Rusty Frentner: Keeping it Wild!


“Sheep” Oil, 16×24 Collection of the Artist, Winner of an Award of Excellence from the 2016 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit

In a rare moment, the artist of “Sheep”, Rusty Frentner, was able to capture a glimpse of the elusive mountain sheep found in the Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Area in Wyoming .  The animals peacefully sun themselves on warm rocks, giving Rusty a perfect opportunity to capture their images.  The painted image is perfection; the composition leads us to the ram, and we are taken through the painting by the various positions of the animals.  The artist has given the viewer a place to stand and enjoy the scene, and he has infused the painting with warmth and sunlight.

Living in the country as a boy, Rusty Frentner learned to draw and paint early on, savoring the nature around him.  He found inspiration in the wildlife and animals, and has continued that theme throughout his body of work.  Rusty studied illustration and fine art in college, and has studied with numerous wildlife artists to hone his skills.  He sites Heiner Hertling, also a wildlife and landscape artist, as a mentor who continues to inspire him.  He also looks to the work of artists from the past, namely Peter Paul Rubens, John F. Carlson, Edgar Payne and Henry R. Poore, especially for their compositional techniques.


“Monarch”, Oil on Gessoed Hardboard, 6.5×7.25, Collection of the Artist

Rusty works mainly in oils, but has also worked with acrylics, graphite, watercolor, colored pencil, pastels, and gouache.   His plein air work is in oil, and he works either on stretched canvas or canvas mounted on a  gessoed dry erase board.  When outdoors, he uses his Strada easel, and Grey Matters brushes.  He values the experience of outdoor painting, and though does work from his photos in the studio, he is able to paint en plein air at least once per week throughout the year.

Frentnerthumbnail_Afternoon on the Madison

“Afternoon on the Madison” Oil on Stretched Canvas, 15×20, Collection of the Artist

His process in the studio is one of careful planning and attention to the composition (after his coffee, or course!).  Using Photoshop to help him design the painting, he decides on the format, size, and composition.  He often uses an armature for a compositional guideline, using the phi root rectangle or other root rectangle.  The compositional strategies he has found in the books by Carlson and Poore are also useful in his planning stage.  After he has decided on his plan, he sketches out his painting which he then transfers to the canvas.  His painting rhythym in the studio depends on the excitement he feels about a particular painting…some call him to work right away, others require more thought.  To Rusty, “the most important part of the painting is the composition and design.”

Fretnerphi gridfretnerapples 001    FretnerPhi Apples

Working process for “Phi Apple” Oil on Canvas, 12.75×20, Collection of the Artist

To date, Rusty acknowledges his Best Outdoor Still Life Award at the Plein Air Art Salon sponsored by Plein Air Magazine to be his greatest accomplishment.  He has also won numerous local and international awards as well.

Rusty’s advice to readers is to Paint, Paint, Paint!  He feels his biggest steps forward were a result of practice.  He recently took the 30 day Challenge sponsored by Strada Easels, which he says greatly increased his skills.  One technique in particular was to paint small paintings using only 50 brush strokes.  This technique helped him to use less detail, and to get the image painted before the light changed.  Also helpful for personal advancement is to study the work and techniques of other artists; this helps to educate and inspire.

Rusty is currently represented online by
To view more of Rusty’s work, visit his website at

To view more of the National Oil and Acrylic Painter’s Society Best of America Exhibit, visit  or visit on Instagram at Natoilandacrylicsociety.


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Larry Rudolech: The Call of Light and Color

One can not help but be drawn in by Larry Rudolech’s painting, “Not Just a Bridge”, winner of Best Use of  Light and Color Award sponsored by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff in the 2016 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit. This well composed painting leads us skillfully to the focal area, with all shadows giving the viewer direction. The colors are well chosen, comprised of complements expertly arranged.  The artist knew when to lighten, dull or brighten the colors, leading the viewer easily around the painting.  But for a landscape (or any painting, for that matter) to be a masterpiece, it takes more than a working knowledge of fundamentals.  One must feel the sense of place, of atmosphere, and want to exist within the painting.

