expressed in her own words, “it’s about The Process, not The Product”.

Her process begins with the first touch of the brush to the paint; the paint to the surface; and then movement of emotional energy through the medium.  She says, “The brushstroke is the telling thing.  The moment one puts the first mark on the paper or the canvas, the movement begins… the movement of the medium and the emotion.  That is how the story begins; with the mark, the first mark.  The movement surpasses the subject.  If the student, the artist, is honest and the work is honest then it just ‘happens’: we tap into it ….whatever IT is.”

 

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Brad Robertson

Brad Robertson has painted all his life. Born and raised in the coastal town of Mobile, Alabama, his earliest inspiration was the landscape-the indigenous pines and oak trees, and the waters of Mobile Bay. The coastal landscape is still a major source of inspiration for Robertson.

At Auburn University Roberson spent time studying architecture and industrial design. During his time in college an art professor shaped the foundation for what would eventually become Robertson’s career as a professional painter, encouraging his uniqueability to work with color and texture to create depth, complexity and expressiveness.

Robertson earned his BFA in graphic arts in 1999, leaving painting behind for a time and moving to Atlanta to work as a full-time graphic artist at a production company. After a few years he decided the structure and monotony of big-city life was not for him, and began to think of his roots in Alabama.

Robertson moved back to Alabama in 2002, lured back to the more relaxed coastal way of life. Since then Robertson has become an award winning artist with collectors throughout in United States. Still based in Mobile, he is active in the local art community and says he cannot imagine doing anything else for a living. He considers good music an integral part of the artistic process and tries his hand at fishing in his spare time, though he admits he should probably stick to painting.

My art is the one thing that allows me to express myself. But there’s still an element of mystery to it. I have finished some pieces within weeks and others have required years of work. I have to sense a painting is ready, to look at it and just know. It’s beyond reason, but for me art is rooted in subjectivity. My art begins as an expression of my own life and my own experience, but it’s not until people look at my paintings and are able to define them in their own terms that I feel like my work has accomplished its purpose.

 

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Patterson / Barnes

Gary Patterson and Marion Barnes

Their paintings capture the powerful and expressive feelings conveyed in the making of jazz and blues.

Their compositions incorporate the use of many mediums including acrylic, watercolor, India ink, collage and constructions.  The expressiveness of many of their paintings is heightened by the evocative use of a purposeful exaggeration and abstraction.  The use of musicians best lent itself to this approach.

What makes the paintings even more unique is that each painting is a collaborative effort between  Patterson and Barnes.  They feel that an individual work is enriched by the infusion of their personal creativity, interests and past experiences.

The two met in the late 80’s while studying in Alabama under Bill Yeager.  During this time they painted separately and critiqued one another’s work.  They first collaborated in 1990 and soon developed a series of paintings based on jazz and blues musicians.  This series was born from their mutual interest in these original American art forms and the emotional power they expressed.

Their popularity extended to private and corporate collectors including Jimmy Buffet, Chris Rock, Peter Weller and Whoopi Goldberg.  They have created commissioned paintings for the Country Music Association headquarters, House of Blues blues clubs, B.B. King’s Blues Clubs and the Hard Rock Casino-Hotel.  In addition, the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, commissioned Patterson and Barnes to create a painting for the cover of their Tabasco Cookbook.

Gary Patterson and Marion Barnes met in the late 1980s while studying under Alabama artist Bill Yeager. During this time they painted separately and critiqued one another’s work. They first collaborated in 1990 and soon began developing a series of paintings based on jazz and blues musicians. This series was born from their mutual interest in these rich and original American art forms and the emotional power they expressed. Their popularity spread to private and corporate collectors. They have created commissioned paintings for the Country Music Association headquarters, the “House of Blues” blues clubs and “B.B. King’s Blues Clubs.” The McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, commissioned Patterson and Barnes to create a painting for the cover of their Tabasco Cookbook. Their evocative paintings incorporate the use of many media, including acrylic, watercolor, India ink and collage. The expressiveness of many of their paintings is heightened by the use of a purposeful exaggeration and abstraction. These musicians themselves lend themselves to this technique. What makes the paintings even more unique is that each is a collaborative effort between the two artists. They feel that every individual work is enriched by the infusion of their personal creativity, interests, and past experience.

