Here you find most of the artists of the art on the tapestries.
Click on the names to read a short biography of the artist. Sally Bookman | Paul Brent | Ruth Burr | Sidonie Caron | Erin Dertner | Sharon Engel | Zoya Gorelik | Judy Howard | Phillip Jaeger | Myla Keller | L. Galen Larson | Linda Lee | Sue McNary | Ellie Marshall | Jessel Miller
Carolyn Oltman | Jann Pollard | Grace Charlotte Schlesier | Mikki Senkarik | John St. John | Beverly Wilson | Judy Wise | Paul Youngman
Sally Bookman was born in London, England and lived there until the age of fourteen, when she moved to Portugal for a couple of years with her parents. She then returned to England and took up painting, studying art basics and oil techniques at St. Martin’s School of Art and Design. At nineteen, she gave up art and moved to Australia to find the sun, working in various jobs. Later, she followed the sun to California where she resumed her formal education. She went on to do advanced studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and later earned a Master’s and a Doctorate Degree in Cultural Anthropology. However, this was not really what she wanted to do. She wanted a more direct, everyday hands-on experience with interesting people, more personal involvement.
After marriage and a brief period of time in the Mid-West, her husband and she returned to California where they began a family. . . and found a new career in real estate and enjoyed it immensely for 12 years.
In 1986 she decided that she wanted to return to painting as much as time allowed, and tried a few courses at a local college just to get back into art. She became more enthusiastic with the discovery of watercolors! During the following years, she had the good fortune to come to know and study with several nationally renowned watercolor artists.
With a whole new world opening up to her, she was taken by the variety of effects that could be produced with watercolors. Soon, she was exhibiting at outdoor art festivals, galleries, and at state and national watercolor exhibitions. She was now able to express to others what she sees, experiences, and finds interesting in life.
She is now a Signature Member of the Society of Western Artists. She has been published in several publications by Rockport Press, has an image hanging in the boardroom of the World Trade Center, and had one of her paintings featured in the 1994 calendar, Women Artists in America.
But what is most satisfying is knowing that ordinary people love and appreciate her work. Often, as they view it, she sees in their faces a recollection of some happy memory, or the sweep of some emotion brought on by the play of colors, and she realizes that she brings some measure of joy into their lives. Personal involvement with people. . . through art. . . is what her life is really all about.
Paul Brent was raised in Southern California and received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1969 he has lived in Florida, and in 1983 he was elected into the membership of the National Watercolor Society. He was the seventh artist from Florida to be so honored by the National Watercolor Society. Paul is also an active member of the Southern Watercolor Society and a former board member of the Florida Arts Council
Paul Brent’s work is a reflection and reinterpretation of the environment. At ease with the multiple techniques of watercolor, his work stylistically blends traditional realism with the contemporary impact of expression and abstraction.
“I hope to increase people’s awareness of the fragile nature of our environment. Without preservation, this beauty and all of its benefits can be lost.”
Numerous products bearing his images are currently on the market, including sheet designs manufactured by Springs Industries, table top accessories by Pimpernel, hand-loom tapestries by Mere Cie, and other designs for home accessories.
“My greatest pleasure is to be able to share the wonder of a special place or moment, through my paintings. Any talent I possess is a gift from God, for which I am very grateful.” Full of peace, joy, and adventure, Ruth Basler Burr’s paintings mirror the person.
As a professional artist, Ruth has been featured as “Artist of the Month” at the Bullocks showrooms for ten years. With over 55 solo shows to her credit, she has sold in excess of 2,400 paintings to private and corporate collectors all over the world. The TransAmerica Corporation commissioned her to paint 72 scenes of the West for their offices. Other corporate collectors include: Glendale Federal Bank, The Robinson Development Co. of Newport; Weyerhouser Corp. of Washington, Exclamations of San Francisco, The Headington Companies of Dallas; Ingham Coates and Payne of Pasadena; and many professional offices.
She received her training at UCLA, Glendale and Pierce Colleges, and studied with more than 50 of the world’s leading artists. As a teacher of painting, she has devoted 12 years sharing her knowledge, skill and inspiration to over 600 students, some of whom are today’s highly regarded artists. Ruth has taught in the adult division of the Los Angeles city schools, Pasadena City College and Brand Art Center in Glendale.
