T. Allen Lawson - Keynote Speaker

“All of my inspiration comes directly from life.”

-- T. Allen Lawson   

T. Allen Lawson is drawn to the quieter side of life. Over time he has developed a discipline of patiently observing and studying the often-unnoticed rhythms and subtleties of his surroundings.  In his paintings he strives to build layers and textures with pigment to create the abstraction and nuanced depth he feels in nature and the world around him.

Tim studied drawing and portraiture at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He furthered his formal studies attending the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut. A lifelong student, his dedication to and love of his profession is always evolving as his interests and influences continue to challenge him.

T. Allen Lawson has won numerous awards which include: Founder’s Prize, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts; Golden Thunderbird Award, Maynard Dixon Country; Red Smith Memorial Award (twice), National Museum of Wildlife Art.  At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, he has won the Spirit of the West Award, the William Weiss Purchase Award, and the Juror’s Choice Award.  At the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, he has won the Prix de West Purchase Award, the Robert Lougheed Memorial Artists’ Choice Award (thrice), the Directors’ Choice for Outstanding Landscape and the Donald Teague Memorial Award and the Wilson Hurley Memorial Award.

He was chosen by the President and First Lady to create the painting for the official White House Christmas card in 2008.  His work is shown in public collections including the Smithsonian Institution, Denver Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Portland Museum of Art, Farnsworth Art Museum, Brinton Museum, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Forbes Magazine Collection, Tia Collection, Wells Fargo.

Tim lives and works in Sheridan, Wyoming and Rockport, Maine.

Suzie Baker

Suzie Baker is an award-winning artist whose paintings have been featured in Fine Art Connoisseur, Plein Air, and Southwest Art Magazines.

Representational, painterly, impressionistic, and inspiring—these are all perfect ways to describe Suzie Greer Baker’s paintings. Whether she’s painting a lush landscape on location, creating an evocative still life in the studio, or completing a commissioned portrait, Suzie paints with a loose, alla prima technique that is always evolving as she experiments with new approaches.

“I first landed on my preference for direct painting in college,” she recalls. “Although we explored many styles, I can point to one assignment that had a profound effect on me. My professor, Peter Jones, arranged two still lifes of simple flower cuttings in glass jars.

Once our palettes were loaded and brushes were ready, we had 30 minutes to finish each painting, one right after the other. I didn’t have time to overthink, I just painted. The result was a revelation of free and expressive mark-making that I strive for even to this day.”

One of Suzie’s favorite childhood recollections of making art involved her own very creative idea to make brown crayon shavings with a pair of safety scissors and glue them to a drawing of an owl. “I’m sure my teacher thought I was making a big mess,” she laughs, adding playfully, “and I’ve been making messes ever since.”

Her high school art teacher, Ken Tracy, and several college painting professors encouraged her passion for painting, yet Suzie’s pragmatic side led her to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising and Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University.

Following her degree program, she worked as an ad agency Art Director before trading in her Pantone swatches for a brush and palette in 2008. The change was prompted by a move to the Middle East to pursue the next phase in her husband’s career, which created an opportunity for Suzie to devote herself full time to “the things that matter most,” including her fine art.

Honing her craft in those early days as a professional involved several workshops and an ongoing study of the great masters, past and present. “The best teachers are like great counselors,” she notes. “They don’t do it for you—they help you to do it for yourself.”

See more at https://www.suziebaker.com/

Greg Barnes

Greg received his formal training at Wake Forest University, receiving a BFA in 1985. Under the guidance of many fine instructors, he learned painting, printmaking, sculpture, and figure drawing.

Following college, Greg entered a career path that included technical illustration, computer graphics, computer-based training, and multimedia programming. Throughout those years, Greg kept his brushes and charcoal close at hand.

After 911 he took a leap of faith, pursuing a full-time fine art career. Greg quickly found portrait work due to his ability to capture a likeness. His versatility shines, having mastered charcoal, pastel and oil. Landscapes are Greg's love. He enjoys painting on location, and as a result of working quickly, the paintings lean towards impressionism. A mix of realistic and impressionistic elements give his pieces a life of their own, while a free and creative use of color accentuates his style.

