2022 Plein Air Artists
Jim Bensman is a Bay Area contemporary oil painter of urban and rural landscapes. Growing up in rural Ohio he spent much of his childhood exploring the neighboring fields and farms. His interest in art began in his early 20’s as a soldier deployed to Panama.
Fascinated by the Panamanian culture Jim spent much of his time exploring the urban decay that formed out of the recent conflict. Jim began sketching as a way to record his surroundings and remember a moment in time.
After the military Jim attended The Ohio State University in the Landscape Architecture program and continued to explore his art through night and weekend classes. Now living in Albany with his wife and 2 kids, Jim continues to explore the urban and rural landscapes around him, captivated by transitional and commonplace areas. His strong compositional paintings, much like his early sketches of Panama, are a way of capturing a moment in time and understanding the beauty in the mundane. He often explores a subject by developing many sketches and paintings
Martha Diaz is a San Francisco based artist living her dream of creating art. As a child, she wanted to be an artist; she loved drawing and creating things with her hands. Martha Diaz postponed her dream of a career in art and instead pursued a career in healthcare and raised a family. Her desire to create never truly waned and resurfaced once her children became teenagers. Martha began taking every opportunity to learn by reading books and enlisting in art classes and workshops from many well-known artists. A lot of Martha Diaz's paintings are inspired from morning walks on the coast and by the experiences she encounters while hiking in the woods. Martha's passion for art does not stay in the studio, often she is seen painting on location along the coast or at a nearby park. Martha's goal is to draw the viewer into her art and feel the intimacy and deep connection she channels when creating art. Martha possesses a profound emotional attunement to the world that resonates outward through her work into the imagination of the viewer.
I have been painting for many decades because I realized long ago that art is something I must do even during the most difficult or busy times. Over the past several years I have been concentrating on painting the natural beauty of the California countryside. I find that when I get outside and spend time deeply looking, which is a requirement for good painting, the landscape becomes a part of who I am and this brings me peace. Watercolor is my medium of choice, although I do sometimes use other media. I love the sense of light and transparency inherent in watercolor and how the pigments interact and flow together. I try to work with these qualities to help depict my emotional response to a place. My paintings often contain hard edged or architectural elements, but this is always tempered by nature’s random and tenacious energy. I am active in the plein air groups of the Los Gatos Art Association and the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. I am currently represented by Gallery 24 in Los Gatos, CA.
Nishita is a watercolor artist residing in Maryland, USA. Born in India, she moved to North America in 2008 to explore a new professional opportunity. As a child, growing up in a home that was filled with books and conversations about art, Nishita took to painting literally like a duckling takes to water. Along with two of her siblings, who were equally artistically inclined, she participated in numerous painting competitions and won awards for her artwork (including the Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1988).
Later, though she continued to pursue art as a serious hobby, her professional life revolved mainly around computer-based graphics and web design gradually transitioning into digital marketing over the years. Mostly self-taught, Nishita has attended classes and workshops with a number of acclaimed watercolor artists, including Herman Pekel, Catherine Gill, Keiko Tanabe, and Sarah Yeoman. Recently, she attended the Plein Air Convention, the world's largest plein air event, organized by Streamline Publishing Inc. in San Francisco, California.
Specializing in landscapes and florals, Nishita believes that a true work of art provides an intense emotional experience and creates indelible memories. She finds the act of painting akin to meditation and considers her experiments and explorations in this field the biggest, ongoing adventure of her life.
Suzi Marquess Long, born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, is an award-winning artist who developed a passion for pastels as a young girl, and returned to this early love almost 20 years ago. She moved to Mendocino and opened her own gallery in 2006, becoming an icon on the North Coast.
Suzi has studied pastels with many artists of note, including Albert Handell, Margot Schulzke, Clark Mitchell, Judith Cunningham, Richard McDaniel, and Susan Ogilvie.