Ruth has been honored as “Artist of the Year, 1992” in Buena Park and is one of four artists to be featured in the 1992 Los Angeles County Fair
Sidonie Caron arrived in the Pacific Northwest from her native England in 1965. She had received her art training at St. Martins School of Art and Central School of Arts & Crafts, both in London. There she developed the impressionist style which characterizes many of her works. In the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, she has found an almost unlimited variety of subject matter in which to express her love of the region. Sidonie is represented in galleries in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco, and her works have found homes in numerous public and private collections across the United States. In addition, she has several paintings in the collections of the “Percent for Public Art” programs of Oregon and Washington. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
Sidonie has given Mère Cie permission to reproduce, in tapestry form, her designs Summer Garden, On Golden Pond (Scarlet Lake), Lupins, Sisters Country-Summer, Here We Go Loopy Loo (Salvia), Arboretum (Scarlet Olive Grove), Blooming Poppies in Olive Grove (Olive Grove), and Lake Shore.
“I call myself an escape artist” says Erin Dertner with a sweet smile and a definite twinkle in her eyes. “My paintings tend to idealize reality, and I think people relate strongly to them because they provide a break from the intensities of life”.
“As strong as the subject matter is, her technique is stronger,” say Tomas, Erin’s husband, business partner and biggest fan. “Her brilliant colors and masterly portrayal of light give her work a vibrancy, an aliveness. Your eye can return again and again to her pictures and never grow tired of them.”
A fourth generation Californian born in San Jose in 1957, Erin was fortunate enough to grow up in an atmosphere that nourished her gift and way of seeing. Erin often works on location, capturing the feeling and mood of a place. An avid photographer, she relies on photos to provide details, then completes the piece in her home studio.
It’s an atmosphere of joyous activity around Erin’s house, always an art project on the easel. “I try to grab moments of inspiration as they appear in the midst of my everyday schedule. Our family is very active and life keeps us so busy that sometimes I wonder if I’m taking enough time to stop and appreciate the small fragments of beauty around me. Yet not a day goes by that something doesn’t turn my head. Usually something simple, like the passage of sunlight through the lace curtains of my kitchen window, or the way the late afternoon sun sets the Cypress trees aglow.”
“My endeavor then, is to try to capture those images in a tangible way through the ability God has given me and pass them on to you; to share my inspirations, and hope they speak to your heart as they have to mine.” Erin and her family currently live on the beautiful Mendocino coast of Northern California.
“A perfect day is to work in the garden in the morning and then to spend the rest of the day painting. I strive for strong effects of light and color. Focusing the viewer’s attention on a pleasing setting, I make them a participant rather than an observer.”
Sharon Engel’s work is influenced by her travels to gardens and seashores across the United States, Europe and Hawaii. She garners great inspiration from the large garden that surrounds her home with clouds of blooms, arches covered with roses, singing fountains and benches set among fragrant flowers and herbs.
Sharon’s work is represented in both private and corporate collections across the United States and in Europe and Japan. Her paintings are reproduced on Carol Smith greeting cards, and one of her pieces was featured on the cover of the 1988 Artists of Oregon calendar.
Zyamina (Zoya) Gorelik is an accomplished printmaker,illustrator, and designer living in New York City. She has had various shows and installations in NY, NJ, & DC: such as “Conversations” at the Henry Street Settlement, NYC and “Art-o-Matic”, DC. Her illustrations include character development and rendering in several different media. Here most recent work includes: “Building Bridges” interactive exhibit for Explore-It-ALL Science Center in Maryland, “Mexico’s Flora And Fauna” a mural for Capital Children’s Museum in DC, and “Dinosaurs of the District of Columbia” for the Dinosaur Fund in DC. Presently Ms. Gorelik is working on an ongoing series of print scrolls called “Identity”.
