Visual Language Magazine Contemporary Fine Art Vol 2 No 8


VL Visual Language Magazine Vol 2 No 8 August 2013 Visual Language Magazine is a contemporary fine art magazine with pages filled with dynamic fine art, brilliant color and stimulating composition. This month features Marine Art Gallery in Salem MA, Spotlight Interview with Canadian Artist Drew Keilback, studio visits with German/UK Artist Nick Gonzalez, Maritime Artist Austin Dwyer, American Landscape artists David Forks and Jason Tako and Artspan Photographer John G. Lomba. On the Cover is the artwork of Artspan Artist Victoria Pendragon. Visual Language is the common connection around the world for art expressed through every media and process. The artists connect through their creativity to the viewers by both their process as well as their final piece. No interpreters are necessary because Visual Language crosses all cultures around the world.



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August 2013 Volume 2 No. 8

Victoria Pendragon - VL Magazine | 1



Contemporary Fine Art

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August 2013 Vol 2 No 8


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Victoria Pendragon

In 1988 through 1989 I experienced the crippling

of my whole body and the hardening of

my internal organs due to progressive systemic

sclerosis. Art as a way of interacting with the

world stopped for me as I embarked on an adventure

that would first save and then change

my life. My very unlikely recovery led me

towards work where I could be of assistance to

others and public art took a back seat for many

years as I used it only for personal therapy,

exploration and an expansion of my


VL Cover Artist

In 2008, following a divorce from my collaborator,

I began to feel an irrepressible urge to

create and that urge found its expression first

in collage, then in painting on silk and finally

emerged in a meeting of mediums, in which I

layer painted silk with collage as well as found

and created objects. My focus is almost always

feeling energy. These are still the mediums in

which I do most of my work.

I became acquainted with the various manifestations

of energy during my years of healing

as I explored one after another so-called alternative

methods in that there was – and is – no

known cure for scleroderma. During that time

I also became acutely aware of the role that

feelings play in the body and in the way that

they affect the energy of the body. In my work,

I strive to create pieces that inspire feelings

in the viewer, allowing their feelings to evoke

response. In my Painted Poetry series, I offer

a little somethng for the mind as well. First

published as a poet in 1964, I have gone on to

become both a poet and a published author. - VL Magazine | 3

Sea, Sky and Landscapes

Dannielle Mick

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content VL

WAOW Colorado 2013

WAOW - Announces the winners of the

2013 competition. Best of Show Betty Gates

“Spring Water”

Painter’s Keys - Robert Genn 17

ARTSPAN Landscape Painting - 28

CFAI Colors on My Palette 34 - 37

Dianna Fritzler and Angela Sullivan

Read the up close and personal interviews from two

artists. Find out more about what they use when painting

and things that are special in their lives.

Hall Groat

Lost and Found Edges in Classical Still life Painting 48

Hall Groat shares painting techniques

for setting the atmosphere for your

background in your paintings..

VL Gallery Visit with Marine Arts in Salem MA 54

Generations of Art in this family gallery featuring

American Maritime Painters.

VL Studio Visit with American Maritime Artist

Austin Dwyer 62

Austin Dwyer’s touch with his brush brings to life the

beautiful stories in Maritime Art. “I was an illustrator

during the day, returning home to my studio where I

finally painted what I dearly loved, marine art.“ - VL Magazine | 5

ARTSPAN Studio Visit Sam Hall with Art Review

by Hall Groat II 74

Striving for Excellence in Realistic Paintings devoted to Nature -

offering Owners and Viewers the sense of Peace and Tranquility that we all

crave in this hectic world.

ARTSPAN Spotlight Drew Keilback 102

VL Studio Visit with Landscape Artist Jason Tako 88

Sometimes great things can come out of tragedy. Sometimes we learn more

of who we are through suffering and trial. Any successful artist has to

pay his or her dues; to work hard and go through a good number

of failed paintings before they discover their artistic voice. And sometimes

the struggle can be something not directly related

to art, yet it can still have an impact on our art.

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be an artist

Impossible to tell. Like most artists I’ve enjoyed drawing for

as long as I can remember. I think drawing is a primordial

means of communication and, as children, we instinctively

pick up a pencil to convey our first messages. For some of

us the ‘medium is the message’ and we continue

on to become artists in all its different forms.

VL Barry Scharf Shares

Maritime Landscapes Canada 118

VL Studio Visit with Texas Landscape Painter David Forks 126

I have just started to learn this process of painting

and it is abundantly clear to me that it will take a lifetime

to figure out. There is nothing I can think of that is more

rewarding and simultaneously puzzling.

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content VL

ARTSPAN Studio Visit Nick Gonzalez 146

I grew up on farms in the southern English countryside of Dorset and

Hertfordshire - my father was a dairyman (he had originally hailed from

Gibraltar, a very small rock in the Mediterranean Sea, without a single cow).

My mother had attended painting classes at the London Central School of Art,

but had to temporarily give up her artistic work for a busy family/farm life, post-war.

VL Gallery Exhibit with Deborah Flood 158

Award winning watercolorist, Deborah Flood, a native of Maine,

has been invited by the International Museum of Art of El Paso,

Texas, to exhibit 40 of her large Equine and Western Watercolors.

ARTSPAN Photographer John G Lomba 174

“There is a mysterious appealing mystical quality about the world’s oceans

and waterways which captivates many a sailor and land-lubber alike.

I have been fortunate enough to have been both. But not until recent times

have I been able to make the association to incorporate what I see with

photography. That was when I realized that these two subjects could

work well together in perfect harmony.” Art Challenge “Summer Fun” 184

Best of Show Carmen Beecher “Leap of Faith” - VL Magazine | 7

Artist of the Day

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ― Edgar Degas

Sign up today.

If you want to be featured on Artist of the Day, Contact Visual Language Magazine.

8 | VL Magazine -

Carol Engles - VL Magazine | 9

Not big enough.

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Tim is redoing it - VL Magazine | 11

waow colorado 2013

BEST OF SHOW – “Spring Water” – Betty Gates

Two Dimensional:

1st Place: “Waiting for Evening” – Cecy Turner

2nd Place: “Buckin’ Fool” – Lindsey Bittner Graham

3rd Place: “Sunset” – Teri Gortmaker

Three Dimensional:

1st Place: “Halcyon II” – Georgene McGonagle

2nd Place: “But I Love Stilettos” – Tammy Baility

3rd Place: “Waiting On The #9” – Lori Pandy

Best Landscape

“Running Around” - Amy Evans

Best Animal

“Preening Macaw” – Cathy Sheeter

Best Figurative

“Big Thoughts” – Shirley Hove

Best Still Life

“The Silver” – Eileen Nistler

Juror Awards

“Tapestry” – Heather Arenas

“Water To Wine” – Shirley Gipson

“The Red Door” – Carol Maltby

Merit Awards

“China Doll” – Judith Birch

“Headin’ West” – Judith Dickinson

“China Vase, White Roses and Oranges”

– Dee Kirkham

“Regal Chukar” – Kim Middleton

“Flower Boy” – Naomi Shachar

“The Silver Pitcher” – Jody Anderson

“Flint Creek in Winter” – Jennifer Hunter

Honorable Mention

“Collected Canter” – Shirley Wempner

“Bling” – Cheryl Harley-Volz

“Safe in her Arms” – Joanne Hanson

“Ready and Waiting” – Debbie Hughbanks

“After the Dance” – Kathy Anderson

“Pulling the Wagon” Linda Wells

“It’s Been A Long Day” – Linda Walker

“Thompson Confluence” – Ginger Whellock



“Kelli’s Morning Walk – Lyn Phariss


“Sunset at Lake McDonald” – Sandhyaa Shetty


“Spring Water” – Betty Gates


“Azalea Impact” – Joey Frisillo


“Winter Bison” – Mary Ann Cherry


“Headin’ West” – Judith Dickinson

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BEST OF SHOW – “Spring Water” – Betty Gates - VL Magazine | 13

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Contemporary Fine Art

Visual Language Magazine Staff


Editor -in-Chief Laurie Pace

Executive Editor Lisa Kreymborg

Consulting Editor Nancy Medina

Consulting Editor Diane Whitehead

Consulting Editor Debbie Lincoln

Feature Contributor Robert Genn Painter’s Keys

CFAI Contributor Kimberly Conrad

Feature Editor Art Reviews Hall Groat II

Feature Writer Barry Scharf

Feature Writer David Darrow

VL Sponsor ARTSPAN Eric Sparre



Marketing and Development

Executive Director Business/Management Stacey Hendren

All Artwork is Copyrighted by the Individual Artists.

