Tuesday, September 16, 2014


2014 Participating Artist

As the daughter of a watercolorist and a photographer, Lucy Dickens spent most of her childhood exploring the outdoors. She has had the opportunity to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world. These experiences have instilled in her a great appreciation for nature and the beauty all around us, along with a passion for capturing these experiences on paper and canvas.

From an early age, Lucy was drawn to the incredible work of the great masters, especially the Hudson River Valley painters, such as Thomas Cole and Fredric Church. Studying these artists; their handling of oil paints and mastery of atmosphere and light, along with capturing a sense of the divine influences her work today.

Lucy paints landscapes because she’s drawn to moments that take her breath away. It’s those moments of beauty that cause her to feel, to reflect, and to give thanks; a scene that has a power, placidity and intensity that draws her in. There is a story in these segments of time, and therefore, a story in all her paintings. Lucy is a Fine Art Storyteller.

She mostly enjoys painting a series from her travel journeys, bringing viewers along on this journey with her through painting images and her written “story” accompanying each painting. Lucy strives to evoke feelings of serenity and grace, a scene to transport you to another place and time exploring the mystery within, to capture memories, and those fleeting moments of beauty.

Lucy Dickens

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Celebrating Women and Children

2014 Participating Artist

Bronze sculptor Paula Yates settled in Arizona in the early 1970s. After a long career in the banking industry, she discovered a love for creating sculptures in clay. Paula left the security of the corporate world to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. Her passion for creating in clay is the force that fuels her work.

Paula's art celebrates women and children. Her women reflect a calm spirit with graceful movement.  The children are delightfully at play. "Happy" is a word often used to describe her figures.  Paula’s sculptures communicate a joyous celebration of life.

Inspiration comes to her in many forms. A magical childhood is reflected in her playful children and the women come from the adored mother, sister, daughters, aunts and many friends who have touched Paula’s life with joy.

Her bronze sculptures have been featured in galleries and her collectors include individuals, corporations and museums throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She has received numerous awards of excellence in juried shows.

Paula Yates
Paula Yates Sculpture Studio

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Centers around the Stone

2014 Participating Artist

Cynthia made the decision to leave 30 years of the corporate world behind and enter the unknown to realize her dream of becoming a successful artist in metalsmithing. While living in Boston, she began taking evening courses at Massachusetts College of Art in metalsmithing. Her fascination for unusual stones, fossils and minerals prompted her desire to take this direction. As her creativity unfolded, her passion to fulfill her new destiny grew. 

The evolution in her life and art has brought together a full, rich canvas of experiences making her life today joyful, creative and spiritual. Experiencing the natural surroundings of Arizona, she uses castings from elements of the desert, or creates similar textures in silver and gold. Integrating traditional metalsmithing techniques with textile techniques became a way to express her designs in a more ethereal manner. 

Cynthia’s design process centers around the stone.  “Sometimes the stone may command a more elaborate setting to tell its story. However, there are times it’s really all about the beauty of the stone itself, and therefore, is presented with simplicity and elegance,” she says. Her design process is intuitive and spontaneous and has evolved along with her skills to create unique and memorable one-of-a-kind work.

Over the years, Cynthia has become a successful, award-winning artist and has exhibited in prestigious, nationally juried shows from New York City, Baltimore and Philadelphia, to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Cynthia Downs-Apodaca

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art of Life

2014 Participating Artist

Betsy Halford is a self-taught, mixed media, assemblage artist. Her art incorporates found and repurposed materials making each piece unique. In addition to the found materials used in her art, she also includes oils, acrylics and/or wax.

Inspiration for her artwork comes from her life. Many of Betsy’s pieces are inspired by personal experiences, dreams and/or meditations, memories both real and imagined, as well as reactions to societal or global issues.

She have been collecting the materials for her artwork all of her life. Betsy started collecting these materials “treasures” as a small child growing up in South Carolina where she was influenced by her parents who were both passionate collectors. She continues to gather treasures everywhere she travels - from back roads to the city streets. Betsy keeps an open mind when looking for items that others have disposed of with the intent of transforming them into something wonderful.

