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12th Annual

Sedona Plein Air Festival

sedona arts center

October 15 to 22

This October the Sedona Arts Center presents a week-long celebration of Sedona’s extraordinary beauty as seen through the eyes and talent of 30 of the finest painters in the country. En Plein Air, a French term that translates to “in the open air,” describes paintings that have been created outdoors rather than in a studio. The spectacular red rock scenery and perfect fall climate in Sedona create the perfect scenario for the plein air experience!

Schedule of Free Events Oct 15, 7pm Opening Reception

Oct 15, 4–6pm Tracey Frugoli – Sunset Demonstration @ Sedona Arts Center

Oct 16–21 Artists Paint in Sedona Area

Oct 16, 10am–Noon Gamblin Artists Colors: The Plein Air Palette @ Sedona Arts Center

Oct 17, 10am–Noon Michael Chesley Johnson – Morning Demonstration @ Sedona Arts Center

Oct 18, 10am–Noon Charlie Hunter – Artists Demonstration @ Sedona Arts Center

Oct 19, 10am to Noon Creekside Paint Out at L’Auberge

Oct 19, 7pm Keynote with Lori Putnam

Oct 20, 1 to 4pm Paint Out @ Seven Canyons Resort

Oct 21, 5 to 8pm Plein Air Party and Awards Presentation

Oct 22, 10am to Noon Main Street Paint Out


Joshua Been, born in 1974, had no shortage of outdoor adventures that cultivated his appreciation for the natural world. Drawing since he could manage a pencil, he was captivated by animation and cartooning. This interest remained with him throughout high school and an active duty enlistment in the US Army. Been then went on to pursue his BA in Fine Art at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. As a Magna Cum Laude graduate from this small liberal arts college, Been found interest in more than just art classes. He was active in theatre and performing arts, while studying Earth Sciences as well. This interdisciplinary foundation is evident in the intricacies and truthful fascination of his landscape as well as his figurative work. After graduation, Been relocated to the Los Angeles area where he worked for several years in the entertainment industry as a Character Animator and Visual Development Artist. Cartoon Network, and Disney TV were some of the studios where he found work. It wasn’t long, however, before Been craved a more liberating artform, and enrolled in some figure painting classes at the California Art Institute. While simplifying his life in order to pursue the more nomadic life of a painter, Been moved back to his native land in Colorado. For a short time in order to get his feet on the ground and further hone his teaching ability, Been taught art and design to inmates at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility. He now lives and paints full time in Salida, a place known as the “Heart of the Rockies.” 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Born in a hogan and raised on Diné land, known as the Navajo Nation, Shonto Begay began professionally writing, illustrating and painting in 1983. His work captures the striking beauties of a traditional Navajo upbringing and the harsh realities of modern reservation life. Represented in galleries and museums worldwide, he was one of 16 children. His mother is a traditional Navajo rug weaver from the Bitter Water Clan and his father was a medicine man born to the Salt Clan. Shonto grew up herding sheep in Kletha Valley, located in Shonto, Arizona. “I was surrounded by Hozho (beauty), including the sounds of songs and healing chants accompanied with stories from elders,” Shonto says. “From a very young age, I found excitement in recreating facets of my universe in varying images.” Shonto’s acrylic paintings are done in a series of small brush strokes that repeat like the words of a traditional Navajo blessing prayer. Images harken heartfelt childhood memories and resonate the constant struggle for balance and harmony with humankind and the Earth. His traditional life of sustainability and prayer helped him endure the brutality of the U.S. government boarding school he was forced to attend as a child away from the loving family sheep camp he was asked to forget. Shonto attended Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools all over the Navajo Reservation and high school in Kayenta. He received an Associates of Fine Art degree at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California College of Arts and Crafts. He worked a decade in the 1980’s as a National Park Service ranger at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Navajo National Monument in Arizona. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Michele Byrne is recognized for her figurative plein air work. She lives and works in Reading, Pennsylvania. However, she travels extensively, painting in various locations including, Manhattan, Paris, California, Colorado and Key West, Florida. Michele was a Faculty Demonstrator for the Annual PleinAir Convention in Monterey, CA in April of 2014. Byrne has won numerous awards in her plein air and studio work including most recently People’s Choice Award and Third Place at the Forgotten Coast Quick Draw and 2nd Prize in the Urban Life Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York in February of 2015. Painting in plein air is not just a passion for Michele it is a dedication. The artist must make decisions about time of day, direction of light and inclusion of figures despite that in front of you everything is changing. The decisions allow the artist to paint dynamically with light and air as a part of the final image. “Painting plein air allows me to create a more fluid diary of the ever-changing activity of a café or street scene or beach scene.” Two books of her paintings are published and she is working on a third book. The titles of the published books are: The Art of Conversation with an introduction by Constance Battle MD.; The Art of Conversation: Manhattanwith an introduction by Meredith Lewis. Michele has also had her works included in sales at Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia and she is a nominated member of the Salmagundi Club in NYC, Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionists Society. Byrne’s work was featured in an eight-page article written by Steve Doherty in the June/July 2013 Issue of PleinAir Magazine. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Libby has been a professional portrait painter since 1976 and an illustrator since 1993. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in England, Spain, Texas, and most recently in both Sedona and Phoenix, Arizona. While Libby was a City Commissioner on the Sedona Art and Culture Commission (commissioner for art in education), she created an arts immersion program. This program took part of the humanities curriculum at the high school and used the arts as the learning vehicle to transport the students to another time or place. This program has now been running in the school district since 2001. She created and has been teaching a journaling workshop since 2007. The workshop is about engaging all the senses in recording the moments of life. This workshop is currently taught as part of Sedona Art Retreats. Libby’s painting “Private Call” has been awarded ‘Honorable Mention’ in the 78th Midyear Exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art, July 27, 2014 through Sep 07, 2014. Artist Statement “I enjoy painting people who are immersed in the moment, totally at one with what they are doing. The magic is that there is something hidden in the seemingly ordinary, something authentic that is revealed through the kind of attention that painting a portrait creates.” —Libby Caldwell Libby arrived at this kind of portraiture which she thinks of as ‘portraits in action’ through journaling on a small scale and taking photos, sometimes with just her phone, but the resulting paintings are often as large as four by five feet. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Betty Carr is emerging as one of the foremost painters of the southwest. Her use of color, light and shade accentuate her subject matter while showing her love of nature and its forms. Since gaining her MA from San Jose State University, California, Betty has taught painting, drawing and sculpture at primary, secondary and college levels and has developed a following through both private and workshop instruction. She is collected both privately and corporately as well as being accepted in numerous juried exhibitions. Betty has recently been selected as a master painter in the” American Impressionist Society”(AISM). She is also a signature member of “APAP”, Arizona Plein Air Painters Association. Betty in discussing her painting style; impressionism, enthusiastic brushwork and the use of light and dark shows the enthusiasm and spontaneity of getting the scene in her hands. Following years of instructing art in Colorado and California and developing her distinctive painting style, Betty and artist husband decided to follow the sun to the southwest where color and light are ever present. Artist Statement “What catches my eye is the effect light has on form in unique situations whether fleeting, spilling over, striking, etc. I challenge myself in capturing its dramatic and/or subtle effects. I strive for confident enthusiastic brushwork, the maximizing of color’s value and intensity range and a fresh painterly approach, the result appearing effortless” —Betty Carr October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Gene Costanza is a contemporary realist painter of traditional subject matter, focusing primarily on landscape. Costanza orchestrates paintings that engage the viewer and invites them to enter his world. By capturing the light and atmosphere, the feel and smell, the wind and wave, he hopes to share places that mean something to him and the moments that evoke common feelings we share. One person summed it up with, “I love to watch your landscapes.” Task accomplished in that case. Over twenty-five years of his life was spent in Law Enforcement in such specialties as SWAT, K9 Handler, K9 Supervisor, Patrol Supervisor and Detective. About mid-career, the desire to return to artistic endeavors surfaced after having been abandoned in his early twenties. Though dormant, there was a constant underlying desire to again delve into the mysteries of paint, light, and subject matter. Costanza believes it took a decade and a half of discipline to mold his personal tendencies so that he could study and work as hard as one needs to in the difficult endeavor of making a good painting. Costanza retired from law enforcement to become a full-time painter. Primarily “self-taught,” he has studied with a number of great contemporary artist/teachers including; Kevin McPhearson, Matt Smith, Jeffery Watt, and has a long-standing, close, personal as well as professional, friendship with Scott L. Christensen. It is Christensen whom Costanza credits with most of his growth. Frequently these two can be found painting, fishing, hunting or just enjoying the fellowship of intimate friendship. His work is in collections from coast to coast and is included in the permanent collection of the Academy Museum in Easton, Maryland. Costanza is married and has two grown sons and makes his home in Eugene, OR. except he doesn’t know exactly why. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Growing up in southern California, Bill always had an interest in exploring nature and creating art. As an experienced rock climber, he spent much of his youth enjoying the more vertical places of the American west. This gave him a perspective of the world that few others would ever experience. He received a fine arts degree from California State University Long Beach and later moved to Prescott, Arizona with his wife Michelle to be closer to the scenery they both enjoyed. It was there that Bill discovered the joys and challenges of landscape painting, his outdoor experiences providing much of the insight and inspiration expressed in his art. He believes that painting on location and in the studio are complimentary pursuits, each enriching the other. The opportunity to experience and paint some of the most scenic places in America has contributed greatly to his artistic growth. Today with his wife and two daughters, Sarah and Megan, Bill divides his time between family, art and outdoor pursuits. Artist Statement ”Any landscape worth painting is more than the obvious visual elements. The push of an evening breeze, the feel of sun baked sandstone, the scent of sagebrush or the sound of a raven suddenly overhead are examples of the many unseen elements that inform my work. I’m satisfied when a painting is as rich as the landscape that inspired it. My goals are to keep exploring the Southwest’s wild places, search for new ideas and express what I find exciting about landscapes and about painting.” —Bill Cramer October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Carl Dalio lives in Sedona, Arizona and is known for his bold, saturated color paintings in oil, watercolor and pastel. He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, and Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society. With a degree in architecture, he has sustained an interest in art and architecture through his work as a successful fine artist and free-lance illustrator. He has served as juror for exhibitions across the U.S., including invited juror for the American Watercolor Society in NYC and elected juror for the National Watercolor Society in California. He has presented watercolor demonstrations and workshops in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and Indonesia. Artist Statement “CHOOSING THE PATH I’ve decided that accepting the fact that creative energy is prone to fluctuation in this artist life, is the reasonable thing to do. I’ve decided creative spirits do pretty well inside these human bodies under earthly conditions and temporal limits. We must keep in mind that complex, creative spirits, accustomed to operating thousands of celestial switches, must operate within a human, two-button, Etch-a-Sketch system. I’ve decided to add beauty and peace to the world, to kick up my awareness of the present, to import fearless living, to appreciate simplicity and to foster ease and grace. Happy living and creating.” —Carl Dalio October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Martin was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in the early 1980s. The US has been his home for the last 16 years. Martin has a doctorate degree in computer science and is a self-taught artist. Artist Statement “Becoming an artist had been in the back of my mind for years. And while I have painted since a young age, only more recently I had the opportunity to fully commit to my passion. When I paint, I feel a sense of purpose. I have a sharp focus and a clear mind. I express my most essential thoughts more clearly with paint on canvas than with words. In addition, the process of creating my art is as important to me as the finished piece itself. I cherish that experience, and this is why I paint from life or imagination and love every minute of it.” —Martin Dimitrov