Prior to pastels, Suzi's mural company Whimsy Walls created many fabulous theme rooms in several prominent businesses and homes throughout the San Francisco Bay area and Hawaii
Steven is an emerging painter from the California Bay Area who's inspired by the natural beauty of his home state. He began painting as a teenager with master painters Brigitte Curt and Jim Smyth, and continued his education at Cornell University in New York and the Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence. He particularly loves spending time in the hills around San Francisco Bay and down on the Monterey Coast, drawn by the incredible color vibrations and qualities of light in these places. He has been recognized by Southwest Art Magazine as one of their "21 Under 31" artists to follow and published in Plein Air Magazine among other honors. His work is on display at Studio Seven Gallery in Pleasanton.
A back injury and then the Covid-19 shutdown led me to study with a classical realism program devoted to accurate drawing of the figure (see “Figure and Cast Drawings) which has changed the trajectory of my landscape painting. The goal of achieving a “light impression” through careful handling of values and treatment of edges has affected my painting, primarily the watercolors. An example has been my inclination to work more “into the light.” See “House on the Park,” “417 61st Street,” and “Nicasio Church.” Other lighting situations have benefitted as well. I have always felt that accuracy in drawing helped me convey the true life of my subjects. But without a better understanding of values I was at a loss to convert my instinct into painting. And the meticulous classical methods of rendering have given me a new-found appreciation of the dedication and time required
At this point, I attempt an honest realism, aided by direct painting, and feel better served having an enlarged tool box at my disposal, not to be a better copyist but to seek dynamism and meaning as well.I can foresee greater emotional impact of my subjects conveyed with greater attention paid to hierarchy of values facilitating composition.The work continues.And I persist in seeking the “light impression.”
Born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine, Lana now calls San Francisco Bay Area home. She started her formal academic training at the age of 12 in her homeland and later continued in North America receiving MFA degree at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
One of her most recent achievements is the 1st Place Quickdraw awarded by Sheridan Arts Foundation at Telluride Pein Air, Telluride, Colorado in 2009.
Lana also received Honorable Mention for Artistic Excellence, Salon International 2008, Greenhouse Gallery, San Antonio, TX. An article about Lana Rak and her artwork was published in September 2005 issue of Southwest Art magazine under the "Artists to Watch" section.
As a young boy, my father said to me, “So James, what do you want to do when you get older?”. My response with little hesitation was: “Be a professional fisherman, musician, and an artist.” My father replied, “That is great, but do you realize how difficult it is to become successful at these?” I had never made much thought to how difficult all this may be. I didn’t let this discourage me though. Through many trials and persistence, I can truly say that I have achieved my desires, but know I will never stop growing. These labels don’t represent who I am as a person, but are my passions that help me to connect with people from all over the world.
My oils and acrylics showcase the life that I lead with representations of what I see in nature, my travels, and experience with different people and cultures. I am an outdoor painter and also do much studio work. I predominantly paint from the northwest region of the United States but have no boundaries in which I explore. I work in an impressionist’s style and use my emotions to move my brush.
Growing up as an angler my work touches the hearts of many fishermen, especially those familiar with the Deschutes, Rogue, and Umpqua Rivers in Oregon. My spiritual connection with nature and the native people who once ruled these lands keeps my pallet brilliant. I use feeling and color to move onlookers.
Plein air painting is my passion. There is an immersion that happens by standing in the scene- the light, the air, the sounds and the scene itself envelope me. It is immediate and I can intimately react to what I see and to what I know to be true. Often there is a grandness of scale that is a bit overwhelming; I tend to parcel it down to what portion of the scene speaks to the enormity of it. I look for the story of what makes this place unique, and so often it is about the light. Northern California light is magnificent year round. And too, California is often about transition, a theme in my work. I’m at some point in the continuum of change and feel compelled to honor this fleeing moment. Towns are revitalized, Vintage character gets replaced, orchards are leveled for high density housing. Painting allows me to preserve the character of this moment in time.
My goal in painting is not so much to reproduce exactly what’s before me but to paint what is the result of looking at it, and getting its essence. I’m attempting to capture the truth of the moment and in painting it, I honor it. I respect its totality, and I aim to paint its essence.
