I create art because it is exciting and liberating. My work frequently tells a story and often has an element of humor in it. I attempt to engage the viewer in my “narration”. They may never understand my intentions, but that is OK—the point is to enjoy the experience!
Due to varied expressions and textures, my subjects are frequently animals—particularly creatures of the ocean depths. But I also have a passion for bright, beautiful landscapes, particularly sunsets. I love the energy and intensity of bold color and rarely limit my palette to just a few colors. Texture and strong forms are always present in my work.
I begin most of my paintings on glass, making a quick color “sketch” with liquid acrylic and then print my sketch on to paper or Yupo or I might begin by pouring paint onto my substrate. Years spent in printmaking and experimenting with paint in the past probably influences my desire to incorporate these methods now in my paintings. This way, I am free to explore and manipulate the “accidents” that are created.
My pastels are quite the opposite of my acrylics. Particularly after working on a series of paintings, I feel the need to "switch" modes and will work in the "opposite" medium. My acrylics reflect a very textured surface, whereas my pastels are very soft.
My work is represented at The Art Market Gallery in Knoxville, TN. I am a member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, The Knoxville Watercolor Society, Kentucky Watercolor Society, Oak Ridge Art Center, and the Catherine Lorrilard Wolfe Art Club in New York, NY.
Recent Honors and awards include: the Creative Catalyst Award at the Tennessee Newell-Henderson Annual Show; Honorable mention at The Oak Ridge Art Center Juried Show; Goodgall Memorial Award for Watercolor , CLWAC, New York; Award for Watercolor, Tennessee Watercolor Society National Juried Show, and inclusion in the Art and Cultural Alliance National Juried Competition. Purchase Award and Signature Status Award at the Tennessee Watercolor Society 34 Biennial Exhibition and Honorable mention at the Farragut Arts Council Juried Show, Kingsport Art Guild Award, Newell-Hendershot Show, Tennessee.
Fran Thie regularly exhibits in juried shows across the Southeast and also previously participated in Artsclamation! and the Knoxville Museum of Art’s event Artists on Location. While she also paints in watermedia, pastel is her specialty and is the medium featured in this exhibit. She is both self-taught and educated through classes and workshops led by prominent artists, among them Albert Handell and Richard McKinley. Her award-winning works, whether representational or abstract, always have their foundation in nature. Through intuitive use of color and texture she strives to transform an ordinary scene into a special place where both drama and serenity can coexist. Thie is a former president of the Knoxville Watercolor Society.
Gary Dagnan has been drawing and painting since childhood. Gary is a Tennessee native. He was born and grew up in the East Tennessee area. His inspiration comes from the rural landscapes of this area. "Most of my paintings are of the mountains, hills, lakes and buildings of this area. I enjoy the changing light and colors that come from the distinctly different seasons of Tennessee."
Gary is a graduate of The University of Tennessee. He has a BFA degree in Graphic Design and an MS degree in Art Education. He has been employed by The University of Tennessee for 36 years.
Gary began painting watercolors in 1968, as an art student at the University of Tennessee. Although he has painted almost exclusively in watercolor since then, Gary also enjoys painting in oils and acrylics. "I like the spontaneity and versatility of watercolor, but I am also excited about the unique qualities and the look of oil and acrylics."
Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
I am a native Californian whose interest in art began very early and continued throughout elementary school, high school and college. I graduated as an art major from Scripps College in Claremont, California. Millard Sheets was my advisor and one of my teachers.
In the early nineties, I was able to give art my full focus. My medium is transparent watercolor. I have had the opportunity to work with many outstanding artists, including Cheng Khee Chee, Lian Quon Zhen, Karen Frey, Jane Hofstetter, Arne Westerman, Don Andrews, and Alex Powers. I am a signature member of Watercolor West, California Watercolor Association, Texas Watercolor Society, and Tennessee Watercolor Society. Knoxville has been my residence since 2005.
I have entered many juried art exhibitions. My paintings have won Best of Show in the Palm Springs Desert Museum, Pleasanton Art League in California and Fountain City Art Center, the Bronze Award in the Texas Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Award in Fountain City Art Center, the Oak Ridge Art Center, and the Tennessee Watercolor Society exhibit of 2014. My painting, “White Eggplant” is in the permanent collection of the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California.
My paintings are contemporary realism. Subject matter varies. I look for strong values and exciting color. I usually work from photographs or portions of photographs I have taken. I do a full-scale sketch on newsprint to refine the composition. Then I transfer the sketch to 300 pound Fabriano Artistica watercolor paper. After this preliminary work, I develop the values and color. This is a process of many adjustments. The greatest excitement comes with the initial concept. The greatest pleasure comes when values and strong light meld to form the painting I visualized.
There is so much freedom in being able to create. The world of painting is a magical place where the looking glass is only limited by my imagination. The goal for my art is to not only reach that deeper place but to offer something to the viewer that could reach a place in them that has meaning as well.”