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Born in 1966 in Chicago, oil painter and photographer Tracey Frugoli has always known she would be an artist. Growing up in a creative household, she enjoyed unusually intensive art training in her suburban high school. She went on to earn a BFA in fine art, and a MA in Art Therapy. She has been painting in her current style since 1998 and done portrait photography since 2011. Inspired by light and beauty, Frugoli unapologetically eschews novelty and shock in favor of authenticity. She views the painting process as a humbling endeavor that seeks to reflect and, thereby, enhance the most noble of our ideals. Her painting and photography cross pollinate to keep her work fresh and vital. Frugoli has won numerous art awards including First Place “Wayne Plein Air” 2012 in PA along with Second Place Quick Draw and Award of Excellence “Sedona Plein Air” 2012 in AZ. In addition, she was awarded Artist’s Choice “Paint Annapolis” 2012; Second Place and People’s Choice “MAPAPA Dueling Brushes” 2009, Museum Purchase Award and Honorable Mention “Plein Air Easton” 2007; First Place “Havre de Grace Plein Air ” 2006; First Place Quick Draw and Best Architectural Painting “Plein Air Easton” 2005 all in MD. She has exhibited throughout the country, and has been accepted into Greenhouse Gallery’s “Salon International” 2005-6, and 2009-12 in San Antonio, TX and won Jury’s Top 50 award in 2011. Frugoli’s artwork hangs in the permanent collection at the Academy Art Museum in Easton and in numerous private collections. It has appeared inAmerican Artist and Plein Air. She has written freelance for Workshop Magazine, Plein Air, and Fine Art Connoisseur (FAC). She is the current Illinois/ Midwest Regional Editor for FAC, and her most recent article, about the Hoosier Salon, appeared in the November/December issue. She is a founding member of the Central Illinois Artists Organization (CIAO) in Peoria, IL. 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