Visual Language Vol 2 No 6

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Painter’s Keys

with Robert Genn

Painting in public

June 28, 2013

Dear Artist,

Robert Genn’s

Studio Book

Yesterday, Susan Winslow of Dana Point, California wrote, “Last weekend I took a two-day workshop from

the excellent plein air painter Frank Eber. Now a few of us are going to meet tomorrow to paint. We have the

equipment, but are intimidated at painting in public. Any suggestions”

Thanks, Susan. I appreciate that women may have more concerns about painting in public, especially alone,

than do men, but together you should be fine. Alone or in a group, the main aggravations are the inane

remarks from strangers who wander over to see what you’re doing.

“That’s pretty good--you should take up painting,” is an encouragement I’ve been offered more than once.

Decency obliges me to respond to these folks, but sometimes I wish Dorothy would just bite them.

Funnily, when you work alone, most passersby give you a wide berth--more so in Eastern and European

cultures. On the other hand, some painters welcome intercourse, and even take the opportunity to hand out

their cards, upcoming show invitations, or sell directly “right off the easel.” In our area there’s currently a guy

in a green smock who I’m told makes a living doing this.

Painter’s Keys - Robert Genn

After coming off a workshop with a top watercolourist like Frank Eber, I think it’s important to go out again

as soon as possible while those long soft washes and the Eber spirit are still fresh in your mind. FYI, we’ve put

a selection of Frank Eber’s work at the top of the current clickback.

Curiously, people are more likely to stay away if you wear a big hat. Apparently, hat wearers these days are

perceived as more “independent and private.” Going bare-headed attracts interlopers. Ear buds are useful

deterrents as well. Sitting in (or near) a cheap panel van puts them off completely.

Those heading out for the first time often make the mistake of driving around all day looking for the perfect

scene. You can actually set down anywhere as you’ll almost always see something you didn’t notice at first.

“Everything outside is exciting to look at,” said the great outdoor painter Irwin Greenberg (1922-2009).

“There are hundreds of paintings all around.”

Best regards,


PS: “Plein air painting is the perfect forum for learning, as it is observation-driven. Placing technique secondary

to observation is the essence of working the field.” (Ken Auster)

Esoterica: Painting in the remote out-of-doors is the best plein air of all. Occasional passersby, stumbling

on the vision of a painter at work, share the magic and are sometimes encouraged to stay for tea. I’ve made

lifelong friends this way. “It’s important to realize how connected we all are as humans,” says the outdoor

painter Rodney Cobb, “especially as plein air artists.” In my own work in the Rockies I’ve also come face to

face with mice, yellow-bellied marmots, raccoons, porcupines, wolves and one lone wolverine. So far no grizzlies.

If these letters stop coming you’ll know that I have. - VL Magazine | 17

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Michael Maron

Fine Art Watercolor - VL Magazine | 19

Jimmy Longacre

20 | VL Magazine -

Dyan Newton

Colors of Life

Visit my website for workshops and class schedules. - VL Magazine | 21

achel weissberger

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Victoria Pendragon

The Art of Transformation

Title of Piece: Integrating Into the Day

Mixed Media (resist dyed silk, collage, acrylic, found objects, sparkles),

12” x 12,” framed, $300 - VL Magazine | 23

Lelija Roy

Aspen Spaces

Lindyhop Lovers 7 x 5” oil on panel

Colorado Memories 24 x 48 Acrylic with Mixed Media © Lelija Roy

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Lelija Roy Capturing Colorado

Art on a Whim Gallery in Breckenridge, CO (970) 547-8399

James Ratliff Gallery in Sedona, AZ (928) 282-1404

Commissions: - VL Magazine | 25

Tom Chesar

Sergeantsville Farm

Oil on linen mounted on hardboard, 16” x 24

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Landscape Painting


Eric Palson

Leigh Campion

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Peak to the Pacific

Eric Bodtker - VL Magazine | 29


The Next Door Gallery Houston, TX

the den-DRAW-logy exhibition

August 15- September 26th

Reception Thursday, August 15th 7pm to 10pm

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32 | VL Magazine -


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ll your work using integrated shopping carts - Prints on demand. Low cost $15 -20 a month. - VL Magazine | 33 Colors On My Palette

Dianna Fritzler

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be ‘an artist’

Hmmm... for me, these are two different questions. I realized I

had a passion for art when I was 25 and a girlfriend and I backpacked

around the world for a year (to our mothers’ dismay). We

met up with an artist friend in Germany named Scott Fraser. (If

you aren’t familiar with his master work in contemporary realism,

you need to stop reading right now and google Scott Fraser art.

You will be blown away!) Anyway, he very kindly shared his vast

art and art history knowledge with us as we visited museums in

Italy and Greece. His amazing insights and knowledge, reeled me

in and I’ve been hooked on art ever since!

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d be a selling artist! It wasn’t even on my radar until about

eight years ago. However, to have the privilege of people actually wanting to buy my paintings to hang in

their homes is such an incredible honor. So, it’s not so much that I wanted to be an artist. It’s that wonderful

people and the universe gifted me to be able to love it and make a living doing it. Thank you!

P.S. I believe we are ALL born artists! It’s just that some of practice it more often than others.

Who has been the greatest influence from your past to mentor you to this career

Nature is my greatest influence. You just can’t beat it. I never formally studied art, so I don’t have academic

mentors. However, I have had numerous talented artists take me under their wing and guide me,

allowing this journey as an artist to not be quite so bumpy.

Grand Junction, Colorado, where I live and work, has a very large, talented and incredibly kind artist

population. I am so fortunate to live where other artists openly and willingly share information,

techniques, resources and support.

Who is your mentor today, or another artist you admire and why

My mentor is always the ultimate Creator.

There are so many artists I admire and salivate over their work including Cathy Hegman, Diana Woods,

Mary Mansfield, Barbara Gilhooly, Don Quade and Kevin Box to name a few. Each of these artists’ work

speaks to me in different ways, each offering pure enjoyment.

What is your favorite surface to paint on Describe it if you make it yourself.

There is the nicest guy here in Grand Junction who is a talented carpenter and disabled veteran. He

custom makes gorgeous wooden cradled boards for me. They’re so pretty and smooth that I sometimes

feel bad covering them up! I also like Fredrix Pro Deluxe 2.25” gallery wrapped canvas when I desire a

rougher surface.

Do you have a favorite color palette

Napthol red is a my standard. I begin each creation with a Napthol Red underpainting and most of my

paintings are on the warm spectrum of color. However, I find that more and more I am leaning towards

cool colors. It really depends on whether I’m doing abstract or expressionistic work.


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Read more at - VL Magazine | 35 Colors On My Palette

Angela Sullivan

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be ‘an artist’

Art has always been a part of my life though uncontrolled and in its

rawest form. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are of the

times I made countless intricate paper doll clothes. When I was 16 my

mother bought me a wood art box filled with oil paints. I did not know

how to paint or anything about painting and so with much determination

my journey began. Now a day without painting is a day that I feel

in the depths of my soul that something is amiss.

