We’re excited to introduce you to our many diverse and talented artists! Click on their name or photo to view their full profile on StoriesToArt.com.
I am an African American quilter with 30 years of art quilt making experience. I grew up in upstate New York, and attended college in New Hampshire. Prior to working full time as an artist, I worked for the US Foreign Service, went to law school, and practiced law. My husband and I have 2 sons and 2 granddaughters.
My etchings depict diverse architectural imagery at a cetain moment or time of day. In exploring each image using the intaglio techniques of line etching, aquatint and soft ground, I take a journey from idea to final print.
I believe it is my responsibility as an artist to keep telling stories of our histories. I am obligated to observe the word around me and make some sense of it through visual means. Successfully doing this gives meaning to the social concerns and heightens awareness in each of us.
More than anything, I love medium and process. The more complicated the medium, the more challenging it is to create an object, and the more interested I am. Glass offers endless methods of application, endless variation. Stained glass, however, has not been explored much. There is a lot of uncharted territory in stained glass and that I’m very much interested in exploring.
My oil paintings are abstract. The image evolve in layers. I move a fluid mix of oil paint, varnish, and turpentine over the canvas and brushwork in layers. In creating them, I continue to explore a technique I discovered many years ago that is analogous to the geological processes of sedimentation and erosion that shape the earth. I prepare my oils in a liquid form, each color in a separate container.
One by one, I pour them on the horizontal canvas, moving it gently and carefully to direct the flow of the paint and control the blending of the colors. Due to the need for the paint to dry before I add the next layer, I work on several paintings at the same time. Layers are added and sometimes partially effaced, over and over, as often as is necessary for the piece to emerge in an incarnation that compels me to stop. In this way, the painting reveals itself over time, making its own sense, discovering its own soul.
My background is varied by design, which explains somewhat my varied use of materials and themes. I have degrees in both science and fine art and I have worked in both fields. Recently I have retired from over 30 years working in Emergency Medicine as a PA. My immediate plans are to put in more hours at my studio and, as the coach of the Fourth Grade Girls Volleyball team, to win a few games. I do find the latter much tougher than the former.
As a child, my German mother read me and my sisters the original Grimms fairy tales, un-Disnified, in all their wildness and glory. My dolls draw on that childhood experience of magic as well as fairy tales and myths from India, Scandinavia and Russia.
In my recent work, I am particularly aware of the demands of motherhood, preservation of memory, and repetitious patterns of thought and behavior. Consistent in my work throughout the past number of years are my children’s mark making, textile design, Biblical text and stories, and a deep rooted passion for painting, drawing, and making. My work often shifts between recognizable imagery and abstraction; between concrete ideas and references to intuitive ways of thinking and making.
It’s a calling. I make prints from photographs of women of the past. They felt joy, grief, fury, terror, love. Research reveals who they were, what this moment was; some were famous, many anonymous. Most are in cemeteries. My stone muses; I’d photographed live models; now I photograph statues. They don’t move when asked, so I must find the vantage that best reveals them. Often several combine for best views, even as sculpture assembles in our minds.
Painting gifts me with a joyous sense of presence I’ve yet to achieve otherwise. So, though I hope to elicit emotional responses to my work, I also paint because it rekindles my soul. I’ve been influenced by the masters Van Gogh, Rothko and Picasso as well as contemporary artists such as Susan Rothenberg and Greg Osterhaus.
When I’m shooting, I have no particular plan. I could end up being fascinated by patterns in tree bark or locomotives in a rail yard. I take photos of what strikes my eye at any given moment.
Poetry lets you break language down to its simplest pieces, then pick and choose among them to construct a package for your ideas and themes. I tend to write for teachers and children – partly a side effect of being an elementary school teacher – though I do write for all audiences as well. I love working on interesting requests.
My love of creating has been a lifelong passion. The always-changing fashion industry is full of ideas that are exciting to me. My focus is jewelry and in the last five years knitting sweaters.
I have been writing songs since I got my first guitar in middle school. When my first child was born, my songwriting efforts morphed into children’s music. Now, I am often creating songs with or for the children and adults I work with. I believe strongly in the power of music to teach, nurture, and inspire!
I look at my pieces as individual time capsules: vessels containing meaning and memories. Nostalgia, place, interaction, and ritual are all facets I incorporate within the work. Each sculpture is carefully planned but I allow the material to direct me while I am working . I make objects that to me are the “everyday extraordinary.” These are moments with objects we tend to overlook which shape us and make us, moments I am passionate about making small-scale monuments for.
The images represented in my tapestries begin with observations of my garden. I combine my photographs with drawings to create dream like images. The image of the hand in each tapestry represents the presence of the viewer. The tapestries emphasize the textures, colors, patterns and light found at different times of day in the garden. The tapestry as a textile object has for centuries been used functionally and decoratively, creating a sense of beauty, warmth, and storytelling.