Rudolech1371-15 NO Not Just A Bridge 3500

“Not Just a Bridge” 18×24 Oil, Collection of the Artist

As a young person, Larry had always enjoyed drawing and art, but came into his own after winning multiple national art awards in high school.  His college career at the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis took him in the direction of design, a degree which he used to become a graphic designer and illustrator.  After owning his own freelance business in the field, Larry decided to leave the “rat race” and focus his energies on painting.  He has been actively pursuing his love of art for the last 10-12 years, with great success.

RudolechCafe New Harmony  “Cafe New Harmony” 24×24, Oil, Collection of the Artist

Mainly a self taught artist, Larry feels the best teacher is actually the act of painting itself.  In a sense, this has given him the freedom to paint “the way I feel I am made to paint…I paint very simple…”, although his paintings don’t give the impression of simplicity.  Larry also loves sculpture, and in the painting “Cafe New Harmony” we can sense the sculptural quality of his paintings.

Rudolech1735-17 Gone Fishing  “Gone Fishing” Oil, 16×12, Collection of the Artist

Rudolech1699-17 Selfe Trip   “Selfe Trip” 24×24, Oil, Collection of the Artist

Larry finds himself a plein air painter 9 months out of the year, but often considers his plein air work to be studies for competition pieces.  Back in the studio he takes the plein air work and recreates it, looking for areas to improve.  He often has 3 or 4 paintings in process at the same time, giving each painting time to “tell (him) what it needs”.  This helps him to avoid the mistake of overworking a painting, and as he states “I have never under worked a painting yet”.

Oil is the main medium for Rudolech, and he uses a very standard palette of colors.  The main thing that he is searching for in his paintings is a sense of light and color.  The subject matter for his paintings varies, and his goal is often to bring beauty to the ordinary things that may not at first appear beautiful.  In the studio the reworked paintings may take no longer than the plein air studies, as he tries to put the paint down once without overworking.

RudolechWashington Gem 2500   “Washington Gem” Oil, 24×30, Collection of the Artist

Rudolech encourages artists to enter competitions; this, he feels, is an excellent way to learn.  The competitions can help the artist to compare their work against work that may be considered at a higher level, and makes obvious areas for improvement.  He emphasizes that when entering a competition, focus your entries on those pieces with artistic merit, not just pretty pictures.  And most of all, find your heaven, as he has done, by painting to satisfy yourself.

Galleries representing Larry Rudolech:

The Brown County Art Gallery, Nashville, IN

The Brown County Art Guild, Nashville, IN

Broad Ripple Gallery, Indianapolis, IN

New Harmony Gallery, New Harmony, IN

For more information on Larry Rudolech, visit his website at:

To view all the the NOAPS Best of America 2016 paintings, visit, and on Instagram at Natoilandacrylicsociety.

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Hebe Brooks: Reflections

As one looks at the still life painting by Hebe Brooks, “As Sweet as Honey”, which won the Best Still Life Award sponsored by the Martin F. Weber Company in the 2016 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit, there is not just one still life, but many. The viewer’s eyes are led from the oranges to the reflections on the dazzling silver, bouncing with grace through the painting just as the light does. Within the reflections we see more than meets the eye…the surroundings of the still life, the back of the objects, and a multitude of nuances of light and color.


“As Sweet as Honey” Oil on Linen, 20×30, Private Collection

Like many artists, Hebe knew from a young age that art was her favorite pastime. As a child she spent countless hours drawing and painting. But also like many artists, she pursued a different career after college, working instead in the travel industry where she was able to gain insights on different cultures, life and art. But her art won out, and after a few years she returned to the University of Houston for a degree in Fine Arts, Studio Painting and Art History.

As a docent for the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Hebe has the opportunity to view some of her favorite artists on a weekly basis…paintings by Jan Van Huysum, Willem Claesz Heda, Winterhalter and Courbet always give her pause.

Although still life may be her most frequently painted genre, Hebe also does landscape and figurative work. The still life paintings provide her with the ability to ponder her set up and color palette, taking time to carefully consider her composition.  In her piece  “Coffee in the Serengeti”, the background drapery is carefully folded around the coffee set, but upon closer inspection the viewer can see the landscape reflected in the lustrous metal. It is the careful description of reflections in her paintings that are a hallmark of her still life work, and even in her landscapes, such as seen in “Midday Mirror”. The inspiration for reflections came to her while sipping her afternoon tea, and noticed the effect. As Hebe describes, “It was looking at the world through a different lens. I could see everything that surrounded me and I have been hooked on reflections ever since”.