Who has been the greatest influence from your past to mentor you to this career

My father was my greatest influence. From as far back as I can remember he always told me that I can do

anything if I wanted to bad enough. He would tell me that my paintings were good even from my very first efforts

which were actually far from being good.

Who is your mentor today, or another artist you admire and why

Two artists who have greatly affected my life and encouraged me when I have felt like giving up are Hilda

Muxo Klinger and Carol Blackburn who comment on my blog almost daily. They both have been a great inspiration

to me and have given me the push I needed to stay on course.

What is your favorite surface to paint on Describe it if you make it yourself.

I love to paint on gallery wrapped canvas. 6x6 is my size of choice but of course I paint larger as the need arises.

What brand of paints do you use

Winsor & Newton artist grade paints. I have also used Gamblin with satisfaction.

Do you have a favorite color palette

I usually use the same colors but add a few rogue ones in just for good measure. Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue,

Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Yellow Light, Burnt Umber. I do add Permanent

Rose and sometimes Sap Green for special touches.

What is your favorite color in your palette

Permanent Rose by Winsor & Newton

What subject appears the most in your paintings and why

I add cherries quite often to my still life paintings. They are just right when you just need to add a little something

here or there. The subject which I love to paint the most are cows. Any time I paint a cow I find myself

smiling for no particular reason.

How often do you paint How many hours a week

I paint daily. I would say that I paint approximately 20-30 hours a week.

How would you like to be remembered

I would like to be remembered as a peacemaker.


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Read more at - VL Magazine | 37

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Charles F. Mann

Limited Edition Woodblock & Linocut Prints

Greek Fishing Boats 16” x 12” 7-block linocut

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Maritime and Landscape

Art of Chesapeake Bay

Maryland Artist

David Terrar - VL Magazine | 41

Lynn Cunningham

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Linda McCoy

Commissions Welcome.

Landscapes, Figurative and Still Life - VL Magazine | 43

Hall Groat II

American Fine Artist

42 Street, New York City Night Scene, Original Oil Painting 24 by 36

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Seascapes and Marine Art

Peter Barrett - VL Magazine | 45

David R. Darrow

so many things to paint. so little time.

Man of Renewal


Ashton’s Morning

46 | VL Magazine - Kenyan Daughter

The Wanderer

Portrait of Anne Gillum


David R. Darrow

Realistic Impressionism

Accepting Commissions

Subscribe to Private Mailing List:


408.641.0799 - VL Magazine | 47

VL Hall Groat II

Lost and Found Edges in Classical Painting

By Hall Groat II,

Professor and Chairperson,

Art and Design Department, Broome Community College


Hall Groat II Distant Learning Painting School, DVD Instruction Series

Add Mystery to Your Paintings Through Losing Edges

Softening or completely dissolving the edges of parts of the subject contributes to the overall sense of

atmospheric space, mystery and mood. Realizing form in this manner also mimics the way in which

we see the world. Try this as an experiment: completely focus your attention on the exact center

of your hand and notice how your peripheral vision becomes fuzzy and blurred. Humans, unlike a

camera, do not have the capability to perceive all edges as sharp simultaneously. We see the world

in continual motion since time does not stand still. Even when we think of a memory within in our

“mind’s eye” there is a sense of movement to this imaginary vision.

Hall Groat II, American Artist

American Dream


Oil on canvas

$3000 Framed

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Shared Value and Lost and Found Edges

Many artists describe “shared value” as a process of “loosing and finding edges”. Varying the quality

of edges is an important aspect of suggesting naturalistic illusions.

The edges of forms will appear sharp, soft or completely diffused based on the quality of light and

respective values of the neighboring forms and surrounding space.

Squint, so your eyes are barely open allowing only a small amount of light to enter, and what you

see will appear as simplified light and dark patterns. Allow your eyes to navigate across and around

the contours of the forms to determine in what sections the value-key of the subject is similar to the

background. Where the values appear similar the edge may be softened or diffused, and where the

values are equal the edge may disappear completely.

Hall Groat II, American Artist


20”x16” Oil on canvas

$2,200 Framed - VL Magazine | 49

VL Hall Groat II

Lost and Found Edges in Classical Painting

with Hall Groat II

Hall Groat II, American Artist


20”x24” Oil on canvas



Hall Groat II, American Artist

Soccer Ball

30”x24” Oil on canvas

$1800 Framed

50 | VL Magazine -


Marina Boats - Acrylic 40” x 30” - VL Magazine | 51

Boats in Harbor

The Kern

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Saugatuck 8 a.m.

Steve Kaminski

Digital Printmaking and Fine Art Photography

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

Orchard Lawn - VL Magazine | 53


VL Gallery Visit - Marine Arts Salem MA

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Yacht Race Volunteer and Thistle New York Harbor by Shane Micheal - VL Magazine | 55


Gallery Visit - Marine Arts Salem MA

Established 1968 by Russell W. and Donald V. Kiernan

Marine Arts Gallery was established in 1968 by

Russell W. Kiernan and Donald V. Kiernan. It is the

oldest gallery in the United States devoted exclusively

to marine paintings.

The family tradition continues with the second generation

involved with the running of the gallery. We

always have a fine selection of early marine painters

such as Buttersworth, Jacobsen, and many others.

We have the finest selection of the very best contemporary

artists including exclusive representation

of Roy Cross, RSMA, Terry Bailey, RSMA, Richard

Loud, ASMA and several other emerging marine


We are located in historic Salem, Massachusetts

on the campus of the Peabody-Essex Museum. We

have had a representative in Naples, Fl for the last

16 years. Richard Kiernan is available to advise,

appraise and purchase your fine art.

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This is End of the Day Nantucket by Richard K Loud - VL Magazine | 57


Gallery Visit - Marine Arts Salem MA

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New Orleans by Roy Cross RSMA - VL Magazine | 59


Gallery Visit - Marine Arts Salem MA

Water as always been a part of my life and I do mean the ocean~sea water.

I had the great luck of growing up on the ocean in the northshore town of Beverly (outside of


Our summers revolved around small sailboats, and a 13’ Boston Whaler power boat. So, it

was a natural transition for my family to have marine paintings in our home growing up.

My father, Russell, had such an avid interest in the early painters, such as Fitz Hugh Lane and

Robert Salmon that he opened the first gallery in the United States devoted to marine art.

The Marine Arts Gallery opened in 1968 in the seaport town of Salem, Massachusetts to the

Peabody-Essex Museum.

The museum was established by the early sea captains and retains one of the finest collections

of historical marine art in the world.

Our beautiful red brick gallery is well known for its hand carved sign depicting a Salem clippership.

With my dad, Russ’ guidance, the second generation,including my sisters and brothers

have sold an amazing amount of original paintings over the last 45 years, including reaching

a milestone recently of selling our 10,000th painting.

Originally the gallery sold exclusively antique ship paintings, but my dad noticed 20 years ago

that that market was becoming very limited. So, we engaged what we felt were some of the

best men and women to paint historical yacht scenes and port paintings.

We were able to attract the very best artists by engaging a unique program of buying the

paintings, rather than taking them on consignment. Obviously makes it easier for the artist to

make a decent living, and as well as proving to our clients that we are confident enough to put

our money into purchasing the artist work before we ask them to.

Over the years we have sold to some of the very best museums, including the Texas Seaport

Museum, the Minnesota Marine Museum, as well as some of the largest fortune 500

companies. We also offer expert restoration and framing services as well as fine arts appraisals

for the works in your maritime collection.

