Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Total Control of the Creative Process

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #16

Born and raised in the New York, Frank Gennaro attended Pratt Institute School of Art, Design and Engineering. He became involved with photography over 30 years ago. Since retired and settling in Cave Creek, Frank has been working more seriously with digital and mixed-medium.

All of his work is digitally processed by using various techniques. Some of the techniques he developed emulate painting. Frank does this using Corel Painter with various Bristle, Fan, Sargent and other brush's. Other techniques emulate pencil drawing, pastel and watercolor.

After working with the original image as a digital pallet, he creates finished pieces on canvas, watercolor paper and other mediums using acrylics applied by hand and pigmented inks applied with a Canon Image Prograph 8300 Plotter. Frank stretches his own canvas and matt and even frames most of the images. This allows him total control of the creative process beginning with capturing an image to a full rendering on canvas or fine art papers.

Frank Gennaro
Desert Valley Photography

Friday, November 21, 2014

Capturing the Colors of Nature

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #47

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Catherine Sickafoose has lived most of her adult life in Arizona. Art has been an important part of her life since age 10 when her mother presented her with her first set of oil paints. Raising a family, with a career as a Registered Nurse, took precedence until a newfound love for watercolor brought her back to the studio. Small classes and workshops by talented artists have influenced her unique style of painting.

Capturing the colors of nature in both sunshine and shadows, Catherine pulls the viewer into the very soul of the painting, as she blends negative brushwork – using the white of the paper rather than white paint – with glazed transparent watercolors for vibrant representations of landscapes, florals and still lifes.

She works in her home studio and paints from still life compositions and her own photographs, composing them into fresh and novel arrangements. “By observing the details in everyday surroundings, I find a wealth of ideas: from the smallest of sweet peas on my garden trellis, and the rhythm of color in the Northland wayside, to the soaring San Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona,” said Catherine.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Telling Stories Through Paintings

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #10

Randy Galloway has had a professional career spanning thirty-five years including oil, acrylic, watercolor, and chalk pastel paintings, as well as various drawing mediums and computer graphics. After enjoying a long and successful career in illustration, graphic design, art direction and computer graphics, he decided to return to his first artistic love of painting and drawing. 

Being one-eighth Cherokee and growing up in New Mexico surrounded by art created by Pueblo Indians, Randy has a deep-rooted respect for the Native American culture and is fascinated with their ancestral beliefs and the exquisite craftsmanship and symbolic stylization in their arts and crafts. Some of his other favorite subjects include ranch life, mountain men, wild west settlers, portraiture, landscapes and wildlife. Randy enjoys telling stories through his paintings—that’s part of the reason why he chose to focus on the West. The ideas of freedom and independence and the mix of cultures over two hundred years in the west create a never-ending resource of imagery that can tell stories to elicit every emotion possible and provide a rich palette for his unique expression of beauty. 

Randy’s love of travel is a close second to his love of art, and his work is constantly influenced by the various cultures, artworks, and surroundings he experiences. Travels to China, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, and other parts of the United States have influenced the direction of his artwork.

Randy Galloway

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Inner Painting

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #29

Arizona artist Nancy Christy-Moore, an internationally recognized, award winning painter brings the joy of color, energy and movement to her abstract mixed watermedia work.

Art has led Nancy into teaching and exhibiting her work for the past thirty-plus years. Classes with highly acclaimed watermedia artists in southern California during the early ’80′s influenced both her painting and teaching styles which she passes on in classes and workshops along with newly acquired insights and techniques.

Nancy’s unique signature style of “Inner Painting” develops paintings from within on a subconscious level and reflects her love of horses, florals and energetic, free-flowing colors. Her horse series results from a lifetime love of horses and speaks to the power and energy she connects with when painting them. Her florals and abstracts reveal her underlying romance with color combinations and subtleties of texture.  

