Meet Our Featured Artists

Robin Maria Pedrero paints the spirit and energy of life in rhythmic layers of color.  She responds to what catches her eyes and heart personifying nature, evoking a range of moods with a touch of whimsy.  “I use a symbolic visual language exploring both the visible and invisible creating a commentary on relationships and thoughts. As I work the images can be unexpected flowing from gathered memories. Music plays a role in my process and seeps into my art.  I build layers making connections and a story comes forth and unfolds. The work evolves, and quite often by the time the painting is finished it has a history of stories interwoven in the layers.”

Robin Maria Pedrero is an award winning artist with work in museum permanent collections, film, and collected worldwide. She is an elected signature member of the Pastel Society of America. She was awarded Best Artist in Florida 2012 by Baterbys Art Auction Gallery, listed in Florida International Magazine’s Florida Artists Hall of Fame, and her work won an international wine label contest and was featured on a limited edition Artiste Wine label. Pedrero has served as an art judge, juror, curator, and art director. She curated the Twitter Art Exhibit Orlando in 2014.  Robin Maria Pedrero celebrated her first solo museum exhibit at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art in 2015. Pedrero creates from her studio in Frisco Texas.
Robin Maria Pedrero paints the spirit and energy of life in rhythmic layers of color.  She responds to what catches her eyes and heart personifying nature, evoking a range of moods with a touch of whimsy.  “I use a symbolic visual language exploring both the visible and invisible creating a commentary on relationships and thoughts. As I work the images can be unexpected flowing from gathered memories. Music plays a role in my process and seeps into my art.  I build layers making connections and a story comes forth and unfolds. The work evolves, and quite often by the time the painting is finished it has a history of stories interwoven in the layers.”

Robin Maria Pedrero is an award winning artist with work in museum permanent collections, film, and collected worldwide. She is an elected signature member of the Pastel Society of America. She was awarded Best Artist in Florida 2012 by Baterbys Art Auction Gallery, listed in Florida International Magazine’s Florida Artists Hall of Fame, and her work won an international wine label contest and was featured on a limited edition Artiste Wine label. Pedrero has served as an art judge, juror, curator, and art director. She curated the Twitter Art Exhibit Orlando in 2014.  Robin Maria Pedrero celebrated her first solo museum exhibit at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art in 2015. Pedrero creates from her studio in Frisco Texas.

Lori Solymosi If I had a spirit animal… it would be a hummingbird because my creativity flies quickly. It dances, flutters, bobs and bounces in reaction to the bounty of beauty I behold.

When I taught, I wanted to present art as a banquet to my students, a smorgasbord of delights, a taste of all kinds of art. I’ve a passion for color and shape and line, a passion for play, of  exploring and experimenting.

In my painting, I dance between the classical and contemporary, the colorful and the monochromatic, details and simplicity. Every dance needs music, the flats and sharps the concrete symbols on the page. The symbols in my art are common ones. Figures and flora, still life and landscape, sometimes nonobjective. I love vintage photographs, being in a garden and soaking up all the art I can.

There is a time during my process when “what I want to say” and “what the painting wants to be” collide. It is there where the sweetest nectar can be tasted, and my work comes to life.

If I had to sum up what my work is about, I would say it is about the in- between. Between perception and expression, the medium and the essence, the individual and the universal, the heart and the spirit,

 a hummingbird’s wings and the air.

Constance Vlahoulis I love to live a Bold Life enjoying art, humor, loving family & friends, discovering, traveling and of course there is no doing all this without chocolate! Perhaps the most important thing is what I have said for many years... Life is not a Spectator Sport! You have to Make your life happen!

The truth is out- I'm old enough to have seen the Beatles perform in 1964 but young enough to see my favorite, Paul McCartney perform in Detroit, MI 40 years later and have a ball dancing the night away! And THAT was ten years ago- PLEASE don't Do The Math!