My passion is painting ‘en plein air’ (in the open air). Changing light and weather dictate the necessity to capture the essence of a scene quickly all the while being mindful of memorizing every nuance of it. I focus on strong design and value contrasts in my shapes. I strive to tell a story - to convey what moves me and led me to pick this subject and paint it in this way.
I feel a close connection to the beauty I see all around me. Painting allows me to express the joy it gives me. When I am painting on location, an indelible image is burned into my memory that I get to savor forever after. I find the endeavor to be thrilling. I enjoy the challenge of communicating this magic to others.
I find the competition at Plein Air Events is with myself, to see how far and fast I can stretch to produce a small body of work in a limited time, After each event, I know I have grown in my abilities by pushing myself.
Mandar is an award-winning artist who is inspired by the magic of nature. He loves painting landscapes in a vibrant and energetic style using soft pastels. After spending 12 years in New York, he moved to California in 2014 and has been inspired by the beauty of the West Coast ever since. He enjoys painting Alameda and the SF Bay landscapes in all their glory and feels the region’s natural beauty offers a lot of inspiration to let lose his creative spirit.
Mandar recognizes the important role art plays in creating physical, emotional and spiritual healing and strives to share the experience with people in all walks of life.
Mandar’s art was featured in three recent publications, Alameda Sunnewspaper, Alameda Magazine and Alameda Architectural Preservation Society’s Quarterly publication. He was also the winner for the People’s Choice award at the 2017 Plein Air Paint Out event in Alameda that was participated by forty accomplished artists from all over the country.
Although I have a college degree in design, I am self-taught as a painter. As a full-time graphic artist for over 30 years, I studied and painted in watercolor, but upon retiring I discovered Plein air oils and was immediately captivated. My Plein air works take their main inspiration from the early California Impressionists who uniquely captured the vitality and beauty of the region in a direct and unmannered style. In my work, I try to capture the quiet beauty and serene elegance of the surrounding landscape. Subtle color, a sense of light, and a unique sense of serenity are the things I try to capture in my painting as I feel those things best reflect the quiet beauty of the world around us. It is my good fortune to be able to offer my paintings to those of you who respond to those elements of nature in the same way as I do.
I am drawn to plein air in response to beauty and it’s allure. The focus creates a form of embrace with the subject matter, which I find soothing. Stemming from a childhood interest in the natural world, I now view nature from the lens of conservation as well as renewal.
The practice poses many obstacles to overcome so I set out to learn the methods of the 19th century.
The work is necessarily small, completed “alla prima," all in one sitting. I learned to commit to a composition and make a painting quickly while staying fluid, comparing values, shapes, line quality and drawing for accuracy.
As a result of practice, my skills of observation are sharpened.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Cathy received her Masters of Fine Art in painting from the Academy of Art University in 2015, graduating with honors.
A wiser person than I once described art as the intermediary between the physical and the spiritual. I share in that opinion. The creative act is the linchpin of my personal spiritual quest. This does not imply that the creative product is overtly religious or spiritual, simply that the process has a spiritual component.
I cannot say how this precisely fits in with my fixation with painting, or if it even does. I have always been fascinated by depicting the world around me, with an emphasis on the human face.
While I have experimented from time to time with other techniques and styles, I always return to the same subject matter.
I feel the highest sense of creative tension when I paint a form, any form, the greatest charge. There is nothing as interesting as the attempt to capture a likeness, both physical and emotional, to know the world, if only a little bit, for even a little while. I find nothing so exhilarating and satisfying as success in capture, and nothing as frustrating as the failure.
This struggle could be thought analogous to the perpetual striving to know the true self. Perhaps in knowing the other, oh so little, it is possible learn to know the self just a little bit more.