The landscape has always had a powerful pull on me and has shaped my sensibilities from a very early age all the way through my painting career. Recently I wanted to examine just how I related to the landscape, to challenge myself and take some risks. So I spent two months alone just painting the landscape on location, without photo references, without fellow painters, to see if I had the chops to paint in a more immediate, responsive and improvisational way. These four paintings were among the forty or so I brought home.
Biography A native of Virginia, Kathy Holland attended the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking in 1978. That summer she studied wood-engraving with Blair Hughes-Stanton at the Central School of Art and Design in London, England. From 1979 to 1981 she worked as a printmaker at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven CT. Since graduation from university she has created drawings, etchings, and paintings, as well as maintaining a full schedule of juried national and international exhibitions and solo shows. In addition she has worked as a freelance graphic artist, medical illustrator, muralist, and drawing instructor. She emigrated to Canada in 1986, became a dual Canadian-American citizen in 1991, and maintained a home and studio in Deep River, Ontario for over 11 years. During that time her work was exhibited extensively in solo shows throughout Ontario and in juried shows across the US. She moved to Oak Ridge TN in 1997, with a solo exhibition the following spring at the Townsend Gallery in the Candy Factory in Knoxville. Recent group shows include “Realism 2002” in Parkersburg WV; “Exhibition South” (2002 and 2003); “An American Experience” in Winston-Salem NC; “Terrestrial Forces” at the Florida State University Museum (2004); and the annual “Open Show” at the Oak Ridge Art Center, accepted in 11 shows since 1997. Since returning to the US she has had solo exhibitions at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery in Nashville (2004), the Oak Ridge Art Center (2002), and several times at the Art Market Gallery in Knoxville. She works primarily as a full-time studio artist, creating drawings and paintings. Presently she is an exhibiting member, board member and website manager of the Art Market Gallery in Knoxville. She also teaches drawing, painting, and life-drawing classes at the Oak Ridge Art Center and the Knoxville Museum of Art.
I am a watercolor artist inspired by the beautiful landscape around me. I am most happy painting on location or from memory. I started painting after I retired and have taken many workshops from great artists in the area and continue to learn by being a member of the Knoxville Tuesday Plein Air Painters.
I like to work on smaller paintings 11x15 and under including miniatures. A special part of my process is keeping watercolor journals of my travels and painting on location.
The name of my studio is “Small Gifts Studio”. I believe that each of us has gifts to share no matter how small we think they are. I hope by sharing my paintings with others will in
some way make a difference along the way. My painting is one way that I can honor God in his creation.
Luke Proffitt is a Maynardville, TN native that has had a fascination with art since his early childhood. While in college, he resolved to make art a career and studied abroad in the south of France. Studying under Master oil painter Gregory Pelizzari, he learned the ‘technique mixte' process that he now often employs. Since graduating, his time is spent divided between fulfilling commissions, further technical study, and attempting to contemporize traditional artistic methods in order to create a dialogue between himself and the viewer.
A painting is not about the painter, but the subject. As the artist behind the work of art, I hope the viewer is first drawn to the emotion and character depicted in the painting. After focusing on this, details — the result of time-honored oil painting techniques — are discovered. Through the careful combination of color, value and composition, a mood of reflective observation is set.
Marie Merritt draws inspiration from the rich history and heritage of her native east Tennessee and southern Appalachia and translates the beauty of the people and places into stories told onto canvas. Civil War characters come to life in her realistic portraits and the beauty of vanishing rural farmlands and vistas is preserved in her pastoral landscapes. Keeping with a theme of tradition, she uses a careful combination of transparent and opaque oil paints, applied in time-honored techniques reminiscent of the old masters, to set a mood of reflective observation. Marie attributes her talent as a gift from God.
She belongs to Oil Painters of America, Society of Decorative Painters, Tennessee Art Association and Artists United. She received the prestigious Certified Decorative Artists (CDA) in 2003 from the International Society of Decorative Painters and earned the Teacher of Decorative Arts (TDA) in 2002. Marie is a Charter Certified Instructor for Genesis Artists Colors® and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. She is a sought after teacher at international conventions and national seminars.
Her work has been featured on the cover of “The Legend and Legacy of Lee” by David Chaltas and in the Decorative Painter and AMAC. Her numerous awards include: Virginia Highlands Festival HM, MAA Award of Merit, Grainger Tomato Festival Best of Show, and RTDP Best of Show. Juried exhibitions include: Artsclamation!, Knoxville News Sentinel Gallery, Dogwood Arts Festival, Art and Culture Alliance, and Art Market Gallery. Her original oil paintings and commission portraits hang in corporate and private collections throughout the United States. Her work is available at Art Market Gallery and by appointment.
Giclée prints of Marie’s work are available from her website, www.mariemerritt.com.
