At age 18, Blair Atherholt set out on an undergraduate Pre-Med course of study at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, at exam time, when Blair thumbed through his notebooks from his classes, he came face to face with the reality that the notebooks were full of drawings and sketches instead of theorems and equations.
From that day forward, Blair determined not to pursue a medical career but an art career instead. He entered the Schuler School of Fine Arts in 2011 in pursuit of learning the techniques and disciplines of the Old Masters. The life works of Hans Schuler, Sr. (1874-1951) and Jacques Maroger (1884-1962) and their dedication to excellence in art represent the hallmark of the Schuler School and its mission in training students of the school.
Now at age of 24, having graduated from Schuler, Blair is focused upon traditional still life painting made distinctively his own with contemporary, imaginative subject matter. He strives with each new painting to improve his control of the medium, one measured brushstroke at a time.
His work has been included in multiple national shows, most notably as a Finalist in the 12th Annual Art Renewal Center Salon. His work is also part of numerous public and private collections.
About the Artist
Victor Bokas grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, against a backdrop of palm trees, tropical beaches and sunbathers. Those images, along with Florida kitsch, lush color palettes and complex patterns are frequently incorporated into his paintings. Victor also pays homage to his Greek heritage with statues, columns, olives and vases appearing in his work. His painting Florida Vacation was turned into a 15-foot x 88-foot mosaic floor that welcomes visitors to Orlando International Airport. His paintings are included in corporate and museum collections throughout the state of Florida.
About the Artist
Nancy Chaboun a Native Arizonan lives and works in North Scottsdale. She was introduced to art at an early age by her father, who studied for years with George Bridgeman at the Art Students League. Nancy studied art at Arizona State University and the Institute Allende in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. At 21 she married her husband, Hilal and began a 15 year career in women's high fashion. Buying from the best European and American designers, as well as creating the visual merchandising and advertising for four stores, translates an elegant perspective in the compositions of Nancy’s works on canvas. Since 1991 Nancy has happily focused on painting full time. She teaches classes and workshops at the Scottsdale Artists' School as well as various locations throughout the U.S., France and Canada. Nancy is a giving artist, sharing her knowledge freely while eagerly assisting other artists in avoiding challenges she has worked through. Nancy is creatively curious, constantly striving to learn, see and express more deeply with her own art.
About the Artist
As a medical illustrator for over 25 years, Amy has had the opportunity to use her artistic skills to build a professional career, explaining scientiﬁc concepts through pictures. The artwork she creates now is much more personal. While her paintings are representational in nature, they are as much about the process as they are about the ﬁnal image. Blending her skills in realistic painting with mediums that allow more expression and spontaneity are important to this process. At times this happens with layers upon layers of paint. At other times a single mark is all that is needed to give the most information. Amy works in various mediums - oil, watercolor, acrylic - but oil is her preferred medium. Although her subject matter is varied - landscapes, ﬁgures, still lifes, animals - she is most intrigued with the ﬁgure. Often the personality emerges as Amy paints, allowing a connection to resonate with the viewer. Many of Amy's paintings are done alla prima, both in a studio environment and outside en plein air. Amy loves to paint from direct observation, as it allows her to observe subtle color shifts and paint quickly to transfer that information to a canvas. It is thrilling to race against nature as light moves and colors change, in hopes of capturing a single moment in time that she can share with the viewer.
About the Artist
Sam Collins is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. After high school, Sam studied art and biology at the University of Cincinnati. He continued his studies with a Master’s of Science Degree in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia.
Sam has spent the majority of his professional career illustrating the intricacies of the human body, creating cellular landscapes, and explaining scientific concepts through pictures. He is a Certified Medical Illustrator and a Fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators.
After twenty-five years of such specialized artwork, Sam is creating digital images and mixed media artwork that are reminiscent of days spent on family road trips when he was a kid.
Everyday objects - signs, buildings, cars, music, advertising imagery and events of the mid-20th century, influence Sam’s artwork. Sam searches garage sales, junkyards and swap meets for items he can use in his collage constructions. Sam combines his photos, acrylic paint, wood, metal, silk-screened images and found objects to create a story with his art. His artwork is a commentary on popular culture.
Sam currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Amy (also an artist) and their two children.