Rick Ingraham continues to expand his repertoire including landscapes, seascapes, still life, urban scenes and figure drawing with various media. He paints both plein air and in the studio from his on-site reference photos. He describes his art style as impressionistic/expressionistic, leaving some picture elements less defined to prompt the viewer to fill in information from the viewer’s own experiences. He has studied with nationally known artists including Ken Auster, Matt Smith, Kenn Backhaus, Will Maller and Jove Wang. Rick developed his love of the ocean growing up in San Diego where he surfed, snorkeled and sailed. His knowledge of the ocean comes from thousands of hours of observation during all conditions as a beach lifeguard (both in and out of the ocean) over ten summers along the northern San Diego County coast. Rick is a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, Central California Art Association, Mendocino Art Center, and the Tracy Art League. Rick has exhibited and won awards for painting, drawing, and mixed media in various regional shows.
Award-winning artist, Marie Massey, has been painting professionally for 20 years and teaching the "Painting in Layers" method to adults working in oil and acrylic for 8 years. Marie is an avid plein air painter and does 5 to 7 plein air painting events annually.
Marie's paintings have been juried into more than 130 National and Regional shows where they have won many awards including Best of Show, People's Choice,1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as many Honorable Mentions, merchant and purchase awards. Marie's work sells well and is in private, corporate and government collections. Marie is grateful to be represented by select galleries across the USA including Reflections Elegante Gallery in Willow Glen, Ca., The San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, 620 Fine Art Gallery in Pacific Grove, Ca, Art of Santa Cruz in Capitola, Ca Deselms Fine Art in Cheyenne, WY, ACEP Gallery in Estes Park, Co and Independence Gallery in Loveland, Co
Recognized for loose impressionistic paintings abundant with color and paint, Lynn Mehta is an award-winning artist living in Alexandria, Virginia.
An artist since childhood, Mehta grew up along the Southern California coast, earned her B.A. in Art from San Diego State University, and has studied with internationally acclaimed artists.
She is a Juried Artist Member of the Salmagundi Club and the Washington Society of Landscape Painters. Mehta holds Signature Membership Status in the American Impressionist Society, the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, and the American Society of Marine Artists.
Her work is internationally acquired and is found in private and public collections, books, magazines, and galleries.
Erica Norelius is an award-winning artist located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Erica’s work has been featured in a wide range of publications--she’s graced the covers of Cornell's literary magazine Epoch, been a finalist multiple times in the International Artist Magazine, and was one of 21 emerging artists under the age of 31 in Southwest Art. Among her most prestigious awards was receiving second honors at the Portrait Society of America’s International Competition in 2015.
My art expresses my personal reflections on the experience of being in nature. I choose to depict the power and beauty of nature through my work in a loose and spontaneous style. Watercolor painting and the luminous effects it produces is fascinating to me. Plein Air painting offers the opportunity to engage with nature and spend time outside, noticing and incorporating elements that are essential to representing the scene and its unique beauty. This process is both challenging and thrilling.
I began making art while living in the Bay Area and later graduating from Dominican University with an art degree. I’ve spent many years in arts education, teaching students of all grade levels.
DAVID R. SMITH
David enjoys the challenge of working in harmony with a fluid medium. By providing the proper environment, surrendering some control, and working with the medium, the most beautiful results oftentimes occur naturally. To keep the paintings from getting too precise, and instead, to convey a feeling of aliveness, David utilizes a number of techniques such as working wet into wet, glazing, pouring, spattering, and spraying. These techniques not only keep the painting fresh, but produce exciting interminglings and textures effortlessly.
David’s favorite subjects tend to be found in nature and he loves to travel abroad as well as explore state and national parks for inspiration. Depicting a subject in great light, capitalizing on the contrast developed by light and shadow, while showcasing the assortment of jewels that happen naturally through the fluid medium keeps David eager to paint his next creation.
David has studied under numerous instructors in the states and in China. He has displayed his work in galleries and museums across the United States and his work has been awarded at the state and national level. David has received Signature Membership with the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, and others.
Painting moments in my world as I see them in a series of different ideas and subjects. I am primarily a plein air painter and love the transparency of watercolor. Drawing with a strong focus on perspective is fundamental in all my paintings. Searching for a scene I often create a title first.
I moved to San Francisco from Australia in1980 after an 18 month trip across Europe and the USA.