Included in many private and corporate collections worldwide, Nancy’s paintings have appeared in museums, the Louisville International Airport Altitude Travelers Club, and as limited edition prints for the Hyatt Regency hotel chain. In 2007, Kennedy Publications selected Nancy for its “Best of America Mixed Media Artists and Artisans Vol. 1″. She was the cover artist for the Summer 2011 issue of “Horses in Art” and the Official Artist for Menlo Charity Horse Show 2012. Nancy was made Signature Artist at IEA (International Equine Artists) in 2013. She was invited to exhibit at the 2013 and 2015 Florence Biannale in Florence, Italy.

The Artwork of Nancy Christy-Moore

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Got Alcohol?

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #47, relocated to the Sonoran Arts League Office & Gallery

What do Alcohol, Photography and Printmaking have in common?  How do they translate into a unique art form?

For the past five years, local artist Judith Rothenstein-Putzer has been putting a new spin on her love of photography by creating Alcohol Transfers with Pen and Ink. The process involves printing an original photograph onto a transparency which is then transferred on to alcohol- soaked printmaking paper. Depending upon the concentration of alcohol and the type of printmaking paper, the results vary from the softness of watercolor to the boldness of acrylics. When the transfer is completed, Rothenstein-Putzer enhances the negative space with pen and ink, making the image more vibrant and alive. “Sometimes I take pleasure in capturing the moment for its form or color.  Other times, I try to expand the boundaries of reality,” she said.

Rothenstein-Putzer majored in art at Brooklyn College (CUNY) with honors courses in architectural design. There is where she also discovered the “magic of photography,” taking classes with Walter Rosenblum. She went on to do graduate study in Occupational Therapy at Columbia University. As an Occupational Therapist, she always included art as a therapeutic tool. When not at work or tending to her family, her camera was always in hand.

Relocating to Arizona from New York about 14 years ago, Rothenstein-Putzer decided to rekindle her need for a creative outlet by taking art workshops in Scottsdale and Phoenix. She explored collage, mixed media, alternative photographic processes and printmaking, but always came back full circle to photography. While transitioning from a film camera to digital, she discovered the alcohol transfer process and has been expanding on the technique ever since. 

The artist and her husband love to travel, which provides many photo opportunities (she’s been known to pack more camera equipment than clothes), but admits that some of her best subjects can be found in her own backyard.

Judith Rothenstein-Putzer

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Creating Jewelry with Intention

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #18

Jennifer Hanscom is most recognized for her guitar necklaces. This year, she will be showcasing her latest guitar - a Gibson Les Paul style. She introduces her casting discipline to form the curve of the body and has chosen to have this necklace hook into a “v” in the front, giving it a more unisex appeal. 

Hanscom will also be revealing her new collections that embody positive intentions. This new aspect to her jewelry was inspired by the positive impact she has experienced as a jewelry instructor. In an effort to expand her impact to those who are not inclined to create themselves, she has designed jewelry to be worn as a talisman of sorts. Just as gratitude rocks remind you to be thankful every time you touch them, she intends the wearer to be reminded of the meaning behind the jewelry every time they wear it. The collections include:

Flourish - Encouragement for your inner beauty or higher self to flourish.
Balance - Celebration of the juxtaposition that creates balance.
Paths of Life - A visual of the various paths on the journey of life.
Wings and Waves - Inspiration or celebration of having the wings to create your own waves in life.

The multitude of skills she has developed throughout her life culminates to give her the resources to create elegant looks with timeless appeal. The fundamentals of 3-dimensional design, that she explored while in school for architecture, add to the complexity of her construction and mechanisms. Her sewing background affords the expertise of pattern-making and draping skills which helps her to craft very wearable jewelry with unique parts. And, she also incorporates computer graphic skills from her former career digitizing commercial embroidery to make unique textures for the metals as well as to draft accurate patterns. It is her hope that the overall composition of her jewelry attracts your attention, the construction intrigues you, and the intention captures your heart.

