Monday, April 7, 2014

Meet the rest of the 2014 Plein Air line up

 Christain Hemme
Hometown: Pensacola, FL
Medium: Oil and Watercolor
    Only twelve years old when he began taking instruction from professional artist and illustrator Marit Guild, Christian Hemme began learning the foundations of representational art.  Continuing his art learning after high school, he graduated summa cum laude with a BS in visual arts and a concentration in commercial art. 
     “As an artist I want my art not only to be masterful in technique, but also to engage the viewer’s mind.”  Artists who influence his personal growth as a professional include John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, and Ilya Repin as well as contemporary masters such as Richard Schmid, Scott Christensen, and Daniel Gerhartz.  “These artists exemplify the union of technique and narrative that I also hope to achieve.”
 Artist Statement:
“I passionately love Art; however, first and foremost, I passionately love Jesus Christ.  I paint only by his grace and for his glory”.  Inspiration for paintings comes from many places; however, the most compelling subject matter for me is figurative work and both maritime and mountainous landscapes. 

Beverly Ford Evans
Hometown: Franklin, TN
Medium: Oil
    Beverly Ford Evans is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. As a child she was drawn to the beauty that surrounded her. Encouraged by her parents, she began drawing and painting. As an adult Beverly has become a prolific artist. She has studied with accomplished artist Roger Dale Brown, OPA, Dawn Whitelaw, Paula Frizbe and Jeremy Lipking.
     After a carrier in interior design, Beverly was inspired by the beauty of her home state to return to her love of painting.  Tennessee is abundant in natural beauty and history and Beverly captures its essence and shares it through her paintings. With her deliberate brushwork and attention to the scene, Beverly captures the essence of the landscape beautifully and artfully.
She also loves to pack her paints and travel to other parts of our beautiful country, where she is inspired by the diversity and beauty at every turn in the road. Coupled with her love of landscapes is her love for animals. Beverly is sought after to paint commissions for loving pet owners. 

Diane Gibson Newsome
Hometown: Trussville, AL
Medium: Oil
    Diane Gibson Newsome produces representational art. Her style may best be described as "impressionistic realism". The paradox of perceived detail produced by abstract brush strokes and subtle elements especially intrigues her. Driven by a strong work ethic and love for painting, she is striving to refine her own approach to the effect of light and creating a three dimensional illusion through texture and sculpting with paint. Working primarily in oils with brush and palette knife, she appreciates the vivid and luminous quality of this medium.
    Newsome credits encouraging parents and grandparents for instilling an intense love and appreciation of nature in her at a very early age.  An ardent equestrian, gardener and wildlife enthusiast, she focuses on capturing the fabulous and unique essence of wildlife and nature subjects on canvas.  The convey-ance of the intangible emotional part of a painting is of paramount importance to her.  With her paintings, she communicates to the viewer a sense of place in the landscape as well as the quality of light on a subject.   
     In addition to participation in art festivals, Newsome is currently represented by the prestigious fine art gallery, Littlehouse Galleries, Birmingham, AL. She was recently honored to be chosen by the "Art Galleries and Artists of the South" Magazine as a featured Emerging Artist with images of her paintings included in the AGAS Vol. 10, Issue 3 (page 81) publication.

Friday, April 4, 2014

More Plein Air Artists!

Craig Reynolds
Hometown: Gadsden, AL
Medium: Oil
    The artists in my family can be traced back for many generations.  My Dad was an artist; his Dad was an artist and had several brothers and sisters that were artists as well.  So people ask me today “how long have you been paintings?” and my reply can only be “well as far back as I can remember, it’s simply something that we just always did.”
     I began my part time art career in 1984.  That’s when I began to show out of town and out of state more while maintaining my paying job at our local steel mill.  Back then I scheduled the weekend art festivals for the spring and summer, had four of my paintings made into limited edition prints.  I opened my art gallery and studio in Gadsden in 2004 and began teaching private classes and selling my work through my own and other galleries. 
     The first gallery that accepted my work was the Gale Gallery in New Orleans and they sold sixteen of my paintings in two months.  My next gallery was the Renaissance Gallery in Northport, Al, then the Shelby Lee Gallery in Charleston, SC. 
     My art career has evolved from a watercolorist to oil painter en plein air and studio impressionism. 
I guess one could say that my work is heavily influenced by my experiences and training as a realistic watercolorist.  Even though my oil paintings have evolved into more of an impressionistic style with influences of realism, the style also sometimes may be viewed as somewhat expressionistic as well.  None the less, I just do what feels right at the moment to convey the sense of movement, tension or atmosphere set by the subject.