“Coffee in the Serengeti”, Oil, 20×30 Collection of the Dunegan Gallery of Art, Winner of Best Still Life Award at the 2014 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit

In the studio, the set up for the still life takes some time to ensure the light and reflections are working within the composition, after which Hebe starts with a monochromatic underpainting. The underpainting allows her to fine tune the composition, values and details. She chooses a color for the underpainting based on the final colors, often using a complementary color. After the underpainting is completed, she begins a process of layering her colors and bringing the painting to completion.


“4PM Tea Time” Oil, Collection of the Artist


“Midday Mirror”‘ Oil, Winner of Best of Show at the 50th Richardson Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition. Permanent collection at the Richardson Library Art Collection

Hebe has garnered many distinctions with her art, including Master Signature Artist with NOAPS,  Best of Show, First Place, Best Still Life (several times!), along with many other awards and recognitions. She has had articles published in the International Artist Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine. Hebe graciously extends her thanks to the judges, editors, and art organizations who have recognized her work.

Hebe’s parting words: “Painting is so addictive that a day without painting is usually a bad day; therefore paint, paint, and paint some more!”


To see more of Hebe Brooks’ art, go to

To see more of the National Oil an Acrylic Society’s Best of America Exhubits visit

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Cecy Turner: Drawing on Nature

As the shafts of sunlight filter through the trees, the viewer can almost feel the cool, crisp air.   It may be easy to linger on the colorful snow and the twisting of the brook, but as we follow the trickle of water we are led to a small home nestled in the distance. Cecy Turner’s painting “Tucked in for the Winter” was the winner of the “Best Narrative Award” sponsored by Plein Air Magazine in the 2016 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit.

Cecy TurnerTucked In for the Winter email   “Tucked in for the Winter”, oil, 20×24

Cecy’s love for drawing began early in life, as she recalls pouring over her father’s sketchbook and wishing she could draw so well as he. Her love for art continued as she took art classes in college and afterward, focusing on oil and watercolor.  Her leap of faith came after a few years in her job, when she decided to quit the job and focus on her painting.  She began by entering art fairs on the weekends.  Although her college courses offered little in the way of fundamentals, Cecy sought out workshops and instructors that would round out what she felt she had missed during those college years.  Her choice to devote her time and talent to her art was a good one; for 12 years she supported herself and her children by selling and teaching art, admirable to say the least.

Like so many of us, Cecy is inspired by John Singer Sargent…his compositions, use of values and simplified brushwork.  Sorolla is another favorite, particularly for his emotive use of light and shadow.

Nature is the primary inspiration for Cecy’s work.  Many of her paintings are done en plein air, particularly in Colorado in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Although she may have been deterred from plein air painting in the beginning, she has since found that she enjoys the challenge of battling the elements.  She has discovered the necessity of painting on location; “if an artist doesn’t paint on location, they are missing out on the fact that nature is the greatest teacher”.  Nature, she feels, gives her more than any class, book, dvd or workshop.

Turner’s palette for her work consists of alizarin crimson, Rembrandt Red, burnt sienna, cadmium orange, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium lemon, viridian green, ultramarine, cobalt and cerulean blues, and Titanium-Zinc white.  Her colors are the same for both studio and plein air work.  Her outdoor set up consists of either an Open M Box (11×14) or a smaller 6×8 or 8×10 thumb box.  The changing light outdoors precludes her use of study paintings en plein air, but for studio paintings she always does either a small value study or a color study.

Cecy TurnerMeandering Way Step 1   Cecy TurnerMeandering Way Step 2   Cecy TurnerMeandering Way finished

Step by Step for “Meandering Way”

As she begins her day in her studio, she plans out her work.  When working from her photos, she will peruse her computer photo files and prints, and find an image that jumps out at her. She will take the time to do sketches and plan her paintings, as she has learned  that planning is essential for success.

Turner has twice been featured in the “Art of the West Magazine”, most recently in the Mar./April 2016 issue titled ‘Mother Nature’s Magic’ as well as a cover image and feature article on painting snow for “Watercolor Artist Magazine”.

Cecy enjoys changing mediums from time to time, and says that “it gives a fresh perspective and keeps paintings lively.  One medium can help you get better in another medium”.