Maintaining a studio where he teaches and paints in Charlotte, NC, Greg also travels the country exhibiting at outdoor art festivals and teaching plein air workshops. He participates in several top Plein Air invitationals including Florida's Forgotten Coast, Telluride, Aspen, and Maui.

Brienne Brown

Much to her mother’s indignation, Brienne owned little clothing that was not covered in paint.  From a young age, Brienne showed talent in art and music, but wanted to pursue a career in the sciences.  She started her education at the University of Utah as a double major (Art and Chemistry), eventually receiving a BS in Chemistry and finishing with a Master’s degree in 2004.  After graduation, Brienne worked in a Toxicology lab.  Though she painted some by taking an occasional class, as the years wore on, she realized she wanted more art in her life than a career in science would allow.  She was surprised and delighted to find great fulfillment in painting.  In fact, it became a necessity.

After leaving her job as a toxicologist to raise her first child in 2008, Brienne had the opportunity to paint more consistently.  Prioritizing painting and taking workshops from artists she admired paid off.  Soon she was not only exhibiting and entering shows regularly, but also winning awards.  Brienne holds signature membership status for the National Watercolor Society, American Impressionist Society, and several other watercolor societies.  Every year, she participates in several national juried and invitational plein air events, teaches workshops all over the country, and holds online courses.  Her work has been published in Splash 17 Best of Watercolor:  Inspired Subjects, PleinAir Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, and Watercolor Artist Magazine. 

Brienne’s passion is watercolor and plein air painting.  “I especially enjoy painting en plein air, where each painting reminds me of where I was, of the experiences I had, the sounds, smells, and the people I met.  As I try to capture the essence of a scene, my paintings are always more about a moment in time than about a particular location.  I enjoy sharing how I see the world.” 

See more of Brienne's work on her website at www.briennembrown.com 

John Eiseman

John’s work encompasses several genres – Plein Air and studio landscapes, still lifes, and figures: using acrylics, oils, and watercolors. His paintings are surely representational and indeed narrative at times, but the imagery is not about the pictorial. He uses the subject matter (whether it be a farmhouse, tree, cloud, wave, or figure) as elements of design to capture specific natural phenomena, moment in space and time and mood of “event.” John believes that painting is not just the celebration of vision, but rather a quest for experience. In this sense, his paintings and the inherent process is not a recording of facts seen. It is the process of interpreting a fleeting muse. This process is, as a result, in a constant state of emergency. Like dance, painting must change to the beat of the muse. After conceiving a painting in the field, establishing value relationships, coordinating color fields, and bringing forth some detail resolution – John may choose to bring the painting home to the studio and let is “cook” for a while. Removed from the subjective space, the painting requires a life of its own. John is suspicious of a painting that is resolved too easily. “Pushing and Pulling” an image, adding and subtracting values, adjusting color is what brings a painting together. His work is in many private and public collections. 

John has been painting since he was a teenager. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute and the Maryland Institute College of Art – where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.John’s paintings have won numerous awards and have been accepted into many juried exhibitions both regionally and nationally. Just since 2021 John awards include: “Best in Show” at Adkins nature Center (Leon Andrus Award), “Best in Show” at the Coastal, Virginia Plein Air Festival, “Artist Choice” at the St. George Island Plein Air Festival, Best “River” painting at the Gloucester, Virginia Arts Festival, 2nd place overall at the New Bern Plein Air Festival for both 2021 and 2022, and the “Spirit of the Adirondacks” award at their plein air festival.

See more of John's work on his website at www.johnteiseman.com. 

Bill Farnsworth

As a 1980 graduate of The Ringling School of Art and Design, Bill Farnsworth has spent more than 40 years as an Illustrator and Fine Artist. Born in Norwalk Connecticut in 1958, Bill spent most of his life in New Milford Connecticut painting landscapes of the rural area, while supporting himself and family with his growing illustration career. Farnsworth is a Signature member of The Oil Painters of America, and The American Society of Impressionists. He is also a Fellow in The American Society of Marine Artists. His paintings have appeared in many National shows, Museums, and private collections throughout the United States. A nationally known illustrator, Bill has seamlessly moved into the Fine Art field where he has been awarded The Dickinson Signature Member award in The American Society of impressionists  national show in 2018 and 2019. He won first place in The AIS 2020 online exhibition. Fine Art Views say "Sensitive and full of human emotion, the heartfelt work of Farnsworth takes us to inner depths." 