“Bruce A. Gómez has been working in pastels for twenty-six years and has been working solely with pastels full-time for the past seventeen years. Born in Denver in 1957, Gómez was educated at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Denver where he received his degree in political science as well as in Romance languages. Entirely self-taught in pastels, Bruce works exclusively in that medium on cold-pressed watercolour paper. His artistic influences include Maxfield Parrish, Gustav Klimt, and his cousin Ernic Gallegos. He has participated in more shows than he can recall and has been featured in Southwest Art’s Artist to Watch. Bruce has been with the Abend Gallery of Fine Art for around eighteen years and with the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art for twenty-five. His work has been featured on the Telluride Jazz Festival poster in 1991 and in 2000, as well as the Chamber Music Festival poster for the past four years. You can literally find Bruce often painting into the wee hours at Abend in Denver, where he lives, walks his grown children’s dogs, and waters the cat. Artist Statement “I pride myself in painting something that anyone can see themselves if they hang around: no exaggerations, no symbolism, and no implied metaphor.” October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Few artists know from childhood where their life and career will take them. Such is not the case of Plein Air Artist Syri Hall. From the tender age of one year, Syri was introduced to Sedona by way of weekend family getaways from Phoenix. As time progressed, these visits included extended stays at Indian Gardens Mobile Home Park in Oak Creek Canyon. The family obtained a travel trailer and rented a space right on the creek. After spending two years at ASU trying to figure out what it was she was interested in, she switched from Business/Home Economics to Art. It was the last year a degree in both Painting and Drawing was available. Spending all day at the Art school for her last two years was not unusual if Syri was to graduate in her goal of four years. By this time her family had built a house in Sedona and every weekend and holiday was spent there from Phoenix. Upon graduation with a BFA in Painting and Drawing, Syri married her college sweetheart and moved permanently to Sedona living at the small trailer park next to the Crescent Moon Ranch. Landing a job at a local bronze foundry and taking numerous art classes at SAC became a priority to improve her skills. Painting, drawing, and now sculpture became her focus. Her work was featured in galleries in Sedona, Jerome, Prescott, Wickenburg, AZ; Jackson Hole, WY; Baltimore, Maryland; and Colorado Springs, CO. Syri’s focus for the last several years has been Plein Air painting in the Sedona area. Recreating on canvas the mass, the unusual multi colors of the red rocks, the play of light and shadow, and bold compositions have been a challenge and are all integral parts of her designs. Since living near Cathedral Rock years ago, painting at the Crescent Moon Ranch is like coming home she says and definitely one of her favorite subjects. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


“I was born in California, but raised in Kentucky and Georgia. From the time I was old enough to hold something in my hand, I began to draw on anything available: the smooth sand at the beach; the underside of the bark of my native Georgia pine trees; or rocks, using the charcoal leftover from girl scout camp outs. I have enjoyed a successful career far from the Southeast, earning a BFA degree as an honor graduate in 1967 from the University of Georgia. I became a well-known artist and art teacher in Atlanta. Drawn by the light and the “wildness” of the Southwest, I moved to Phoenix Arizona and lived there 16 years, and enjoyed the desert settings. My enthusiasm for my new home is very apparent in the exuberant paintings and can best be described as “happy.” My paintings reflect my travels around the United States, Provence, Switzerland, Iceland, and Ireland. I have moved back to the east coast in 2010 to be near my family. I resided in a beach house on Isle of Palms, and now am living in Charleston, S.C.” —Claudia Hartley

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


J. Brad Holt grew up in Cedar City, Utah. He is a graduate of Cedar City High School and Southern Utah Universtiy. He spent childhood summers working on his grandfather’s ranch in Orderville, Utah, hauling hay and punching cows. At age seventeen he joined the Utah Army National Guard where he served for the next twenty years as a member of HHB 2/222 FABN. Brad is a musician specializing in Early Woodwinds. He spent several seasons as a musician/performer with the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Brads desire to become an artist began with a childhood facination with the images of the surrealists, particularly those of Yves Tanguay. Eventually he was mentored by the renowned landscape painter Jimmie Jones, who was a friend of the family. Jimmie gave him a lot of old paint and brushes, taught him how to stretch a canvas, and showed him how to lay out his palette. Brad recalls: “Raw Umber and Ultramarine were the core of Jimmie’s palette, and they remain the core of mine to this day. They allow a subtle interplay of temperature in the underpainting.”