Jennifer Hanscom

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Painting in Bright Colors

2014 Participating Artist
Studio #34

Melanie Frey finds joy expressing creativity through painting. She is inspired by events, travel, people, animals, settings, and even her own backyard. From man’s best friend to desert blossoms, dusty old missions to wild African herds, Melanie’s painting interests are vast.

While the beautiful Sonoran Desert is her home, Melanie’s paintings also bare the mark of her travels: African plains, Asian cities, European country sides, New England’s lighthouses, and seaside communities. Her love of God, family, friends, pets and animals, the farm-life of her grandparents, and a nomadic lifestyle – living in many states and overseas – are all a part of what motivates her to paint.

Melanie has worked in many mediums. However, she is drawn to the use of acrylics and painting in bright colors. She continues to hone her skills through university art classes and instruction at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.

Melanie Frey

Friday, October 31, 2014

Glass, Batik, Jewelry… Oh My!

2014 Participating Artist
Studio 16

Art was Valerie Hildebrand’s early aspiration and her escape from the rather hectic world of information technology that was her career for over 35 years. She is always exploring various mediums and techniques, which keeps her interest level high, and results in new and unique creations.

She is fascinated by glass, inspired by batik on paper, and thoroughly captivated by jewelry design and construction. Valerie first began working with glass and learning both cold and warm techniques. While she enjoyed creating stained glass panels, she expanded her technical skills to include fusing glass in a kiln and working behind a torch to make beads and elements to be fused into larger pieces.

Valerie then found herself learning Batik. She was taught from a local, but world-renowned, Batik artist that inspired a whole new direction for her. Valerie is now a Juried artist with the Sonoran Arts League in this medium.

Still wanting to do more, she decided to learn chain maille and that was the beginning of her fascination with jewelry. Her jewelry line includes wire wrapping, Viking weave, beading, metalsmithing, shell forming, and precious metal clay.  

These days she splits her creative time between jewelry design and construction and Batik on paper and is enjoying every minute of it.

Valerie Hildebrand

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Coming to the Pastel World

Participating Artist
Studio 28

Soft pastels make me as giddy as a child with a new pack of crayons. Far messier than crayons, their tactile nature is a key part of what attracts me to the medium. Coming to pastel from the world of watercolor, I was agog at the immediate gratification of pure, vibrant color. I still often under-paint with watercolor and allow some translucency to shimmer through the pastel. The technique works well with the subjects I’m attracted to: doors, windows, gates ~ tantalizing in their mysteries, possibilities, longing.

As a native Texan and an Arizona resident for almost 30 years, my sensibilities are grounded in the American Southwest. The textural attributes of sanded paper and pastel sticks lend themselves to the arid magic of the desert, adobe, earth and boundless sky. I want to capture those moments that have tripped some artistic trigger in me, and the pure pigments of pastel afford me the freedom to do that.

I will be showing a number of paintings painted on location in and around my neighborhood at the upcoming tour.

Julia Patterson
480.488.8548 or 602.647.9866

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Glass Speaks to Me

2014 Participating Artist
Studio 35

Artist Dyane Janney specializes in Repujado art, fused glass jewelry, and memory boxes. Dyane is self-taught with no formal art training. After visiting a previous Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour event she found a new passion and her journey began.  

She visited the studios of Lynda Abare, Repujado is her art form; David Wheeler, fused glass; and Char Sanchez, who taught Dyane the fundamentals of fused glass. These artists, friends and mentors, opened a world of excitement and passion beyond her expectations.

Dyane found a joy for life in creating fused glass jewelry, glassware, Repujado journals, keepsake boxes, and awards for any occasion. “Glass speaks to me, and along with the metal embossing, I hear symphonies,” said Dyane.  

Dyane Janney

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Symbols and Spiritual Imagery

2014 Participating Artist
Studio 25

Unlike many artists who can point to pivotal moments in their childhood or an inspirational mentor early in life, Pat Stacy’s pursuit of art is borne of a lifetime of experience with the human condition. Her powerful, mystical work touches viewers at a deeper level; she speaks to the spirit, painting beyond what she sees.