Judy Howard began her art education at Los Angeles’ Chionard Art Institute’s summer session in 1955, received her Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University in 1958, and her Master of Fine Arts from Southern Oregon State College in 1973. From 1975 to 1979, she participated in Millard Sheets’ summer watercolor institutes. Her watercolors have been shown in numerous group and one-person shows throughout Oregon and Northern California. In 1967, one of her works was chosen to represent Oregon in the exhibit titled “Salon of the Fifty States”, shown at Duncan Galleries, New York City and Paris, France. In 1975, she was chosen Oregon Artist of the Year and in 1983 was appointed as a commissioner to The Oregon Arts Commission by the Governor, a position she continues to hold.
From 1963 through 1979, Judy taught art at the university level and in the public schools, working with students of all ages. She has produced a video in which she shares her watercolor techniques and her love of painting with anyone who is interested, whether they are a beginner or at an intermediate level. Judy’s watercolors are in collections throughout the U.S. and reproductions of her work are distributed internationally. In 1979, she opened Hanson-Howard Galleries in Ashland, Oregon. The Gallery, which she still co-owns, has become a prestigious showcase for West Coast artists. Once each year, the Gallery features Judy’s work in a one-person show.
Phillip Jaeger has always been a maverick; he is a man not afraid to explore all the possibilities that life and art have to offer. It is this iconoclastic approach to living that makes Jaeger’s work profoundly memorable.
Born in Louisville, KY in 1948 to a career army officer, the artist lived a somewhat nomadic existence in his early years. Between 1966 and 1968 he attended Florida State University, majoring in foreign affairs. From 1968 to 1970 he attended the Wharton School, working his way through as an Over the Counter Trader. After migrating to the West Coast, Jaeger earned a degree in American Studies from CSU Fullerton, and also a teaching credential. He subsequently entered Pepperdine University where he was awarded a law degree.
It didn’t take Jaeger long to become disillusioned with the world of law. “I suppose that I went to law school for the purpose of self-validation,” confides the artist, “but I felt completely hidebound by the creative limitations encountered there.”
Jaeger’s lifelong passion for collecting art soon led him to consider the possibility of making art. In 1982, he rented a studio to see whether his creative impulses could be productively harnessed. “That was many years ago, I have never looked back.”
Although Jaeger learned drafting skills in the early 1960’s under the tutelage of famed landscape architect Edward Durrell Stone Jr., he is basically self-taught. This lack of formal art training has proven to be a benefit, since he is not bound by the rules of color theory, perspective and two-dimensional design; “The idea of rendering a sky of green or oceans of peachy pink, has never given me trouble, it is the overall image that holds my attention, not the components.”
“I am very fortunate” states the artist, “to be doing something I absolutely love doing; creating images which stimulate the senses of the viewer”. Jaeger’s work has indeed stimulated the senses of private and corporate collectors alike, including ATT, IBM, American Express, NBC Studios, Hughes and Boeing Aircraft.
For Myla Keller, every aspect of her individual character has come to play a role in the creation of her art. Her independent childhood, love of open spaces, sense of adventure, strong family life and sense of order are all reflected in canvases that speak with confidence, optimism and, inevitably, hope.
Myla grew up in the small towns that dot the Sweet Grass Hills along the Montana/Canada border. She found serenity in the wide, open spaces of the Sweet Grass Hills, a sense of freedom that today compels her art. “I could draw in grade school, but it wasn’t encouraged. My efforts didn’t conform to the community’s narrow perceptions of “art”. After being discounted by a teacher in the eighth grade, I gave up drawing. I was 19 before I even dabbled at it again.”
She attended Western Oregon State College from 1969-1972 for formal training. “I wanted to find out how much I knew and to have my work evaluated”
“I was 42 before I came into my own as an artist. Because of the environment in which I grew up, I never really got to be a child. I accepted adult responsibilities very young. It wasn’t”t until I discovered the child in me and gave myself permission to explore, to be free, that I began to bloom as an artist. Now there’s no stopping me.”
L. Galen Larson grew up surrounded by flowers on a dahlia farm north of Lynden, Washington. After graduating from Western Washington University and traveling for a year, he began his career as a graphic designer in Houston, Texas. Since returning to the Northwest in 1979, Larson had owned and operated Galen Design Association in Mount Vernon, serving a wide variety of clients from agricultural, industrial to high-tech interests. His work continues to receive national and regional awards for design excellence and has been published internationally.