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Over the last two years, Charlie Hunter has burst onto the national plein-air scene. He was awarded the 2013 Vanishing Landscape Award and the 2012 Best New Artist at Plein Air Easton (MD), and has racked up an impressive number of awards at other plein air events. He was the subject of a feature in PLEIN AIR magazine in 2012, featured on the main stage of the 2014 Plein Air Expo and received a very special shout-out from no less a luminary than Richard Schmid in the new edition of ALLA PRIMA: “No master of the pure line can surpass what Charlie, almost matter-of-factly, does when he takes pencil in hand.” He was raised in rural New Hampshire and Vermont, where he lives today. He is a member of Schmid’s “Putney Painters” salon and, in his spare time, runs long-distance train trips featuring live music. Curiously, his cats remain entirely unimpressed with these accomplishments. Artist Statement “I live in Vermont on the banks of the Connecticut River in an old mill town, and paint what nature does to what man creates. I tend to use a monochromatic ‘earth palate’ blend of ultramarine blue, viridian and burnt sienna, with maybe some unbleached titanium and Naples yellow. My goal is to paint beautifully that which is not traditionally considered beautiful, with aspirations toward a less-grotesque Anselm Keifer in a considerably better mood.” —Charlie Hunter October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


One of the country’s top plein air painters, Michael works in oil and pastel in the American Southwest, coastal Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. He has been an invited artist to many national plein air painting events over the years & has competed in challenging locations such as the Grand Canyon. Elected a Master Pastellist by Pastel Artists Canada in 2008, he is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society and the Pastel Society of America as well as a juried member of Oil Painters of America. He is the author of Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel and Through a Painter’s Brush: The American Southwest. A long-time contributor to The Pastel Journal and Contributing Editor for The Artist’s Magazine, he lives, paints and teaches on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, and in Sedona, Arizona. Michael also specializes in teaching small-size plein air workshops in oil and pastel for the intermediate and advanced level painter and for painters desiring mentoring. Artist Statement “I am easily inspired to go outside and paint. Sometimes it’s a momentary, alchemical mixture of light, color and shade that does it. A stream running through a meadow whispers in quiet contemplation; thunderclouds over a mountain crackle with urgency. At these times, it’s all about capturing the moment. At other times, though, it’s my need to go out often and seek my roots in nature. This isn’t so much about ‘capturing the moment’ as it is about nurturing my relationship with the landscape, a relationship that has been ongoing for more than half a century now. Rather than working quickly to get the moment down, I spend more time not just looking but also using all my senses to discover, trace and reinforce the patterns that connect me to the land. This type of painting is very spiritual and extremely fulfilling.” —MCJ October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


Gretchen Lopez majored in advertising and design, when she attended Ventura College, then went on to study fashion design and illustration at the Fashion Institute of Design and Mechandising in Los Angeles. She completed her studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.  As a tenth generation native of California, Gretchen has a rich family heritage.  She is a descendant of the first Spanish settlers of what was to become the Mexican Rancheros, her colorful family background includes Chumash and Apache Bloodlines.  Gretchen’s works are greatly inspired by her ethnic heritage.  Being experienced in many mediums and techniques allows her to express a feeling of freedom, vibrancy and spontaneity through color and design to depict the varied faces, fabrics and gentle beauty of Native and Hispanic women in her paintings.  She combines traditional as well as comtemporary elements in her works, from the figurative to still lifes.  Gretchen resides in Northern Arizona, where she pursues her love of painting.  A teacher of painting, life drawing and portraiture at the Sedona Arts Center in Sedona, Arizona, Gretchen was nominated for the Viola Award for Excellence in Art Education.  Her works are included in numerous private collections both nationally and internationally, and can be seen in select galleries throughout the Southwest.

