Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Arizona Desert on Canvas

2014 Participating Artist

At an early age, Jeff True was introduced and encouraged to express his artistic abilities by his mother. Jeff went on to pursue fine art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Metropolitan Technical Community College where he specialized in commercial art. He began his career painting billboards and worked as a commercial artist for a printing company. 

When he relocated to Phoenix, it wasn't long before the intense Arizona landscapes, vibrant sunsets, and beautiful cloud formations inspired him to recreate the beauty, light and color of the Arizona desert on canvas.

This is when he launched True Graphics, specializing in stage backdrops and props and eventually evolving into a full service art and design company. Jeff's specialties include interior design, color consultation, murals, Venetian plaster, wall finishes, American clay, commissioned oil paintings, logo design, commercial signs and banners.

However, his true passion is oil painting, currently large florals and landscapes. Jeff prefers taking his own photographs to capture the right composition, shadows, light detail and brilliance of his subject. He loves realism and all the detailed beauty nature has to offer. 

Jeff True
Jeff True Fine Art

Friday, July 18, 2014

Creating Something of Substance

2014 Participating Artist

Interested in art for as long as he can remember, Gordon Mischke was turned on to "fine art" during a high school field trip to Bemidji State College. When he saw the huge paintings on exhibit, he knew right then and there that he wanted to be an artist.

Starting out with a bit of painting during college, Gordon quickly realized that sculpture was his love. When he moved to Arizona, he started working with cast concrete. Gordon created forms in clay and then made plaster molds of the clay and replaced the clay with poured concrete. Embedding pieces of steel and found objects in the clay and including them in the final casting enabled him to create sculptures that combined the various materials.

Gordon has moved into working with steel, copper, and stone. His sculptures reflect his translating spiritual concepts into solid models... something of substance. Gordon’s ideas come from the very material itself. "My art is a record of my relentless search for the Divine Mother. I continually attempt to coax the Divine from Her hiding places - from the stone, the steel, the glass, the wood with which I sculpt - using the heart, the mind, the will, the hands which are in the tools She has given me,” said Gordon.

His sculptures have adorned such locations as the Radisson at Fort McDowell and Carefree Town Center. Gordon's architectural creations can be seen in many of the premier homes in the valley in the form of wood carving, sand blasted glass, gates and railing.

Gordon Mischke

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Repurpose Into One-of-a-Kind Pendants

2014 Participating Artist

For Dyane Janney, it is all about the journey. Her journey began with fusing glass, and experimenting with small puzzle-like pieces. She can take all the sorts of items and repurpose them into stunning, one-of-a-kind pendants. Dyane’s pieces can be made from custom fused glass, sea glass, Australian enamels, and Repujado… or any combination thereof. She can also wrap your favorite coin, talisman or keepsake.

Each pendant has a hand-embossed and painted back (Repujado). The pendants are delicately wrapped in copper, 14K gold-filled or sterling silver wire. A pendant can be plainly wrapped to showcase the glass, or it can be more ornately embellished with semi-precious beads and stones. Charms and decorative beads may also be added. There are many ways to showcase your pendant. Woven wire, leather, beads, chains and braided fibers are just a few examples!

These pendants can be worn on your own favorite necklace, strand of pearls, or beads. However, Dyane has created a special necklace for each individual piece in her gallery. These include woven cords, metal chains and beaded chokers. She also has a new collection of “Botellas“, glass cabochons which are capped in sterling silver.

Dyane Janney
Designs by Dyane

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Loose Realism

2014 Participating Artist

Although watercolor is her primary medium, Andrea Merican enjoys working in oils. She is captivated by color and her works display this affinity. Her paintings reveal this obsession with color and light and show off her love of design.

Andrea started drawing at a very young age. It was in high school that she discovered her love of painting. She continues to learn, grow, and achieve new skills in her art career. Andrea gathers inspiration for her artwork with each new journey she takes while traveling the world.

