Kevin MacPherson - Keynote Speaker
Kevin Macpherson has lived a life beyond his wildest dreams because he followed his muse. Paints in hand, he has globe-trotted to over thirty-five countries and counting. Art is his mistress as he travels in search of inspiration. His colorful, compelling oils cross international borders, speaking with the universal language of color. Kevin is a gifted teacher with keen intellect who has influenced thousands of aspiring artists. Through years of writing and teaching, he has crystallized his thoughts into a simple, direct, and highly effective painting method. Kevin can teach anyone to see and paint this visual language. If you have had the pleasure of studying with him, you know his youthful enthusiasm and intense curiosity are contagious.
Kevin is recognized as one of America's most accomplished Impressionistic plein air painters. His discipline and dedication have earned him critical success and numerous awards for his artwork. He is a member of many top organizations and has been recognized for his accomplishments and influence, including Master Oil Painters of America, Master American Impressionists Society, Master member California Art Club, member of the Salmagundi Club and Founding member and first president of the Plein Air Painters of America.
His work has been featured in more than 75 publications, books, television series and video. In addition to writing three popular books on landscape painting he has established stimulating artistic adventures. These include international venues and opportunities such as Chateau des Arts, En Plein Air Masters, Brush with Life and Artist’s Mentor Online and the television series, Passport and Palette.
Throughout his career he has devoted significant energy nurturing the next generation. Today finds him more energized, bringing art and joy to the aspiring hearts of underprivileged children especially in Central America and China with his foundation, “Art Ambassador for a Colorful World,” artambassador.org.
Kevin’s story is still being written.
See Kevin's website and work at Kevin Macpherson - About the Artist
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/
Mary Garrish was born in Miami Beach, Florida in 1955 and served as the President of the American Impressionist Society for 2005-2007. Her major interest is Plein Air landscapes and other Representational Art. She paints annually around the world.
When asked about leaving a career in surgery for full time painting, Mary replies “I was pulled to art, not pushed from medicine.” Mary has devoted intense study in both her studio and in regular workshop participation with many of the great landscape artists of this era. Her art hangs in galleries and private collections around the United States. Mary has been selected to participate in numerous national juried shows, and has had several one-woman shows at both galleries and museums.
More of her art and her extensive list of accomplishments and awards can be seen at http://www.MaryGarrishFineArt.com.
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
(b.1964) After graduating from Art Center College of Design in 1990, Terry Miura headed out to New York City to pay his dues. He began his career as a freelance illustrator, creating imagery for such clients as Time, Newsweek, Rollingstone, and Sports Illustrated, to name a few.
In between illustration assignments he painted and exhibited oil paintings, and continued his transition to becoming a full time painter after returning to the West Coast in 1996.
Miura’s evocative tonalist landscapes explore the relationship between memory, emotions, and identity. Out in the field, he paints en plein air to collect visual information. Back in the studio, these sketches are used as jumping off points for further exploration and development of larger studio works.
“I often end up with abstract and deconstructed works, but it all starts with focused study of nature, from direct observation. Painting en plein air provides that understanding and structure, so it is important for me to always go to the source.”
Miura is represented by The Christopher Hill Gallery in St. Helena, Sekula’s Fine Art in Sacramento, Sloane Merrill Gallery in Boston, and Holton Studio in Berkeley, Ca.
His works are among the permanent collections of California Museum of Fine Art, The Crocker Museum, and the Smithsonian Institute.
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/
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.
Tim Oliver is a Landscape Architect and owner of a design/build landscape firm in Lubbock, Texas. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in landscape architecture in 1983 from Texas Tech University.
Tim holds Signature membership in the National Watercolor Society and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. He is an exhibiting member of the American Watercolor Society, American Impressionist Society, Outdoor Painters Society, Southwestern Watercolor Society, the GAS Painting Group and the West Texas Watercolor Society. Tim is also an associate member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the, the American Plains Artists and Plein Air Painters of New Mexico.
Tim’s paintings are collected both regionally and nationally and he has won numerous juried exhibition, invitational exhibition and plein air competition awards. He is a founding member and contributor to Urban Sketchers Lubbock and a past instructor and field painter at The Plein Air Convention and Expo. Tim is active in doing watercolor demos for watercolor societies across West Texas and his work has appeared on the cover of Watercolor Artist Magazine.
Tim has been fortunate to have studied with Iain Stewart and Joseph Zbukvic and has been influenced by many other living and deceased masters of the medium.
