MEET OUR ARTISTS
I love the feeling of working with fiber. I became interested in textiles when, as a graphic designer, my tools of the trade, paper, ink and markers, changed to computers and software. I needed to find a new tactile outlet.
I use everyday fibers such as wool and silk to create a unique light-as-air material which in turn I make into wearable art. Each of my pieces is one-of-a-kind. I won't, nor can I, replicate a piece of material.
I want the wearer of my work to feel she is wearing an original piece of art.
You can see more of my work at: ifeltfinedesign.com
The thing that I love most about jewelry-making is that I must use very different techniques to create my pieces. Sometimes, a vision will come to me in the middle of the night. But more often than not, I will simply go into my beadroom with no clue as to what I’m going to do. I ask myself, “What color do I feel like working with today?” When that decision has been made, the stones I choose dictate the technique I use. For instance, if I’ve chosen pearls, I must then choose to string them or to knot them. If I’m going to “set” stones, I must select the wirework I will use. I love the dimensional feel of jewelry. And I love making earrings and necklaces that can be worn together.
I look for areas around the Northern Neck to paint that have the feeling of raw undisturbed beaches of the Chesapeake Bay, rivers and creeks. I find it amazing how water washes up on shore and takes what it wants back out to sea or deposits what it doesn’t want on the beach.
In 2018 my eyes were opened to another hidden love of painting seascapes, water creatures and landscapes while participating in water sports. Kayaking to undisturbed beaches piqued my interest in the simple beauty of my new way of life. I decided I wanted to document as many places as I could through painting them. The exploration of islands, waterways and salt ponds offer me a different way to discover my new world.
Hours spent exploring native Virginia woodlands or row boating in the immense lake where I grew up led me down the path toward a lifelong love for nature and “all things water”. As a young artist, I began painting in oils when only 12 years old. My greatest passion currently as an artist is sea life, especially the sea creatures that dwell within incredibly gorgeous coral reefs I saw “up close and personal” as a scuba diver, while living in the Florida Keys. I also adore creating magical mermaids and whimsical sea creatures which dance around in my head on occasion.
The way I usually begin new works of art is to gaze through immense folders of collected images until I find I can no longer contain my excitement for a certain subject. In this search for inspiration, I literally find myself in love with any given creature or theme from the sea, then immediately plan out how best to convey those same feelings within new works of art! I usually work in “collections”, drawing out multiple images of one subject as the focus for that given theme. By my use of a signature brilliant color palette, my goal is always to convey the love for the subject along to future viewers and/or collectors. Although I've 'made art” for years and years using just about every medium known to man, my favorite mediums at this time seem to be watercolor and acrylic paints, sometimes using them separately, sometimes using them together within one painting. I'm also in love with the new metallic paints and metallic papers and use them within some of my more whimsical artworks! I absolutely adore watching gorgeous colors dance across the surface of canvas or paper, creating something meaningful and beautiful within this process!
I have cultivated and refined my artistic talent throughout my lifetime. Since my retirement in 2010, I have been able to devote my imagination and vision to creative endeavors. I take delight in creating and sharing my art.
I paint in acrylics and also have a love for sewing and crafting. I enjoy creating works of art in a wide variety of subjects and themes. My hallmark is the use of bold color and remarkable detail. Now, as a full-time artist, I have a passion for my art like never before.
I paint with soft pastels and oils. Pastels are crystals of pure-pigment that reflect and capture the light. Recently I have enjoyed creating non-representational abstracts along with the more traditional landscapes, animals and still-life works... I love them all! In my studio I start by setting the mood with music, a quick sketch, then focusing on the palette. This allows me to come to my easel and lose myself in the shapes, colors, shadows, and light. It’s a meditation for me. A time to discover what can happen. A time of possibilities. It’s pure JOY! And the same is true when I paint with oils. This medium allows me to mix any color, create luminous, atmospheric paintings, and bring texture to the piece. I enjoy watching my work evolve over time. My happy place is when instinct takes over and the work becomes a dance of shapes and colors. I started my painting journey in 2000 and it has changed my life. The wonderful people I have met and the doors that have opened have exceeded my expectations. I think the most important thing is to have fun, enjoy what you do, and of course be grateful for it.
My artist statement, written over twenty years ago remains true today.
"Capturing emotion through light and shadows, colors and shapes,
thought and instinct.....this is art for me. My intention is to convey the energy of the moment into an experience for everyone.
The constant change and beauty of the shifting seasons inspire me.
I am grateful for the support and love of my wonderful family and friends who have taught me to appreciate and look closely at nature, at life."