My husband Bill and I relocated from our beloved Michigan to North Carolina, in 2003.  After a rewarding 17 year Real Estate career, I returned to my first love, ART.  Before the move, I studied pastel painting with (the late) August Gloss of Romeo, and attended workshop training with Doug Dawson. 

BJ Lantz Inspired by her love of nature, Ormond Beach artist BJ Lantz creates ethereal landscapes and serene abstract paintings. The striking aspects of Lantz’s work are her unique color palette, rich layering and intuitive mark-making. She will often scratch deep into the layers of oil paint and cold wax to reveal an unexpected color in the under-painting. She manages to blend colors and textures in such a way that her work evokes an atmospheric quality and is imbued with an earthy appeal. In contrast, hint of metallic create bold accents. Lantz's stunning pieces seem to quiet the viewer and present an opportunity for mediation.

 

BJ says, “Every painting I begin feels like standing at the gate with an open-ended ticket in my hand…destination unknown.  I love being surprised by my own work.  My favorite bits of my paintings are those details that I have no recollection of creating, that seemed to have found their way there on their own, yet intention is present.  Whether I am working on a piece reminiscent of landscapes or simply movement, shape and color, I want the viewer to wonder, to be intrigued by what is underneath, what’s off in the distance.  I want them to see things unique to their eye – and to see something a little different every time they step into that piece.  I want the piece to tell them a story that belongs only to them.”

Nancy Perry I have been painting for many years in several different media and have won awards in juried shows and had one-woman and small group shows. The learning aspect of painting has been a great joy and driving force for me.  For the past few years I have become interested in abstract work and have been studying how to understand abstract work and how to do it. 

I have found that the process of painting is more important to me, and expressing the feeling of a moment in time or place is what I am after with my painting. Abstraction and non-objective work more truly represents what I am feeling, and I have had a wonderful experience exploring the ways of expression. When I look back at my paintings from the past, I can see that this trend towards abstraction has been with me for a long time. Now that I have a better understanding of this, I am committed to following this avenue.

I love working with several different media, especially acrylic, oil pastel, and collage, and I am finding ways to combine these media into mixed media paintings

Celia Barbieri I am The Button Florist – 1 part hippie: 1 part mad scientist: 1 part world traveler: Shake together vigorously and serve!

I create unique alternatives to traditional flowers, using a mixture of up-cycled and vintage buttons, handmade ceramic buttons, and recycled sweater felt. I create flowers to commemorate special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries, but also to brighten up a room everyday!

I suppose my love for both nature and art is apparent in all my creations. I have always loved small trinkets and such. As a child I constantly picked up little treasures that I would find, from seashells on the beach, to things that other people considered trash. I’ve always had dozens of ‘collections’ as a child, as I still do now. I began making button flowers over 10 years ago and continue to evolve and expand different aspects of my business. Since then, I have branched out into new types of button flowers using ceramics and felt. This is my dream job come true!

Anne Jerman I have been playing with clay for more than 25 years.  I recently retired and now can enjoy working with clay full time.  I had no idea retirement could be so much fun!

My work is usually functional and sometimes simply decorative.  I work at the wheel as well as hand build and sometimes a piece will be a product of both. I make functional as well as decorative pieces.  Besides firing with an electric kiln, I also raku fire and pit fire some decorative pieces.  

I find myself interested in so many different ways to work with clay resulting in a wide variety in what I make.  I have so much fun making pieces and my goal is that people who take my work home also have fun with it. 

Edie Fagan is a painter working in watercolor and acrylic with versatile styles and diverse subject matter.  Whether painting a streetscape, an abstract or a dog portrait, she makes unique choices that give her work a personal voice.  The National Watercolor Society and the Florida Watercolor Society have honored her with signature membership.  Her book Adored Dogs is a collection of 61 dog portraits with an endearing story about each dog. A Florida native, Edie and her husband, Bill, now live full time on Lake Keowee.