Betsy Halford
Monkey Girl

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Global Era Sculptor

2014 Participating Artist

Born in Zimbabwe, stone sculptor Gedion Nyanhongo was born into an artistic family. He was influenced from a young age by his father, Claud Nyanhongo, a prominent artist among the "first generation" sculptors (the pioneers of the Shona Sculpture movement that began in the late 1950s). "I used to watch my father sculpt when I grew up, and although I was young, I remember loving it and knowing that it was what I wanted to do," says Gedion. After an apprenticeship with the internationally acclaimed sculptor Joseph Ndandarika, he embarked on a solo career in 1988.

Geidon has transformed everyday life into the enduring values that can help us all thrive in the global era of the 21st century through his sculpture. He celebrates love especially family love and the spiritual power it provides to promote peace in his art. His sculptures are made from enduring Opal Stone, Springstone and Zimbabwe (Nyanga) Stone.

Gedion has since exhibited his works in solo and group exhibitions at numerous venues around the world, including: England, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, South Africa, United States, and Zimbabwe. Two of his works are featured in a collection on permanent display at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and a Zebra in the Phoenix Zoo.

Gedion Nyanhongo
480 255-4184

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Simple Sophistication

2014 Participating Artist

Liliana Schuett is an artist in every sense of the word. She brings her fine art background to her designs with an end result that is far more than just jewelry. Every piece is a one-of-a-kind work of art. Liliana’s studio currently resides in Scottsdale where she gains inspiration and influences from the beautiful world around her.

Her jewelry is an artistic flare melded with simple sophistication. Liliana’s pieces are constructed out of crystals, glass, fresh water pearls, glass beads, and sterling silver. She creates jewelry that is playful and elegant, something for everyone.

She is an experienced arts educator providing art instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking and jewelry design. Liliana has worked as an arts administrator in California, Colorado and Arizona, and recently retired from the City of Goodyear. She has exhibited in the US including shows in Wisconsin at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in Racine, and Seuferer-Chosy Gallery in Madison; Northwestern University in Evanston IL and Main Street Gallery in Scottsdale AZ. Her work is in various collections including Johnson Wax Corporation, Racine WI, Nitrogen Corporation, Milwaukee WI and Froedert Hospital, Wauwatosa WI.

Liliana Schuett

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Decorated Inside and Out

2014 Participating Artist

Christiane Barbato Sutherland was born and raised in the southeast part of Brazil, south Atlantic Ocean. Her parents were artistic, and Christiane recalls that her father—who did woodcarving as a hobby—made furniture for her dolls while she knitted their clothing. She was introduced to ceramics as a teenager and dabbled in pottery over the years while earning a master’s degree in business administration and working in the corporate world in South America. At the age of 40, Christiane decided it was time to do what she loves and makes her happy, so she turned her ceramics hobby into a full-time job.

Her pottery centers around tableware and functional items for the home. She uses tropical plants to inspire her and even print them in her creations. Christiane uses a water melon, a rock or squash as a mold for her bowls as well as texture from different continents. Most of her pieces are decorated both inside and out. Objects such as plant leaves or her grandmother’s antique lace often get pressed into the surface of wet clay to gain intricate textural designs; linen may be pressed into an item’s underside, leaving a subtle geometric pattern. Other techniques include integrating recycled glass for a colorful crazed—or cracked—finish, and incorporating thumb rests on the handles of mugs.

Christiane’s favorite color is turquoise and it's also the stone for Arizona, which is reflected in her pottery. She also utilizes off-whites, grays and blues. Glazes are lead-free and food-safe, and tableware is dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe.

Christiane Barbato Sutherland
Blue Door Ceramics

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ancient Art of the Kimono

2014 Participating Artist

Karen O'Hanlon is the designer of Chiyogami and Washi (Japanese Paper) Kimonos created in the same detailed fashion as full sized traditional robes. Each is unique because the kimonos have the appearance of fabric but they are actually paper. The high quality papers are made by master craft artisans in Japan using traditional as well as modern tools and techniques.

These exquisite and unique kimonos are made using Kozo (paper Mulberry) featuring popular designs from the Edo period (1600-1868). Each kimono presents the appearance of fabric but is actually beautifully patterned paper. Master craft artisans in Japan use both traditional and modern techniques to make the high quality papers. Karen uses two types of Kozo (paper Mulberry). One is Chiyogami which is decorated with brightly colored, woodblock-printed patterns. The other is Yuzen which are patterns based on traditional silkscreen designs derived from the silks of the Japanese kimono.

