Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Meet Artist Ditas Katague, Spring Obsession OPEN DIVISION accepted artist

O-120  Roots Before Branches  acrylic  60x48  $7500

Artist Stephanie Benedict, Spring Obsession OPEN DIVISION accepted artist

Stephanie Benedict  
O-134  Malakoff Diggins  oil  6x12  $250

Stephanie Benedict paints landscapes in oil, acrylic, and gouache.  She came to painting one evening in the middle of her life, while wandering through an art supply store.  She was looking at racks of stretched canvas - small ones, big ones, square and long ones - all empty, white, and standing in rows against the wall. Suddenly, Stephanie started seeing paintings on them: cityscapes, mountains, views through windows. She decided that night to study painting, and she's never looked back.
O-135  Mustard and Goldfields  oil  12x24  $495

Stephanie earned a BA with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in History/Theatre Arts. Since that night at the art supply store, she's studied painting and drawing with Kathleen Dunphy, Scott Christensen, Terry Miura, Susan Sarback, and Dan Samborski.

Stephanie is a native Californian, born in Burbank and raised in Sacramento. After sampling life in Eugene and Boston, Stephanie returned to California. She now resides in Orangevale, near Sacramento.
O-133  Heading North  oil  24x36  $1500

You can find Stephanie's work on her website,  She writes about painting, nature and painting nature on her blog,

Meet Artist Timothy Mulligan, Spring Obsession OPEN DIVISION accepted artist

            Timothy Mulligan
 A Contemporary Northern California painter

O-131  View from Tower Bridge  acrylic 24x20  $1800

I attended Sacramento City College and received a degree in Fine Art from CSU, Sacramento. I studied under notable artists as Greg Kondos, Gerald Walburg, Peter VandenBerge, Laureen Landau, Larry Welden, Jack Ogden, and Steve Kaltenbach.
After I graduated, I worked as a printmaker creating etchings and prints, and produced several watercolors, pastels, and large pencil drawings.  I exhibited my earlier works at the Crocker Art Museum, the Haggin Museum, the California State Fair, and several local art galleries. 
In 2011, after taking a long break to teach my two children at home, grades K-12, I returned to art to pursue my passion to paint on canvas. I painted multiple landscapes, cityscapes, and waterscapes which include the local farmlands, coastal beaches, and quiet neighborhoods.

My paintings have been exhibited throughout the Central Valley and in the Bay Area, and in 2013 I received over a dozen awards in national and regional art competitions, including First Place in the 2013 KVIE PBS Art Auction. My work has also been recently recognized in two national art magazines, The Artist’s Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine.
View Under Tower Bridge  acrylic  24x20  $1600
I paint with acrylics on site and in my studio using a variety of paint knives and brushes.  My earlier works are mostly representational; often combining impressionistic and expressionistic painting styles.  My later works are exclusively expressionistic inspired by the painting style of the Bay Area Figurative Movement; synthesizing forms with dynamic raw colors and using aggressive paint strokes. 
What inspires me to paint is seeing a subject from a fresh and unique perspective. I try to minimize the details and focus on the light, shadows, colors, and shapes.  I make a new color palette for each painting and try not to follow conventional methods. Oftentimes, I allow the texture of the painted surface to help create form and movement. To separate and energize the shapes I use colorful seams, marbleized flattened planes, and lines scratched into the paint.   I’m beginning to explore combining multiple perspectives of a subject into a single cohesive image.
My recent paintings can be sorted into three groups: The Raw, The Real, and The Inventive: 
The Raw paintings are made up of basic forms, which are quick and organic.  They strive for an honesty built from intense color and light, in an open and exposed way.

The Real paintings seek to take the raw style to a strange, heightened level of reality.

The Inventive paintings embrace abstract form and restrict the raw style.  These paintings flatten shapes, heighten color, and avoid a sense of realness.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet Artist Connie Carson - Romano, Spring Obsession Theme Division accepted Artist

Connie Carson-Romano                

           Art is an expression of the way the Artist views the world in which he lives.  Through my paintings, I try to communicate the emotions that made the subject something I wanted to share with others whether it is joy, serenity, or the excitement of the beauty of nature.  I know I have succeeded at my Art when someone looks at a painting or drawing and says, “That painting makes me feel….”           

            Expressing myself through art has always been a form of meditation and relaxation for me.  Acrylic paint is my favored medium; I love the way it works and forms on the canvas.  Recently I have discovered a new joy in oil paints; the viscosity of the medium that allows for extended outdoor work whether it is on a windy beach or a dry desert landscape.
         The colors that are present in nature are phenomenal and I love trying to create the same shades.  Having been raised in the mountains of New Mexico I found myself immersed from an early age in the amazing palate of nature and the challenge of trying to recreate that on canvas.  Now as a resident of Northern California, I am awed at the diversity of landscapes we live in and the unlimited array of challenges awaiting my brushes.