Her passions are painting people, desert botanicals and animals. Andrea has always been an observer of others. She sees someone sitting in a beautiful pose and feels compelled to capture that gesture or moment. Andrea finds desert botanicals to be complex and beautiful making it easy for her to embellish their uniqueness with watercolor. She calls her painting style Loose Realism where she uses lots of drips, splashes and vibrant color in her work.

Andrea Merican Art
Andrea Merican

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Capturing Nature’s Fleeting Moments

2014 Participating Artist

Joel Wolfson is best known for his artistic images of nature’s fleeting moments as well as abstracts and unexpected views of everyday places around the globe. His love of photography started as a child peering over the developer tray witnessing the magic of the appearing image as his older sister made prints in the darkroom. By age 13, Joel built his own darkroom, shot pictures and printed them completely on his own.

Initially influenced by Ansel Adams and Group f/64, Joel learned the zone system and black and white “pre visualization.” He had the good fortune to have as his mentors and work with, some of the world’s best photographers. Further inspiring Joel’s vision were painters Rembrandt, Monet, and Picasso.

Over the years, Joel has been published internationally and his roster of notable clients include Newsweek, Elle, Seventeen, Houghton Mifflin, Family Circle, and corporate clients such as Apple, AT&T, 3M, United Airlines, Chase and Pillsbury. While he has successfully worked in a wide array of photographic projects around the world, he continues to have a special place in his heart for his native Southwest, which he has used to expand his portfolio of work and offer to fine art enthusiasts and collectors.

Joel Wolfson Photography

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Glass Bead Jewelry

2014 Participating Artist

Beads and wirework are the focal point of Kathryn Guler’s unique glass bead jewelry. Kathryn’s work transitions from causal to formal. When not worn as jewelry they could be displayed as art. Her strong sense of color and sculptural design make a perfect blend. The combination of silver, copper, and gold with colored glass creates various effects and makes every bead a one of a kind jewel.

Kathryn’s studies focused on fabric and custom clothing design. In 1989, her focus turned to silversmithing and designing jewelry. Kathryn has a wide range of experience from designing and creating material patterns, clothing, glass beads and jewelry. She has working knowledge of precious metals, their form, and function from designing and making custom jewelry as well as handmade glass bead jewelry.

Kathryn was introduced to glass when she began looking for objects to incorporate into her designs. In a local bead store she came across a book by Cindy Jenkins “Making Glass Beads” which changed her life like many others. Kathryn then began taking classes in Lampworking and started experimenting using metals and glass to form beads. Later she took workshops with Leah Fairbanks, Kate Fowle Meleney, and Larry Scott.

Kathryn now creates distinctive drawer pulls, bottle stoppers, lapel pins, flower vase necklaces, mermaids and ornaments. All pieces are handmade and Lampworked with glass beads.  

Kathryn Guler

Monday, June 30, 2014

Creation of Copper Art

2014 Participating Artist

The husband and wife team of Ralph and Sheri Meldrum are masters in the creation of copper art. After first working with several other artistic mediums, the Meldrum’s decided to work exclusively with copper. They chose copper both for its inherent beauty and the joy they receive in working with this metal. Wall sculptures, weavings and hand tooled pieces are created for mounting on interior walls. The variety of colors in their work is the result of years of experimentation with chemicals and their effect upon copper. Other variables such as heat, enamel pigment, and oils further broaden and intensify their artistic pallet.

Born in Montana, Sheri was inspired by the beauty of the land and its native people. Her many years of studying various art media, from painted ceramics to textile art and leather, have influenced her creation of metal sculptures. Sheri’s designs are beautifully executed by Ralph, who has had years of experience as a master engineer. Together, they have received numerous awards for their creative designs featured in art shows across the country.

Each piece of artwork is truly unique due to the variety of size, shape and color and can be designed to accommodate any space and desired effect. Each piece is hand-forged, hand-shaped, welded and specially designed. Working in cooper, steel and brass, their unusual patinas beautifully enhance each sculpture. Some pieces are enhanced with paint and/or beadwork.