His work is represented by The Hughes Gallery, Reinert Fine Art Gallery , Mary Williams Fine Art, Gallery 330, Mountain Mist Gallery, Palm Avenue Gallery,  Gingerbread Square Gallery and  Waterhouse Gallery.

Bill currently lives in Venice, Fl. with his wife Debbie. 

John Guernsey

Originally from southern California, contemporary landscape artist, John Guernsey, moved to Georgia in 1993, and began a full-time art career in  2006. Developing his drawing skills in college courses and workshop study, he now concentrates primarily on landscape painting.  

Most of his work is  'en plein air', or alla prima; although he is gradually increasing the output of larger studio paintings.  His work reveals a keen observance of atmosphere and light and is inspired not only by nature, but city life and architecture as well.  

Mr. Guernsey maintains a busy schedule of workshops around the southeast, and regularly participates in nationally ranked plein air festivals throughout the country.

Some of his recent plein air awards are, Best of Show , Olmsted Park GA 2019, Los Gatos CA 2019, 2017, and Richmond VA  2013 , with awards of excellence at Carmel CA, 2017, 2016 and 2014.  

Michelle Held

Painting en plein air confirms Michelle's love for this beautiful world and the wonders of the ever changing environment. With an insatiable appetite for color, light, and texture! Michelle strives to inspire happiness, trigger your imagination and make an emotional connection with the viewer. She believes evoking a feeling of light, space and passion is key to any successful painting.

Michelle is a nationally known, award winning artist.  Michelle’s spirit comes through when teaching and sharing her love for Plein air. Michelle will encourage you to dive deeper and paint with passion on the coastline of Florida.

She is especially known for her heartfelt paintings of iconic Florida birds, wildlife and seascapes. Working en plein air her work is characterized by the exciting brushwork and luminous effects on nature!  See more of Michelle's work at https://www.artbymichelleheld.com

Vicki Norman

Based in Shropshire, England, Vicki Norman received her BA in Fine Art in 2000 working initially as an illustrator and then a full time fine artist represented by established galleries around the UK. A naturally gifted teacher, Vicki began her classes in 2005, gaining her post graduate certificate specialising in post-16 education in 2009 she values teaching as an integral part of her creative practice.

A lifelong student herself, over the last 10 years, she has studied with master painters and sculptors around the globe, all the time searching for traditional skills and methods which can be applied to paintings of a modern world.

Inspired by both contemporary and past masters, Vicki’s paintings employ an historical skill set with a fresh, personal approach.

My fondness for travelling and painting has naturally led me into the world of Plein Air painting. Working quickly on location to capture the essence of a time and place encourages a looser, more impressionist style of painting. This puts an emphasis on atmosphere rather than detail, and colour is the vehicle through which I seek to capture light.

Her works have won awards in the UK, Europe and the USA, she is a regular contributor to plein air events and competitions on both sides of the Atlantic. Vicki has exhibited with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London and been awarded a prize from the Oil Painters of America.

Her growing reputation as a master of colour has led naturally to a role as ambassador for Michael Harding Paints which allows Vicki indulge her love of colour and ‘nerd out’ about pigments, binders and all things technical with one of the world’s most respected Colourmen.

A popular tutor and demonstrator, Vicki is recognised for her clear communication and boundless enthusiasm.
She has won awards and recognition for both teaching and painting. See more about Vicki at her website https://www.vickinormanstudio.com/

Kathie Odom

After graduating from The University of Tennessee in Art Education and Fine Arts, Kathie received early recognition for pastel works. But it was 2009 when she found a home in painting oils en plein air.

I call myself a “Nostalgic Impressionist” as a way of identifying the subjects and style of painting that interest me most. No matter which part of America I paint, I am really passionate about plein air and allow myself to get lost in the wonderful process of it all!

Kathie resides with her husband and maintains a studio in the mountains of East Tennessee. She travels extensively exhibiting in fine art shows throughout the nation, teaching workshops and participating in plein air events. Kathie’s original works have sold internationally and she is quite proud of her gallery representation.