In 1986, he established the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Poster Series. He designed and produced its first poster, but is perhaps best known for his Tulip Poster Trilogy Series (1990/1992) . Larson has also produced limited edition contemporary botanical prints as well. Further, his floral illustrations have been Published by Hallmark Cards and Sunrise Greeting Cards.
Larson states, “Flowers are something that we can take for granted or they can be seen as a symbol of hope for us and a gift from a Creator that loves us.”
Linda Lee Kinman was born in central Oregon where she lives today with her husband and children on their two acre rural homestead in the foothills of the Cascades. She has been a full time artist for ten years and paints forty to sixty hours a week.
She specializes in two main areas of subject matter. First, the beautiful Oregon and California coastlines with their towering giant redwoods and delicate spring flowers near the ocean beaches. And second, the California and Arizona deserts in the springtime when the colorful and fragrant array of wildflowers can be enjoyed. She likes to spend the early spring months in these areas both painting and researching her subject matter.
First Place “Best of Oils” has been awarded to Linda on numerous occasions in the Oregon Trail National Western Art Show in both Portland and Eugene, Oregon. She has also received that same award at the Gene Autry Western Art Show in Palm Springs, California. The latest of which Mrs. Autry purchased for her own private collection.
It is Linda’s expressed desire that her work bring many years of enjoyment and pleasure to all who have them. Also that they will be a constant reminder of the great natural beauty we all have to freely enjoy.
Sue Tushingham-McNary is a familiar name to art collectors who have discovered the tranquillity, warmth and sensitivity of her work. She has become one of Southern California’s most widely collected and respected artists. Hundreds of her pieces sail the seas worldwide in the wardrooms, captain’s and admiral’s cabins, and dining facilities of navy ships. Corporate headquarters, hotels, restaurants, banks, and hospitals have added Sue’s work to their collections. Many of her originals are included in the collections of several cities, as well as the National Archives in Washington DC.
Sue has painted professionally since 1965. She began formal art training in Collingswood, NJ and graduated with an art degree from Columbia College in Columbia, MO. After several years of studying with respected artists both in the United States and abroad, she spent a year of intensive training at Michigan State University and established a solid artistic reputation during three years in New York.
In 1972, Sue moved to San Diego where she served four years on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Art Institute and was appointed to a five year term on the San Diego County Arts Council.
In 1983, she opened the Sue Tushingham-McNary Art Gallery in the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, CA. She continues to show her work in art shows in the United States and Japan.
Sue’s work reflects a special merger of mature artistic talent and technical skill. With her sensitive perceptions, she gives us a permanent record of beauty and worth that endures.
Ellie Marshall grew up on the East Coast studying at Douglas College, as well as attending The Arts Students League in New York City. She studied at that time with Ivan Olinsky and Stanley Turnbull. While in England, she studied with Mr. Spencer Ford.
More recently she has lived on the West Coast and has studied with Seigel Bongart and Perry Acker. Ms. Marshall is a former member of Westwood Art Association and the Pacific Palisades Art Association. As a member, she had many one woman art shows. In the Napa and Mendocino areas, she has been the recipient of several awards. She also taught children’s art in the schools. Her paintings are in private collections throughout the United States, England and France. Her work is in both water colors and oils. Most of the paintings are executed on location to capture the full emotions and color of the moment.
Jessel Miller was born in a small town in northern Ontario, Canada in 1949. Her father was a country doctor/artist and Mom was a festive singer, poet and entertainer in the family. Jessel was an extremely shy and withdrawn child (though in meeting her now, you would never imagine this open, smiling spirit was ever shy).
Jessel moved to Oakland, California in 1971 after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Fine Art and a minor in Museum Directorship and English. For many years she struggled in the art world. Graphics and fashion design were her bread and butter, yet she held her first love close to her heart and weathered great odds to make in in the fine art arena.