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Lorrie Lane

Lorrie Lane has never stopped painting. After receiving a degree in English Literature from Smith College in 1983, Lorrie continued to paint wherever she lived and in whatever circumstance. She moved to Tuscaloosa, AL in 1987 and has had a studio there ever since.

Her paintings of flowers, birds’ nests, landscapes, and people have been described as lively and evocative.

Lorrie Lane

Lorrie Lane has never stopped painting. After receiving a degree in English Literature from Smith College in 1983, Lorrie continued to paint wherever she lived and in whatever circumstance. She moved to Tuscaloosa, AL in 1987 and has had a studio there ever since.

Her paintings of flowers, birds’ nests, landscapes, and people have been described as lively and evocative.

Lorrie Lane

Lorrie Lane has never stopped painting. After receiving a degree in English Literature from Smith College in 1983, Lorrie continued to paint wherever she lived and in whatever circumstance. She moved to Tuscaloosa, AL in 1987 and has had a studio there ever since.

Her paintings of flowers, birds’ nests, landscapes, and people have been described as lively and evocative.

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Kathy Schumacher

Although I was blessed with a creative side, I did not truly start focusing on my art until later on in my life. After raising two beautiful children and moving with the military around the world, I was finally able to concentrate on my artistic skills. Self-study and many hours in the classroom have refined my palette knife technique. My textured paintings are somewhat a cross between painting and sculpture, having almost 3D attributes. My medium of choice is oil paints because of the richness of their pigments, allowing for such great depth of color. As I believe learning is never ending, I am inspired to read and study the work of great artists and use this knowledge during endless hours at my easel. My subject matter is diverse. I primarily concentrate on florals and seascapes. When I paint, I feel an overwhelming connectivity between both my subject and medium and marvel at the subtle interplay of light, color, and space and how they balance one another. As an artist, I try to convey the awe and wonder of the world to others through my compositions. My greatest joy as an artist is to see how my works can create such intense emotion in those that view them.

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Gary Bodner

Gary Bodner is the quintessential renaissance man. He is interested in everything from architecture to art and for the past twenty-five years, he has practiced medicine in Atlanta, specializing in Obstetetrics and Gynecology. Reaching the pinnacle of achievement in all of his fields of interest is an onging, lifetime project.

Bodner studied architecture at Miami University of Ohio before entering Chicago Medical School. He earned his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine.

He has studied artistic techniques under Phil Carpenter in classes at the Atlanta College of Art and Chastain Arts Center, participated in workshops with nationally acclaimed artist, Robert Johnson at the Sara Britt Arts Center, Tuscaloosa, Ala. and studied under Sandy Grow, Atlanta.

Due to his enormous energy and passion for his art, Bodner finds time to paint early in the morning, and late in the evening and on weekends. He describes his work as strong and colorful with an expressionistic style. “The power of juxtaposing or placing one color on top of another to create an image is what drives my paintings,” he says. Primarily Bodner considers himself a colorist and is constantly looking for the interplay of colors on his canvases. He says he has been inspired by works of Cezzanne, Van Gogh and Philip Johnson, architect.

Neiman Marcus of Atlanta sponsored a solo show for the artist in February of 2002. He was the featured artist for the Northside Hospital’s Foundation Ball in 2000 and the subject of a one-man show at the Global Arts Gallery, Atlanta in 1998. His work has appeared on the covers of several issues of the Georgia Pharmacy Journal.

Gary Bodner resides in Atlanta with his wife, two children and one dog. Bodner is a quintessential renaissance man. He is interested in everything from architecture to art and for the past twenty-five years, he has practiced medicine in Atlanta, specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Reaching the pinnacle of achievement in all of his fields of interest is an ongoing, lifetime project. Gary has studied artistic techniques under Phil Carpenter in classes at the Atlanta College of Art and Chastain Arts Center, participated in workshops with nationally acclaimed artist, Robert Johnson at the Sara Britt Arts Center, Tuscaloosa, Ala. and studied under Sandy Grow, Atlanta.