Tim says "I was first introduced to watercolor in 1981 as a landscape architecture student at Texas Tech University. I had a friend in the architecture program who mesmerized me with his skill at rendering his illustrations. At the time, landscape architecture students were not taught watercolor as a rendering medium. Instead, all of our rendering was done with design markers on blueprint paper. I fell totally in love with the effects that he was achieving with watercolor. The transparency, the way the colors moved and blended, the dry-brush technique and the detail that he was able to achieve all came together to entrance me with the medium. My first attempt with a cheap scholastic watercolor set, a bad brush and thin typing paper left me frustrated and disillusioned. While that initial attraction to watercolor remained with me, it was not until 2009 that I found myself in a life situation that allowed me a new beginning with the medium.
As with all artists, my style is constantly evolving but presently I describe my style as “sloppy representationalism”. I paint in a representational style with a “sketchy” quality to it. It seems to fit me. I’m passionate about interpreting and communicating the character and the emotion of places in my work. Watercolor, in a practiced hand, is the perfect medium for capturing the powerful emotion of a place. While I paint a variety of subjects, I’m most attracted to landscapes that stir passion within me in the moment. I’m always drawn to things western, rural, gritty and seemingly mundane or ordinary. Anything evocative of a 'time long passed by' will always capture my attention.
I love the authenticity, immediacy and raw honesty of painting finished watercolor works en plein air. This can be a challenge at times, but the rewards of plein air painting are numerous and immense. "
See more of his work at Tim Oliver Fine Art (timoliverart.com)
Lori Putnam (b. 1962) began painting professionally in her mid-30s. The feel of the paint immediately ignited her love affair with the medium and she knew there was no turning back. Putnam has studied with the country’s best. No stranger to hard work and dedication, she learned sound, foundational principles, which subsequently allowed her to explore her own artistic path. When viewed in a photograph, her work may appear tightly rendered. But upon seeing it in person, viewers are instantly engaged by thick, expressive paint. Putnam is rarely interested in any specific subject. Like a magnet, she is immediately attracted to natural harmonies, rhythms, and patterns. She believes it is important to draw the viewer in, then let them explore her paintings. They become artists themselves for a brief moment, and begin to see the world in a different way.
Putnam has been featured in numerous issues of Western Art Collector, American Art Collector Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, Southwest Art, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Art of the West. She is a member of many respected organizations including the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America, and the California Art Club. In 2021, Putnam received the $15,000 Annual Plein air Salon Grand Prize as well as the People’s Choice Award. Her paintings have received top awards in exhibitions associated with each of these organizations, as well as dozens of invitational events and exhibitions. In 2019 she accepted an appointment as Vice President of Art Ambassador for a Colorful World, and travels to work with children in less advantaged areas of the world. These experiences shed light on what it really means to be an artist. Putnam says, “It is finally clear to me, why I am here on the Earth. Bringing joy and laughter in the midst of the most horrific of circumstances is the true reason I have been blessed with such an opportunity.”
Museums, including The Tucson Museum of Art, The Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming, The Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana, The High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, the Irvine Museum in California, and The Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland have sought out Putnam's works for awards, exhibitions, and/or permanent collection. The latest to add her work to their collection is the Irvine Museum in California.
Lori Putnam paints small to medium-sized works en plein air and creates large paintings in her studio in Charlotte, Tennessee.
Visit http://loriputnam.com to learn more.
James Richards is an American Impressionist painter who specializes in oils. James was born and raised in rural Georgia and spent the days of his youth exploring the farms, fields and forests of his hometown. Driven by a passionate connection with nature and a deep sense of obligation to relay his vision in the most truthful manner possible, he began painting at a very young age; by the time he was a young adult living in Athens, GA, he had already won numerous awards for his pieces.
James has spent years studying the nuances of paint and developing a keen sense of understanding and control over the medium. He is now regarded as one of the top oil painters and instructors in the country. He considers teaching and sharing his knowledge to be his primary purpose and true calling as an artist. He is a highly sought-after teacher around the world, conducting workshops across the US and Europe.
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."
Manon is an award-winning contemporary impressionist, born and raised in Berlin, Germany, who now resides in Southern Florida, which presents a cornucopia of inspiration for her. However, more important than the subject matter itself is Manon’s goal to capture the effects of light on a subject and the feeling it evokes, expressing it through interesting patterns, luminous color, and juicy brush strokes. Right now, shiny things get her all excited and make her run for her brushes.
Manon participates in plein air events and exhibits frequently in juried shows. She was recently awarded signature status with National Oil and Acrylics Painters' Society. Her works are in private collections on three continents and have been included in publications such as American Art Collector and Plein Air Magazine. Manon is a sought-after instructor teaching weekly plein air classes as well as national and international painting workshops to a loyal following of students who value Manon’s enthusiasm, passion, and ability to clearly convey her process in a fun manner. Her work is being represented by Lost Art Gallery in St. Augustine, Arsenault Studio and Contemporary Art on Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL, and The Village Art Studios in Tequesta, FL.
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