Patty B. Driscoll
About the Artist
Patty B.’s career in still life painting arose from her love of the decorative arts and the potential of realism to convey a symbolic narrative. Driscoll distills moments, where light, object, and flowers reveal themselves like characters on a stage. The paintings invite the viewer into an ephemeral world, where compositions are carefully prepared as treats for the eye. Driscoll considers each object as a memory keeper, family artifacts that represent the history of gatherings and celebrations.
Awed by the magic of realism, Driscoll draws inspiration from the often overlooked female Still-life painters of the Golden Age; particularly works by Fede Galizia, Giovanna Garzoni, and Maria Van Oosterwyck. Considered the lowest genre of academic art during the Renaissance, still-life painting was considered an acceptable realm of painting for these women to express themselves and earn a living. After years of working with the intricate processes of weaving and cake decorating, Driscoll is attracted to the exacting detail of the seventeenth century masterpieces and their depictions of intimate settings within the domestic interior.
Driscoll received her MFA from the California College of Arts after completing her undergraduate work in Studio Art and Art History at Skidmore College. She now lives and works in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, two children, two dogs, and two cats.
About the Artist
Isabelle Gautier was born and grew up in Normandy, a few miles from The Landing Beaches in north-western France. Working as a professional artist over the past fifteen years, she has paused long enough to raise her children having moved to Milton, Georgia in 1999 with her husband where she lives and works today.
Her early artistic development was inspired by a love of nature, color and design. Influenced by the French impressionist artists of the 19th century, Gautier has a strong passion for 20th century expressionist painters as well. She embraces tachism, a style of painting adopted by some French artists from the 1940’s involving the use of dabs or splotches of color or poured acrylic. The approach is similar to abstract expressionism. Her extensive travels across all continents have left a lasting impression on her prolific oeuvre . Her work has a distinctive style that employs a rich balance of vibrant colors and neutrals, abstraction and representation, movement and calm that transitions beautifully from her landscapes and abstracts to her flower paintings.
Isabelle’s works have been featured in the TV Show “Christy Knows Best”, Southern Appalachian National Show, 2013 HGTV Smart Home, Neiman Marcus Gallery, Marietta/Cobb Museum, Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts and the Atlanta Fine Home Sotheby's International Realty art collection.
Gautier is proud to support her community donating countless paintings or time to local organizations and charities mostly aiming to help children and women causes.
About the Artist
Nelson Grice was born in Nashville, Tennessee where he gained a love of entertainment and creative expression through the performing arts. He moved to Alabama as a teenager and expanded his interests to visual arts, particularly photography, eventually earning a BFA and M.Ed from the University of Montevallo. Teaching at the high school level since 1996 has opened Nelson’s vision of creativity to include sculpture. He is convinced the eyes of his students have enabled him to see more clearly the imaginary world.
Recently recognized in the 8th Annual American Art Awards for his work ThePiper is Calling, a 31 x 18 x 15 bronze, winning 3rd place in the category of Best Representational Sculptor, Nelson’s works tend to be whimsical animal sculptures. His works are included in corporate and museum installations.
About the Artist
Richie Gudzan is a Southern creator and conservationist, born in Georgia and raised alongside the woods, creeks and coastlines of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Water holds a particular magnetism for Richie, and his experiences fishing, surfing, and paddling shape the soul of his artwork. Richie uses big brushes, striking composition and stark contrast to evoke power, subtlety, and flow in his paintings.
Fish are some of Richie's favorite subjects. His recent work is rooted in an old Japanese printmaking technique called Gyotaku (ghee-oh-TAH-koo). Using the actual fish he catches, covering them with non-toxic pigment and gently laying handmade natural-fiber paper on top to reveal a mirror image imprint, Richie makes his art. Once the prints are dry, he composes and mounts the fragile paper to a wood panel, and finishes the painting in thin glazes of vibrant color. His fish are cleaned and eaten after the initial prints are created - never wasted. Water is life to Richie, and his art is about story, connection, respect and gratitude.
Bruce Holwerda’s passion as an artist is the wonder of experimentation and thrill of seeing results of a finished piece. That experimentation is playing with a medium and having fun with a subject and composition. A fan of many forms of art, Bruce loves studying photo realistic landscapes and wildlife paintings but he is equally in awe of modern glasswork and bronze sculpture. When his creative spirit kicks in, however, he paints.
It is not unusual for Bruce to have more than one painting in process simultaneously. Defining and redefining his paintings in a continual process tends to allow for every completed piece to lead to the next. He begins with a strong idea of the type of pose or figure that he wants to paint, but the designs, colors and even techniques come during the painting process. As a visual artist, it is Bruce’s goal to master the skill necessary to translate the ideal image conceived in his mind’s eye to a tangible form.
