I am predominantly an en Plein air painter. I like to work outdoors and produce an immediate response to my environment. I also work in my studio to produce still life works and portraits.
Seth Smith was born in 1980 in Wichita, KS and attended the University of Kansas. B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking. Seth lives and works in Kansas City, KS. He has many private and corporate clients in the US, including the H&R Block Collection and The University of Kansas. He has gallery representation at The Rice Gallery of Fine Art in Kansas City and the Lucky Street Gallery in Key West, FL
My work has always relied heavily on themes of escapism and longing. I’ve always had a fascination with 50’s and 60’s travel culture and how society advertised and communicated the idea to the middle class. As a child, I found a box of postcards in my grandparents’ camper and I would spend hours poring over them, mapping out uninformed naive itineraries. Often my palette and subject matter are directly sourced from those memories, as best as I can recall.
Mark Mann received his BFA degree from the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Upon relocating to New York City, he continued an artistic career and gained first-hand experience through assisting a number of accomplished, New York artists, such as Petah Coyne, Carol Hepper, and Donna Dennis. From 2001 to 2010, his artwork was represented in New York City by the Laurence Miller Gallery. Projects with the gallery included two solo exhibitions of photo-based prints, Wish You Were Here (2001), and Are We There Yet? (2003), as well as the publication of the limited-edition portfolio Last Resort (2005). His artworks have been exhibited in various US and European galleries, as well as such art fairs as Art Basel, Paris Photo, ADAA, ARCO and Art Miami, and has been purchased and collected by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida, The George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, and the Sir Elton John Collection. Mark Mann currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
O Uncolored People is an ongoing series of paintings depicting burnt sunbathers as a means to express a side of the American character weary from excess and leisure and instilled with a dark sense humor. As a group, these people of Anglo descent are over-exposed and vulnerable to a changing world where American superiority is challenged. Each painting's title is based on popular boys’ and girls’ names from1930s Social Security records, meant to reference an older generation—tough, stoic, but now questioning their status. My goal is to bring qualities of both the strange and sentimental in these pictures—in much the same way the most miserable of vacations can, over time, become the fondest of memories.
Sally West is a leading expressionist and still life artist, whose professional artistic career has taken her all over the world, exhibiting, selling to private art collectors and winning prizes. Sally has been the winner of several notable prizes and regular finalist in a great number of prestigious competitions.
Sally draws her inspiration from the seascapes of Sydney and Bluey’s Beach where she is now based, and the rural Australian landscapes of central New South Wales where she grew up. Sally finds joy in creating a direct response to a moment in time and fully immerses herself in the environment by painting in plein air. She takes a fresh approach to the tradition, creating interesting textural surfaces with thick impasto brushstrokes.
Born and raised in Columbus, GA, I developed a love for art as far back as I can remember. I attended Auburn University and earned a Bachelor's degree in Art, and now live and work as a full-time painter in Charleston, SC. I am a follower of Jesus, and am so thankful to Him for providing a job that I love.
My paintings consist of mostly figurative and non-objective work. I am forever learning and trying new techniques, mediums and subjects. Inspired by light, movement, surprising color combinations, social interaction, and patterns, I try to collaborate these elements and form abstracted, pixilated compositions.
Did you always know you wanted to be an artist? Tell us a little bit about your background.
I knew I wanted to be an artist as soon as I reached the ninth grade, however, I did not ever consider that it was an actual possibility. I assumed I would have to get another art related job, like an art teacher, art therapist, or something of the sort.
I was always involved in classes outside of school because my mom observed my affinity for markers, paint, pencils, and paper. It wasn't until high school that my art teacher expressed immense confidence in my ability as an artist that it pushed me to hone in the skill as much as I could during my teen years. When it was time to choose a major in college, I chose studio art without hesitation at Auburn University.
What inspires your color palette? We love the soft tones you use and are curious about your process.
In college, I had no problem rendering whatever my subject was through light and shadow, but I noticed that I had zero concept of what it meant to have a harmonious color palette. After that realization, I started to mix colors together with the question in mind "would I wear these colors?" "Would I put these colors together in a room?" It helped me in my efforts to explore color by minimizing my palate altogether to two colors + black and white. From there, I slowly introduced one more color at a time. My figure studies are the best example of that color mixing approach.
Are you a full-time artist? What are some challenges as well as highlights of doing creative work full time?