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


From his earliest childhood memories, James McGrew remembers his inspiration to draw/paint and photograph the beautiful world of the Western U.S. His family camping/backpacking trips to Yosemite, Tahoe, Trinities, Southern Oregon and the Coast were a major influence. Though he began with watercolors, gouache, pencils and crayons, he quickly picked up pastels at the age of 8 and oils by age 10. He grew up with a love of nature, sports and performing arts. Today those all influence his painting and photography which goes beyond creating pretty representations. James explains: “I strive to interpret nature with my brush, not merely copying a scene but rather conveying the feelings, emotions, weather, light, energy, movement of an experience. I want the viewer to feel the wind, moisture, sunshine of the elements and feel the excitement or relaxation I felt while painting on location. I hope my works inspire others to love and protect our landscape/wildlife and cherish our valuable human interrelationships with each other and the environment.” James frequently visited Yosemite National Park since he was just 4 months old and today its his primary subject and inspiration. He has worked as a summer seasonal Yosemite naturalist since 1996, teaching and inspiring groups on week-long backpack trips, evening programs and hikes. He backpacks several hundred miles a year; always with a pochade box and tripod. James works in his Oregon studio for much of the year, but prefers to get out and paint direct from life in the fresh air, with rugged hikes, and rapidly changing light and weather that makes plein air painting so challenging and rewarding. When not traveling to a national park, he often hikes around his own neighborhood for inspiration. “I’m fortunate that my studio is just a short walk from home and sits on the slope of an old shield volcano with walking paths leading to views of Mounts Hood, Adams, Rainier, St. Helens, and the Coast Range. I can find a painting within just a 20 min walk.” 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Kathie Odom comes from a long line of hard-working, blue collar, hammer-throwing people. She has raised three kids that would pop your buttons and wants to be outside as much as possible with paintbrush in hand. “It’s hard to ignore beauty when it happens”, Kathie is fond of saying. So she keeps her car packed with all she needs for the road, whether painting locally or in plein air events. Kathie received over a dozen event awards over the last few years and is very proud to be from the great state of Tennessee. 2016 Honors - Women Painter’s of the Southeast 5th Annual Juried Members Show - Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, Atlanta, GA - RAYMAR AWARD, Wayne Art Center’s 10th Plein Air Anniversary, Wayne, PA - ARTIST TO WATCH, Southwest Art Magazine, June Issue - American Impressionist Society 17th Annual Juried Exhibition - HONORABLE MENTION, Arts on the Green Plein Air Invitational, Cashiers, NC - Door County Plein Air Festival, Fish Creek, WI - MASTER CLASS FINALIST, Art Muse Contest, July - HONORABLE MENTION, 48th Annual Open Show, Oak Ridge, TN 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Over 35 years of professional painting gives Rachel Pettit the experience to approach each new canvas with confidence. Her newest practice of painting an occasional abstract gives her latest work a fresher and more painterly quality. Manipulating the paint in different ways can help direct the viewer’s eye as it contemplates the painting. Using thick or thin paint, palette knife or brush, soft blended strokes or hard lines, all can affect the outcome of a painting and can add excitement to the piece. Thoughtful color choices and value contrast contribute to the emotional quality as well. Experimenting with new materials and formats gives Rachel the impetus needed to continue working on an almost daily basis. Plein air painting (painting outdoors, from life) remains a favorite method. Born in Wisconsin, she moved with her family to Scottsdale, Arizona at a young age and spent her childhood in the southwest, traveling, camping and exploring. This instilled a great love of the outdoors which later was continued as a love of landscape painting. Her training has been through workshops and classes with regional and national masters including George Carlson, Scott Christensen, Delbert Gish, William Reese, and Kathryn Stats. With the encouragement of these great artists, her paintings have taken on an impressionistic style, one which captures the essence or spirit of the subject and conveys it to the viewer. Her constant dedication to painting, as well as the study of contemporary and past masters, are the most important elements of her artistic development. Her paintings have been juried into many of the nation’s top exhibitions including Arts for the Parks Top 100, Oil Painters of America National and Regional Exhibitions, Salon International, American Impressionist Society, and International Artist Magazine, and are included in collections throughout the United States. After living in several different states throughout her career, she now resides in Utah. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual


For more than twenty years Walter Porter worked as a successful commercial illustrator, painting for a list of clients that included America West Airlines, Arizona Highways Magazine, AT&T, IBM, Park Hyatt Hotels, U.S. West Communications and the U.S. State Department. Then, after two decades of painting exclusively in watercolor, Walter decided to learn the art of oil painting. In September of 2004 he picked up a paint box and brushes and hiked into the mountains surrounding Tucson to paint landscapes. Since then, Walter has spent the majority of his time painting en plein air (“in the open air”) but also produces larger landscape pieces in the studio using his plein air studies as reference. He also paints portraits, figurative paintings, western pieces as well as pursuing his life long love of drawing. His easygoing manner and willingness to share his artistic knowledge has made him a much sought after instructor. Walter Porter was born in 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Ripon College, The Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Arizona and currently lives with his wife in the Tucson Mountains just outside of Tucson, Arizona.