I worked as a freelance illustrator drawing pen and ink hotels for The Karen Brown Travel Guides from 1983 to 2000 while raising my 3 kids and for 35 years I have worked as an architectural renderer sketching and painting watercolors for the real estate industry.
My painting career began in 2011 and in 2013 I took my first plein air workshop and was hooked.
I have held exhibitions in Sydney, Australia, at Nielsen Framers and The Holton Studio Gallery in Berkeley and I love participating in plein air events as well as painting weekly outdoors.
Steve is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived in Sebastopol since the early 90’s. A graduate of the University of California, he is a traffic engineer by profession and has gained a reputation in Complete Street traffic engineering projects which transform streets to more pedestrian and bike friendly facilities.
Steve is an accomplished amateur chef and has used cooking as his creative outlet, something he began nourishing at a young age growing up in the East Bay. Since about 2004, when his Father, a graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts, gave him his first oil paint set, Steve has been on a painting art journey.
Steve’s artistic style tends towards impressionistic with a current focus on “still life in nature.” He maintains his studio in his Sebastopol home attic and has been increasing his time painting plein air. He has spent time in many art workshops, hiking the Sonoma Coast, as well as travels around Europe, most particularly in Portugal, exploring family roots, and gathering inspiration along the way. His classroom has been many of the great art galleries of Europe.
These days, Steve can often be found painting Plein air in West Sonoma County and northwestern Marin County towards Tomales Bay.
I am in awe of the way light reveals the nature of our environment - the infinite variations that occur from sunrise to sunset and with changes in the weather and seasons. My goal is to capture something special about each scene or object I am viewing – beauty, essence, a feeling, or a mood. My preference is to paint en plein air and I often refine paintings in my studio. I have studied or taken workshops with a number of professional artists including Ray Mendieta, Paul Kratter, Camille Predzwodek, Ned Mueller, Ray Roberts, Matt Smith, Peter Adams, Thomas Kitts, Alexander Zimin, Thomas Schaller, Cooley Whisson, Terry Muira, Will Maller and John Cosby.
I have always been fascinated by the art of painting. As a young child growing up in China, I watched my father paint traditional Chinese scenes. He painted with brushes, knives and hiw own fingers and nails, using a variety of media. He was completely untutored, but his passion and persistence were enough to fill our small house with paintings and sketches.
Now, living in the United Sates with my family, I have rekindled the same passion in myself. Using a loose style, I strive to capture the beauty of nature and scenes of everyday life, working mostly in oils on canvas or canvas board. My influences are Richard Schmid, Richard Robinson. And the artists I meet in person or online.
In cinema I found my first true passion. I love designing lighting and composition for moving images and I’ve done so for many decades. But in recent years, my love for light and beauty has increasingly manifested itself in drawing and painting.I’ve sketched sporadically throughout my life, but four years ago, when my wife and I traveled to Italy, something changed. I carried a sketchbook with me and throughout the Italian countryside I feverishly drew the beautiful textures and scenes that surrounded us. Suddenly, what had been a passing interest turned into an obsession. When I got home, I immediately started a systematic study of realist art.I remain an actively working cinematographer who draws and paints as much as possible.
Suma CMOriginally from the East Coast, Suma CM lives in San Jose and is an award-winning artist and instructor who enjoys working in watercolor, oil, and other media. As an extrovert, she particularly enjoys the opportunity to meet and interact with people while painting on location outdoors.
She has been a juried artist at Carmel Art Festival and Los Gatos Plein Air and is a past member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society. She has taught sketching workshops in the Bay Area and is the instructor of “Urban Sketching in 15 Minutes a Day” on Craftsy.com.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Suma has a degree in cultural anthropology with minors in fine arts and psychology as well as an MBA from the Wharton School. She is a Head of Content Management at Google in Mountain View, and serves on the Advisory Board of the nonprofit UrbanSketchers.org.
JANE VICTORIA FARLEY
Jane was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jane is an accomplished portrait and landscape oil painter and a lover of nature and photography. Jane is also a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist (MFT) specializing in expressive art therapy.