I have been a full-time artist since 2011. At first, it was a challenge to force myself to get to work at a decent hour and avoid procrastination. Also, It has been an ever-present challenge to know when to "turn it off". While working underneath someone, most people can leave work at the office, but I think it's safe to say with any self-employed person that there's always more to be done, therefore it's harder to relax. Even the day after I release a new series, it's only a matter of minutes before my mind starts racing about what to create next. Some highlights: One of my top five feelings on this earth is being able to step back and be proud of something I have created. If that feeling is mutual with my audience, it is sublime! It is also such an exciting job to be able to sit down with my sister/studio manager and talk about the endless plans and collaborations for the future. Being apart creative growth is such a gift!
What would you say your artwork is about?
Visually speaking, my artwork is about combining abstraction, Impressionism, and realism all in one. It's about light and shadow, movement, surprising color combinations, patterns, and layers. Conceptually, I am simply trying to create beauty. I want a viewer from any walk of life to see my work and be uplifted by a simple image portrayed with a little bit of magic.
What is the best advice you received in terms of pursuing your passion, even though it's risky?
While pursuing this career, my Spiritual life played a large role. I believed that if God would lead me down this path, the doors would be open. If not, I could take the hint and change directions- and I was fine with that option. I also looked to artists that I respected for their feedback. It was important to me to be encouraged by people who thrived in the same field. If I didn't ever receive that affirmation from my artistic peers, I would have pursued something else. I had to be practical about it and consider alternatives because nothing about the "starving artist" concept was appealing to me.
What do you love to do when you are not painting?
I love to spend time with my husband, read, play tennis, and enjoy the endless delicious food in Charleston!
Jessica Brilli (b. Bayshore, NY 1977) has been drawing and painting since her childhood. Working in a style that encompasses American realism and 20th century graphic design aesthetics, Brilli’s paintings reveal the beauty in everyday scenes and objects.
Inspired by Kodachrome slides and generations-old photographs gathered from yard sales and basements across America, Brilli brings a contemporary eye to subjects often overlooked or forgotten. She sees her paintings as a way of giving renewed life to images that haven’t been seen in decades. Having had no direct experience with the images, the process of painting them takes on a different dimension for Brilli; like borrowing memories and elaborating, editing, or directing stories that intersect the knowledge and assumptions of two people who are strangers to each other.
Brilli earned her BFA in painting at the University of Rhode Island, and received a certificate in graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA. Brilli’s work has been recognized in numerous publications and respected internet based venues domestically and abroad. Her paintings have been featured in solo and group shows throughout New England, and most recently in South Korea where her work was featured on the cover of Heren Magazine in celebration of the publication’s 10th anniversary exhibition.
I grew up in Maryland, just outside of DC, enjoying childhood summers swimming in lakes and at the beach and always exploring outdoors. My elegant, feminine and often abstract artwork is inspired by travels all over the world. I have lived abroad in Spain and traveled much of Europe and the Caribbean, collecting impressions and memories from each place. Currently, I reside in Brooklyn NYC with my family and am the leader of the Tuesdays Together NYC chapter, and serve as the Regional Director of the Northeast for Honeybook.
When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
I grew up doodling, coloring, imagining, dreaming, daydreaming and always wanting to make art. The making of the art was never a decision I made, it is something that has naturally just happened throughout my life. I can't stop!
When I am happy, I make art. When I am sad, I make art to clear my mind. When I am inspired, I think of making art. It's always just waiting in the back of my mind for a chance to come to fruition.
Tell us about your process and inspiration. How does each painting come to life?
I often tell people that my mind is like a camera. I see beautiful things (sunrises, sunsets, florals, and fleeting moments) and those images become stored in my brain for a later time. Then, usually I have a dream about a painting and then the next day (ideally) I paint it! It's a very crazy process, but traveling and seeing new things definitely, accelerates the creative process for me.
We are really inspired by your business sense in the arts. Tell us a little bit about how you got started selling paintings and collaborating with others.
I began selling my art at pop-up shops, small local shops, and online with an Etsy shop. I soon realized that in order to make my business effective, I was going to have to take it to the next level by taking it really seriously and dedicating much more time to it.
I was super lucky, thanks to a shift in our lives and a new job for my husband, to get to start my business full-time 2 years ago. When I started, I went 100 mph in the direction of my dream, because I had waited so long for the timing to be right. I was so excited (and still am) to wake up every day and follow my passion.
One of my fundamental business practices is to meet people in real life. I believe that as a business owner, you can leverage the power of online communication to a point, but that the REAL interactions still have to be happening over coffee, drinks, or, ideally, bagels. Instagram has really helped my business grow, but I love even more when those "IG friends" become REAL friends!