Some of the antique artists we feature include Buttersworth, Jacobsen, Bricher, Stubbs. Other

artists include Montague Dawson, Tom Hoyne, David Thimgan and Cape Ann artists Emile

Gruppe, A. Hibbard, and Anthony Thieme. Modern masters include A.D.Blake, Dusan Kadlec,

Richard Loud, Shane Couch, Terry Bailey and Roy Cross R.S.M.A.

We are located at 135 Essex Street, with ample parking behind our building. Open 9 to 4:30

daily except Sundays or by appointment. Our website is

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Studio Visit Maritime Artist

Austin Dwyer


I was born in Ireland in 1938. Looking back on my life, I remember imagining what

I would be when I grew up. Parents have their ideas for your future and mine were

no different. At twelve, my father’s destiny for me was to become a tradesman.

My mother, with a more romantic direction saw me as a great musician. Even my

maiden aunt who lived with us, chirped in. I would be a sea captain as were all her

male predecessors. I admit that I regarded the idea of exploration exciting, so I naturally

turned to someone Irish. I read all that I could find on Sir Ernest Shackleton.

I developed a very strong dislike for the cold. I remember one cold wintry night,

with empathy for those early explorers of the roaring sixties; I went to bed without

my hot water bottle, an indulgence never repeated.

Immersing myself in his memoirs and Antarctic expeditions, I was excited, imagining

his 800-mile journey across a cold turbulent sea. Trekking across a mountain

to reach South Georgia Island didn’t appeal to me. My ruminations suggested

pictures of anxiety, all in the safety of my imagination. I soon realized that painting

those images would be most challenging, and that I could share my images with

people whose reading of these events might be enhanced by my paintings.

So it was, at that early age, my ideas about becoming a fine artist were sown. I

would concentrate on becoming an illusionist. I did make every effort to oblige my

father to become a bricklayer. I made an effort to please all of their suggestions.

I built brick walls, floated floors, studied music, took a great interest in literature,

studied art and went to sea. My travels finally brought me to America where I

immediately joined the USAF. At last, I could explore the South Pacific from the

comfort of a C-124 Globemaster


Upon my discharge from the military, I met Mig Peters and fell madly in love. After

she finally consented to marry me, I decided that it was time for me to settle down.

Together we created 8 wonderful children, 23 grandchildren and 3 great grand

children. After we were married, I decided to continue with my art education and

studied at the Burnley School of Professional Art. After graduation I taught there

for 14 years. In 1968, I developed my own advertising agency. I was an illustrator

during the day, returning home to my studio where I finally painted what I dearly

loved, marine art.

The paintings in this article involve just 4 of Shackleton’s ships and a lifeboat, the

Caird. The Endurance, Nimrod, Aurora and the Quest, would have been nothing

more than plates of steel, wood, twisted tar lines and bales of cloth had it not been

for Ernest Shackleton and the men who served under him. It is their story that gave

these ships character and soul.

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Austin Dwyer

Martime Artist


The Endurance, built in Norway for polar conditions, was 44 meters long with a 7.6-meter beam. Her

forward mast was square rigged while her two after masts carried fore and aft sails. Her steam engine

was 350 horsepower giving her over 10 knots. Unfortunately, Endurance was not designed bowl-bottomed,

rather she was more vertical-walled which may have contributed to her being crushed and not

popped up by the ice. I painted her in the Weddell Sea under sail. Later I show two crew members

sounding ahead of the ship. She finally headed into the ice pack and eventually I painted the evacuation.

On August 6th 1914, Endurance sailed for the southern regions to the Weddell Sea. Shackleton’s

quest was to circumnavigate the South Pole. She sailed through heavy ice pack and on January 18th

after weeks of intense weather, Endurance was completely compressed in the ice pack. She drifted for

months, locked in the ice, the final pressure crushing her beam until her bow slowly lowered beneath

the sea. Shackleton and 27 men gathered supplies, lifeboats, and 69 dogs and set up camp on Elephant


64 | VL Magazine -


Shackleton chose the Caird, which was the strongest of the three lifeboats and most likely to

survive an 800-mile journey to South Georgia Island. It would prove the survival for the rest

of his men. She was only 22 feet and converted to a sailboat by the chippy that reinforced

the hull, added a main and mizzenmast, a deck and a rudder. She encountered hurricane

wind and tumultuous seas. It took 17 days and was the most arduous open-boat journey of

all time. - VL Magazine | 65


Austin Dwyer


Shackleton returned to the area on the Aurora to rescue the rest of the crew. Aurora was a

Barquentine with a 98 horsepower engine. She had a strongly built wooden hull. Her bow had been

re-enforced with heavy steel plates. I painted her having the rudder repaired after being damaged

by a storm.

The Chilean government loaned Shackleton a steamer named the Yelcho and on August 30, 1917.

All the men were rescued.

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The Nimrod was built for whaling and seal hunting. She had an auxiliary steam engine with a

top speed of 6 knots. The Nimrod was painted depicting Shackleton’s arrival at Cape Royd’s hut

on Ross Island. The hut was built as a stopping off point to the south. The painting describes

Mount Erebus, Antarctica’s second highest volcano and the transferring of supplies to the hut

just before a fierce storm hit the bay. - VL Magazine | 67


Austin Dwyer


The Quest was a steamer and schooner rigged. She was 34 meters long with a beam of 7.3

meters. She was involved in meteorological and geological research. Shackleton’s last days

of exploration were on the Quest for it was here that he suffered a fatal heart attack. The date

was the January 5, 1922.


As a young man, I lived vicariously through these sea voyages of Sir Ernest Shackleton. I will

never allow my imagination to forget that there is still so much more to paint.

2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s journey to the Antarctic. I am

fortunate and proud that these paintings will be displayed in Dublin (my home town) as part of

a permanent exhibition on Shackleton. I have come full circle. Austin Dwyer

68 | VL Magazine -

A realist oil painter born and raised on

the Canadian prairies...

Drew Keilback - VL Magazine | 69

The Working Waterfront

Dora Atwater Millikin

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niki G

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ulley - VL Magazine | 73


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Striving for Excellence in Realistic Paintings devoted to Nature -

offering Owners and Viewers the sense of Peace and Tranquility that we all

crave in this hectic world. - VL Magazine | 75

Sam Ha

Path to Park Farm by Sam Hall

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ll - VL Magazine | 77

VL Hall Groat II

Hyperrealist Paintings Evoke New Appreciation for Nature

By Hall Groat II, New York Art Critic

It was during mid-1960 in the United States that Photorealism emerged, and was a movement that

naturally evolved from Pop Art. Photorealist artists strive to replicate photographs in paint with

the aim of fooling the eye into perceiving a painting is actually a photograph, never deviating from

the exact image.

Contemporary British painter, Sam Hall, is not a photorealist like many label him. Instead, he

embraces sensibilities connected with a movement called hyperrealism, through the way in which

he takes artistic liberties, never attempting to literally render an exact photographic image. Sam

uses photographic reference as a means of interpreting nature in a very personal manner, incorporating

subtle pictorial elements to create a heightened sense of Mother Nature that cannot be seen

by the human eye. An example of this is the intricate depiction and stylization of the thousands

of tree leaves within his piece called “Park Farm Cottages and the North Downs.” These leaves

are vivified! Sam states, “I am a self-taught British artist with a unique style, and my mission is to

help people discover the magic of nature.” Indeed, his work is magical, and through his complex

stylization of nature, we are transported into a dream-like, illusionistic world, packed with diverse

emotional, social, and cultural nuances.

One of my favorite pieces is entitled “Early Morning in Kerala”, which appears to be a scene of

a caravan of Indian farmers traveling across a river with their livestock. This piece immediately

catches my eye due to the engaging, atypical composition. A large Thengu (or coconut tree) is

positioned alongside the entire left side of the canvas, with clusters of long, leaf-like forms breaking

down from the top edge. These tenuous elements are closest to us in space, which resembles

the compositional sensibility used in many Japanese vertical screen paintings depicting landscapes

throughout history.