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Patrick Saunders is an artist, painting and creating art while traveling across North America in an Airstream Bambi with his photographer wife, Kimberly. He has studied with many renowned painters, including Mark English, Malcolm Liepke, Wilbur Niewald, Richard Schmid, and Burton Silverman. Painting a variety of subjects including portraits, pet portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, and florals - Patrick’s work is sold internationally. Always seeking the next challenge, Patrick has worked as an illustrator, designer, animator, educator, musician, entrepreneur, and a fine artist. Throughout his career, Patrick has been recognized by his peers for outstanding work, earning awards from the American Advertising Federation, the International Academy of the Visual Arts, the Web Marketing Association, the Society of Illustrators, and Communication Arts. He was featured by Southwest Art Magazine as one of their 21 Artists to Watch Under 31. His students at the Kansas City Art Institute voted to honor Patrick with the award for Educator of the Year. In 2013, Patrick turned his attention to plein air painting, winning awards at numerous nationally recognized competitions including Plein Air Easton, Easels In Frederick, En Plein Air Texas, Telluride Plein Air, Richmond Plein Air and Paint the Peninsula. Patrick is a signature member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


“My paintings are an emotional response to the landscape. I use layers of pastel (or oil) to capture the complexity of the color vibration that I see and feel.” Born in Connecticut, Loriann was drawn to plein air painting from early childhood. She continued her studies and later received both her BFA and MFA in painting. While Loriann still paints outdoors, much of her work relies on her memory. Daily, she records her color memories in paste or in written words. Days or weeks later she creates small studies that play with the color vibration of the memory filtered scene. The goal is not to create a specific place, rather a radiance or glow of light that was remembered. That glow is the deeper feel of the landscape. Later, in the studio she uses her plethora of small paintings to form new concepts and experiment with color vibration. As time has passed her work is less about the specific and more about the transcendental. She cites James McNeil Whistler, JMW Turner, and Mark Rothko as her inspirations. While Loriann’s subject is the Mid-Atlantic trees, hills and sky, her newer work is increasingly, and beguilingly, unnaturalistic and soothing. An award winning artist, may find her paintings are in many collections, both in the United States and abroad.

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


John Slivjak, a professional Philadelphia artist creating original oil paintings. (Plein Air, Landscapes, and Portraits) Artist Statement “My paintings are attempts to understand nature and relate its lessons. Each work begins with a search for an idea, concept, or vision. Success is measured by how well I am able to communicate these concepts. Plein air painting and color studies from life are important initial steps in my understanding of a subject. I consider them completed paintings if they remain truthful to the subject. In developing studio paintings, my aim is to communicate not only the truth but also the spirit of the subject. My goal as an artist is to grow and improve with every painting.” —John Slivjak

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Artist Statement “I have found myself drawn to the Southwestern landscape that surrounds me. Rather than simply portraying a landscape, I strive to paint an experience. When I paint, I seek a greater understanding of light and color, their interaction, and how to best manipulate the two to create a convincing sense of space and atmosphere. It is with this search for knowledge that I hope to share my experience with others.” —Matt Sterbenz

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


The landscape paintings of Williamson Tapia are primary examples of ‘definitive plein air’ ... that is to say, ‘open air’ compositions made via ‘direct-study’ means, without even minimal use of secondary reference material (cameras and such) to complete the work: “For me, the real challenge and lure of landscape painting has always been the ‘full experience’ of working at the point-of-view ... where my paint strokes are influenced directly by nature, start-to-finish, through active study of a living outdoor subject.” Most of Will’s work is produced over the course of days when the shadows and highlights on a given subject are recurring and similar ... during the same 2 to 4-hour period within a 24-hour cycle. Revisitation makes the full ‘direct-study’ aspect possible ... and depending on weather and other factors, the completion of up to 3 definitive ‘open-air’ compositions in a week’s worth of successful painting. Please ‘feel free’ to observe, and perhaps even ‘wish him well’ in his efforts ... do not mistake any silence for snobbery, however, as there is simply a limited amount of time for him to work as outdoor light is progressively changing. If you like, don’t hesitate to take pictures of Will working ... and as he does not carry or use cameras, please consider forwarding images to his email at Photos posted online, or ‘in print’ will credit the photographer ... and would also be very much appreciated!

12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Trained as a graphic designer but always an artist at heart, I was first inspired to paint the landscape after working three seasons as a wildland firefighter. Never having spent much time outdoors, I worked weeks at a time with my crew digging fireline, monitoring fire behavior, hiking, and sleeping under the stars. I was deeply moved by the stunning vistas and by the fierce beauty of nature. In each painting I use my training as a designer to intuitively construct simple yet powerful designs reflecting the pure wonder I feel when outdoors. The most important practice in my development as an artist has been extensively painting on location, or en plein air. Through direct observation I capture the effects of light that often are lost in photographs and use the studies to create a more beautiful and compelling work in the studio. In my mind a painting is not complete, whether created in the studio or on location, until it conveys both the appearance of a place and the feel of a specific moment: the smell of dust, the hot sun, or the cooling shade of a passing cloud. Recently I have been exploring my homeland, the landscapes of Eastern Washington and Oregon, painting iconic locations such as Hells Canyon and Dry Falls. When confronted with the unique geology of these areas I am reminded of the overwhelming sense of awe I felt as a wildland firefighter. When people see my work depicting these often overlooked landscapes I’d like them to taste the desert air, feel the sun on their skin, and see the splendor of the wild places around all of us. 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