Nelson Ziegler, of Sevierville, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains, is a graduate of The Art Institute of Boston and Northwestern Academy of Watercolor.
A member of the Oil Painters of America, National Watercolor Society, New England Watercolor Society, Tennessee Watercolor Society, Northshore Art Association, and the American Association of Woodturners.
He has participated in numerous juried exhibitions in New York, including Allied Artists, American Artists Professional League, Salmagundi Club, Knickerbocker Artists, National Arts Club, Hudson Valley Arts Association, as well as Adirondack National Watercolor Exhibition, Faces of America (a national watercolor portrait show), Academic Artists Association, Springfield Arts League, Springfield, MA, Guild of Boston Artists, Copley Society, Boston, MA, North Shore Arts Association, Gloucester, MA, Tennessee Watercolor Society, and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.
He has won the Gold Medal for watercolor at the American Artists Professional League, Honorable Mention-The Artist’s Magazine annual competition as well as many national and regional awards Nelson’s works are in many private and corporate collections throughout the country.
My pastel paintings are images of sunlit places I have visited. I have traveled to Italy, Bermuda, Florida, Maine, Eastern Canada, and the Southwest. Some of my work is painted plein aire, but most of the images are first composed with my camera. Later in my studio the photographs are used to create intimate glimpses of a place that caught my eye. Using pastels, sometimes combined with water media, I recreate the play of color and light within the landscape of my painting. Influenced by Impressionism, I enjoy creating a texture of color with the pastels. Layered form becomes an avenue for depth within my work. My subject matter includes landscape, architecture, gardens, and enlarged flowers. In addition, I’ve created a series of angel paintings, inspired by the Renaissance painting I studied in Italy.
In undergraduate school (University of Dayton), I received a BFA specializing in printmaking. After graduate school at Syracuse University (1972), I began what became a 34-year career of teaching art. In 1992 I decided to spend more time on my own art. I chose pastel media for practical and creative reasons. Pastel was easy to work with. I could leave the pastels out on the drawing table and simply pick up where I left off. The pastels were exciting because I enjoyed creating a texture of color with them. My first series were close ups of flowers or foliage. A fellow art guild member invited me to have a show in her gallery and my artist career began.
Landscape artist, Sandy Hoeft, uses acrylics, oils and occasionally watercolors to bring her love of nature to her paintings. She spent over 40 years in Alaska hiking remote trails and taking photos to use as reference for her art. Recently she and her husband retired to the Cumberland Plateau in beautiful Tennessee. Currently, Sandy is working on a series of old barns and buildings, old vehicles and scenic farm lands inspired by her frequent road trips on small country roads. With her paintings she hopes to relay a feeling of nostalgia for the old and sometimes abandoned farms and their equipment.
Sandy spent 14 years as an EMT in Alaska and painted in her kitchen at night for many years. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Mat-Su College, University of Alaska and is close to earning a BA in fine art. Sandy’s enthusiasm for art led her to serve as President of the Art Club for Mat-Su College. She has taken workshops from Nancy Stonington, Sharon Freeman and Vladimir Zhikhartsev. Sandy feels that she learns something useful every time she gets out her paints and brushes and enjoys working on commissions that sometimes push her out of her comfort zone. She has had commissions for people’s pets, dragonflies, burning buildings, firemen, and jumping fish but always returns to the landscapes that speak to her heart.
Suzanne’s sensibilities as an artist are revealed through a vivid color palette and dynamic energy. Connecting physically and psychologically to the spirit of the land, the art represents a metaphor for her interior landscape.
“Understanding one’s emotions, character and passions increases the flow of energy to the human heart and spirit.”
Suzanne Jack is a Columbus, OH native, a former OSU graduate, mother of 2, former high school art instructor and currently pursuing a professional career in portrait and landscape painting.
A Knoxvillian for over 30 years, Suzanne has won regional and national awards including the 1st Place National Award by The Pastel Journal and was published in its spring edition. She has received The National Award of Excellence in Painting by the National Art Education Association. Recently, “Water Gems” was published in “Art Journey: Abstract Painting, a Celebration of Contemporary Art” by Jamie Markle.
She has had solo exhibitions at Vanderbilt University Club and the Ohio State Faculty Club, The Renaissance Center, Dickson, TN and Art In The Airport, Nashville, TN. Suzanne’s art has been exhibited in The Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN; Blue Spiral, Asheville, NC; Art Access, Bexley, OH; and is currently showing at The Art Market Gallery, Knoxville, TN.
Hyatt, TVA, Opryland, Home Federal Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Corporate Interiors and private collectors have purchased her work.
After earning a Master’s Degree from The University of Tennessee, Suzanne has continued to study at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, TN and with two internationally acclaimed portrait artists.
- Knoxville Museum of Art
- Art and Cultural Alliance of Knoxville, TN
- Tennessee Arts League
- Portrait Society of America
- Fountain City Art Center, Knoxville, TN