Her first big break came in 1980 with a one person show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Jessel had focused on faces for many years and this exhibition was entitled “Bay Area Personalities”. Maya Angelou, Herb Caen, Louise Cavis, Melvin Belli and Diane Feinstein were just a few of the 25 personalities she painted for an exquisite show of watercolor portraits.
Napa had always reminded Jessel of her small town roots, so in 1984 she picked up her life and opened the Jessel Gallery in Napa, California. It began with 300 square feet and 30 artists and 15 years later, the gallery is 9000 square feet and 300 artists strong.
Jessel has just completed her third children’s book, which is part of a Trilogy entitled “Mustard”. The heart and soul of these books reflects her childhood and the series is filled with lessons of love and kindness. A recent goal is to have her books on the Oprah Book Club. Her dream is to carry the great treasures she has received from her fortunate upbringing, out into the world through her writing and art.
Northwest artist Carolyn Oltman was born in Seattle, Washington in 1948. In the early 1950’s, her family moved to Bellingham, where she has chosen to remain. Artistically inclined since early childhood, Carolyn pursued a career in art, receiving her B.A. in Art Education from Western Washington University in 1971.
From her studio in her home, Carolyn produces her watercolors, acrylics, and paper sculpture. Her love of the Northwest is revealed through her subtle use of color and design. Carolyn’s paintings and sculptures seem to embody the softness of a Bellingham spring. Her work is exhibited in galleries along the Washington and Oregon coasts, and in private collections in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to her artwork, Carolyn also serves on the Bellingham Municipal Arts Commission and Co-owns and manages Hamanns Art Gallery, where some of her works and those of other Northwest artists are on display.
Jann loves to paint with lots of cheerful color in an Impressionistic style with her favorite subject matter being that of old world architecture, landscapes, and flowers. Frequent visits to Europe enable her to capture the feeling and sense of the subjects she paints.
She has exhibited her paintings in numbers juries shows, winning many awards, and has had several One-person Shows. Jann has studied art since childhood, including attending many watercolor workshops throughout the country. The artists is associated with several watercolor societies and is a professional member of the American Institute of Interior Designers. It was the study of architecture in college that helped to develop her love of old world buildings and street scents.
Her work is represented at the Gallery in Burlingame, California and at The Cottage Gallery in Carmel, California.
Born in Lynbrook, New York, she first began exhibiting in 1987 at the Ariel Gallery in Soho, NY. Since then, Ms. Schlesier has exhibited with Visions Gallery in Carmel, CA; Renoir Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ; Laura Larkin Gallery & Viktor Galleries in Del Mar and La Jolla, CA; and many others. She has been included in over 60 major gallery and museum exhibits including the Jacob Javits Convention Center, National & Regional Exhibitions for Oil Painters of America and many others as well.
Schlesier has been selected a signature/artist member of the following organizations: Oil Painters of America, California Art Club, Laguna Plein Air Painters, Professional Plein Air Painters, American Artists Professional League, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, National League of American Pen Woman and Women in the Arts. Schlesier has recently accepted the position of Second Vice Chairman for the California Art Club/San Diego Regional. Her biographies have been included in the Encyclopedia of Living Artists and Artists of California, Hometown Heroes, The Artist Magazine (July ’98) Art of the American West published by Rockport Publishers in March of ’99, and the Nations Register’s Who’s Who.
Having studied under the tutelage of teachers at the Art Students League and Scottsdale Artists School such as Joseph Mendez, Joyce Pike, Joe Abbrecia, Frank Jenco, David Laffel, and other; Schlesier continues to hone her skills. Ms. Schlesier makes sojourns exclusively to paint in the Sierras and Deserts of the Southwest each spring and fall. Schlesier has given workshops in Plein Air painting, studio painting and tying the two together.
Mikki Senkarik, in her late 30’s has jettisoned to the very top in the highly competitive field of Medical Illustration. In less than 15 years she has gone from doing a few sketches and layouts to illustrating over 45 major medical books. She was awarded the “Illustrated Medical Book Award of Excellence” on five different books in the past eight years by her peers.