Jeremy Sams

Jeremy Sams is an award winning representational artist residing in Archdale, NC. He was born in 1977 and his childhood consisted of spending lots of time in the woods of the Uwharrie Mountains and playing in and along the banks of the Uwharrie River in the southwestern portion of Randolph County, NC. He became interested in art at a very early age, winning his first art competition at the age of 6. At age 15, he took his first art class where he was introduced to painting. His love for painting sparked a new change in his life and the beginning of a career was birthed by commissioned portraits and murals from the local community. Through these small art endeavors and apart from formal training, Jeremy was able to begin a professional art career at the age of 19.

Jeremy’s primary subject matter is landscapes while working in acrylics. He also loves the challenge of portraits and his work varies in size from just a few sq. inches to murals measuring upward of 40’x60′.

His artistic growth took on a new form in 2011 when he was introduced to painting en plein air. This same year, he and his wife mourned the death of two children. Through this trying time, Jeremy found new inspiration and healing through painting outdoors en plein air. “Painting en plein air has become a means of therapy and release of emotion for me…Here, I can enjoy God’s creation and relish in the beauty He has given us to enjoy in this short life.”

Jeremy’s personal inspirations come mostly from the play of light and atmosphere and their effects on objects and landscapes. His most favorite areas of subject matter are the rolling hills and mountains of North Carolina along with its waterways, and special array of trees and meadows. It’s not uncommon to see Jeremy with his outdoor easel set up on the side of the road or on a river bank somewhere with brush in hand.

Jeremy was a featured artist in the February-March 2017 issue of “Plein Air Magazine“.

Jeremy is currently a member of the North Carolina Plein Air Painters, Triad Outdoor Painters, Charlotte Plein Air Painters and Plein Air Carolina. He is also the founder of the Fellowship of Plein Air Painters.

Jeremy is currently represented by Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery in Blowing Rock, NC, The Art Shop in Greensboro, NC, and the Warm Springs Gallery in Warm Springs, VA.

Jeremy says: "As a representational artist who works in acrylics, my primary goal is to capture on canvas the wonder and awe of God’s creation along with the scene’s emotional impact. In order to achieve this, it is of utmost importance for me to spend time studying and painting the particular scene on location, en plein air: to experience the sounds, the smells, the cool breeze or the humid air, and the movements of wind and shadows. All of these elements play a role in the emotional reaction we may have to a particular place. I’m most often moved by the dance of light and shadow in a scene along with the varying  color temperatures in the atmosphere that fills the space between the object and myself.

I try with every finished work to maintain the integrity of the scene, while at the same time, breathing life into it. The challenge is often not to recreate every little detail, but to merely offer a suggestion so as to not lose the primary focus. If I can do this and achieve a desired emotional reaction within the viewer, then I consider it a successful painting."

See more at Jeremy Sams Art – Art and Murals from North Carolina Artist, Jeremy Sams

Manon Sander

Manon is an award-winning modern impressionist, born and raised in Berlin, Germany, who now resides in Southern Florida, which presents a cornucopia of inspiration for her. The effects of light on a subject and the feeling it evokes are of great importance to Manon as she puts down her impressions in interesting patterns, luminous color, and juicy brush strokes.

During years spent studying oil painting at the atelier-style Marin Art School in California and fine-tuning her skills under the tutelage of nationally known artists, Manon developed her own distinct, recognizable, and contemporary impressionistic style, appreciated by collectors and students alike.

Manon participates in invitational and juried nation-wide plein air events as well as in prestigious juried national shows. Her award-winning works are in galleries and private collections on three continents and have been included in publications such as American Art Collector, Plein Air Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, and Fine Art Connoisseur. Manon has been awarded signature status with the American Society of Marine Artists as well as the National Oil and Acrylics Painters’ Society and has been selected as exhibiting out-of-state member of the prestigious California Art Club.

Manon feels strongly about passing on her knowledge in national and international workshops and retreats to a loyal following of students who value her enthusiasm, passion, and ability to clearly convey her process while maintaining a fun and motivating atmosphere.

Ultimately, Manon aims to communicate her joie de vivre through paintings that reflect the color, light, and joy Manon feels surrounded by and is ever so grateful for.

See more about Manon on her website  http://www.ManonSander.com

Facilitated by Franklin's Promise Coalition 


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