And her word for us is Perseverance.  A tough skin helps as well.  “You can’t EVER give up on something-trying it again and again is the best way to learn!”

Of the many accolades that Cecy has earned, here are just a few:

Master Signature Member of the Women Artists of the West (also past president of WAOW), a Fellow of the American Artists Professional League, Signature Member of American Women Artists, Signature Member of Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, and Signature Member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society.

Ms. Turner is represented by Silver Street Fine Art in Lake City, CO, Seaside Gallery in Pismo Beach, CA, and Gallery VII in Allenspark, CO.

To view more of Cecy Turner’s work, visit her website at

To view more of the NOAPS 2016 Best of America paintings, visit

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Barney Levitt: Flights of Fancy

In Barney Levitt’s painting “The Bird Keeper”, which won the “Realism Excellence Award” sponsored by Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, we are at once stunned by the level of detail that is evident in the piece.  But far beyond that, we then begin to ponder the story.  Who is the keeper of the birds, why is she turned away from us?  As the fantasy forms in our minds, we wait for her to turn around and reveal herself.  Thus has the artist engaged the viewer in not only a narrative, but a mystery.

levitt_thebirdkeeper   “The Bird Keeper”, Oil on Panel, 20×16 (Private Collection)

Barney began to garner awards for his work as early as kindergarten, when he won a gold ribbon for a drawing he did of a man feeding the birds from a silver plate (similar theme!).  At 10 years old, he was given his first easel and set of oil paints; his art education continued through college studying painting and drawing, and receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from S.U.N.Y Oswego in New York State.  Robert Sullins, one of Levitt’s professors at Oswego, was very instrumental in coaching him and fueling his enthusiasm for painting and art in general.

Levitt’s love for realism and attention to detail has been influenced  by the Dutch and Flemish Masters, and Vermeer in particular; but he is also drawn to the more impressionist work of John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase.  Contemporary artists such as Scott Prior, Scott Fraser and Gregory Gillespie also continue to inspire him.

levittalmost-forgot-the-watermelon   “Almost Forgot the Watermelon”, Oil on Panel,    16x20x2, Collection of the Artist

levittself-portrait-in-a-silver-ball   “Self Portrait in a Silver Ball”, Oil on Panel, 5×7, Collection of the artist

Bird imagery is frequently seen in Levitt’s work.  In Barney’s words, “I have a fascination for bird life, both as a visually pleasing subject, but also the symbolism birds represent in terms of flight, nesting, mating, as it pertains to the human species.  The figure’s dress in ‘The Bird Keeper’ was labor intensive, but in the end I think it enhances the mystery of the figure who is the keeper and protector of the birds…”

Levitt says he rarely does sketches before his final paintings, though at times does small 5×7 finished paintings which serve as studies.  His paintings begin with a loose underpainting with burnt sienna, over which he gradually builds up layers of thinned paint (1/2 turpenoid and 1/2 linseed oil) to completion.  He finds the process of painting to be meditative, often losing track of time while intensely concentrating on his work.

levittcookie-monster   “Cookie Monster”, Oil on Canvas, 14×11, Collection of the artist

levittvoted-most-popular   “Voted Most Popular” Oil on Canvas, 14×18, Collection of the artist

Levitt was recently awarded the status of Copley Master, the highest level of artists with the Copley Society of Art in Boston, MA.  This organization dates back to 1879, and has always been a venue for great art exhibits, including well known artists such as Whistler, Sargent and Homer, to mention a few.

Barney’s words of encouragement are simply to follow your heart.  “If you have a passion for creating art, whether it’s in the performing arts, visual arts, music, etc. set aside our society’s fixation on the material world and money.  Success should not be measured in these terms, but rather on the fulfillment of our hearts desire to create a thing of beauty”.

Levitt is represented by Gallery Antonia in Chatham, MA and Gallery Blink in Lexington, MA.  To view more of his work, visit his website at

To view the 2016 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit, visit, and click on Exhibitions.


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Joseph Sundwall: Getting to the Heart of It

Joseph Sundwall, whose painting “Eyes Right! I said Right!” was the winner of the “Most Original Award” sponsored by Southwest Art Magazine at the NOAPS 2016 Best of America Exhibit, is but one example of a talented painter whose work crosses multiple genres.

joseph-sundwall-eyes-right-i-said-right   “Eyes Right! I Said Right!” 24×18, Oil on Linen

Joseph Sundwall was raised in a suburb of Chicago at a time when the arts were an integral part of a child’s education.  Encouraged by family and art educators he found his art path early on, and completed his first oil painting in third grade.