Early Morning in Kerala by Sam Hall

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Poppies in Tromso by Sam Hall - VL Magazine | 79

Park Farm Cottages by Sam Hall

Bushbury Farm, Brockham by Sam Hall

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In a piece entitled Bushbury Farm,

Brockham, measuring 18x32 inches,

created in acrylic and ink, two massive,

iconic trees are placed on center

stage, as if they are symbolically

reaching upwards into the heavenly

clouds. The viewer’s vantage point is

situated quite low, which heightens

their larger-than-life nature. The

greens, blues and spot of red are electrifying,

and are a visually striking

symphony of colors.

Sam Hall undoubtedly is a very skillful

technician, possessing the gift of

being able to visually communicate

the universal beauty of nature.

Hall Groat II

Punchbowl Lane, Dorking by Sam Hall - VL Magazine | 81

Dramatic End by Valerie Travers

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Valerie Travers - VL Magazine | 83

Azure by Valerie Travers

Valerie Travers

The Island of Guernsey, second largest of

the Channel Islands, is where I live with

my two sons and where I feel most comfortable.

This is home, my roots are deeply

embedded here and I gain a greater sense of

belonging with each year that passes.

Art is second nature to me, enabling a

connection to the bigger picture and is also

a way of expressing myself through colour

and texture. I have many other outlets for

my creativity, but art has been my main

focus for the past twenty years.

Oceans Garden by Valerie Travers

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Softly Softly by Valerie Travers

Reflections by Valerie Travers - VL Magazine | 85

Beverly Fagan Gilbertson

June Hollyhocks

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Twilight - VL Magazine | 87


VL Studio Visit

Studio Visit Jason Tako


Jason Tako

Studio Visit

Jason Tako


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VL Jason Tako

Sometimes great things can come out of tragedy. Sometimes we learn more of who we are through

suffering and trial. Any successful artist has to pay his or her dues; to work hard and go through a

good number of failed paintings before they discover their artistic voice. And sometimes the struggle

can be something not directly related to art, yet it can still have an impact on our art.

Born in the early 1970’s, and raised in rural Minnesota, landscape and wildlife artist Jason Tako

discovered his artistic talent around Fourth Grade. Jason reflects, “It was autumn and our teacher

drew a Cornucopia on the chalkboard, and we had to draw it. Mine turned out the best and received

praise both from my teacher and classmates.” Jason continued to excel at art throughout school;

this was demonstrated by winning Second Place in a state-wide illustration competition. However,

in his senior year, he stopped drawing and painting altogether and dived head first into becoming

an electric bassist.

After graduating with honors from music school, Jason continued to play in rock, jazz and country

bands. Eight years later, after growing tired of smoky bars, he went through a couple life transitions.

First, Jason rediscovered his Christian faith, and eventually converted to Catholicism. Not long after

this, he again felt a desire to start drawing and painting. Jason recalls,“I didn’t know what I was

doing; I just kept going out and filling as many sketchbooks as I could. It was suggested I go to art

school, but at the time it seemed they only taught modern art, and I was into representational art. I

figured that if I kept sketching, something good would eventually come out of it.”

Evening Sheep-Plein Air 11x14

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Things did start to happen. After several years of

sketching the wildlife and wetlands of Minnesota,

Jason married his wife Becky and moved to Pennsylvania.

Removed from the natural surroundings that he

was used to, Jason then worked on his watercolor and

oil painting technique. He eventually started winning

awards at national shows like The Waterfowl Festival,

the Society of Animal Artists Annual Show, and Plein

Air Easton. Despite this success, he felt he still had

a lot to learn. This drove him to seek instruction from

world renowned landscape artist Scott Christensen.

“Scott helped me tie up the loose ends in my work. His

workshop, as well as the trip out to Wyoming inspired

me in so many ways.” That year, Jason took two major

awards at Plein Air Easton, was published in Plein Air

Magazine and Western Art Collector Magazine, and

was also told the joyful news that his wife Becky was

pregnant with their fourth child.

Last Snow-Plein Air 9x12 - VL Magazine | 91


Jason Tako

It was not long after this that Jason, Becky and their children went through the most difficult

time of their lives. When their son was born everything seemed fine. But the next day it was

discovered that he had some medical problems that might require surgery. This was the start

of an eight month hospital stay that included multiple pediatric surgeries, and a couple close

brushes with death for his infant. “There were times of terror, and times when it seemed we

would never get to go home with our son. Eight months is a long time to be in a hospital. We

basically just went back and forth from our son’s room to the cafeteria day after day. Since we

were 2 hours from home, we didn’t see our other children very often. I did try to do a few paintings

in my son’s room, but I was not feeling very inspired. The only landscape I saw on

a regular basis was the Philadelphia streets; and I’m not an urban painter.”

Autumn Maple 24x50

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Farnsworth’s Rest 11x14

Despite the lack of inspiration, Jason still was able to attend and win awards at several

plein air painting events that summer, including Second Place at both Mountain Maryland

Plein Air and Easels in Frederick, and First Place in the Plein Air Camp Hill Quick Draw


In early December the Tako family was finally home and together again. With the exception

of several plein air painting events and a few day trips, Jason had missed painting

spring, summer, and autumn of 2012. “We were home and I was ready to paint, but I

didn’t have much reference to paint from. I used to paint more tonally, almost monochromatic

at times, with a preference for overcast lighting, but after going through such an

ordeal I wanted to paint more color, something more joyful. But much of the reference I

had was from my tonalist days. And here it was, early December, with the colors of spring

still months away.”

When spring finally came Jason headed out to paint. The first place he focused on was a

goldmine of subject matter, the apple orchards in Adams County, PA; miles of rolling hills

and mountains lined with rows of apple trees and scattered barns. “Originally I went just

to paint a full moonrise coming up between the twisting apple tree branches. There was

hardly any foliage at that time, so I returned for several weeks to do further studies of the

leaves and blossoms as they developed. It wasn’t long before more painting ideas developed.

One particular day was almost magical. I climbed a hill and walked into several

long rows of apple trees with foliage and blossoms that formed a tunnel filled with dappled

sunlight and shadows. Through the openings you could see the purples and blues

of the distant hills. I sat down and spent the afternoon creating multiple field studies of

the area. In these studies I captured the light and color in a way I never had in the past. It

was a big leap for me artistically. My goal now is to continue on this path and explore all

the options this has afforded me.” - VL Magazine | 93

VL Jason Tako

“I have learned that when growing as an artist, you hit a point where you need to throw off the

over-influence of other artists, as well as the concern of what other people think. While these

things may never totally go away, you need to reach a point where you can honestly say, ‘This

is who I am, this is how I paint.’ You need to reach a point where you feel your art has meaning

for yourself and others. I think that all that time in the hospital, and the incredible heartache of

watching my son go through so much pain and yet overcome the odds against death, forced

me to look within myself in many ways. Among this was to consider who God created me to be

and what life really means. This spilled over into who I am as an artist. While the pain of what

my son and family went through will be with me for many years, I hope to be able to take some

good from it and create art that will bring joy to a hurting yet beautiful world.”