Bruce believes that it is important to put a finished piece out of sight and out of mind for several weeks, while continuing to work on other projects, until he has detached himself from the last finished piece. Confident enough to bring pieces back out to critique; Bruce believes a fresh eye will reveal whether or not he has succeeded. Bruce finds there is always a struggle between the balance and form the eye understands, and the emotional involvement invested in the work. It is also very important to him to bring the finished pieces out to meet the public, to display them in unfamiliar surroundings, and to listen to the comments and wonderings of art patrons.
People always wonder where Bruce gets his ideas and titles for his works. In reality, he suggests that in a painting session years ago, he veered off course a bit and took a serious pose and got wacky with it. It was then that he realized that the creation was what he was supposed to do. As for ideas, Bruce says that there are no shortages of them. When working with whimsical surrealistic subjects in a fantasy world, the real question should be, "Where does he find time?"
About the Artist
Elias Nicholas Katsaros was born of Greek parentage in Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey in 1945. Upon arriving in Athens, Greece at the age of 19 he attended the Art Institute of Athens where he was taught the basics of the Byzantine technique, a technique which would influence his painting of icons in the future. Mr. Katsaros also didextensive studies and work in interior design of homes, set decorations for theater and ballet productions while in Greece.
Upon arriving in America in 1969 Elias continued his studies in Byzantine Iconography while studying and working in New York for several years. He has made Huntsville, Alabama his home where he established his studio with his wife Elaine. His work can be found in churches all across the United States.
After 45 years spent painting murals filling churches with Byzantine Iconography Elias retired in 2016. With his good friend and mentor Helen Vaughn, Elias is freeing himself from the strict discipline necessary to paint Icons and returning to his first passion: painting landscapes, still lifes, portraits and more...even trying his hand at abstracts.
About the Artist
Nancy Lloyd has boundless energy to explore hidden details, untold stories, beauty in unexpected places, the unusual in the ordinary. And while she loves painting traditional landscapes, she is also drawn to the intimacy of the interior landscape, the interior world of people, whether revealed by a voyeuristic glance through a window in a restaurant, the observation of camaraderie of strangers in a neighborhood bar, the subtle gestures between two sweethearts, or the overlooked beauty of a row of garbage cans in a back alley. A seeker of the light of France, Nancy enjoys painting en plein air, especially the beauty of the California Coast, the backroads, the hills, vineyards set against the open sky, landscapes, farms, and cows transformed by light.
Born in Georgia, raised in Alabama, Nancy resides in Northern California in a lovely cottage where she can lean out her back window and snatch a luscious lemon from a tree.
About the Artist
Creativity is the lifeblood of the Canary Gallery. As the gallery owner, and a resident artist, my passion is to create art that embodies the best of our surroundings. Whether it be buildings, bikes, or boats, my oil and canvas works celebrate the beauty of form as we see it around us.
The Canary Gallery is the product of a lifelong pursuit of the arts. My goal is for the gallery to provide an environment to celebrate the artists in residence, while providing a forum for creativity to thrive.
About the Artist
DEBRA EUBANKS RIFFE is a native of Tupelo, Mississippi. She earned her BFA from Howard University, College of Fine Arts, Washington, DC and has been a professional graphic designer and illustrator for more than thirty years. Debra lived abroad and traveled, extensively, around the Caribbean basin. Much of her time was divided between the northwestern seaport city of Barranquilla and the Department of La Guajira Peninsula located in the northeastern tip of Colombia, S.A. near the Venezuelan border. She participates in juried exhibitions, locally and regionally, and is the recipient of many awards including an Individual Artist Grant presented by The Cultural Alliance of Birmingham. Debra has studied under internationally renowned printmaker and illustrator Barry Moser and she participates in select workshops and classes around the country, biennially. Her block prints are included in many collections, both private and institutional, including the Freedom Rides Museum at the Historic Greyhound Bus Station (Montgomery, AL), Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), Athens State University (Athens, AL), Indian Springs School (Indian Springs, AL), the Bluff Park Association Permanent Collection (Hoover, AL), and at the National Historic Landmark 16th Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, AL), to name a few. Debra teaches linoleum block relief printing workshops several times a year.