When it came time for college he chose the Kansas City Art Institute, where he majored in graphic design after the first year of foundational studies.  Key elements of the program focused on color theory, composition, photography, typography, printing and development of negative space.  The minimalist approach aimed at clear and simple execution and stressed problem solving relevant to the objective of the work.

After college, Joseph moved to New York City, and worked for several years as a graphic designer and type designer, returning as well to studying oil painting at the Arts Students League, the National Academy of Design, and St. Oswald’s Studios in London.

Joseph has studied with some prominent teachers, including David Leffel, Ron Scherr, Everett Kinstler, and Charles Hardaker.  Because of his innate curiosity about the process of painting and his design background, he is always aware of the “big picture”; how the central focus of the painting relates to the whole, and the intention of the painting.

joseph-sundwall-caesar-mistretta   “Caesar Mistretta” 24×20, Oil on Linen

The subject of equestrian and animal painting began for him after watching a polo match, and he has since included equestrian events and  all kinds of animals in his work.  The human face and figure have also been integrated into his work: “I feel that I was somehow destined to paint the figure-humans and animals in motion and at rest”.

joseph-sundwall-baitfish   “Baitfish” 34×34 Oil on Linen

Today, Joseph divides his time between figure painting and landscape, which usually includes animals and birds in particular.  The artist prefers to paint from life, using simple oil sketches as reference material over photographs (though photographs become a necessity when painting fidgety children and animal subjects).

His painting style relies on wet-into-wet techniques, plus the juxtaposition of areas of flat paint with modeling and vigorous brushwork playing off areas of studied strokes.

joseph-sundwall-the-great-inland-sea   “The Great Inland Sea” 20×20, Oil on Linen

“I’m a realist painter,” Joseph says, “but more than just making things look ‘real’, I’m interested in putting down no more than is necessary to get a point across…to discover what can be left out or merely implied; this requires more conscious involvement in the process of painting for me, and invites greater participation by the viewer”. This is the heart of it!

The inspiration for “Eyes Right! I Said Right!” was a group of hounds waiting in the kennel to perform in competitive regional trials in Aldie, Virginia.  Sundwall finds this breed to be particularly “comical, childlike and a little confused, always bumping into each other and making us smile at their antics.”

For Joseph, a usual day in the studio consists of taking a few quiet moments to gather his thoughts about his paintings in progress.  This helps him to clarify what needs to be done next for his paintings, and takes the pressure off for completing a painting before the final touches are determined.

The deepest joy for Joseph is that moment when a viewer can connect deeply with one of his paintings; “for when the heart opens all barriers are dissolved, and there are no longer two of us, but we are one.  Art can do that, and that’s the real beauty of art…it reminds us of our essence”.

Joseph has taught oil painting privately and at regional art associations in New Jersey and New York, and regularly demonstrates the art of portrait painting before arts associations.  He currently lives in Montgomery, NY, and enjoys painting en plein air in the celebrated Hudson Valley.  Joseph is represented by J.M. Stringer Gallery in Vero Beach, FL. and Portraits North in Lexington, MA.

Visit his website at:, and his blog at:

To see more of the paintings included in the 2016 “Best of America” exhibition, visit


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Suzie Baker, Art with Energy and Passion

As the winner of the “Best Composition” award at the NOAPS 2016 Best of America Exhibit, I interviewed Suzie with some questions about her art and her process…her answers struck me with a sense of intense energy and passion for her art.  Here is the interview:

Artist Suzie Baker   “Vigil”, oil on linen panel, 30×24

PT: What got you started on your path to art?

SB: I was one of those art kids, continually drawing, painting, creating and leaving eraser shavings all over the dining room table.  When it was time to go to college, I knew my major had to be related to art.  Always a pragmatist, I chose to major in Graphic Design figuring I would be able to get a job with benefits and a reliable paycheck.  I received a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University in 1992.  Following my degree program, I worked as an ad agency Art Director before trading my Pantone swatches for a brush and palette.  That transition came when my family moved to the Middle East in 2008 with my husband’s job.  That major life event served as a reset button for me.