Spring Afternoon Woodland-Plein Air 12x9

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October Moon 18x24

Red Reflections 20x16

Study for Evergreen and Aspens 12x9 - VL Magazine | 95

VL Jason Tako

Jason is currently working on creating studio paintings from this group of field studies he

created this spring. His work can be viewed at his website and on his

blog at

The Blue Barn 12x24

Study for Apple Valley 9x12

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Shadow Path 9x12

Blossoms at Noon-Plein Air 9x12 - VL Magazine | 97

Lisa Crisman

Over the Rainbow

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Beautiful Vibrant Art

Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton - VL Magazine | 99

Angela Sullivan

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Barbara Jones . waow

Still Life, Figurative and Landscape Artist

Granny’s Mixing Bowl Oil 18 x 24

Received “Best Still Life” Award

Best of America 2012

National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society

For Workshop Information and Artwork Visit - VL Magazine | 101

ARTSPAN Artist Spotlight


Artist Interview

Drew Keilback

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be an artist Impossible to tell. Like most artists

I’ve enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember. I think drawing is a primordial means of communication

and, as children, we instinctively pick up a pencil to convey our first messages. For some of us the

‘medium is the message’ and we continue on to become artists in all its different forms.

Who has been your mentor, or greatest influence to date My mother encouraged me to move to

Phoenix to continue my art training. It was a revelation for me artistically, in that the light and palette

were opposed to what I was used to on the West Coast.

Who has been your mentor, or greatest influence to date The first painter that I can recall wanting

to emulate was Howard Terpening. His subject matter, then, as now, has always appealed to me and his

style blew me away. I used to hunt out galleries in Phoenix and Tucson that carried his work in order to

study them.

Who is another living artist you admire and why Lately I’ve followed the works of Tibor Nagy and

David Shevlino. Their brushwork is amazing and they both have a spontaneity and looseness that speaks

to me. I know that there is a certain amount of abstraction there that I would like to start incorporating

into my own.

What is your favorite surface to paint on Canvas mainly and board if I want a bit more detail.

What is your favorite brand of paint to use Michael Harding oils.

Do you have a favorite color palette My palette varies from painting to painting.

When looking at your paintings, your work is diverse from outdoor landscapes, florals and seascapes

to people. Why draws you to these different subjects; what are your inspirations for your

work I’m a day to day painter. If something strikes me as being ‘paintable’ I paint it. I’m not making any

particular effort to convey any philosophical or spiritual messages in my work. I look for composition and

design in everyday things and tend to simplify all things down to basic geometrical shapes. My overriding

goal is to simplify or “abstract’ even further keeping a more “painterly’ effect and allowing the brushwork

to speak.

How often do you paint Almost daily.

What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for. As an honest person who lived a free and

simple life void of any unnecessary complications.

There are many culprits that can crush creativity, such as distractions, self-doubt and fear of failure.

What tends to stand in the way of your creativity My career as a video composite artist for a major

broadcasting corporation working with many varied and demanding clients taught me how to absorb

and deflect criticism from all levels. Corporations play by rules that must not be broken and though the

producers tend to ask that you think ‘outside the box’, they become very nervous when you cross the line

and they start building walls immediately crushing creativity in fear of their own failure. I’ve never feared

failure as an artist because missteps are simply part of the learning process. Every painting is a failure in

some sense.

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Drew is a realist oil painter born and raised on the Canadian prairies. Drawing and sketching from an

early age, he received his Fine Art training in Phoenix, Arizona. While there, he was deeply influenced

by the contemporary Western painting style of the Southwest and to this day is an admirer of the works

of Howard Terpening, Matt Smith and Mian Situ.

Canadian Artist Drew Keilback in studio.

How do you overcome these obstacles Is much as I want people to enjoy my work, their appreciation is not what

drives me. I paint for myself.

What is your favorite way to get creative juices flowing I take old paintings (or those I don’t like) and cut them

up. Then I glue the pieces back on to a board in a random fashion creating an abstract design. It works – there’s a

composition in there somewhere just waiting for a subject!

Which work of yours is your favorite My favorite is always the one on my easel.. - VL Magazine | 103


Drew Keilback

ARTSPAN Artist Spotlight

“Panagiotis” oil on canvas by Bonnie Shapiro

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Up Close and Personal

What book are you reading this week LONDON by Edward Rutherford.

Do you have a favorite televion show I have a short attention span for television unless it’s hockey or baseball.

What is your favorite food Chicken with curry.

What color sheets are on your bed right now Without looking, I haven’t a clue.

What is your favorite color in your closet No favorites there.

What are you most proud of in your life The fact that I’ve had a career in a creative and artistic field that has

led me straight into what I love doing the most.

Who would you love to interview Marco Polo. A true adventurer.

Do you have a passion or hobby other than painting/sculpting History.

Who would you love to paint My grandfather that I never met.

If you were an animal what would you be and why A raven. Free flying, intelligent, mystical with a sense of


If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three things, what would they be (A pig, a knife

and fork). I think simply I would answer that this way – my sunglasses, a pencil and a bottle

Share something with us that few people know about you. In Grade 5 I was disciplined for drawing in my books

(I guess the teacher thought our books were more about neatness than learning). And I flunked Art in Grade 12.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live I would never leave the West Coast, but it

would be nice to spend a little time each year on a Greek Island.

Anything you would add I’ve copied a quote from an artist by the name of Ken Kewley that is by my easel …

it says “In painting, you never do what you set out to do. Something else happens. Do not try to make a picture of

something. Make something.”

I would also add that I’ve learned that by trying to copy or emulate someone else’s style you’ve restricted your own

capabilities in unnecessarily confining yourself to something that may not be natural to you. Just let it flow. Just

paint. - VL Magazine | 105


Drew Keilback

ARTSPAN Artist Spotlight

Rockies - Parkers Ridge

106 | VL Magazine -

Fern (left)

A Leaf Fell (right) - VL Magazine | 107

A Peace in Life

Denice Peters

108 | VL Magazine - A Summer’s Welcome” 14” x 18

Carol Jo Smidt - VL Magazine | 109


Distant Horizon

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Abstract Collage Paintings

Morocan Sunset - VL Magazine | 111

112 | VL Magazine -

Randall Cogburn - VL Magazine | 113

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Shirley Anderson

Original Fine Art Landscapes and Florals

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Leigh McInerney Campion - VL Magazine | 117

“Journey” Oil on Canvas by Barry Scharf

VL Barry Scharf

Maritime Landscapes in Desolation Pass Canada

Barry is traveling right now collecting images for our February Maritime Issue, but I convinced him

to allow us to take a peak at what his camera has captured. Enjoy and then remember you will get

to read about the trip and see it all in February 2014.

“Le Chateau Frontenac” by Barry Scharf

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Above “Pegy’s Cove, Nova Scotia Canada4 ” by Barry Scharf

Below “First Home” by Barry Scharf - VL Magazine | 119

VL Barry Scharf

Maritime Landscapes in Desolation Pass Canada

“The Call Web” by Barry Scharf

Bar Harbor Maine 3 by Barry Scharf

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Melody Cleary

Oregon Fine Artist - VL Magazine | 121

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California Landscapes

Still lifes, Figures,

Oil Paintings

Kathy O’Leary

Contemporary Realist - VL Magazine | 123

Sheri Jones

Fall Sumac 11 x 14 oil on canvas

Poppy Sunrise 11 x 14 oil on canvas

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Poppy Parade 11 x 14 oil on canvas

Mid Morning Light 11 x 14 oil on canvas - VL Magazine | 125














David Forks

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Studio Visit David Forks

Pursuit of My Dream

I have just started to learn this process of painting and it is

abundantly clear to me that it will take a lifetime to figure out.

There is nothing I can think of that is more rewarding and simultaneously

puzzling. Rewarding for every stroke of paint I smack

down with bold deliberate intent and puzzling for every one

tentatively, hesitantly and unconvincingly smeared to the surface.

Painting is my vocation and has become an integral part

of my being, which I aspire to one day make my career. Oh the

thought, what a blessed life it will be. My passion is landscape,

and I am truly inspired by the rugged profound beauty of nature.