Commissions are welcomed and comprise a significant portion of their work. Copper artwork created by the Meldrum’s may be found in residences, office and commercial spaces all over the world. 

Sheri & Ralph Meldrum
Meldrum Fine Copper Art
480 473-2224

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Paintings and Poetry

2014 Participating Artist

Painting allows me the quiet and thoughtful internal dialogue that refreshes my spirit. My artwork takes me on a spiritual journey as I seek and collect natural elements, which I then incorporate into each of my mixed-media paintings. My feeling is that these gifts found in nature are universal and comforting and inspiring for all people. In addition, by including natural elements in my artwork, my desire is to provide another way to experience this beauty and all that it represents in a way that might otherwise be missed.

Most compositions are done on either domestic or exotic woods from all parts of the world. I treasure both the symbolic and the tangible connections of using these woods as the foundation of my paintings. My art comes to fruition through a variety of processes, both additive and subtractive, as well as by utilizing numerous mediums. The combination of natural elements as well as mediums such as oils, acrylics, and polyurethane, to name a few, allow numerous textures and nuances throughout the many layers in each painting. Many of my processes have been developed over years of experimentation and evolution, and yet some seem to take on a life of their own with the creation of each new composition.

Poetry is another integral part of my art. Greatly inspired by the insights and wisdom of life's experiences, along with many metaphoric lessons found in nature, I feel that the two go hand in hand. Therefore, my paintings also include an original poem that is handwritten on the back of each composition. I once read in a book by Rebecca Wells, "use everything in your life to create your art". This intention is at the heart of my paintings and my poetry.

Kim Walker
Kim Walker Art

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Discovering Stained Glass

2014 Participating Artist

Troy Moody, designer and craftsman of unique art glass, discovered stained glass of the post World War II Germans while in Europe and began to consider the use of glass as a dynamic medium of artistic expression. During his travels to such places as Canada, India, Nepal and Thailand, Troy has had the privilege of studying art glass design and cultures from renowned artists such as Richard Millard, Sylvia Nicolas, C.Z. Lawrence, and Patrick Reyntiens.

During his career, he has completed numerous art glass installations for religious, commercial and private spaces in Arizona, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and South Dakota.  Troy’s accomplishments include creating 10,000 square feet of original terrazzo artwork for the Phoenix Convention Center and 75,000 square feet of terrazzo flowing throughout the 15 story Maricopa County Court Tower.

He works closely with homeowners, architects, designers and custom homebuilders to create art glass that relates directly to the clients lifestyle and architectural settings. Clients are welcome to arrange studio visits to witness the transformation from design concept to art glass reality. His glasswork can incorporate all types of elements including sandblasting, kiln-work, torch-work and hand painted/stained elements.

Troy Mark Moody

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kim Fox Jewelry Design

2014 Participating Artist

Artist Kim Fox has worked with her hands her entire life. She was always seeking a way to have the vision in her head show up all over the world. For several years, Kim has created jewelry while selling computers and technology in call centers. She took classes in casting at Phoenix Community College and silver smithing at the Mining and Mineral Museum.  

Her vision became a reality when she left her 20 year career in computers and technology and headed back to school to become a jewelry designer. Since then, Kim has won numerous awards including two international design awards, a second place and a finalist at the South Sea Pearl Consortium in Hong Kong, and placed first in the Lady’s Jewelry for the Bench Jewelers Design Contest in Denver.

Kim is also the owner of Handfast, a line of findings, clasps, rings and pendants. Her intention is to make clasps and other components a part of the design. Sometimes moving them front and center or to the side of a piece of jewelry. These items along with her unique jewelry pieces tie the designs together.