Robin Roberts
Hometown: Decataur, AL
Medium: Oil
     Oil painter Robin Roberts has lived in five states but North Alabama roots keep her grounded.  Especially inspired by ordinary views by the side of the road, Robin seeks nobility in the everyday scenes we encounter.  Her southern landscapes draw us into the excitement and mystery of light and shadow, bringing to life that delicate time of day that is so fleeting.  Through vigorous brushwork, delicate touches, subtle color combinations and unusual compositions we are able to see the common transformed into places you know by heart. 
     Robin is equally attracted to painting animals and the figure as well as her signature landscapes.  She is grateful that she was trained to translate a vision into beautiful canvases by painting outdoors on location. This is Robin’s favorite method, and it allows her to add truth to larger paintings.  She especially enjoys participating in outdoor painting events.
“I am honored to have been an invited artist to the Huntsville Museum of Art Gala for five years.  I have received many awards, but I find the biggest reward is when someone passes by and says, “ahhhhhh” and knows a painting has touched a chord in the heart.” 

Jennifer Stottle Taylor
Hometown: Taft, Tn
Medium: Oil and Acrylic
     Jennifer Stottle Taylor is an award-winning professional oil and acrylic painter.  She combines impasto with realism, creating a thickly textured impressionistic result, that is embraced by collectors. She is an accomplished and sought after pet portrait artist, as well as figure painter and portrait artist. 
     Jennifer actively teaches and conducts painting and drawing workshops in Tennessee and Alabama. Because many private collectors admire her work, her work hangs in homes across America and Europe.  Jennifer’s work was recently seen hanging at the Booth Western Art Museum of Cartersville, GA.
 “I come from a realist background, but being an outdoor enthusiast, I have recently discovered a love for Plein Air painting.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This year's Plein Air artists part three

John Guernsey
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Medium: Oil

Originally from Southern California, John Brian Guernsey moved to Georgia in 1993 and transitioned to an art career in 2006. The work of Mr. Guernsey would best be described as contemporary impressionism/realism, in a 'plein air' style, and covers subject matter from landscapes and cityscapes to still life. Having developed his drawing skills through college and workshops, he now concentrates primarily on landscapes in oil. 

 Mr. Guernsey is a frequent participant in nationally ranked plein air festivals and maintains a busy schedule of classes and workshops around the southeast. He is represented exclusively by DK Gallery, in Marietta, GA. Mr. Guernsey's work reveals a keen observance of atmosphere and light, and is inspired not only by his love of nature, but by his interest in city life and architecture as well.

Artist’s Statement: "My work is primarily landscapes in oil paint, with an emphasis on the 'plein air' method and technique. I strive for a tonal, atmospheric look - and try to communicate to the viewer the feeling of 'being there'."

Amy Peterson
Hometown: Trussville, AL
Medium: Oil and Acrylic

After earning her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 2005, she was commissioned to paint a Universal Madonna figure for the retiring President of the University of Notre Dame, on behalf of the Multicultural Alumni network.  This experience inspired an on-going series of Madonna (mother-child) images. In addition, Amy paints extensively from life in oil and acrylics: still lifes and plein air landscapes.
Amy fell in love with the Southwest In 2005 while working at Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Southwestern art motifs  continue to inspire her work.
An advocate for Art Therapy, Amy is involved with art therapy programs at First Light Women’s Shelter of Birmingham and Very Special Arts of Alabama.

Artist Statement:
“COLOR and FORM excite me! In these I find LIFE and ENERGY fully expressed in the most SIMPLE, direct way.”
“On canvas and on foot, I enjoy exploring the infinite colors, forms, and textures of the natural world. While painting landscapes en plein air, immersed in the whims of a particular season or time of day, I aim to capture the essence of that place in time. “

Sharon Gates
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Medium: Oil

Painting primarily in oils, Sharon likes to consider herself an expressionist colorist when it comes to style.  After putting her artistic talents on hold for her teaching career then her family, she began painting in the 1980s at the encouragement of a friend.  Her first paintings sold in a show that same year.  Over the years she has studied with nationally acclaimed artists Kim English, Ken Backhaus, Nancy Chadbourn and locally with Barbara Evans.  Sharon has been an art instruction at the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Eastern Shore Art Association in Fairhope, AL.  She teaches workshops and paints with the Evans Wednesday Painters as well as with the Alabama Plein Air Artists and is currently President of the Birmingham Art Association.  Proficient in watercolor and acrylics as well, Sharon gained signature status in the Watercolor Society of Alabama .