          Two Artists looking at the same object or same landscape will create completely different expressions of what they see.  I find it is amazing and exciting that so many different interpretations of the world around us are available through the eyes of Artists.  I love visiting galleries and museums to view the varied presentations of life as expressed by different individuals.  It is my pleasure that I am able to add my own personal expressions to this collection.

Meet Artist Linda Erickson, Spring Obsession OPEN DIVISION accepted Artist

Artist Linda Erickson
O-167 Sacred Ground at Chinese Camp  watercolor  21x14 $525


I have always been attracted to all design--whether it's interior 

decorating, textile design, or working with shapes and colors.  

Curiosity ignites my creativity--unusual shapes, shadows, and 

colors awaken my emotions, and that's what I want to impart 

through my art.

Watercolors are my favorite medium.  They are spontaneous, 

challenging and unforgiving, but when I watch the water and 

colorful paints begin to mingle and spread, it's exciting and once 

again I forgive their uniqueness and begin a new journey.  I also 

love the tactile softness and quietude of graphite and then there's 

the romance I have with mixed media.  I guess I love it all.

What I paint is a gift of myself and I hope the viewer appreciates 

the journey I traveled for each piece of my work. 

Mendocino Art Center
O-166  Coquille Lighthouse  wc 14x21  $525
Alliance of California Artists
Clovis Art Guild

4C's Business College
Fresno City College
               Art History, Textiles, Art Appreciation
CSUF Extended Education
               Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Clovis Adult School
               Advanced Drawing - 5 years
Workshops upcoming:  Michael Reardon at Mendocino Art Center
Studied with:  Birgit O'Connor, Dale Laitinen, Jerome Grimmer, Nancy Collins, Susan Adams

Watercolor, mixed media, and graphite artist
Gallery curator
Fresno Art Museum Docent

2003 - 2004 Certificates of Recognition from the California State Assembly for participation in the Community ArtReach Program
2008 Big Fresno Fair - 1st place Advanced Watercolor
2008 Selected by the Fresno Arts Council for a special show at Fresno City Hall
Alliance of California Artists - Best of Show 2008, 1st place (drawing) 2010, 3rd place 2011
Clovis Art Guild - 1st place 2009,  2012, 2013, 2nd place 2012, 3rd place 2008, 2010
2012 Painting selected by Gallery Curator to hang in Mendocino Art Center's main gallery
2013  Juried into exhibit judged by Birgit O'Connor at Mendocino Art Center
2014 Juried into Ironstone Vineyards, Spring Obsession 2014 Competition

Retired administrative aide from State Center Community College District

Current Gallery Associations:  Fresno Art Hub and Alliance of California Artists @ Sorensen's

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Meet Artist Judie Cain, Spring Obsession Theme Division accepted Artist

Judie Cain - Oil Painter

Symphony of Spring oil  20x16  $900

A Colorist's Impressions of Life

Judie Cain works her magic with practiced skills in oil paints. Several of her works are in print, Giclee and on home products. Working from live models, on location, and/or from photo references from her travels, she strives to capture the light, liveliness, and the mood of the moment through quick strokes of vibrant colors, using brush and/or painting knife. At home with a variety of subjects, she finds excitement in even the most ordinary things such as the nostalgia of a Victorian porch, a bouquet of her treasured roses and scenes from her gardens, expansive landscapes, animals, or children on the beach.

To Cain, painting is something you have in your heart. She sees herself as an "Impressionistic Colorist" painter but others have told her that she has an "Expressionistic" flair. "It's whatever attracts me at the time; I express my feelings, so I'm a little of both, " says Ms. Cain. "If the light hits a certain way, I think "if I could only capture that." It's humbling trying to capture what Mother Nature has perfected, she acknowledges.

A native of Burlingame, CA, Judie Cain studied at California College of Arts & Crafts, in Oakland, CA after high school. "I felt very intimidated by the talent there at the time," (Her early art attempts went from doodles on scratch pads and work in modeling clay to decorating for school dances and events.) She has taken inspiration from many great artists, particularly John Singer Sargent's memorable portraits, Joaquin Sorolla's Magnificent renderings of people and animals at oceanside, as well as Monet's ability to capture atmosphere.