Though I will occasionally paint something different, it is the

landscape that moves me and ignites the spark at the end of my

brush. I am learning to see the landscape as a painting and not

as a literal translation to canvas. I will add, delete or rearrange

elements in order to create a better work of art. I think we all try

to keep design, drawing, value and edges in mind while painting

but my best work has been achieved while my intuition took

reign of the brush, letting the vision steer the results. Once the

knowledge is in place, It is the power of the subconscious to

control the action. The more I can tap into this realm, the more

spontaneous and proficient my painting process becomes.

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Morning in the Chisos - VL Magazine | 129


Studio Visit David Forks

Sierra Del Carmen through the Cottonwoods at Rio Grande Village

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Red Barn

I have recently become much more critical of my own work and rarely am I satisfied with the initial

completion of a painting. I look at the work in progress and ask myself what I could do to make it better.

When I started painting five years ago, I read Hawthorne and Carlson as well as books by other

artists/authors and the message for the beginner was clear; I needed to cover acres of canvas and

not worry so much of the results but learn from the process. For a few years it was quantity over quality.

I did small, fast paintings almost everyday before work and wow, some were really bad. In spite

of myself, I was determined to learn and get better and eventually there were those groundbreaking

pieces when I just knew I took a step up that ladder to the next level! That was then, and at the time

moving on from one to another was a must. I have moved beyond that. Now it’s a more methodical

and deliberate process of nurturing my paintings to completion. Being honest with myself is innately

important in my self critique and growth as an artist. If you can’t look at your work and admit it is bad,

there is no way to make yourself better.

Cuties and Hydrangeas 16X20

Spring in the Hills - VL Magazine | 131

VL Studio Visit David Forks


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As a painting progresses beyond the block in stage I constantly test notes by stepping back and

seeing if they work from a distance. If not. I will remove or alter the passage until it is to my liking.

Some works become wrestling matches but I am pretty stubborn, so I generally work them until I

get what I want. On occasion I set them aside for another day or let them stew in the back of my

mind until I have a clear vision for it. I have ruined many paintings by attempting to make them

better, but I have also created some of my best works after risking them to the trash pile. - VL Magazine | 133


Studio Visit David Forks

Sundown in the Valley

Plain and simple, I love to paint. It satisfies my desire to create and I can enter a peaceful world of my

own imagination away from the harsh realities of life as we know it. It comes from my heart and my soul

which pours out of me every time I pick up a brush. I enjoy the challenge of problem solving and molding

paint into form. I know I have a lot to learn and a long way to go but I feel like I am making strides in

the right direction. I just want to be the best artist I can be and if by chance one day I am able to be self

supportive doing so, well.... nothing would make me happier.

David Forks

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Moonlit Meadow Right Page - VL Magazine | 135

Kyle Wood

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Mary Jo Zorad

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“Can you hear the thunder of the waves

as they break against the shore

It’s a sound that my heart treasures

It’s a sound that I adore.”

George E Simmons

George E Simmons

Poet and Artist - VL Magazine | 139

Diane Whitehead

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Debbie Grayson Lincoln

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Summer Juried Show



$500 in total cash prizes

Open to 2D visual artists worldwide - VL Magazine | 143


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Hurd - VL Magazine | 145


Studio Visit Nick Gonzalez

In Germany, where I now live and work, I am considered a

‘traditional’ painter. It’s not a classification I’d personally use - to

me, Traditional evokes concepts/techniques based on academic/and/or

classical influence, (which I don’t much relate to), but

here I realise, traditional simply means using paint in a more or

less conventional way, and perhaps using subject matter based

on an external visual reality. So, in an attempt to assist the

reader, I could categorize myself as a Traditional Neo-Impressionist.

“So, in an attempt to assist the reader, I could categorize

myself as a Traditional Neo-Impressionist. That’s about as

analytical as I get, for what it’s worth!”

I grew up on farms in the southern English countryside of

Dorset and Hertfordshire - my father was a dairyman (he had

originally hailed from Gibraltar, a very small rock in the Mediterranean

Sea, without a single cow). My mother had attended

painting classes at the London Central School of Art, but had to

temporarily give up her artistic work for a busy family/farm life,


So the rich English rural landscape, with it’s seasons and

skies, woodlands and rolling hills, are a fundamental part of my

DNA, and now that I again live in the countryside (this time in

Northern Germany), surrounded by quite similar landscapes

that I was born into, I easily understand my deep affinity with

the visual elements that inspire me. Although my current work

is largely based on the sea, coasts and skies, it is all rooted in

the British and French Schools of landscape painting, dynamic

traditions which have been constantly refreshed and renewed

over the years by many of the most gifted painters since.

I normally try to work on a series of paintings, often unified by

subject/location. So in recent years I produced a series based

on a local river, from stream through woodland, out to lake in

center of Hamburg. Another project used the Downs landscape

around my previous home in southern England. More recently

I’ve concentrated on sea/coast and skies - I’m more and more

drawn to skies for their ‘moody’ potential - and coasts without

precise location, hoping to create ‘archetypal’ landscapes into

which the viewer can enter. Although I use photographic reference

and often simple sketches as a starting point, the painting

develops a life of it’s own, and the final result can rarely be



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artspan - VL Magazine | 147


Studio Visit Nick Gonzalez

My materials and techniques are a combination

of traditional and personal preference. I

normally use ready-made canvases unless

the work requires a large or unusual format,

and I prime with a Gesso ground, sometimes

working with a second Gesso coat tinted with

acrylic color for ground base, and often adding

more ground tone sometimes with texture

paste with a large brush/and/or knife, working

up the basic composition and areas and creating

‘accidental’ spaces/planes and textures

which can be manipulated later. Often I will

continue to work with acrylic color (sometimes

only in monotone) to establish and develop

the picture - the great thing I like about acrylics

is the speed one can work and change the

picture at will, and almost instantly alter things.

Either I will complete the painting just in acrylics,

or more often I will continue in oils. Glazing

and painting over the acrylic underpainting is

a variation on traditional oil painting practices,

and I find it suits me fine. I use Windsor

& Newton ‘Artisan’ Water Soluble paints - it

means no turps odors in the studio, brushes

can be washed in water and soap, and there is

a variety of conventional mediums/oils which

can be mixed with the tube oil paints which

handle and perform (and even smell) just as

normal oils.

For me, the forms that landscape painting come in, vary from high-realism to minimal abstraction, from

poetic atmosphere to formal construction, from high drama to fleeting moments of subtlety. I do find

that every painting has it’s own developmental journey - and the act of painting is a passionate process

of making permanent those initial impressions and visions. My starting point is usually an emotional

response towards a chosen subject, and my choice of ‘style’ or treatment varies accordingly. For me,

the painting is not so much about a particular subject as it is about how that subject illuminates itself.

Therefore, in terms of my technique, I do sometimes paint very rapidly and at other times there is a

slow process of excavation. In any case, I’m always sustained by a sense of curiosity and wonder at the

outcome, aiming to discover the ‘magical’ potential within each painting.

Of course, true alchemy is rarely, if ever achieved (and not for me to judge), but it is the pursuit of some

rather-hard-to-define qualities that keeps me awake.

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Blue Beach. 100cm x 100cm. Oil on Canvas.

Rocky Beach with Figure. 50cm x 60cm. Oil on Canvas. - VL Magazine | 149


Studio Visit Nick Gonzalez

Light and Cloud. 80cm x 100cm. Oil on Canvas.

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The Girl in a Blue Sun Dress. 100cm x 100cm. Oil on Canvas.

Going Home (Lighthouse). 100cm x 100cm. Oil on Canvas. - VL Magazine | 151


Studio Visit Nicholas Gonzalez

New Day. 50cm x 60cm. Oil on Canvas.