Artist’s Statement:  My work is the expression of personal feelings and responses to light, color, paint properties, and the subject before me.  Because I work in oils, acrylics, and watercolors, I am considered a multi-media artist.  I allow the subject and the effect I want to dictate which medium to use.  I love it ALL!  Creativity is always my guide through the piece. 

As an art teacher, my goal is to inspire and challenge students of all levels to creative and artistic expression.  My philosophy?  “Paint from your heart, paint the best you know how, forgive yourself, and never stop learning.   Above  all else, remember that there are no mistakes, only creative opportunities.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Meet more of 2014's Plein Air Artists

Dot Courson
Hometown: Pontotoc, MS
Medium: Oil

Mississippi native Dot Courson is a full-time artist whose art depicts the beautiful southern landscapes of Mississippi, Tennessee,
Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. She has traveled the US painting and photographing the scenery but still prefers the beauty of the southern landscape.  She also does still life paintings, and portraits of good folks who have character and integrity.

Dot took her first art courses in college where she obtained a Master’s in Nursing/ Healthcare Administration. She worked as a registered nurse, nurse administrator and taught nursing for several years while painting part-time and studying privately with the late Billy Kirk -- a noted and respected Mississippi artist who she considers her true mentor.

Courson’s goal in painting is to remind the viewer of the beauty of the ever changing landscape—not to paint a photographic likeness but to interpret the light and atmosphere and essence of the subject as she sees it and feels it.

Amanda Leigh Lovett
Hometown: Gainesville, GA
Medium: Oil

Born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia, Amanda Lovett has always had a fascination with drawing.  After graduation from the Atlanta Portfolio Center, she worked for the advertising firm of McDonald and Little in Atlanta until founding Image Impact, a full service-advertising agency.
While still working in advertising, Lovett studied watercolor landscape under Frank Broadhurst. Making the decision to be a full time painter and switching to oils, she has continued seeking instruction, studying with David Leffel, Bill Davidson and Peggy Everett, as well as several local instructors. She is currently represented by galleries in Georgia, Utah, and Wyoming, Carder shows her work in regional fine art shows

Artist Statement:
“I find myself looking at life with increasing wonder as I grow as an artist. I am surrounded by a world of beautiful moments; my desire is to express the simple details that make those moments exceptional.”

Millie Gosch
Hometown: College Park, GA
Medium: Oil

 A native of Newnan, Georgia, Millie Gosch finds the lowlands and rural fields in the area and the marshes and waters of coastal Georgia inspirations for her landscape paintings.

She pursued her passion in art studies at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Later, she returned to her native Georgia and settled in the Atlanta area. After a successful career in the decorative arts, Ms. Gosch returned to her first love of fine arts.

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. .

She is active in bringing well-know plein air painters to the Southeast to teach workshops. Ms. Gosch has won several awards, most recently as a finalist in the prestigious RayMar Second Annual Fine Art Competition with her oil painting “Sunrise in Summer.”

Artist’s Statement: “For me, art is an expression of my love of nature. The colors and energy of the outdoors create in me a need to capture those qualities in a permanent way. I especially love serene landscapes, and I try to simplify them to highlight that serenity. With my brushstrokes I hope to take the viewer to a special place:  the quiet reflection of a special moment in time.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Meet some of this year's Plein Air Artists