PT:  Any mentors along the way?

SB:  I had some terrific early teachers in high school and college.  After returning from the Middle East in 2010, I began seeking out artists whose work I admired and signing up for their workshops.  Over the years, I’ve studied with Clayton Beck, Rob Liberace, Judy Carducci, Dan Gerhartz, Jeffery Hein, Jill Carver and Michael Lynch.  Every one of those workshops informed my paintings and contributed to the way I approach the canvas today.  I also participated in the Cecilia Beau Mentorship program.  To my great fortune, I was mentored by Rich Nelson who is still available to me when I need some “been there, done that” advice.

PT: Of artists that have gone before you, do you have particular artists that you admire and that have been inspirational to you?

SB:  Well, let me just jump on the Sargent, Zorn, Sorolla, Fechin bandwagon and add to that Velasquez, Rembrandt, Cassatt, Dean Cornwell, Norman Rockwell, William Wendt…now I’m just getting all stream -of-consciousness, and I haven’t even started to name living artists and my peers that regularly inspire me.

PT:  What genres do you prefer?

SB:  I am not limited to a particular genre, though I do stay within the representational realm.  I regularly paint landscape, still life, and portrait/figure work.

PT:  What was the inspiration for the piece that won the award in the last Best of America show?

SB:  That’s an easy one.  The model.  Dave Malin, friend and fellow artist, often models for me.  Dave is a collector and maker of costumes.  I’ve painted him as a cowboy, doctor, patriot, pirate and (not ironically) a Renaissance man.  Every year for the last three years, I have done at least one ambitious piece with Dave as the central character.  I plan ahead somewhat, but ultimately, I let my original plan morph into the final setup before beginning to paint.  In the painting Vigil, oil on linen, 24×30, Dave takes on the persona of a doctor holding vigil through the night.  The book at his left hand is Dr. Chase’s, Third and Last and Complete Receipt Book and Household Physician from 1891.  I hope the viewer is compelled by the narrative of this painting to wonder about the condition of this physician’s patient.

PT:  Can you describe your working process?

SB: I hired Dave for a day comprised of two three-hour sessions.  I did the setup, lighting, block in and a majority of the painting on the face and hands from life.  I left the still life on the table at his left elbow in place to work on in my studio.  I brought the painting to completion from photographs I took and my established color notes from when Dave was present.  Note about using photography: I feel obligated to point out that there is no substitute for working from life.  You just don’t get the experience of accurate drawing, color and value range without it.  When you do use a camera, particularly in low light situations, a good SLR camera with a fixed 50mm lens (to avoid distortion) and a minimum knowledge of how to use it and set white balance is a must.

file-feb-15-3-06-54-pm   Here is Suzie’s palette

Included here is a recent study for a larger work I did with Dave titled, “To Every Purpose”. This shows my process of working from block-in to finished painting.

Artist Suzie Baker   Artist Suzie Baker   Artist Suzie Baker   Artist Suzie Baker

PT:  How do you start your day at the studio?

SB:  I wish I could say that I was regimented about my day in the studio and that I paint every day, but that is just not the case.  If you are a working artist, you know that time can easily be monopolized by the day-to-day business of art: email, book keeping, marketing, studio upkeep, framing, gallery relations…all have their demands to be obeyed.  I can say, however, that I am working most every day, sometimes it’s in my home studio, or at my travel easel with a painting group, or in my beloved Toyota Sienna minivan traveling to Plein Air events or teaching workshops around the country.


Painting En Plein Air at Olmsted Plein Air Invitational 2016.

PT:  What is your greatest achievement to date?

SB:  Honestly, it’s 23 years of marriage.  Admittedly, this is less of an achievement for me than my husband; I got the sweet end of that deal!

PT: Do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?

SB:  I often say that your best art supply is a supportive spouse/relationship!  Find one of those and take excellent care of it.

Also, draw, draw, draw!  I know it’s tempting, especially if you’ve waited until retirement to start art-making, but drawing is too foundational to skip over.  The great thing about drawing is that it teaches values as a byproduct which gives you a leg up once you move over into color values.  I habitually carry a sketchbook.  Additionally, I often take breaks from painting to do life drawings, and my paintings always benefit from the break.

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