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Bill Thompson

Bill Thompson lived a colorful life in the colorless world of Space Engineering.  Few men can say they have climbed the launch tower of a fueled Titan Rocket, sat in the cockpit of an International Flight, lived in the rugged Savannah of Africa, rode a camel in the Sahara,  picked coffee on the Greenwell Ranch of Hawaii, designed fighter aircraft, worked on space shuttles, graduated from survival school and has his name spinning around Mars 200,000,000 miles from earth etched in a metal plate.  Bill Thompson has done all of this and much more – the majority of it before he reached the age of forty.  With multiple degrees from the University of Alabama in engineering, his early pursuits were in the academic endeavors of the mind and not the creative message of his heart.

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Joel Goldsby

Joel V.Goldsby studied Architecture / Art / Photography from 1973 -1979 in the South and went West with degrees in Bachelor of Architecture and Environmental Design. During 1979 -1989, his focus was developing the three disciplines learned in schooling, not only in college, but going back to early days.

A major focus was the pen and ink style, which he developed from rather “tight” to “loose and somewhat whimsical.” His paintings have always utilized bright color, strong composition and memorable scenes. In 1989 Mr. Goldsby, while in a café in Santa Fe, New Mexico, had an inspiration to compile a magazine similar to his journal/sketchbooks from previous years into an “advertising” piece while always keeping the artsy flair intact. The concept was centered around “Painting a Portrait of a Town”, became a reality and was named Artistic Dining. Later on, “And Living” was added. The magazine was then produced in various locations throughout the Southeast.

From 1997 -present, Mr.Goldsby has been producing Artistic Dining and Living -The Villages Along Scenic Highway 30A -Sandestin and South Walton County…. And painting/drawing along the Gulf Coast.

Mediums:
Acrylic
Pen/Ink
Pencil
Charcoal

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Betty Cork

“I want to evoke fellings of joy and fun.”

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida artist Betty Cork’s signature acrylics explore Emerald Coast beach lif with bold, sun-drenched colors. She portrays coastal charm with a painterly eye to make each painting a vacation – an escape that takes the viewer to a place of beauty.

Each painting is a journey form the bustle of daily life to a place of sunshine and color.

The hyper-real hues of Cork’s vibrant villa, towels, beach umbrellas and seaside chairs hang as colorful compassess pointing to Florida’s white sand and emerald sea.

In addition to her signature landscapes, she takes the colors inspired by the Gulf of Mexico into all subjects from still lifes and portraits to abstracts.

She lived in Alabama until she found her true home when she moved to the Emerald Coast. She is married to writer Claude Duncan.

Her energetic work is whown at The Studio Gallery in Grayton Beach and can be found in collections throughout the nation, in Europe, and Asia.

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Lila Graves

Lila Graves was born in Alexander City, Alabama. Growing up with the furniture business her father owned, she was influenced by the craftsmanship. This can be seen in the weighty, three dimensional wooden carvings she has created in the past.  (bio continued below)

When a friend suggested she exhibit at the Kentuck Festival, Lila applied and immediately felt at home among the other artists there. Though trained in studio art, her style changed after her struggle with cancer. Since then her work has been successful in bridging the gap between trained and self taught art.

 

 

 

Bio adapted from William Andrews

 

Lila Graves artist

 

When Lila was twenty-six, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer- melanoma. She was given a brief life expectancy. With little time left, Lila embarked on a spiritual and physical journey. A wandering to San Miguel, Mexico that resulted in visitors seeing a young woman painting on the streets, while wearing a set of angel’s wings worn like a backpack.

Lila’s logic was that if she was supposed to die and become an angel in Heaven, then perhaps Lila-as-angel could live here on earth for a while longer. She treated each work of art as if it were her last. So one day, in San Miguel, Lila woke up. The next day she woke up again and then kept on waking up, not dying, for days after, that turned into weeks. In a supreme moment of self-awareness, Lila knew that she had painted herself well.

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Lori Seals

Born in New Orleans and graduating from Louisiana State University in Interior Design and Fine Art, Lori has spent her time appreciating and studying the beauty of the Gulf Coast and its surroundings. Her artwork reflects and captures the natural beauty of the Greater new Orleans and Florida Panhandle areas.

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Diana Barnes

I need great swaths of solitude. I spend a great deal of time looking for my glasses. My favorite color is blue.

My collections include rocks, because they remember the beginning of the earth; sticks, because they can tell stories; bird nests, because they are small homes.