Donna Chieves
 Birmingham, AL
Medium:  Oil

Donna Chieves has painted, taken art classes, and passed along her art knowledge by teaching classes and workshops for over 50 years.  Venues include Alabama, Atlanta, GA, Paris, France, and Bihar India. In 2001, she earned a B.A. in Art from Montevallo University.  Her previous alma mater, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, featured her creative talent in their Winter 2001 Alumni Magazine.  From 2006 until 2012, she was the leader of the Alabama Plein Air Artists and still enjoys joining friends to paint beautiful Alabama landscapes.  She is represented by Arceneaux Gallery in Birmingham, Blue frog Gallery in Montevallo, and Comer Museum in Sylacauga.  Donna enjoys working in oils, watercolors, graphite, or ink.  Her works are in corporate and private collections such as Delta Airlines, Energen, and Amsouth.*
Diane Munkittrick
Santee, SC
Medium: Oil
Dianne has been a nature lover since childhood. After staying home with her young children, she returned to school to get a degree in graphic design. While there she discovered her long lost love of painting and decided to channel her efforts in that direction. Predictably, her subject matter choice was wildlife and nature. She initially drew her inspiration from north Idaho where she lived for over 30 years.  Living in South Carolina has provided new and inspiring sources to draw from. Her use of light and color set the mood for her work, allowing the beauty of nature to shine through. She strives to capture and reflect the essence, color and changing light of the moment, as well as the spirit of the animal.  Dianne’s goal is to paint beyond the literal interpretation of nature and instill the awe and wonder that nature inspires.

Gina Brown
Glencoe, AL
Medium: Oil
A native of Glencoe, Alabama, Gina Brown showed an early talent for art and that interest continued into college where she earned a B.A. in Graphic Design.  Her professional career includes several years as an art director for a national marketing agency as well as running an independent advertising agency.  Brown’s impressionistic style fills her canvases with loose, painterly strokes of vibrant color and movement.  In describing her inspiration, Brown says, “Our Creator made us with a desire to create.  I am trying to honor Him by showing the world the way I see His creation.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I know you have been waiting for this - the list of artists coming to Gadsden April 9 - 13 for the Plein Air Invitational.  Just look at this!
Gina Brown - Glencoe, AL
Donna Chieves - Birmingham, AL
Dot Courson - Pontotoc, MS
Beverly Ford Evans - Franklin, TN
Sharon Gates - Birmingham, AL
Millie T. Gosch - College Park, GA
John Guernsey - Marietta, GA
Christian Hemme - Pensacola, FL
Amanda Lovett - Gainesville, GA
Dianne MunKittrick - Santee, SC
Diane G. Newsome - Trussville, AL
Amy R. Peterson - Trussville, AL
Craig Reynolds - Rainbow City, AL
Robin Roberts - Decatur, AL
Jennifer Stottle Taylor - Taft, TN

Five new artists are on the list and each brings a unique plein air technique - flair, if you will!  Just a teaser today - tomorrow I will show a brief bios and some images of some of the artists work.  Can't wait for you to see them painting - round town!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Only a Few Workshop Spots Open!

The Roger Dale Brown Plein Air Workshop hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art has only a few openings left! Here is an opportunity for intermediate and advanced artists to raise their paintings to a new level using the experiences and insights of master plein air painter Roger Dale Brown as a springboard.  Events include:

Sunday, April 6 at 2: Mr. Brown’s keynote presentation for the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational—a public lecture on the practice of plein air painting and its relevance to artists and collectors.

Sunday, April 6, 6-8: Orientation for workshop participants
On Location--
Day 1: Hokes Bluff

Monday, April 7, 9 to 5: Painting at a working farm in the Hokes Bluff with the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains as background.

Day 2: James Martin Wildlife Park
Tuesday, April 8, 9 to 5: Painting in the James Martin Wildlife Park in Gadsden offers water views, native plants, herons and other waterfowl.
Day 3: Noccalula Falls

Wednesday, April 9, 9 to 5: Painting at Noccalula Falls, a location that offers wrap-around views of a dramatic 90-foot waterfall, the rocky stream that feeds it and the deep gorge below the falls.  
Bonus: Artists have the option of sending one of their workshop paintings to be exhibited in the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational in the galleries of the Gadsden Museum of Art from April 13 (opening reception 2-4) through May 2.

More about the workshop:  Roger Dale Brown’s paintings have won first place and best of show awards, been juried into national exhibitions, published in Artist Magazine and American Art Collector, displayed in galleries throughout the United States, and collected by celebrities and corporations. He is dedicated to painting from life, on location, as the best way to enhance the ability to see the nuances of a scene. His goal is to capture the emotion what he sees and distill that into his paintings. Roger Dale Brown believes in passing along what he has learned through teaching. To learn more, visit Roger Dale Brown's website at

Workshop tuition: $425 (supplies not included).  A 50% deposit is required to reserve a space, $100 of which is not refundable.  Don’t delay, Mr. Brown’s classes fill quickly and space is strictly limited!  
To register for the workshop or request more information about the workshop or the SPAI, contact Elaine at the Gadsden Museum of Art (256-546-7365 or