Pat picked up a paint brush during a routine of surgeries. She found that if she painted, she didn’t hurt – distraction is a sound principle of pain management. And so she painted and it quickly became a passion. Pat later sought out instructors and mentors who could help her learn technique and develop her style.

At first, she would try out the styles of the artists from whom she was taking classes, but very quickly began to develop and cultivate her own unique style. While she has first worked toward purely abstract compositions, her paintings evolved to include symbols and spiritual imagery. Pat’s subject matter draws from or is inspired by ancient and native cultures. Some of the symbols in her work come directly from native art, while others are her own creations.

“I often have a figure in the painting with a diagonal line to the shoulder,” Pat explains. “That figure I call an “Entity,” and the diagonal line represents the light of the Creator coming into the painting – my “thank you” for being allowed to create the painting, and my acknowledgement of where all creativity comes from.”

Pat Stacy

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Did You Put Away Your Toys?

2014 Participating Artist
Artist Studio 33

“Did You Put Away Your Toys?” is Karen Budan’s latest painting to be completed. This 18”x 24” oil painting features another wonderful antique toy borrowed from her friend Lori and and her husband. She borrowed two of the trucks, one larger than the other, but this composition ended up calling for just the one. The larger one may yet star in a painting as Karen enjoyed painting this one. As she thought about the possible compositions, Karen found herself thinking of a little boy and the toys he would enjoy playing with along with the truck. She went to her ever-growing stash of still life objects and pulled out a set of old tinker toys and a jar of marbles. With  the addition of her wooden Pepsi crate to offer more placement options for the toys, the painting composition came to life.

Can you just hear the mother saying, “Did You Put Away Your Toys?”  

Karen Budan
Karen Budan Fine Art

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

We the People and the American Flag

2014 Participating Artist
Studio 29

This piece brings into relationship the Constitution of the United States and the many flags that represented this country since the British created the first one.

The background of “We the People” is a collage of the original handwritten Constitution, as well as the current amendments.  Under the flags I have added the dates in which they were in force.

This painting can be viewed under both a historical or a political light.  If the latter, a question may be posed as to “why a collage” and not the entire text (whole pages).  I will leave the answer to the viewer and his/her own perception and interpretation.  My role as an artist is to present the question.

The size of this piece is 86″H x 64″W for each of the two panels.  The third piece, above, is the current flag, measuring 30″W x 22″H.  The background, being a collage, is paper.  Each flag is done in Encaustics (hot wax), a 5000-year old technique originating in Greece, Rome and Egypt.  

Bela Fidel
Bela Fidel Fine Art 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Refined Rustic

2014 Participating Artist

Ken Ryan has always had a love of wood and woodworking, especially wood with character in the form of various grain patterns, knots, shapes and textures. His first wood projects were rooted in frugality: staining and varnishing naked furniture, as well as refinishing, refurbishing and/or re-purposing discarded or second hand furniture. 

Ken’s initial inspiration to begin building furniture came as a gift to his daughter, a large queen size, four poster log pine bed complete with an engraved headboard. He enjoys working with whatever Mother Nature offers – oak, cedar, juniper and ponderosa pine wood varieties. Ken draws from the creations of the early American furniture builders with their simple lines and seemingly crude but very solid construction techniques. Southwest designs, especially Native American artwork, petroglyphs and pictographs, Spanish and Mexican woods, shapes and colors, and their architecture also influence his furniture designs and construction.

Refined rustic is a good description of his work. What makes Ken’s artistic furniture unique are the simple flowing lines and intricate details and complex designs. To make a piece that is truly distinct, he utilizes one-of-a-kind log and wood pieces as the foundation and combines them with various joinery techniques, embracing the use of traditional joinery and featuring it prominently in his pieces rather than concealing it.

Ken Ryan
Draw Enterprise