I have forty-nine chairs in my house, not including the one at the upholsterer’s shop and not including couches, porch stuff, stools, folding things.

That sterling silver handmade flute mostly sits silent nowadays.  Bach is mu utmost desirable choice of composer.

My children, grown, think I am a lunatic, but love to borrow my things.  The outside of my 1888 house has been painted forest green with brilliant white trim.  My brother jerry grows hot peppers, papayas, and collard greens in the front yard.

Every year I find myself once again in England, but now I have fallen desperately for the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides.  Venice would be my next happy place to die.

The compulsion to keep a journal is a curse.

I love old furniture, castles, moonstones, needlepoint, eating in bed, crossword puzzles, vodka, and most of all books.  I love the idea of quantum physics.  I would like to have a zebra in my yard.  I would like to see the pyramids.

About painting: it is the ACT rather than the ART of painting that consumes me.  The scrubbing, scratching, daubing, stroking of color, one next to another, is endlessly exciting.  This fascination will surely last me all my life.  What I want in a painting is beauty and mystery, and that frisson of the aesthetic experience.

Unfortunately, I am a Libra.  I say I believe in ghosts when one brushes by, then I quickly leap to the other side of the scale and say, “Oh, you can’t be sure.”

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Deb Handy

Deb Handy comes from a long line of artists.  Her passion and inspiration comes from her mother.  Deb’s mother passed away too young and quickly.  Prior to this, Deb thought she could paint but never took the time to try.  In going through her mother’s estate, she came across her mother’s paints and burshes.  She brought them home with her where they remained packed away for many months.  It was a difficult time for Deb realizing her mother was gone. A good friend wanted to learn to paint so she unpacked the art supplies and they began to learn together.  She discovered her mother was not gone but was all around her as she created her beautiful paintings. Her mother’s inspiration can be seen on the back of each canvas as it is marked with a red bird.  She hopes that everyone who views her art can see the desirable love between mother and child. Deb is a born and raised Texan.  She enjoyed traveling visiting her family and friends in California, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.  Deb now lives in the Hill Country of Central Texas just southwest of Austin, Texas.

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Theresa Grillo Laird

Painting, like the rest of life, is a journey filled with glimpses of the less obvious truth if you take the time to look. What is truly there beyond the impressions of a first glance? This question filled my mind after an early painting experience. I was younger than school age and was sitting at a child size picnic table in my back yard on a glorious summer day. In front of me was a coloring book with an image of an elephant already covered in a layer of black dots. There wasn’t much room to color between those black dots but I picked up a crayon and was about to begin when my mother set a brush and glass of water beside me. “You need this.” I touched a dripping brush to the page and jumped back in startled amazement as a sea of viridian green raced across the page. After that, I started looking more closely at other things to see if there was another reality underneath. I scraped rocks to see if they held color under their dusty surface. I peeled the beige paint off the metal buttons of my shirt to see if the paint was hiding colors. When I didn’t see colors, I dreamt dreams of buttons with layer upon layer of vivid colors. And as for painting, I was hooked!

I was still in elementary school when I began painting in oils. Today I still paint in oils, and I’m still searching for what lies hidden beneath. What am I really seeing and what combination of line, brush stroke and color do I need to reveal the true character within the seeming ordinary? That is the journey I’m so fortunate to have been set upon. I invite you to enjoy the results.

Theresa grew up in New Jersey near the Palisades of the Hudson River.   She started painting as a young child and her art has always been the focus of her life.   After living in Canada for twelve years, she moved to the Florida Panhandle where she works out of her home in Gulf Breeze, by Pensacola.   Through her generous use of color and bold brush strokes, Theresa creates oil paintings that represent the intimate and emotional bond she has with her natural surroundings.   Theresa was honored when her painting Gulf Islands National Seashore was selected to become part of the Permanent Art Collection of the Federal Reserve Board Bank in New Orleans.   She has been juried into Oil Painters of America and participated in their recent Salon Show of Traditional Oils.   In addition to her studio work, Theresa teaches painting from her Gulf Breeze studio, and is an adjunct instructor at Pensacola State College teaching Plein-Air painting, floral still life and color workshops.