Painting to me is a way to express emotion through paint, much like a musician expresses emotion through music.
Painting and drawing most of my life I now paint mostly in oils as I love the feel and texture it can create. I enjoy painting en plein air and in the studio, it is all exciting to me regardless of painting a crashing wave or a portrait.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Hong Kong and Yorkshire, England. I am an American/British dual citizen, but consider California my home.
My inspiration comes from great masters such as John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla and Anders Zorn as well as contemporary artists Randall Sexton, Huihan Lui, Kevin Courter, Ruo Li, Kevin Macpherson, Brian Blood, Laurie Kersey and Don Demers.
"Drawing, painting, and creating works of art have always been a part of my life. About ten years ago I began taking watercolor workshops with Michael Reardon, who introduced me to the Sunday Afternoon Watercolor Society. After a few frustrating years of learning the basics, I realized that watercolor was the medium that most resonated for me. Since then I've had the good fortune to paint in and around Alameda with David Savellano among others. I love the fact that the paint and paper interact with the immediate environment making the act of painting a dance with time and light.
Most of my work is done en plein air in and around the Bay Area. My inspiration is the natural world and the imprint that people have made on it. The rich maritime history speaks to another era and I try to capture the mystery of untold stories that inhabit these places. The act of painting, interpreting, and listening to a particular place on location is a thrilling and humbling experience."
Karen Fiene is trained as an architect and has been practicing in the Bay Area for 40 years. She is the Campus Architect and Director of Facilities at Mills College where she has been a steward of the historic campus and grounds for the last seventeen years.
A Brooklyn boy graduates engineering school in '69, goes to Woodstock then sticks his thumb out and ends up in San Francisco. For more than 50 years Andy has been a civil/structural engineer and watercolorist in San Francisco. Self-taught and painting in the west-coast transparent watercolor style, he evokes the luminous qualities of the aqua medium. His subjects are varied, drawn from everywhere painted in an impressionist painterly style. The aim is to draw the viewer into the image, let them drift off and for a moment start to daydream!
He was introduced to watercolor painting in the early 70’s. His apartment overlooked Dolores Park in S.F. and he would watch unknown to him George Post give his plein air workshops. Evidently this icon, one of the early proponents of the west-coast plein air watercolor movement lived around the corner! Keep it simple, catch that mood and be quick! Rarely does he spend more than an hour or so on a painting. Now, retired from engineering, he finds himself drifting around town either ‘urban sketching’ or painting with his plein air gear trying to capture the mood and visuals of the City.
After retiring in 2008, I have devoted my full energy into my passion...a full-time painter. I'm fascinated with the boom and bust cycle of the urban scene. I try to capture the roma of old neighborhoods and once placid rural areas before they are changed and gone forever. After moving to California I felt compelled to do more plein air paintings because fo the vibrant color and variety of subject matter.
I search deep into my memories for inspiration and in recent years I've become increasingly interested in figurative image in my work and discovered that my painting have a more powerful connection with the viewer.
Ultimately I paint because I love the journey each of my paintings takes me on, and no matter where I stare, I'm always surprised at where I end.
A native of San Francisco, Raffi Kondy paints landscape and urban watercolors primarily en plein air. Exploring the expression of light and atmosphere, he enjoys the immediacy of painting on location and strives to capture the drama and energy of his subject matter, from the bustle of the city to the calm of the pastoral landscape.
Through his involvement with the Bay Area plein air group, The Sunday Afternoon Watercolor Society, and through workshops with various artists, Raffi continues to learn and master the challenges of this most demanding art form.
Raffi holds a BA in Art History from Oberlin College and an MBA in Finance from the University of San Francisco.
After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree from San Jose State University she is pursuing her passion on a daily basis focusing primarily on plein air painting. She is continually promoting plein air in her community and in her life’s pursuits. She was instrumental in creating and organizing plein air paint out events with the Fremont Art Association as well as organizing a weekly plein air group called East Bay Outdoor Painters (EBOP) which gets together to paint/sketch on Wednesday mornings.