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Calm Sea 3&4. 50xcm 60cm x 2. Oil on Canvas

I have had a few months break from painting - we recently moved house and I’ve made a nice new

studio with a view out to fields, farm and trees and a good patch of sky. As I begin work on a new series

of canvases and drawings I am as excited and apprehensive today at sixty-four, as I can remember

being at twenty-four, sitting with a sketchbook and watercolour box in the shade of a rock on the Spanish

Costa de Luz, trying to make sense of too much light and colour, and understanding why Matisse

painted mainly indoors in the Mediterranean! The adventure is unending, and I am eternally grateful for

this benediction, however elusive and problematic.

Put simply, I love to paint, and I love what painting can be, both for me and in the work of other artists.

And when someone enjoys a painting or drawing of mine sufficiently to part with a stack of hard cash,

I never forget that the buyer could have used their money for a host of more practical purposes. It’s an

affirmation that I don’t really seek, but am always delighted, and a little humbled.

Nick Gonazlez - VL Magazine | 153

Kim McAninch

Mark Bidstrup

Palette Knife Artists

Janet Bludau

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Becky Joy

Noreen Coup

David Edwards

Ann Gorbett - VL Magazine | 155

The Spirit of the Sea

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Laurie Justus Pace - VL Magazine | 157



Deborah Flood

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One Woman Exhibit at the International

Museum of Art of El Paso

Deborah Flood

Award winning watercolorist, Deborah Flood, a native of Maine, has been invited by the

International Museum of Art of El Paso, Texas, to exhibit 40 of her large Equine and

Western Watercolors.

Opening Reception takes place Sunday July 7, 2013 at 2pm, at the Museum 1211 Montana

Avenue, El Paso, Texas. Meet Flood during the Opening Reception, view and purchase her

realistic and detailed watercolors of horses, and Western life. The exhibit runs through

August 25, 2013.

Deborah’s works consist of pure Spanish Mustangs that she had the privilege to watch and

photograph in New Mexico. Paintings created from a horseback ride in the Mountains of

Angel Fire, New Mexico, a Native Costume Series created from images provided by a

woman who created and sewed the costumes to help bring awareness to the Appaloosa

Breed of Horse. The Native costumes are used during gatherings and parades that the

Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club participates in. Commentary will accompany the Native

Costume Series, and a special “Tribute to Texas” Painting, featuring one of Darrol

Dickinson’s Texas Long Horn Bull, ( )

will round out the exhibit.

Deborah’s accurate yet painterly Watercolors, of Equine and Western Themed Genre, have

garnered her many Museum Group Exhibits and Invitational Exhibits.

Deborah Flood was brought up on an Appaloosa Horse farm, in Maine, where she started

riding at the age of 3. She continued to ride and work with the horses until her early 20’s.

During those early years, she also kept drawing and painting the horse, and to this day, she

still paints that love of the horse and the bonds that humans have with them.

Flood’s bright colors, yet strong attention to detail and the ability to handle watercolor with

an emotional twist, along with an extensive knowledge of horse anatomy and behavior, has

Collectors actively seeking her work throughout the United States and Internationally.

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Equine & Western Watercolors

Tell Me it’s Okay. - VL Magazine | 161


Deborah Flood

Grumpy Draft

Bogged Down in Horse Play

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Flood is a prolific artist, using the medium of Watercolor on paper, in the traditional manner

of layering transparent color, which allows the color below to glow through.

She is known for whimsical yet accurate details of children and adults interacting with horses

in a Western setting. Though she hails from the Eastern side of the USA, living in Maine, she

is drawn to paint the Western landscape and subject matter. Her goal is to portray the emotional

bond between horse, human and the land.

Flood enjoys studying the play of light on colors, out in the landscape, and painting every day.

Flood works from her own reference material, gathered out in the field, and from her experiences

she has encountered throughout her life. Client images are sparingly used for commissioned

based work.

Deborah is a Signature Member of the Texas Watercolor Society, an Elected Member of the

International Guild of Realism, an Elected Member of the American Society of Traditional

Artists, an Associate Member of the Artists of the American West, an Associate Member of

the Western Trail Art Association, and the Founding Member of the International Equine


Deborah is represented by:

Angel Fire ArtSpace Gallery, Angel Fire New Mexico

Duck-Trap Decoys Gallery, Lincolnville, Maine

The Museum Website:

Deborah Flood’s Website:

Equine & Western Watercolors

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Angels Walk Among Us - VL Magazine | 163

Patricia A Griffin

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Patricia A Griffin

I am a mother, wife,

painter, farmer, naturalist,

and constant


My paintings are a

testing ground for

concepts of color,

structure and energy.

They are a contemporary


of an ancient muse. - VL Magazine | 167

Karen Kennedy Chatham*

168 | VL Magazine -* - VL Magazine | 169


170 | VL Magazine - - VL Magazine | 171

The Five Graces

Lincoln ~ Pace ~ Togel ~ Whitehead ~ Zorad

Diane Whitehead

Mary Jo Zorad

Laurie Pace

What makes The Five Graces special/unique

All members of The Five Graces create bold, vividly-colored artworks with an inspirational flair. Several of the group are excellent

teachers and writers. They work energetically toward touring exhibitions that showcased their artworks - shows to the US

and to Europe. All five artists are spread out over the US.

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Who are The Five Graces

Debbie Grayson Lincoln (the steady grace), Laurie Justus Pace (the heartbeat grace), Conni Tögel (the wired

grace), Diane Baird Whitehead (the business-minded, directly spoken grace) and Mary Jo Zorad (the quietly

inspired grace) have as many similarities as they do differences. Their artwork demonstrates a common commitment

to a high standard of workmanship. To speak with any one of the five women reveals a commonality

in what inspires them and how they choose to live their lives, with integrity and a commitment to doing their

work for a higher cause. Each feels her creative inspiration as a passionate and natural calling. for daily updates

Debbie Lincoln

Conni Togel - VL Magazine | 173


Photographer Spotlight

John G. Lomba

“There is a mysterious appealing mystical quality about the world’s oceans and waterways which

captivates many a sailor and land-lubber alike. I have been fortunate enough to have been both.

But not until recent times have I been able to make the association to incorporate what I see with

photography. That was when I realized that these two subjects could work well together in perfect


My name is John Lomba, and I have been around the ocean and ships for most of my life. It all

started out as being the son of an immigrant commercial fisherman. Since then, I have sailed as a

licensed officer on various commercial ships and now more recently worked the docks and shore-side

aspect of the maritime industry. I appreciate the fact that most ships/vessels are designed for function

over form – if you will. I see more than just the rusty tanker at anchor or a fully laden container

heading out of New York harbor, or working tugboat.

Given the right circumstances in my mind’s eye they transform into moving artwork. Sometimes I am

fortunate enough to capture the perfect moment through photography. I hope some of my images

have the same effect on you as they do me.”

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artspan - VL Magazine | 175


John G. Lomba

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artspan - VL Magazine | 177


John G. Lomba

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artspan - VL Magazine | 179


Above: Aspens in Winter - 48 x 36 x 1.5

Right Page: Aspens in Winter Detail

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Kimberly Conrad

Contemporary Artist

Pouring Color into Your Life - VL Magazine | 183 Art Challenge Art Challenge

June 2013 “Summer Fun”

Best of Show - Carmen Beecher

Best of Show

Leap of Faith

Carmen Beecher

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First Place

Watermelon Beach

Carol Smith Myer - VL Magazine | 185 Art Challenge

Second Place

Big Boys Show and Tell

Carol Schiff July Art Challenge - “Tropical Days” - $100 Cash Prize!

Open to all 2D visual artists!

Enter now -

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Painting by Maryann Lucas

Third Place

Paradise in the Woods

Angela Sullivan

Submit your portfolio to join

Contemporary Fine Art International - VL Magazine | 187


Step by Step Demonstrations

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Hall Groat II - VL Magazine | 189


190 | VL Magazine -

THE ARTISTS OF TEXAS - VL Magazine | 191

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