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Mojo

Part-time clam farmer and full-time artist, Morris loves to create paintings and figures that sing with life.  Paints, papers, fabrics, wood, old tin, parts of old fishing boats —- all are materials for his happy constructions.  His love of the sea and all its creatures show in his work.

Whether sailing, fishing, tending his clams, or building boats, Morris Johnson is never far from the water.  Come see and enjoy his work. Morris’ art will make you smile.

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Brian Nash

I was born and raised in Boston. After college, I was an Account Executive at the Leo Burnett as agency in Chicago until I returned to school to get an MBA from Dartmouth. After graduate school, I moved to NYC, and was the Director of Retail Marketing and Advertising for Polo Ralph Lauren. While I was Polo, I got the urge to write country music, so I moved to Nashville to become a songwriter. I’ve had a few dozen songs recorded and have been nominated for major writing awards, and thought that writing would be it for me: I couldn’t imagine loving anything more.
Well, I was wrong…

Although I’ve always loved art and and have spent an absurd amount of time in museums and galleries, I had never painted. One day, though, I put down my guitar and started painting. So far, I’ve had great success: my art is sold in numerous galleries, and I’m in the permanent collection of may children’s hospitals, restaurants, and boutiques.

I’m drawn to paintings that have an inherent narrative, which may be a result of either my twisted mind or my background in advertising. It manifests itself in the image and titles of a great many of the paintings.

To further-explore narrative illustration, I’m currently writing and illustrating a children’s book.

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Jane Berke

I come from a long line of creative women. My grandmother carved animals out of soap and both grandmothers were excellent seamstresses. My mother did beautiful handiwork, which at the time seemed boring and old-fashioned to me. Now, I wish I could duplicate the precision of those stitches! Like my mother and grandmothers before me, I always dabbled in some sort of creative outlet, decoupaging lunch boxes in the 60’s, pouring psychedelic looking sand paintings in the 70’s, creating fabric flowers or knitting grandchildren’s sweaters, to name a few. Painting began as just another hobby, but quickly became an exhilarating passion.

When I was a child, our home was colorful, boasting a red wall in our living room and the Asian rugs were chartreuse and vibrant reds. I have always loved color and mixing colors and patterns. So, when I began to paint, I naturally was drawn to vivid color. I refer to my artistic expression as “cottage-style”, informal works that are free spirited and often depict animals, birds, flora, fauna and rural images. A love of all that is seen in Nature inspires me and motivates me to try to express an attitude or gestural sense of what I am painting. I work with acrylic paint and mixed media materials.

While I am primarily self-taught, I have taken studio workshop group classes with Atlanta artists Maureen Engle and Dr. Gary Bodner.

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Didon Comer

Didon Comer, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, moved from her home of 29 years in Atlanta, Georgia to Seagrove Beach, Florida in 1979. Her interests and skills are varied and include acrylic painting, photography, clothes design, furniture design, pottery, and sculpting. Didon is a self taught artist who began painting in 1993 and has become well known in the local art community in South Walton.

Didon has attended many workshops throughout the years. She has studied with Santa Rosa Beach artists Susan Lucas and Donnell Clark. And twice a year she attends the Springmaid workshops in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Didon currently lives in old Seagrove Beach where she paints from her seaside studio in her home on the gulf.

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Honey

I love to express in my paintings what my heart loves. I love music, old dogs, children being silly, old people telling their stories. People falling in and out of love. Life unfolding in it’s crazy lovely way. I try to stop and love the “little things” in life, to one day I think we will look back and realize they were the “big things”. Life is kind of like a good book, some chapters are great, some are awful, and some make no sense at all! I try to always remember that to enjoy this life you cannot take it too seriously. I hope you will be blessed with lots of “little big things” in your book of life!

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Carol Grice-Curran

I am a native of the South, living most of my life along the Gulf Coast in Alabama and Florida. As a young person, I spent my school years in Mobile, Alabama and my summers in Gulf Shores, Alabama. As an adult I have lived in the rural South, Gulf Shores and in Florida, Pensacola and suburban Tampa.

​My work reflects this heritage, principally the tranquility of landscapes, seascapes, florals, beaches, weather beaten barns, rusty tin roofs, blue crabs, dusty roads, pine forests and gardens. I am self-taught, but several mentors along the way helped me define my style which I describe as a mix of realism and impressionism. My mediums are oils and water colors. The works range from life-sized to miniatures.