While living abroad, Debra discovered a common set of experiences that parallel patterns found in the culture of the American South. Food, race, religious traditions and music are topics that continually shape her visual narratives. Her style varies from whimsy to historic. Debra enjoys the versatility and the immediacy of drawing with a pencil and the physicality of turning the wheel of a printing press. Through simplicity of form, she uses basic art principles to convey shape, gesture, attitude, movement and emotion. Her compositions, mostly figurative, are images of African Americans performing routine tasks in timeless, solitary reflective moments; tasks that speak of social status and identity, intimacy and a sense of place. Debra appreciates the ordinary and, within each print, she attempts to record details and subtle hallmarks that will stir an emotion the viewer might respond to. She works from memory, sketchbook drawings or from photo references culled from newspaper and magazine clippings. Occasionally, Debra will stage a photo shoot and select wardrobe and props designed to capture the angle and intensity of light and darkness, dramatic shadows or variations of patterns and folds on quilts or fabric. Once an edition is complete and numbered, Debra attempts to guide her viewers with a title based on dialect derived from features in southern speech. The elements of black vernacular are lyrical and layered and many times, when rooting around her favorite bar-b-que haunts or juke joints in Alabama and Mississippi, she will extract bits and pieces of random conversations that she has overheard or engaged in, with incredible eclectic patrons, and combine phrases or expressions into her titles. The titles of her finished prints are always written in lower case. Although she was introduced to printmaking in college, Debra's technical skills and methods have evolved through trial and error and she has become more adept at isolating concepts and refining forms. Printing with a single color allows for more spontaneity than mixing colors and layering in the reduction method. Debra enjoys the challenge of printing images with a rich, black oil-based ink. The contrasts of sharp black modulating lines on bright white archival printmaking paper gives each print an infinite range of tonal variations and texture. Carving wood or linoleum allows very little room for error but Debra enjoys the technical challenge of balancing intricate details and negative space.
William J. Rushton
About the Artist
William J. Rushton is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and a recent graduate of Colorado College. He is currently in his third year at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy, where he studies portraiture using the sight-size method of drawing and painting. This type of training, which strives to emulate the technique of great artists such as Titian, Velasquez, and Sargent, facilitates observation and selection. Portraits are drawn mostly life-size and always from life, without recourse to photography or artificial lighting. Repeatedly viewing the subject and its representation at a distance, the artist moves forward only to add or make adjustments to the paper or canvas. Consequently, the portraits—in charcoal, pastel, or oils—bear a notable likeness to the models themselves and, while somewhat impressionistic at close range, gain clarity and strength when viewed from afar.
William is available for commissioned portraits in charcoal or pastels. The subject must be available to sit for his or her portrait and will be able to watch the image develop through multiple sittings.
About the Artist
As a child, Billy Solitario would look out of his bedroom window and across the water to a sliver of land on the horizon. The island in the distance, known as Horn Island, would become a major inspiration for Billy throughout his career as an artist. Born in 1972 in Southern California where his father worked for the Apollo space program, Billy and his family would later relocate to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the home-town of famed artist, Walter Anderson (1903-1965). Inevitably, Billy soon realized his passion for nature and art through the work of Walter Anderson and the landscapes surrounding his beachfront home.
Billy possesses a degree in art from the University of South Florida and Tulane University in New Orleans. However, he credits his classical foundation in painting to the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, where he has taught landscape and portrait painting since 2005. Today, Billy still finds time to paint plein air style, which he favors over studio painting. Painting outdoors gives Billy the opportunity to enjoy his two passions at once, nature and art. Plein air painting also allows for an authenticity of color and scale that photographs or memory may fail to reproduce. Billy is well-known for his landscape paintings, but most notably, his cloud paintings. Cloud formations were something Billy learned to appreciate in the 1990s, but the unpredictability of those gaseous shapes posed a challenge for the plein air painter. Unfixed and fluid by nature, clouds taught Billy to work quickly and efficiently as he learned to master the voluminous cumulonimbus cloud, his favorite to paint.
Billy has gained notoriety for his work and has been highlighted in “PleinAir” magazine along with “Boat U.S.” magazine. Billy currently resides in New Orleans, not too far from his childhood home of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Even now, years later, he occasionally visits Horn Island to gain inspiration from the billowy dunes and ocean sounds that inspired both him and artist Walter Anderson. Perhaps if you fancy a boat ride to Horn Island, you can find Billy behind his easel, toes in the sand, brush in hand, gazing at the cloud formations above.