Debbie Bzdyl I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Mom once laughed and said, “Debbie was born with a box of crayons in her hand.” By the age of six, I had won my first art contest, sponsored by a Saturday morning children’s show called Tim’s Treetop Forest.

In college, I turned my attention to graphic design, not because I had lost my love of fine art, but because I needed a more marketable skill. Graphic design gave me that as well as a creative outlet.

From 1983 until 1991, I worked as a graphic designer for several different organizations.

In 1992 I ventured out and started my own business, Impact! Graphics, Inc. which continued until I retired in December 2013.  

When I started painting again, I returned to what I knew, painting in a realistic style. After about a year, I started moving more toward impressionism and then into abstract. 

What a fascinating adventure that has been! Abstract art allows me to explore color, light, and composition in ways I can’t in more traditional art. I love not knowing exactly where the painting is going and instead letting the painting guide me. 

Robert Henri, an American painter and teacher in the late 1800s and early 1900s said we all have a song inside us and it is the responsibility of artists to be true to ourselves and sing with all our hearts.

It is my hope that “the song I sing” through my art inspires those who see it and allows them to experience the world in new and beautiful ways.

Jean Snellings I am a collector of Nature.  I am an Artist, neither of which I can turn off.  It’s fortunate I have found a union of the two.  Nature’s offerings include turtle shells, Indian artifacts, beach discoveries, nuts and feathers.  Choices are endless.

Using laid/pressed paper pulp as a “base”, I build 3-D framed art, and sculptures.  Having learned the potential of paper pulp years ago at Penland Art school, I traded creating 3-D leaded glass sculptures for the flexibility of pulp fibers. 

While living in North Carolina, I participated in Archeological digs.  My appreciation grew as I saw clearly the art and skill developed by these Native Americans.  I began to understand their culture, and what they left behind.  I try to convey their essence, respectful of their heritage.

Susan Martin The subject of my paintings might be anything, and you will see I've used a variety of subject matter.. With minimal background context, I view the composition as a thing unto itself, apart from a recognizable subject. Henry David Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

Carol Roll Collecting antiques as a young girl with my mom brought me wonderful memories, that love hopefully shows through in my work. I love anything vintage with just the right amount of faded coloring Things that appear precious and loved by an adoring child. The youthful innocence we all possess and can remember when we see the old toy we once played with. 
Nostalgic Folk Art was officially born in 2004. I came up with the name for my paper mache figures because I love the older things that remind me of my childhood and those innocent times. They are figures of folks both childish and impish, plus I love antique folk art so putting Nostalgic with Folk Art is a perfect and fitting name for my lil' figures and business.

Angela Alexander Angela is an Asheville-based artist specializing in pet portraits. Alexander starts with a black canvas and then layers loose brushstrokes in vibrant colors to reveal the dog, cat or farm animal she’s painting. The bold colors that characterize her work represent her subject’s energy and personality. Alexander did not begin her career as a painter until later in life, after being laid off from her graphic design job.

Her first paintings were whimsical drawings of her brown and tan Chihuahua, Sadie, whose markings made it look like she was wearing a mask. Consequently, up until Sadie passed in 2015, Alexander painted all her subjects wearing masks and glasses. Over the years her style has evolved from playful and often comedic caricatures of pets, to the more refined and abstract technique she uses in her art today. Her work can be found throughout Asheville in hotels, galleries and animal hospitals. Elsewhere, Alexander's work is collected nationally and internationally, has been showcased at the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, MO, and featured in Air Bud Entertainment’s movie Pup Star: Better 2gether.Alexander also frequently works with local animal shelters to raise money and awareness. Her popular “Forget Me Not” series features dogs from a local rescue who have been in the shelter’s care for an extended period of time. In addition to donating a portion of her sales from the series back to the shelter, Alexander’s aim is to tell the dog’s story and help it find a loving home. Alexander currently has two dogs of her own, Maya and Frida, who continually inspire her work.