Sarah Marshall Elliott
From an early age, I was likely described as a creative, sensitive, competitive and ‘all-in’ kind of kid. Whether academically, athletically, or socially, I was determined to succeed regardless of the endeavor. I enjoyed a career in marketing and publishing but feeling adrift when I retired from the corporate world, I enrolled in painting classes. I quickly learned that “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” as said by Thomas Merton. I found so much more than I had lost. Over the past year. I have embraced my new love and find that my brushstrokes are more deliberate, yet loose. Bringing unexpected color to life is great fun. I bring my whole self to the easel and hope my energy and emotion comes through to those who admire my work.
At 5 years old my life as an artist started in school with my first puppet show set-design. From that moment on art was a way of life. It is a tool that is always there. I used it in my fashion coordinating, interior design, and basic life needs. I began painting realistically in oils, but today I use acrylics for my somewhat graphic abstract art. I love color.
The nicest compliments I receive about my art is that, “they love the colors, and my art makes them smile.” How great is that? Most people recognize my art by the colors. They are bold and fun. Most of us develop our own unique style.
I love painting a new painting because you are creating something that you have not done before. The plain canvas is the birth of the piece of art, and the result is the surprise that is waiting. In the past 6 months I have done several commission pieces. I take the client’s ideas and colors, and I try to create what they might want or need. It is quite challenging, but very rewarding. Each art piece is a journey.
My art focuses on shape and visual movement. My color palette tends to be bright and saturated, especially in the blue to green wedge of the color wheel. I want to draw the viewer in and provide surprise on closer inspection. After the piece is collaged, it is layered with a batt and backing and machine stitched.
If I had to use one word to describe what my art means to me, I’d use the word LOVE.
Loving color, challenges, the pleasure my art brings to others and creating work that marks my time on this earth, guides me to begin a new painting.
The hours spent envisioning and working out the complexities of a painting energizes me. The rendering of those ideas is a source of peace and gives me a sense of fulfillment.
My life would certainly be less joyful and meaningful without my art as each new painting represents a small part of my spirit.
I’d like to think that what I give to my paintings and to those who see them is my sense of joy, light, and gratitude for the natural world in which we live.
After twenty-five years of designing and making “one of a kind” jewelry, I am still inspired to create wearable art. Born and raised in Virginia, “the pearl necklace” was a woman’s first choice. Living in the Arizona desert for thirty years, I found my second love: turquoise.
Being influenced by traditional jewelry, the classic pearl, and the Native American silver and turquoise designs, I am challenged to create modern, unexpected looks in jewelry. The old and the new; the yin and the yang. I love the hunt for vintage finds in antique and thrift stores and turning these finds into modern jewelry art.
"I want a humble heart/ Oh, how I have so much to learn" lyrics by Jess Ray I try to return back to the natural state of play and delight of a child who is free. Through many years and moves, I've had several people pour into me, and I am grateful for that intentional encouragement. I taught myself to paint initially by watching Bob Ross and studying Van Gogh as a child; I deeply connected with the Impressionists' use of color and rhythm and learned to pay attention to the way the light dapples the leaves in the trees, reflects in the water while pretending to be a mermaid under the water of the pool, or dances on the flower petals of a particularly lush spring garden. I believe art is a way of paying attention and paying attention is a way to love. I believe art is a gift, and it must be shared. Once a friend told me that he saw my art as "joy in fellowship," and I am still learning what that means. It is a beautiful thing to meditate on as I create. I have much to learn and master in oil painting, but that is my next step in my creative journey, a dream I've had for many years. I'm interested in creating beautiful paintings that catch the Light that catches me. It's a captivating process to create colors and spend time learning to be free again. This sounds pretty lofty so I pray for humility in it all. “Light itself was your first love: you paint only as a means of telling about light..." C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
My first love has always been portraiture – especially paintings that capture a moment in a person’s life. I have found that I can treat landscapes, still lives and other genre as if they are portraits of a place at a particular moment in time. I have lived in the Northern Neck for over 30 years, and it seems there is an endless bounty of life here. I came to RAL Art Center as a pastel artist, and I still work in pastels for quick plein air studies that occasionally turn into finished works. But my primary medium is oil paint. I work in a style that incorporates Impressionism, but actually and most often falls into Contemporary Realism. I hope my viewers can find their own memories in my paintings and will cherish those memories as family heirlooms.