Professionally, my art career started in 1973. My paintings sold, my interests and skills broadened, and in 1980 I opened a gallery and teaching studio which I operated for 10 years. I sold the business in 1989 and moved to Gulf Shores, actively continuing my art career for about another 10 years.

Beginning in 2000, caring for an ailing husband forced a sharp reduction in my time to paint. But a bright new phase in my life began in 2007 which resulted in a marriage, a move and a new studio in Lithia, Florida where I am happily ensconced painting…painting…painting.

I am always eager for the opportunity to study with a fellow artist or try a new technique. I am aware of new visual concepts developing before me each day, and I am constantly trying to reach new heights in my mediums.

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Carey Haynes

Art for me is creating something happy. It is about giving the perfect gift, something that touches someone’s life and brings joy. It is about telling someone you love them in the most special way possible. Art for me is focusing on the beauty of simplicity, to capture a moment in all God’s grace and glory, to share and give back, to focus on the positive things in life and to accept and grow with the challenges put before me. My paintings are my way of being God’s witness to his love, his grace and his truth.

Born in Atlanta, GA, I grew up in Texas, Germany and Tennessee. I started drawing and paintings as a child and continued exploring art throughout my early education. After attending college for two years at Queens College in Charlotte, NC, I completed my BS degree from the University of Tennessee in 1984.

Most of the images I create are considered mixed media. The use of acrylic paints, acrylic paint mediums, pastels, inks, fabric, paper, pencil and pen provide the opportunity for endless creative possibilities. My paintings are an exploration of new materials, techniques and ideas. There is always a message and meaning behind my work, many times the message is obvious, written on the painting itself. The source of the meaning and message is the reaction I feel to the world we live in and focuses on the joy, peace, grace, love and the challenges we encounter along the way. My family, friends and faith are the reason behind my desire to paint. They are the exploration of color, materials and meaning. They are the harmony of the connection.

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Anne Carter Brothers

I only paint beauty.

I invite you to share my creative journey as I capture the moment with my brush… a glance up a lane, over a garden wall, or down a beach. Not a view through a camera lens, but an artist’s interpretation.

When you look at my work and smile, I know I have the personal reaction I want from my painting.

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Linda Dragonette

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved with my family when I was five years old to Miami, Florida. What a great place to grow up and come of age.

“I remember my very first day in school, the teacher asked who the artist was in class. I raised my hand knowing it was me but I didn’t know what an artist was.” In my heart, I just knew.

My mother has always been my inspiration. She was a nurse but on her days off, she would paint. I would come in from school and watch her paint very detailed Clipper Ships. I did not know this was being an artist. She had so much fun, that that was all I wanted to do too. When I was fifteen, I was enrolled in a Commercial Art Program for three years. That was a very good all around foundation for any artist. After that, it was college but I was too antsy to stay with it, I just wanted to paint. Being young I thought I knew everything. After getting married at twenty-one and having a child I worked hard on my art at home. Since I did not drive, my husband would take me to the public library on Saturdays and I would check out all these big, heavy art books. My interests back then was Rembrandt, for his genius on value and contrast. Rembrandt remains to this day my greatest influence on how I can continue to paint. I absolutely loved Van Gogh for his freedom with color and brushwork. When I discovered Edgar Degas, I fell in love. I read each and every one of those big books. If only we had computers and the internet back then.

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Rhonda Brooks

“It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.” Pablo Picasso

I am seduced by the art of making paintings. Walking into an oil painting class for the first time, I knew that I was home. It felt right to be at the easel and the smell of the oil paint and mixtures grabbed me. I discovered the possibility that I could paint during a watercolor demonstration at school. I began by drawing and doing watercolor sketches from life. I attended the Atlanta College of Art on a portfolio scholarship, studying design, painting and color theory (taught by an instructor that wore only black!). After moving back to the Gulf Coast, I continued to take workshops and challenged myself to become proficient in painting with watercolors, acrylics and oils.

I prefer to use acrylic paint on paper surfaces much as a watercolor, but with more layers. Currently, I paint mainly in oil on canvas, as the color is truer and it has the flexibility that offers so many possibilities. My subject matter ranges from realistic landscape and still life, to abstraction. I am drawn to a subject and paint intuitively as the forms, contrasts, and color are developed. Color and forms are added and subtracted until a balance is achieved.