Senkarik’s eyes sparkle as she says, “I’ve been an artist all of my life, actually I began drawing when I was only five. My mother gave me drawing pads and pencils instead of “Crayolas” and coloring books. I was given objects to draw, not line drawings to color within”.
The strength of Senkarik’s work is no mystery. She has a wonderful foundations. A Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science Degree in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia.
Since starting to exhibit original oils in 1989, the demand has been extremely strong, resulting in her having many exhibitions and several one artist gallery exhibits. She is represented by galleries in: Florida, Arizona, Texas, California, Hawaii, Costa Rica and London. Mikki is also the exclusive artist for a national Equine Tee Shirt Company – “Flying Horse Studio”.
John St. John was born in 1911 in Oak Park, Illinois, graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1935. Taking up painting as a pastime, he quickly mastered the techniques of watercolor and oil painting while training under a number of teachers. By the 1950’s after studying at the Ringling School of Arts, Florida, he traveled to Mexico and worked with Jose Gutierrez in vinyl and fresco mural painting at the Mexico City College.
After returning to the United States, St. John became the pioneer in exterior mural painting, being commissioned by the city of Coral Gables, Florida to paint the first exterior monumental mural on a public building in the United States, entitled, “Epochs of Florida History”. After a few years of mural painting, St. John moved to Puerto Rico where he spent 12 years painting the Puerto Rican countryside and the sea. In 1963 he returned to the mainland and began painting in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and California. By this time he had developed his own distinctive style, using among other colors, dark reds and pale greens to depict scenes of nature and people. After a few more years of painting in Hawaii and California he founded his own private gallery in Solvang, California where his paintings can be seen today.
St. John participated in many one-man exhibitions of his paintings between the years 1960-1975. His paintings are included in numerous permanent collections across the country.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Beverly holds a Fine Arts Degree From UCLA where she studied with noted artists Richard Diebenkorn and Jan Stussy. Soon after graduating, she spent a year in Italy, selling her sketches as she traveled through Tuscany and Umbria. It was this love of the wine country and the tranquillity of rural life which brought her to the Napa Valley in 1983.
For the last eight years she has owned a design business, specializing in illustration and graphics for the wine industry and is just now beginning to devote more time to personal artistic expression.
The source of inspiration for much of her work is the beauty and simplicity of everyday life. She is impressed by the more obscure and overlooked subjects and attempts to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by the use of vibrant color and bold composition. The combination of reality and imagination work together to capture the moment. What is implied is just as important as what is obvious.
Judy Wise began her art career as a printmaker in 1977 and has since become an accomplished watercolor artist. Her work is inspired by her concern for vanishing habitats and features brightly colored tropical fish, exotic birds and animals such as iguanas, jaguars and squirrel monkeys. A graduate of Arizona State University, Judy has been juried into numerous exhibitions, among them The Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Fair and The Oregon Printmakers’ Annual. Her work can be found in many collections, including the Oregon Health Sciences University and The Graphic Arts Loan Collection of the University of California at Berkeley. Judy currently resides in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon. She has given Mère Cie permission to reproduce her designs Zebra Moray, Red Macaws, Blue Heron, and Aracari & Tanagers as tapestries.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Paul Youngman has rapidly become one of the Napa Valley’s finest and most popular painters of the California Wine Country. Relocating to the Napa Valley in 1994, Youngman found it to be the ideal place to paint.
Early in life, he began to interpret the awareness of his surroundings into watercolor landscape paintings. Now, as a painter focusing on the wealth of subject matter provided by California and the West, that sensitivity to his environment is stunningly apparent.
Youngman majored in Fine Art and Graphic Art at the University of California in Los Angeles, and became an architectural and free-lance illustrator. After twenty years in the commercial art field, he chose to expand upon his natural ability as a painter and watercolorist. He is known for his painterly, yet accurate harbor scenes, landscapes, and architectural subjects.
Through numerous one-man shows and invitational exhibits, Youngman’s painting have won wide recognition among serious collectors, which include such notables as Leon Panetta, Mrs. Muhammad Ali, Elmer Bernstein, and Elinor Dohahue.
Paul Youngman is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club, founded in 1909 by the early California Plein Aire Painters.