Karen crafts these works of art by first making templates of varying sizes for each pattern piece of the kimono. Each kimono is made by laying eleven templates on the patterned paper. She then cuts, folds, glues, and layers the pattern paper with precision. Due to the delicacy of the patterned paper, the same steps are repeated for the lining of the kimono. The kimono is made exactly as an authentic cloth kimono.

Each work of art reflects the theme of Karen’s collection which is to enrich the world with the unique influences of traditional Japanese paper art and to re-introduce the ancient art of the kimono.

Karen O’Hanlon
K.P. O’Hanlon Studio

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Storytelling Portraits

2014 Participating Artist

Since childhood, Kenneth Ferguson has had an interest in 19th century military history and the lifeways and material culture of this continent's First People; and these are the subjects he loves to paint. He usually describes his paintings as historical figurative. Others have called them "storytelling portraits." No matter the description, and whether the subject is an ancient Puebloan of the American Southwest, a Dog Soldier of the Southern Cheyenne, or a Dragoon of Napoleon's Imperial Guard, his stylistic watercolor paintings are distinguished by their deeply vibrant color, meticulous detail and attention to historical accuracy. Kenneth also enjoys depicting the world around him with his "Wee Beasties" series of small paintings of birds, mammals and other subjects from nature. 

Watercolor has been his preferred medium for more than 30 years. Early in his career, Kenneth began pushing the medium beyond the typical spontaneous, wet-on-wet approach to develop his own unique style. By using multiple overlays of paint and controlled washes, combined with dry brush and splatter, his paintings offer a distinctive approach that brings out unexpected brilliance in the pigments and permits a high level of detail. He then finishes the paintings with a clear, archival acrylic varnish that eliminates the need for glass. 

Kenneth Ferguson
Kenneth Ferguson Fine Art

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Countless Hours in the “Wild”

2014 Participating Artist

Linda Budge is a painter and an animal lover who combines her passions for art and living creatures to produce works that radiate empathy and painterly grace. Her extensive knowledge of animals and deep experience interacting with them, explains her uncanny ability to capture her subjects so accurately, and also helps to explain why her work carries such emotional power.

She has spent countless hours in the “wild” doing plain air painting, observing and sketching wildlife. Linda strives to know their expression, their attitude, how much space they occupy, what they eat, and how the seasons change their mood. “Yes, I love animals and birds,” says Linda. “Since I can’t commandeer Noah’s Ark, I can love them by painting their portraits and leaving a legacy of their existence.”

Linda’s chosen medium is oil paint and the animals that appear most in her pieces are dogs, burros and various birds, and the wildlife common to the western United States, like cottontail rabbits, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and the desert gray wolf. Inspired by her lifelong fascination with animals and immediate access to a swath of picturesque terrain–the kaleidoscopic Sonoran Desert, Linda is often in compositional mode, taking to the wild with her paints and palette and portable easel. Her love of animals and intuitive relationship with them allows her to forge an emotional connection with her subjects, which comes across clearly in her paintings.  

Linda has won numerous awards for her work and pieces of her artwork can be found in the permanent collections of several libraries, museums, and corporations. One of her highest honors was a painting commissioned in 1983 by the State of Wyoming as a gift to President Reagan. The painting, of an antelope, hung for many years in the living room of the President’s California residence, and was then moved by the President himself to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley where it remains to this day.

Linda Budge
Wildlife & Animal Portraits

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Limited by the Constraints of Time

2014 Participating Artist

Roxanne Vise spent the majority of her childhood in California’s Napa Valley, where she acquired not only a love of the nearby ocean and wild spaces of the area, but also the free-spirited, intuitive approach that today infuses her art.

The relationship between abstraction and spirituality along with a penetrating sense of wonder of the natural world inspires much of Roxanne’s work. She rarely has a scripted plan for how a painting will be completed and lets mood, intuition and spontaneous gestures act as guides. Her materials include aspen leaves, beeswax, acrylic, oil stick, pigments and tree resin to infuse each painting with its individual energy, depth and luminosity.