Grace Carol Bomer My recent mixed media work juxtaposes image and text to create connections and metaphors that may not be predictable or seen immediately. The image is the subtext that allows the viewer to interact with the text in order to consider story, a story that points to the transcendence and eternally relevant Story.

My paintings are inspired by poetry, great writers, like Tolstoy or C.S. Lewis, but most importantly the powerful Word of God.

The word, damah Heb., refers to a metaphor that transforms, an art form that starts with a commonly accepted way of looking at the world, and adds a surprise or unexpected twist that results in a new perspective that inspires and transforms the viewer. We are surrounded by metaphors that point us to the unseen world.                            

Sue Chamberlain I am a local artist living full time on Lake Keowee.  Being from Greenville,SC , traveling there for art lessons and studio time is a pleasure.  Painting is a hobby for me and I love having a reason to do a painting.  Mostly as gifts for friends and family.  It gives me great pleasure to paint someone’s pet because it usually makes them happy.

My medium of choice is oil because it is very forgiving.  My love of animals hopefully show in my work

Do not take art too serious, just trying to learn and have a good time.  I give credit to my art teacher, Julia Peters for helping me reach my art potential

Marilyn Sholin, internationally known artist, author and educator, creates paintings about the artistry of the spirits from beer to martinis, wine and more. She added coffee into her mix of art because it only made sense to include it.

Marilyn moved from Miami to Asheville and has never looked back. Her incredible 25 years as an award winning portrait photographer took a turn to painting in the 90’s and developed into a passion for mixed media. Her original mixed media incorporate a long process of multiple photo references which she synthesizes into one image and digitally paints. That is printed on high quality canvas and then enhanced with acrylic paints and mediums, dyes, pigments and a variety of other materials. This method creates many layers of texture to each painting.

The fine art paintings are then converted to a final digital file that can be printed as giclee canvas, fine art paper and dye infused metals and other substrates for collectors. Color and energy run through every Marilyn painting. She brings inanimate objects to life with their shapes, colors and textures.

Marilyn’s work has won Best of Show at the juried Grace Gallery and has also been exhibited in the Asheville Airport Gallery and many breweries and restaurants in Asheville and the surrounding area.

Her paintings are in private collections internationally. She is a Master Photographer recognized by the Professional Photographers of America and a Golden Artist Educator teaching classes and workshops on Golden Artist acrylic paints. Her workshops are both local and international and include a variety of art and photography subjects.

 “Being an artist also means collecting art. Collecting art at any price is a satisfying and addictive process. As I finish hanging some of our older pieces we have finally unpacked and hanging some of our new pieces I realize how meaningful it is to sit amongst other artists work. I thank my parents who collected art and my aunts and uncles, who were artists, especially my mother for taking me to museums for as long as I can remember.”

Marilyn lives full time in Asheville and is owned by way too many cats.

Chris Troy began her career with clay in the 1990s. She has been influenced and encouraged by many ceramic artists, notably Marilyn Dale and Mikhail Zakin. Beginning in Marilyn’s basement studio followed by study at The Art School at Old Church, Chris developed the techniques that are apparent in her work today. Attendance at numerous and varied ceramic workshops, conferences and classes have broadened her interests from functional pieces to tile installations, architectural structures, and sculpture.

In 1998, Chris and her husband moved to the Upstate of South Carolina and currently live in Seneca with their dogs Fidgit and Possum, and cat Frank. Her studio offers a space that is inviting and reminds her of the encouragement and support she has gathered along her path in clay. She continues to exhibit, sell, teach and enjoys collaborating with her fellow artists in furthering the arts in the community. She has joined with like-minded professional in the creation of Full Moon Artists, a group that comes together to promote community access to quality Art and Craft.

Rachael Zaudke Nature is my muse.  Opposing textures, the tilt of a head, or simply the way a jaw and neck join. These captured moments of nature and everyday life is what  I strive to create.