“As a full-time artist, working mostly in plein air, I appreciate the incredible beauty that surrounds us. I strive to reflect that beauty on canvas, utilizing light and color to create a scene that captures the eye and draws a person in to experience the atmosphere of the place. Growing up in Ohio, I began drawing at an early age. My first art teacher, Louis Penfield, was a great mentor who encouraged me to sketch and paint from life. We created artwork and also constructed a studio adjacent to his home, built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Whether painting still life compositions or collecting material for natural sculptures, I was developing an awareness of the elegance of everyday objects, people and places. In 2006 I joined the daily painter’s movement after reading about Duane Keiser and Julian Merrow Smith. I was motivated to enhance the quality of my paintings and I was inspired by the dedicated artists I met online. My artwork vastly improved as a result of this exposure and practice. Painting full-time now, primarily in oils, I hope to continue to grow as an artist, both in technical skill and artistic interpretation. I currently paint and teach at Knowles Studio in Poulsbo, alongside printmaker and art instructor, Leigh Knowles Metteer. I have attended numerous courses and workshops by outstanding artists such as Darrell Anderson, Jim Lamb and Ned Mueller. My paintings are represented by Alki Arts Gallery in Seattle, Carrie Goller Gallery in Poulsbo and Tsuga Gallery in Bothell. I have sold hundreds of paintings from my website; my work is in both private and corporate collections worldwide.As a full-time artist, working mostly in plein air, I appreciate the incredible beauty that surrounds us. I strive to reflect that beauty on canvas, utilizing light and color to create a scene that captures the eye and draws a person in to experience the atmosphere of the place. 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


My philosophy is to paint with passion, to reach within myself and communicate the essential components of a subject. Brilliant colors, impressionistic brushstrokes exemplify my work. Lanie Widmar is an architect, who after twenty five years in the corporate design world, decided to focus her work on painting watercolors. Originally from Laguna Beach, California, Widmar now resides in Sedona, Arizona. Widmar’s paintings are a result of experiences in the field that inspire her awe in the beauty of the Western and European landscapes. She is particularly drawn to ancient ruins, native villages and monuments that mark a historic place in mankind’s journey on earth. Her work is represented by Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona and UGallery, San Francisco, California. Artist Statement “Painting realistic abstracts brings a sense of excitement into my work. Watercolor paint is an ideal medium for my inner artist, as it awakens a sense of adventure and spontaneity. With a minimum of pictorial imagery to suggest reality, I strive to portray the essence of a scene, allowing the viewer to participate with his/her imagination.” —Lanie Widmar 12th Annual October 15–22, 2016


Jim Wodark is an award winning plein air artist who was born and raised in Colorado. Throughout childhood, his parents, both artistic in their own right, were incredibly encouraging of his creativity, but drew the line (so to speak) when he filled his 2nd grade teacher’s shoes with paint. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from University of Northern Colorado and attempted to fulfill his passion for art by taking an art class each semester. After several years of working real jobs, and trying to fit art around his schedule, it occurred to him that he either was or was not an artist. Luckily for his many fans and patrons, he chose the former. He started out putting his keen observation skills and humor to use as a cartoonist. Fourteen years later, attracted to the attitude and economy, He moved to Southern California. He found true love in Julie, now his wife of 14 years, and in fine art, as he began to explore the plein air technique, originally using watercolors and acrylics. “When you grow up in Colorado, it’s hard not to love the outdoors. For me, being outside and capturing the light, mood and atmosphere on a canvas for other people to enjoy, is just an incredible feeling.” Having dedicated himself to art for the last 24 years and counting, Jim continues to challenge himself creatively by approaching each painting as an opportunity to try something new. “My intention is to paint my masterpiece every time I paint a picture. This gives me never ending room to grow and experiment with my art.” Jim is a member of several painting groups: Oil Painters of America, “Signature Member” of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, and an “Artist Member” of the prestigious California Art Club. October 15–22, 2016

12th Annual

2016 Plein Air Festival — Artists  

Our community’s iconic creative event—Sedona Plein Air Festival—returns for a week-long celebration of extraordinary landscapes, world-renow...

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