Roxanne’s interest in subjects is only limited by the constraints of time. From exploring the idea of aspen trees - each connected through their root systems as one living organism; the infinity of the cosmos; the depth of the ocean; the small flower breaking concrete to reach the sun; to geometric blocks of color marrying ancient geological imagery with primitive gemstones - the textures and wonder of life and the interconnectedness of it all supplies Roxanne with inspiration to paint for more than a lifetime. Her current focus lies in three series: trees, landscapes and abstracted geometric images.

Roxanne’s work is exhibited throughout the United States. Her commissions include wineries and private clients. Her work is also featured as the poster artist for several events. Primarily self-taught, Roxanne freely explores new concepts, experiments and develops innovative techniques that characterizes her work. 

Roxanne Vise
Vise Studio

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Spirit Mask

2014 Participating Artist

Nancy Haverkos has been a kindred spirit with nature her whole life. She has experienced unusual perceptions through her studies of psychology and the Noetic Field (the energy surrounding and penetrating the body). With a sharp ability to perceive energy through visual and tactile senses, Nancy describes what she senses through the creative expression of maskmaking. A long tradition of artistic expression precedes her, for the women of her mother's lineage have all been exceptionally perceptive and creative.

While working as a therapist in a treatment center for trauma survivors, Nancy realized that the mask work done in her art therapy groups was opening doors of information, perception and liberation for clients with repressed trauma. They reported deep insights and high levels of self-empowerment when introduced to spirit through the Spirit Mask.

Nancy spends much of her time in nature, observing and receiving energy. She finds that natural colors, textures and energies make the message of a mask more profound. Nancy collects seeds, berries, leaves, and sand from different parts of the world, noting that the origin of the material becomes part of the mask's message. These meditative walks in nature contribute to the spirit of the masks in which the objects are used.

The entire process, including the interview and the casting of the mask, provides rich and powerful insights for the subject. She believes the process is at the forefront of an innovative approach to personal growth that can augment or accelerate other therapeutic modalities.

Nancy Haverkos
Spirit Masks

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Way Out or a Way Up

2014 Participating Artist

When Nancy Michaelson first saw Pinnacle Peak, Black Mountain, and Saguaro cacti… she informed her sister that she wanted to live here. Since moving to Carefree, she has immersed herself in the light and nuances of the Sonoran Desert, painting its beautiful shapes and colors.

Nancy has drawn and painted her entire life. She studied Renaissance Painting in Italy with Fred Wessel, Jack Beal, Sondra Freckelton, Mary Aro and Bill Patterson; all internationally known artists. Nancy has exhibited in state, national, and international competitions and earned numerous prizes, awards, and recognition.

She believes in fixing her thoughts and art on things that uplift the soul rather than those that tear it down. Nancy admits that her paintings which at first may appear sad or terrifying point to a way out or a way up, especially if you look at them not only with your eyes but with your heart. “Real life is beautiful, complex and a resilient gift,” she said.  

Nancy Michaelson
Red Rope Studio

Friday, August 1, 2014

Three-Dimensional Fused Glass

2014 Participating Artist

David Wheeler’s career in the arts began under the guidance of an artist grandmother.  When he was just six years old he began painting still life in oils on canvas. David went on to study art at the University of Iowa where he studied life drawing and design, using oils, acrylics and charcoal. Finding stained glass and applying the skills learned during his education, he pushed the art of stained glass to the limit of the media.  David was creating sculptures out of stained glass, placing glass in juxtaposition to each other at 3D angles and sculpting the solder into intricate details. 

Glass has now become his life's work with a never ending appreciation of glistening refractions of light and its inexhaustible combinations of color and shape. David works in fused glass, adorned by trellises, carved glass footings, ribbons and bubbles. His work is on display in national galleries, museums and his collector customer’s who appreciate fine art in their home.

It’s amazing process working on fused glass. The warm glass treatment is melting and sculpting glass inside the kiln at various temperatures. The temperature ranges create different liquid viscosities, enabling David to manipulate the shape and color using steel hooks and paddles. The product is further manipulated by multiple kiln firings using various shape molds. This manipulation allows him to add color and more glass to produce pattern and transparency. The techniques of casting, fusing, slumping,  draping, and cold work  all combine and interrelate forming great depth of color, refracted light and dancing with pattern in a three-dimensional pattern.

David Wheeler
Desert Studio