I am drawn to creating the animals I admire both personally and from afar.  Different aspects of each animal enchant me.  Most often I find it is texture, mass and the relationship of environment and animal which triggers the creative impulse.    I then pull from these resources and create an object that captures the special essence of that particular animal.  I pay a small amount of attention to the anatomy and proportion, often exaggerating different aspects of each animal to form an abstract finished product.

The horse has continually been a reoccurring theme in my body of work.  I started riding horses at a young age and went on to compete at a national level in shows across the country.  It is the outstanding brilliance, strength and sheer mass that I am intrigued by most in these particular animals.  I am constantly striving to capture the essence of what enchants me most about horses.   Even when a horse is standing still, one will notices the twitch of an ear, a flare of nostrils, or the ripple of muscle to discourage a fly.  It is this simple glimpse of the equine I am constantly trying to convey in each of my creations.

Wendy Converse 

Circus Bear For years I have been drawn to the past; the span from turn of the century America to the depression era has been of particular interest. The themes of hardscrabble lives, itinerant workers, camp meeting preachers, traveling carnivals, and make do toys are sources of inspiration. And while these themes can often be somber they are not without a little humor and glimmer of hope. My work, a little naïve and a little outsider, features carved wood, era specific found objects and handmade stands and frames.

Warren Carpenter Woodworking has always been a part of my life, but what else would you expect from a Carpenter? I have been a homebuilder since the mid 70’s and built furniture and sculpted in wood in my spare time. Since 1999, my passion has been turning wood. With a creative eye and an ever-expanding knowledge of wood, I am always watching for those special trees or parts of trees that may someday become a unique turning. There are few things better than finding a burl and figuring out the best way to turn it into one or more pieces of artwork. Beyond creating “normal or natural” bowls, I enjoy experimenting with new shapes and forms to help me release the natural or not so natural beauty of a piece of wood. The final step in the creation process is the finish that will protect and enhance the wood without making a statement of its own. A finished turning will highlight the beauty of the wood, in a shape that is pleasant to the both sight and feel.

Cason Rankin A full-time working artist in the Asheville's River Its District, with a studio and gallery at NorthLight Studios on Depot Street. She is a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society, served on the Board of Directors of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America and the Florida Watercolor Society, and was included in the Watercolor Artist Magazine December 2016 edition "Ones to Watch". In 2014 Cason was selected to be included in Northlights book Art Journey Portraits and Figures, published in 2013 in Northlights book Strokes of Genius 5 and in 2010 was featured in American Artists Magazine special edition “Best of Watercolor”. She has participated in numerous national and international shows including the National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Florida Watercolor Society Exhibition and the International Miniature Art Society Show. I also was featured in the National Watercolor Society traveling exhibition and have received awards in numerous national and state exhibitions.

Larry Bennett Seeing an image and then transferring it into realty is a truly amazing experience for me. Each image I create is a moment in time that I have experienced. As you view my images I hope they capture your attention for a moment in time”. Larry Bennett’s color and abstractions offer the viewer insight into the subtle fabric of color and form as found in the world around us.   Larry’s handcrafted color prints have been exhibited throughout the United States.  Larry captures still life and landscape images using a variety of photographic media…

Kelly Berning My recent work is based on my experiences as a woman and a mother. The ceramic figures function as a catalyst for living vicariously through a child’s innocent eyes. They are directly influenced by a child’s world, and the constant worry a mother feels trying to keep her child safe in our perilous society. Because there has been so much sadness in the world lately, I was compelled to create sculptures that offer comfort, peace, and freedom. In short this body of work is about love.

 

I use many symbols and metaphors to unite the work emotionally. Hearts are used to offer my love and deepest condolences, commemorating those we love and those we have lost. Adult- and child-sized hands represent a strong family bond; the parent’s hands are always heavier. Fragmented faces and snakeskin patterns allude to healing and shedding psychological layers, while birds and balloons represent flight, freedom, and the perspective that provides a link between physical and spiritual life. The owl suggests wisdom and femininity, delving into the mysteries and magic of life. Sunflowers represent adoration, longevity, and loyalty. Several pieces evoke a journey beyond the clouds, while sea turtles represent a strong bond to home, a cautionary example of man vs. nature, and a beautiful metaphor for protecting our youth. 