Rhonda’s studio is now at her home in Albany, GA.

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Wendy Fiedor

I am a native of Auburn, AL and moved to Nashville 25 years ago with my singer/songwriter husband. After 25 years in corporate human resources I traded my HR hat for a paintbrush.  In October 2009 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  It was not the end, but a new different part of my story.  I wouldn’t trade the clarity and sense of purpose my diagnosis gave me for a minute.  Painting has become therapy for me. To the extent we listen to our Holy Spirit is the extent to which we find peace.  And so goes my love affair with the color and texture of painting.  Most of my work is done on canvas, although I love the feel of painting on old wood or vintage metal. I am a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is expected.  And so, my year-end giving each year goes to Samaritan’s Purse, specifically to aid their work to eradicate child trafficking.  Thank you for helping make it possible for me to give in this way.

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Betty Wentworth

Betty received her B.A. Degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and her M.A.T. From Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Since college in the 1970’s, she studied water color painting with the late John Gaddes of Jackson, Mississippi at the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly. In the 1980’s, she studied at the Cheekwood Fine Arts Center. In 2000, she began painting under the tutelage of Russian artist Paul Zeppelin at the Centennial Club in Nashville, Tennessee.

Betty has studied with these mixed media artists:

Carolyn Goldsmith at Seaside, Florida

Fredrick Guess in San Miguel, Mexico

Betty has also participated in workshops with the following nationally- known plein air oil painters:

Dee Beard Dean in Cortona, Italy

Gayle Hurley at the Birmingham Botanical Garden

Henry Isaacs of Sharon, Vermont

Jason Suanders in Liepers Fork, Tennessee

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Mary Ann Caldwell

MARY ANN CALDWELL , TUPELO, MS HAS BEEN PAINTING FOR ONLY 12 YEARS WITH NO FORMAL TRAINING. HOWEVER, SHE FOUND A NICHE FOR HER MINIATURE PAINTINGS OF MOSTLY FRENCH AND ENGLISH THEMES

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Mercedes Franklin

MERCEDES’ INTEREST IN ART & DESIGN WAS INFLUENCED BY HER CALIFORNIAN FAMILY WHO PURSUED CAREERS IN DIFFERENT FIELDS OF THE ARTS. THEIR LOVE OF ANIMALS WOULD ALSO PROVE TO BE A GREAT INFLUENCE IN HER LIFE & ART. SHE FOLLOWED IN THEIR PATH & EARNED A DEGREE IN ART FROM SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERISTY WITH A SPECIALTY IN PRINTMAKING.

ARTIST STATEMENT:

I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE OIL PAINTS, THEIR COLORS, SMELL, TEXTURE & THE PROCESS OF MOVING THEM AROUND THE CANVAS. THEY HELP ME ACHIEVE “EXPRESSIVE REALISM” WHICH BEST DESCRIBES MY WORK. I WANT THE LIGHT TO TRAVEL THROUGH MY CANVAS & MAKE ITS OWN RYTHEM FOR PEOPLE TO ENJOY.

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Mercedes Franklin

MERCEDES’ INTEREST IN ART & DESIGN WAS INFLUENCED BY HER CALIFORNIAN FAMILY WHO PURSUED CAREERS IN DIFFERENT FIELDS OF THE ARTS. THEIR LOVE OF ANIMALS WOULD ALSO PROVE TO BE A GREAT INFLUENCE IN HER LIFE & ART. SHE FOLLOWED IN THEIR PATH & EARNED A DEGREE IN ART FROM SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERISTY WITH A SPECIALTY IN PRINTMAKING.

ARTIST STATEMENT:

I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE OIL PAINTS, THEIR COLORS, SMELL, TEXTURE & THE PROCESS OF MOVING THEM AROUND THE CANVAS. THEY HELP ME ACHIEVE “EXPRESSIVE REALISM” WHICH BEST DESCRIBES MY WORK. I WANT THE LIGHT TO TRAVEL THROUGH MY CANVAS & MAKE ITS OWN RYTHEM FOR PEOPLE TO ENJOY.

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© The Studio Gallery.    Telephone 850-231-3331

26 Logan Ln # D, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

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