Kim Fox
Kim Fox Jewelry Design

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The “Stuff” of Life

2014 Participating Artist

Nicolette Maguire Bonnstetter  is an art educator who has worked for the last 30 years at the college and university level in the Midwest. The "stuff" of life is the inspiration for the color, shape and textures of her abstract realism style of art. According to Nicolette, it’s all about color on a black space, how that color and black space relate, play and resonate with one another.  Although the objects are very personal, they aren't the most important focus of her complex and intricate pieces. The long forgotten cuff links, pieces of ribbon, stuffed toy or favorite holiday tree ornament... are all items that are recognizable from one's life. It's the intensity of the black space and color play that adds visual intrigue.

When seeing Nicolette’s artwork, you will recognize the subjects in her work from your childhood, your travels, your loves, and your fashion old and new. She draws you in with the images and hugs you in color and space. Nicolette’s art revolves around objects and many times they are placed in a decorative format. The decorative format typically has been associated with women. The questions this creates and the color placement are what draws Bonnstetter to this format.

Nicolette Maguire Bonnstetter

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harsh Beauty of the Desert Landscape

2014 Participating Artist

Artist Michele Corsini loves to create… draw, paint, work with her hands.

She studied traditional mosaic techniques and won a "Livewire" award from the British Government for her mosaic business. Michele changed her lifestyle by moving to Phoenix. She was enthralled by the harsh beauty of the desert landscape. It was during this time she produced the large composite painting series. Her sculptural pieces grew out of this series.

Michele discovered the landscape through hiking, backpacking and mountain biking where an appreciation for the uniqueness of the area formed. During a stint in the realm of home building, she was inspired to turn her skills towards finishing techniques and created a very successful faux finishing business. She was able to indulge in some elaborate projects, including byzantine mosaic murals, large scale commissioned oils and sophisticated wall finishes.

Over the last three years, she has been working on small plein air pieces. The discipline suits her time constraints with a family of five at home.

Michele Corsini
Michele Corsini Studios

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tiles and Artwork

2014 Participating Artist

From the very moment Scott Donars started working in clay, he knew he found his passion. His favorite thing about clay is its versatility. You can create three dimensional forms, sculpt in bas relief, make tiles, apply them to curved or flat surfaces on furniture and wall hangings. There is no limit to the items Scott can create.

For inspiration, he turns to the rhythmic beauty in nature. “I am fascinated by the patterns that exist in plant and animal life. It can be repetitive yet unpredictable,” said Scott. “I love to push the limits of clay to capture that beauty.”

Tile artisans Scott and his son Matthew create handmade tiles and artwork for residential and commercial applications, for indoors and out. The desert southwest serves as a great inspiration for their work, however their creativity goes beyond just desert scenes.

Along with handcrafted tiles, they also create custom frames; table tops, benches, and planters; garden accessories; fountain and pool accents; wall hangings; custom fireplace accents; kitchen and bathroom accents; and tile mirrors.  

Scott Donars

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More than Just a Pretty Picture

2014 Participating Artist

When I take a picture, the subject matter is important, but it’s not the only thing. I choose my images carefully, keeping in mind how the object or scene makes me feel as well. The goal of my photography is to share that feeling with others.

When you look at a flower, you see beautiful colors, shapes, and sizes. What impresses me about flowers is that they are a representation of the infinite beauty and variety of God’s creation. Look closely at these flower pictures, and savor the sizes, shapes, and color combinations. Most people don’t stop to admire a flower in as great detail as these photographs show, and that’s why I do what I do. I want to share the beauty, but also the feelings that flowers evoke: God’s creation is perfect, size and shape doesn’t matter, and infinite variety is to be celebrated.

I do the same thing with landscapes. I love taking pictures of roads leading away, holding a promise of something special just around the bend. I love capturing unusual events, like snow in the desert, or a sunset that illuminates its surroundings. Light is extremely important to me when I take pictures, and I frequently go out at dawn, or when the sun is low in the early evening sky.
Wonderful shadows are created this way, which adds interest to an already beautiful scene.

I love to travel, just to see the beauty and variety of God’s creation. I feel privileged that I have been able to capture the wonder of this amazing planet.

Betsy Anderson
Betsy Anderson Photography