My role as the leader of a group of creatives called TuesdaysTogether (as part of The Rising Tide Society) and as a Creative Strategist for the Community Team at a start-up in San Francisco called Honeybook has been so pivotal in learning my business savvy. I love giving back to my creative community by sharing ideas, leading meetings each month, and making sure that all creatives feel welcome and able to ask others for help. I also love the challenge of brainstorming and having a unique perspective as I help contribute to helping a start-up company grow and serve new audiences. I firmly that believe if we all help one another when we can, that the creative economy can succeed more.
I am the kind of person that learns best by doing. I need the "trial-by-fire" in order to succeed. I am ok with mistakes the older I get and I appreciate the life lessons in each chapter of life.
What are some of the biggest fears and challenges that you overcame as a creative?
Fear of failure, at first. I wanted my business to work so badly and I was very fearful of it failing and being embarrassed or having to reinvent myself AGAIN.
Fear of success, next. I was worried that once it started working, I wouldn't be able to sustain my business as it grows or that I would burn out or fall out of love with it. (Note: I won't ever fall out of love, but I DID get an AMAZING intern thanks to a feature on Create Magazine!)
Currently, not feeling so fearful. I'm learning to re-channel that energy into gratitude. It's a much more productive thing for me to "worry about". I secretly love worrying. :)
How do you like to unwind? Tell us about your favorite things to do when you are not painting.
TRAVEL. If I could just be a travel blogger on the side, my business would really thrive. (not kidding)
Also, I love spending time with my family, taking walks in the park, pretending to be a tourist in NYC, getting lost and discovering new places on accident, eating delicious new foods, doing yoga, reading books.
I LOVE reading. I am currently reading like 4 books at the same time.
What advice would you give other creatives looking to take their career to the next level?
Step 1. Tell yourself that you are going to do it, even when it isn't glamorous, even when it's really hard. Resign to not giving up.
Step 2. Ask for help. Make creative friends and trust them.
Step 3. Give back. Give to others. Help others grow. In turn, you will grow.
How do you feel about your creative community? Do you like to attend art openings or workshops?
As a total extrovert, I thrive on human interaction and new experiences. I LOVE meeting new people. I love discussing new ideas with others and challenging my brain to think from new perspectives. I attend meetings, meet-ups, art shows, and any other event that I can, but not with the motive of getting people to buy my art. I think you genuinely have to love what you do in the research capacity, I love learning. And when I learn, my business thrives indirectly. I almost always attend events and forget to give out my business cards, and then I return home and my husband teases me for being such a people person that I forget to be a business person.
Hanging precariously and horizontally from red sandstone, hundreds of feet above the ground, may not seem like it would inspire the creation of beautiful oil paintings, but that is exactly what happened with Erin Hanson. After a lifetime of experimenting in different styles and mediums, it wasn’t until Hanson began rock climbing at Red Rock Canyon that her painting style was consolidated by a single inspiration and force of nature.
Erin Hanson began painting as a young girl, voraciously learning oils, acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, and life drawing from accomplished art instructors. She began commissioning paintings at age ten, and by age twelve, she was employed after school by a mural studio, learning the techniques of acrylics on the grand scale of forty-foot canvases. Two years later, a high school scholarship took her to Otis College of Art, where she immersed herself in figure drawing. Graduating high school at age sixteen and once again demonstrating that she was a child prodigy, Hanson next attended UC Berkeley, excelling further in her studies and creative development and attaining a degree in Bioengineering.
After graduating from college, Hanson entered the art trade as a professional, inspired by landscapes and vantage points only beheld by the most adventurous. Rock climbing among the brilliantly colored cliffs of Nevada and Utah, watching the seasons and the light change daily across the desert, provided endless inspiration for her work. In these beautiful surroundings, Hanson decided firmly to dedicate herself to creating one painting every week for the rest of her life. She has stuck to that decision ever since and has for the past decade been developing a unique, minimalist technique of placing impasto paint strokes without layering, which has become known as “Open-Impressionism.” As other artists began emulating her painting techniques, Hanson was credited as the pioneer and originator of this contemporary style.
Through the years, Hanson has continued to use the outdoors to inspire a huge collection of work. She visits the Colorado plateau every year, backpacking and hiking through areas such as Zion National Park, Canyon de Chelly, and Monument Valley. Other favorite haunts include Paso Robles, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Anza-Borrego desert. Erin Hanson transforms these landscapes into abstract mosaics of color and texture, her impasto application of paint lending a sculptural effect to her art. Her oil paintings stand out in a crowd, bringing a fresh new look to Western landscapes.