The subjects that attract and excite me as a watercolor artist primarily come from nature. I am particularly drawn to texture and strong natural patterns. I also choose subjects that make the best use of the properties that are unique to watercolor painting. Consequently, my favorite paintings could include birds, turtles, frogs, gnarly tree trunks and branches, rocks, water, waves, crashing seas, skies, clouds, boats, and even buildings. I love the challenge of combining detail with fluid, or abstracted backgrounds, hard with soft edges. My palette of colors include those that mix and play well together - creating a feeling of unity. I want the viewer to feel that my subjects are real, almost touchable, yet artistically rendered
I have been an energetic artist my whole life. Born in Blioxi, Mississppi, I have lived and worked in many areas of the United States and Europe. I am an emotional painter. I will see something that reminds me of earlier times, and the desire to paint will come to me. These ideas and inner feelings seem to paint themselves. The brush paints what I am feeling. Often people will see things in my painting even before I do. I am an abstract artist because I paint my feelings and memories which I visualize in intriguing shapes and colors.
I never intended to be a jewelry maker. I was a horticulturist and florist who couldn’t find jewelry I would like to wear, so I had no choice; I had to make it. And later, I didn’t set out to be a metalsmith, but, as a jewelry maker, I could rarely find silver jewelry components that suited my designs. So, with some basic tools and adult education instruction, I began to learn silversmithing. I fell in love with working with metal.
These days, I design many applique pieces that depict the creatures that fascinate me – animals, birds, insects- and plants. My art is a little bit like working in batik but created from silver instead of fabric. Through simple designs, I try to capture the essential character and beauty of favorite creatures and plants.
I have explored many creative art media since majoring in art and design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. But I have focused on the punchneedle fiber medium since discovering the technique over 40 years ago. I begin each new needlework with an idea and sometimes a sketch. The artwork evolves as I continue to punch. It is like drawing and painting with the punchneedle. Each original work is created with one strand of thread and a punchneedle using tiny loops and stitches on a fabric background. After many years, this medium still inspires me to create new images and adapt new techniques.
I paint watercolors of memorable moments in life. People in their everyday environment along with elements and objects in nature inspire all that I love as an artist. I capture life’s simplicity and innocence through the playfulness of color and light and through unique and one-of-a-kind design.
As an artist I paint the purity of everyday life; the warmth of the sun, the laughter of a child, the touch of a hand; important things that make our lives whole.
If my work appeals to your senses, makes you smile and helps you to reconnect with simple things in your life then I have achieved success.
I have recently returned to my first love as an artist—pastels. Not the chalk I first used as a child, but the soft luscious pure pigment available in so many forms today. I love that I can both draw and paint at the same time, with nothing between me and the support—no brush, no pen, no binders. It is perfect for my life drawing studies, and for my more fully rendered subjects. These include local sea and landscapes, scenery and impressions from my travels, people I know and have loved, and quirky or symbolic subjects which speak to me. I use drama with realism and abstraction often in the same painting to invite you into my thoughts and my world.
I love faces. That’s how the paintbrush made its way into my hand in the beginning. That first watercolor class in portrait painting changed everything. Something in me opened, and the creative stirrings had to manifest. I needed to express, to paint, to let it out.
When I paint, it’s as if I’m not even the one holding the brush. There’s an intuition, an “other force”, that interprets the subject or notion. Before I know it, the canvas, or paper, is loosely layered with brushed or splashed color. The work that I do is not about producing a “pretty picture”. It’s about discovery, freedom and the natural human reactions to abstract, often emotional, representations.
Somewhere in my creative process, a questioning happens: subtle, sublime and without conscious effort. I find I need to get out of the way of the painting and allow the piece to “speak its truth”.
Whether it’s through the layered washes of painted portraits or the wildly intuitive textures found in my non-representational work, I invite you to explore your own responses to the questions asked, adding your own individual experience to the meaning of the piece.
I learned to paint by my own initiative and with formal instruction from professionals. Combining a love of painting with travel, I have studied en plein air in places such as Italy, the Republic of Georgia and Hawaii as well as locally and throughout the United States.
In my Mulberry Banks studio on Farnham Creek in the Northern Neck of Virginia, I paint oil paintings of subjects ranging from figures and animals to landscapes. Painting outside of the studio, I do small paintings and studies for larger studio paintings. Extensive travel can be credited for my cultural awareness. My paintings have a narrative flow true to the people and places that inspired them. Self- expression and inner passion are the driving force behind my work.
Robert J Schuler
My paintings primarily reflect regional splendors and rural landscapes. I especially enjoy
painting Watermen and their old workboats, Skipjacks in particular. My affinity for the
Watermen, their environment and their work are very inspiring to me. I also enjoy capturing portraits of cherished homes and beloved pets. When showing my artwork, I like to feel the viewer’s connection to the art. Their memories of the subject or area I’ve painted fill in the details for me and makes the piece even more interesting. It gives more meaning to the actual painting. I find great pleasure in establishing an interaction with the viewers of my work.