I make figurative clay sculpture that is colorful and often whimsical, expressing the Spirit in the humans, birds and animals depicted. It felt so natural to incorporate these creatures as my work evolved from vessel and function-related to that which is more about story.
A musician from Baltimore, MD, USA. I also play in a band called Arbouretum.
Having spent my first 15 years in Japan as a child of missionaries, I find myself drawn to images and art reflecting Japanese ideals.
My “Window” series is about interior and exterior, the safety of being unexposed or hidden and the risk of being exposed and vulnerable. My art is an exploration of my experience of trying to find a place of belonging.
My work revolves largely around the strength of the human spirit and the necessary balancing act between love and pain, acceptance and uncertainty. Inspiration springs from anxiety, and resolves it. Life and work is a constant figuring-out of the difficult, the ugly, the painful, and a challenging effort to transform the dark into light. Music and film are an emotional alchemy of sorts, using the immediate power of moving imagery and sound to rework and carry internal struggles into the light.
With the combination of realistic rendering and abstraction of the figure and background, I decipher an individual’s characteristics and create a physiological portrait. Working with people from my own life as subject matter allows me to heighten the specifics of their charm and present their personalities as I experience them.
My mission is “to become a positive, everlasting influence in the world through artistic expression, guided by divine principles and faith.”
I have been working in clay for the last fifteen years, but have only been working professionally for the last three. In that time, I have had the time to learn and better explore the medium, and what it can do. I love how one can manipulate the clay particles into forms that stand on their own. I have been around clay all my life, basically growing up in a clay studio. Having been around this my whole life, and having a parent that also works in clay, has taught me so much.
I fell in love with the warmth and beauty of natural wood while earning my BFA (1975) and have built fine furniture ever since – always with playful designs, carving and inlaid features. After teaching for 2+ decades, my work became geared toward the ‘young at heart.’ Hidden compartments, relief-carved and painted panels, mechanical devices, all reach for a unique, interactive elegance that hopefully encourages others to step into their own creativity.
The inspiration for my art comes from life – an encounter, a moment captured or a glimpse of something undefined. I love to translate these things into created works that speak to the heart of a viewer.
Over the past few years, I’ve used a variety of media and subject matter to play with the figure through elements of transparency and abstraction. I wanted to create new compositional challenges for myself with these works but also retain the familiarity of the media I’m most comfortable using, therefore creating a balance between explorative, intimidating ideas and a confident hand. My roots stem from traditional art and working representationally, and I still love to create that kind of work.
Throughout history, practices to enhance and modify the human body have been exploited all over the world. We live in an evolving age of self-obsession where cosmetic surgery is considered an acceptable and casual vehicle for achieving cultural ideals of beauty. Aspiring to be beautiful has become such a paramount concern that we have turned to dangerous and sometimes life threatening procedures to postpone the natural process of aging or to drastically modify our physical appearance in an attempt to make our bodies more aesthetically pleasing. My objects are intended to urge the viewer to reflect upon the superficiality of cosmetic surgery.
I’ve been running from the hell hound of song for twenty five years now – nipping at my heels, demanding more; if I don’t put pen to paper, then I dare not imagine what may happen… My process consists of internalizing the human experience, molding it into a story, then matching each story to a melody that complements it. I’m inspired by my writing partner, Thomas Gunn, to create art that speaks to the beauty of the communal human experience: the joy, the pain, the struggle, the love.
My projects are varied in content and style from images of Egypt to collages of mental illness. I am interested in beauty often overlooked and the story in the everyday. That moment we almost don’t notice in life is what I try to capture. The corner store we drive past, its colors a rainbow. The way our nearly grown child still sits close while watching TV. The rapturous glow of the afternoon sun coming through the kitchen window. Those quiet stories can be the most wondrous and meaningful.
The process of design behind one of my works may be described as glimpsing some striking image that inspired me to go in some direction. Might be a specific, like a moment in time (my works ‘Originating’ and ‘Flowing’ embody this) or a rough barked, beautiful tree (‘Ironbark’) or a light effect (‘Second Balcony’, the two ‘Bay Bridge Lights’); dark lighting, underwater mood (‘Benthos’, Darkness Visible’).
I explore female beauty through the filter of my childhood in repressive Tehran, Iran, where as a boy I sketched female figures from contraband magazines. In this series, I portray empty gazes and whitened faces of women. I seek to reduce the effects of cultural dictates about beauty and to highlight the essential, timeless qualities of my subjects. My portraits reflect a perspective about beauty that was formed by the restrictive circumstances of my youth. These circumstances are a key element of my identity as an artist.
Color moves me, and at once, arrests me — a sunny lemon on a cool blue tabletop; a punch of pink alongside a gray vase; a patch of grass jumping from the purple shadows. These things compel me to stop, to take notice. I paint to recapture these moments.
I write songs about anything & everything.