Family responsibilities behind her, in 1987, Cain took early retirement to return to painting by attending college, numerous workshops, and taking private lessons. She also opened "The Art Gallery," near Murphys. She has studied with such noted artists as Ted Goerschner, Ann Templeton, and Susan Sarback.

Since becoming a full-time artist, Cain has taught oil painting fundamentals and "Color Demystified" workshops in several places, including her spacious studio in Forest Meadows, near Murphys, in the California Sierra Mountains. (she and her husband, Lou Papais, recently built a home in Murphys, which includes a smaller studio). "It seemed that a lot of the fundamentals weren't being taught any longer so I designed the workshops to address those needs."

FEATURED SHOWS: Haggin Museum, 5//99 Stockton, CA; Main Street Gallery, Murphys 6/00, 9/2000: San Joaquin County Arts Council 7/93, 8/95, group invitational 5/96, Stockton, CA; Lasting Impressions Gallery, Carmel, CA 2002; Iron Door Gallery, Murphys, 2008; Townhall Arts 8/2011; Ventana Gallery 4/2012 (selected solo).

PUBLISHED: US Art Magazine 2/98 and "Woman To Watch" 1997, 98, 99; Sierra Heritage Magazine, spring, 1998; Get Up & Go (lifestyles) interview 11/98, collage of her works on the cover of "Gold Country Magaine" 2003; artwork used in "Faith & Family" winter 2004/05, cover 2006 catalog Catholic Heritage Curricula and textbooks; "Valley Views Magazine" interview, summer 2006.

Judie Cain's works are found in collections around the world.

Meet Artist Barbara Young, Spring Obsession Theme Division accepted Artist

Barbara (Barb) Young
Artist's Statement
T-022  Simply Daffodills  11x14  wc  $150

My early days in art were spent trying to copy cartoons from comic books and doing paint-by-number paintings. For several years my drawings were usually sad and/or gloomy. In my last year of high school I won an Art Scholarship to Sacramento City College. There I took the basic classes in art and learned many good principals that have grown and enlarged in my work since. My parents lacked the resources to help pay for further art studies which meant I had to work and an art career did not materialize. Yet my art continued to grow and expand in quality and a "lightness" overcame the gloom of my very early art.  I feel that my art is a God given talent. I have learned some techniques and enhancements for my art from watching other and just by trying something and making mistakes.

Landscapes and old buildings have been my primary source of inspiration. I like to sketch with ultra'fine Sharpie pens while on location. I have worked in oil, acrylic, and now my medium of choice is watercolor. I try to capture in my drawings and paintings the memory of a place by setting down textures, feelings, characteristics; the uniqueness and special quality of that place.

My painting & drawing style is alive with color and realism. Painting and drawing are a source of joy and fulfillment for me. Each artwork I complete brings me satisfaction and wonder. "I actually did that!". I have also been commissioned to do some special paintings, paintings with unique problems and challenges but with God's help, I was able to complete the painting which proved to be a delight to the recipient as well as to myself.  I have done two large murals for two different churches in the Sacramento area.

Meet Artist Ruth Morrow, Spring Obsession Theme Division Artist

Ruth Morrow

Wild Garden wc 26x20  $500
This image is refusing to rotate left... it is a beautiful piece, too! You just have to come see the original on March 1 with the show opens!  Meet Ruth then as well, she will be here with an Art in Action booth!

Embracing art since childhood, Ruth Morrow has spent the last twenty eight years painting and photographing the beauty of the Mother Lode. Ruth's loose and fanciful painting style is visible in her watercolors, acrylics, oils and mixed media pieces many of which contain recycled objects.

The past two years have been busy and gratifying for her artistic endeavors. At Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery Ruth was presented with an award of excellence for her watercolor "A Close-Knit Village" and the Olive Schmid Memorial Award for her piece "Spring at the Old Homestead."  She received multiple awards at the 2013 Frog Jump Professional art show and a second and third at October's Mother Lode Art Show. She won a bronze plaque from Windsor-Newton Co. in N.Y. for her excellence in watercolor and the Florence Ferraro Award for her watercolor "The Tea Party". 

The artist was the first to win the Ironstone Obsession poster contest twice with "A Romp in the Dills" and "Truckin Dills".  And, her pieces have appeared in the KVIE Art Auction nine years running.

Ruth is a member of ALOFT Co-p Gallery in Sonora, Art On Main in Murphys, Calaveras Arts Council, The Golden Palette, Arts  of Bear Valley, Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery, Watercolor Artists of Sacramento Horizons, and Northern CA Artists.

Her work may also be seen at Townhall Arts in Copperopolis, Murphy's Grill, The Window Gallery in Arnold and her Arnold Studio.