Robyn is also a member of the California Art Club and Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters actively participating in the various exhibits, artist painting events and painting retreats that the clubs sponsors.
Robyn enjoys the spontaneity of plein air painting. Starting out with nothing; being able to absorb it all from sight to sound. Capturing the essence from temperature, atmosphere and feelings evoked around her while finding the truth in nature that is constantly changing. Robyn says, “Plein air painting is a pursuit that continues to challenge me and I love it. It is JUST justpleinfun.com
KRISTIAN TAYLOR MATTHEWS
In 2005, he began attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he concentrated his efforts on painting the human figure. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and suddenly finding himself without a model to paint, he decided to give plein air painting a shot. Since then, he has created the vast majority of his art outdoors.
Kristian loves to capture the effects of light with paint. He is drawn to dramatic lighting and enjoys finding the beauty in everyday scenes.
When I set out to create a painting, my goal is always the same: to create the most beautiful image possible given the possibilities of the scene that lies before me. That generally requires some manipulation of the scene, but I try to stay true to what I see while focusing on capturing the essentials that give the scene or subject its essence. For me this means editing out what is not important and enhancing what is, while not getting carried away with details. It also means to embrace the nature of oil paint by not overly blending and by creating textural variety.
I follow in the classic traditions of the 19th-century romantic landscape painters, inspired by the Hudson River School, Early California painters, and American and California Impressionists. My work is best described as tonal-colorist, Craftsman style. With heavy emphasis on plein-air (outdoor) painting, I seek to capture the many moods of the atmospheric landscape, from picturesque to sublime, always with a warm sense of place. A professional fine artist in San Francisco for over 30 years, Mark first painted outdoors as a teenager in Columbus, Ohio. After a time in engineering, he moved to California to complete his art education, eventually earning a BFA, an MFA, and taking numerous plein-air workshops. He has pursued his loves of outdoor and studio painting ever since
BOON HENG PANG
To be one with Nature, embracing its majesty, the orchestra of colors, light & shadows, while trying to capture all its beauty. Such is the privilege of the PleinAir painters.
PleinAir painting is a most demanding (physically & mentally) but rewarding subject matter for an artist.
Constantly at the mercy of the weather, it needs one’s full concentration to capture some of nature's masterpiece.
Besides harmonizing the painting with composition, contrast, color, lines, brushstrokes, and texture, letting the passion shows thru might be the ingredient to a better result.
It's an exhilarating but often fulfilling challenge that I hope to pursue for a long time.
I started drawing and painting early in life but didn’t pursue it seriously until after becoming a student of Ann Marie Glover in 2004. Not only is she an excellent teacher who gave me the techniques and confidence to advance, she introduced me to a dazzling local painting style and tradition that captured and has held my rapt interest ever since, that of her mother Pam Glover, The Outsiders, Lundy and Louis Siegriest, and the Society of Six.
I went on to take plein air classes from Pam Glover, and three other remarkable East Bay painters, Theresa Onoda, John Finger and Suzanne D'Arcy.
I paint in oil because of its brilliance and dimensional qualities, and with every painting, I try to find the point where the beauty of the scene meets that of the medium.
Painting outdoors is addictive, and the beauty of Northern California is truly a gift!
Born and raised near Portland, Oregon, Randall Stauss started painting at an early age. Encouraged by his parents, he began taking painting lessons at the Portland Art Museum. The weekly trips to the museum with its huge rooms, long marble steps, and stunning works of master painters, made a strong and enduring impression on the young artist. A few years later, his family relocated to Corvallis in the heart of the Willamette Valley, where he attended Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.
Moving to Lake Tahoe in 1980, Stauss began to paint seriously, while supporting himself hand lettering custom boat names. Focusing on watercolors for many years, Stauss submitted a series of pumpkin patch paintings to the National Watercolor Society, and was accepted as a signature member.
During the 1990s, Stauss became fascinated with oil painting, pursuing the same themes as his watercolor work. He and his wife Edith now spend half the year in San Rafael, CA and the summer months on Lake Tahoe's North Shore.