 

With the use of bright colors, animal imagery, playful symbols, and whimsical nature, my sculptures draw upon the viewer’s own reflections of their inner child.

On closer examination however, one’s innocence is intermittently drawn away from childhood to the world of adult emotions.  I find these areas of mental transition and growth intriguing, and the collaborative interactions of subconscious and conscious forces to be metaphorical illustrations of our own conversion to individualism.

Melanie Dyel says most of her work is wheel thrown using North Carolina Stoneware clay. Her artwork is  not only influenced by the natural world that surrounds her but ideas that are locked in the recesses of her mind which are unleashed as she creates. She also says that she diligently strives for quality and durability in all her work, which is for everyday use.
Her studio is located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Clay feeds my creativity and I am addicted to the process. After the clay is thrown on the wheel it is then altered for a desired shape, pierced then slip trailed with a filigree style. My work is  not only influenced by the natural world that surrounds me but ideas that are locked in the recesses of my mind which are unleashed as I create. I diligently strive for quality and durability in my work for everyday use. 

Cody Blomberg I am an ex-theatre geek living in Seattle, WA. My theatre career was a decade long love affair ending with my receiving a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology from the University Of South Dakota. My training in theatre prepared me for my current work life, running my own cottage industry and painting commissions for private/commercial collections.
Ten years ago I started a cottage industry of making decorative bird print plaques from my original paintings, and selling them in locally owned stores around the country.

Over the past 17 years my commissions have included murals, portraits, wildlife art, and delightful pet portraits.

Diana Winuk As long as I can remember, I have loved the world of Art.  The range of artwork is never ending and this is why I began painting.  My parents were very encouraging and told me to follow my dreams.  In my jewelry, I like to create the unusual designs.  I like to catch the attention of the someone and hold it.  I like to see the look in someone’s eyes when they like a piece I have created.  This is what keeps me creating more designs.
My paintings and drawings have always been a calming influence to me.  I imagine a design in my mind and although it may change along the way it turns into a painting that makes me smile, just as I hope those who look at it would also do when they see it.

Linda Boushelle

Lonnie & Twyla Money Lonnie and Twyla Money were both born in Laurel County, Kentucky. Lonnie is descended from Jacob Money, a 19th Century Swiss immigrant who had been a wood carver in the old country. Twyla Darty, whose family has farmed in the county for generations, grew up a mile from the house and hilly farm where she and Lonnie live now on Money Road.

“We design each piece, Lonnie carves it from wood or sculpts it from gourds and Twyla hand paints it.  Each piece is signed by both of us.”

Linda Angio Originally from Chicago, she left her home state thirty plus years ago with her husband and two children and never looked back. They’ve have lived in New Mexico, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia twice and now Florida. Linda loves to move because it gives her the chance to create a new home, and Linda LOVES to create! Creating art has been one of her greatest joys, and through the years she has tried many forms of it. Linda said “I once read that you should only stick to one form of art, otherwise people will think you are not serious about what you do. I disagree. Trying new forms of art helped me to grow as an artist and always taught me something new. I now find that I enjoy working with pencil and watercolor.”

Linda also enjoys a bit of whimsy in her work and have always wondered who made up "the rules" of art one is suppose to follow. Artistic expression should free you, not restrict. Artistic expression comes from inside, and since we are all different individuals, all of our expressions will be different as well, and that is a good thing.

Her work has been in several exhibitions and has appeared in Savannah Magazine. It has been sold in various stores in the towns where she has lived and is shown and sold in a gallery in Savannah, GA. It has been bought by art collectors and individuals alike. Linda has created a new line of positive thought greeting cards and whimsical note cards from her original artwork. Linda says “My wish is that you enjoy my art as much as I did creating it.” 

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