I find great pleasure in the beauty of the natural world. I especially love color! I also love to watch the play of light and shadow and include this element in my artwork. I believe that just experiencing the colors and the play of light found in natural beauty can restore my soul. I want to share this feeling with others, so I paint. I recreate and reinvent the effects of color and light, using an intense and vibrant palette. I work directly from life or study my own photos. I am drawn to the palette of tropical plants, and I often paint tropical orchids, mangoes, heliconia, palms, ginger plants, and bromeliads. I hope others find pleasure in my paintings as I pay homage to the beauty found in our world.
I am an architect by training so I bring a level of focus to my artistry. I enjoy painting buildings, of course, but landscapes and wildlife as well. Many of my pieces are done en plein air; others are from my travels. I work in pen and ink, photography, digital painting, watercolors and oil pastels. I also occasionally do portraiture.
I began realistic painting in watercolor thirty years ago when I moved to Kilmarnock. I used to look at abstract art and think “anyone can do that.” I quickly learned that this is so not true! I was absolutely captivated by the use of color and line in abstract works. I continue to explore this style using acrylics and sometimes collage. My use of bright color and form are intended to draw the viewer in, make them think, make them chuckle. It’s likely no two people will see the same thing in my work.
I am passionate about the beauty of nature. It feeds my soul. The act of painting outside and experiencing nature firsthand is an integral part of my work and whenever possible I begin my paintings on location. When painting en plein air, I strengthen my connection to a specific place. Through my paintings, I encourage people to also feel a deeper connection to these places. In 2008, I left Virginia to live in the Virgin Islands for nine years. Living in the bright light of the tropics influenced my artwork by feeding my obsession with color. I returned to Virginia and for the last four years in my home and studio in Reedville, I am again surrounded by inspiring landscapes. I paint scenes from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the nearby rural farming communities, often combining subjects and enhancing the color to express my vision. I am always pushing to further discover my creative voice and loudly expressing it with paint.
My garden inspires me to capture photographs of stunning flowers and butterfly images both from my own gardens and gardens that I visit. The natural beauty that surrounds me in the Northern Neck influences my choices in landscape photography, primarily water scenes and sunsets.
I strive to illustrate my ‘Vision’ of the photograph through the magic of painting and blending styles. In this age of the Digital Darkroom, I express my ‘Vision’, which to me is the result of my thoughts, feelings, and ideas when I make a photograph. All of my work is finished on a professional printer using archival ink and industry standard framing materials.
I hope my Art gives you a sense of Serenity and evokes the beauty of nature and our world in your heart.
I am a self-taught artist with a vivid imagination. My imagination is the driving force behind all my art. In my mind, I visualize it, often dream it. I sketch it, then pick a medium that best suits my idea. I enjoy working in all mediums. I see no boundaries. You will see my work in oils, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, wood, metal, or anything else that best conveys the end result. This is my palette. This is my expression.
I speak two languages, English and Art. All the human emotions are there: love, hate, happiness, sorrow and quite often, in my case, whimsy. Art is the message. I am the messenger.
A graphic designer by degree, I lived and worked for many years in the Washington, DC area where my pursuits ranged from portrait sculpture to pepper farming. In 2010, I began sailing seriously with my husband, sailing and racing sailboats from the Chesapeake Bay to the waters of South Africa. In 2014, I took my first watercolor class and began my journey as a watercolorist. My paintings combine my love of both painting and sailing as illustrated by my studio paintings of marine subjects. I strive to show the sparkle of light on the water, the motion of the waves and boats, and the excitement of the sailing crew while racing.
I have always had an interest in art but life seemed to get in the way of pursuing that interest until my retirement. I consider myself a realist painter, specializing in oils. Travel in my retirement years has been the inspiration for most of my paintings. I take pleasure in transforming my memories from a small photo into a larger piece of work for both my enjoyment and others. Sometimes my subject matter may seem off-the-wall but one of my favorite compliments was that my painting made someone giggle or smile.
I am an unhurried, deliberate painter and the slow-drying properties of oils allows me the freedom to make adjustments (change my mind!) while I am creating. I usually work on more than one painting at a time and I often step away from a particular piece of work for weeks until my interest is restored.
I don’t expect my work to inspire deep thought – just bring a smile.
Capturing the dance of light and shadow on the natural waterways, farmlands, mountains and valleys of the Old Dominion is the hallmark of my art. Whether beckoning you to ponder the translucence and reflections of a gently flowing creek or inviting you into a secluded meadow of the Blue Ridge, my paintings provide you with a respite from our fast pace of life and mechanized surroundings.