As a student of fine art I have learned that I love all things that contain their own beauty — from a pile of deadwood fallen from an old tree on a Hawaiian farm, to a field of gently rolling hills each with their own abstract coloring. My love of fine art has taught me to take notice of the extraordinary in the everyday settings of life, and the moment I discover this beauty is such a gift to witness. It is these very treasures I have witnessed that I try to share with others through my art.
My collage-based work re-contextualizes found and personal images to form narratives reminiscent of life expectations, outcomes, and potential. I gather reference materials from contemporary and vintage sources and am interested in how our exposure to these media images affects our perception of our own lives. I strive to keep the work open to interpretation while wrapped in nostalgia, curiosity, and desire, among other emotions.
Drawing is my discipline of choice for its accessibility. I enjoy taking something as simple as a pencil and creating something complex and stimulating. I find inspiration for my work in everyday life and the things that I observe. I enjoy capturing the emotion, nuance, and nostalgia in the various intimate moments we experience in our daily lives with, at times, a touch of humor, irreverence, or quirkiness that I hope brings to mind a fond memory or the inspiration to create on.
Our pieces have a story, and we hope they’ll become a part of yours. We are Ben and Kate Gatski, self-taught artists who love using simple tools to make handmade, authentic pieces of art. We live and work on a hilltop in rural Pennsylvania. There, we handcraft sculpture and furniture with reclaimed materials (weathered steel and barn wood) and raise our three children. We established Gatski Metal in 2003.
Upon close inspection, both construction and deconstruction of the drawing and painting processes are evident in the multiple layers of Julie’s work. Revealed here is a vulnerability, alternating between cognitive and intuitive mindsets. Capturing the heart of the piece, images take on an ethereal appearance with the often transparent figures, loosely rendered landscapes, and expressive clouds that encapsulate the underlying tone.
My mission as an artist is to capture the beauty of nature and translate it through my paintings to those who see them.
The success of my practice thrives on the interaction with new communities and environments. Through a careful investigative method of gathering regional materials, native plants, local stories, architectural landmarks and historic research I have focused on the creation of site-generated works of art that illuminate the unobserved in our day to day surroundings and the challenges facing our environment.
Art, like music, is a universal language. It creates bonds between people, and is a source of joy and contemplation for artist and viewer alike.
I can’t think of a better way to express what I strive to do than to use the words of Henri Cartier-Bresson –
“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all the faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
Working initially in oils and pastels, the serendipitous discovery of a nineteenth century American rug making tool set me off on a new path. Using hand dyed wool yarn on monks cloth backing, I create an eclectic variety of rugs, both for the floor and the wall. I have no self-conscious “message” that I apply to my designs, just undertake those that appeal to my color sense.
My work is primarily mixed media still life and portraiture. The subjects are the objects and people that are around me everyday. The work has a story to tell, rather than a statement to make. The representations are intentionally manipulated not only to emphasize line and fractal shape, but also to allow the materials to determine the composition of the piece. The process of fitting together the different elements is my response to a question about how everything is a part of the whole.
In this age of anonymous technology, handmade jewelry adds an individual and creative approach to the art of adornment. I work with gemstones, pearls, and sea glass to enhance their inherent beauty with sterling silver and 14k gold settings. In appreciation of the natural world that inspires me, I donate 2% of my profits to The Nature Conservancy to help preserve and restore our most valuable resources.
I love and admire all creation and its many complexities and forms. I love to reproduce what my eyes observe in nature, and with the human form. I am fascinated by all of the things around me, especially animals and people. My goal continues to be capturing as closely as I can the likeness and personality of the subjects, and to convey those elements in my paintings.
As an artist I am drawn to themes of repetition and evidence of change. I think it must have been the repetitive structure of textiles that lead me to Fiber Art 30 years ago. The Japanese bound-resist dying technique called shibori allowed me to create repetitive patterns and textures while leaving clues as to what was once there. Turning that dyed cloth into scarves and apparel was even more appealing as it allows a person to literally wrap themselves in those patterns and textures.
Each of us sees life through our own web of experiences, passions and inclinations. As an artist I try to make sense of the world through story, practice and my hands. I tap into the swirling creative energy of the world, share it and encourage the creativity of others for the perspective and understanding it can bring to life.
Being an emotional artist, I like to create what moves me. I use an art software program on a Wacom tablet along with acrylics and acrylic resin to create softness and bright texture to my work.
My paintings capture moments in time, I use photographs to help me capture those moments. The world is in a constant state of flux and is made of moments in time, and I like to bring out and capture their joy and preserve these memories though my art. My influences are everything I see, feel and experience.
As a songwriter, I sometimes get tired of my own voice. Over the years I have enjoyed adapting anonymous rhymes, the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, Francois Villon and others to tunes of my own composition. The opportunity to work with the ideas of others can give rise to inspired music. This is the place to begin to allow that to happen.