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2015 Catalina: The Wild Side Featured Artists

John Cosby
Born in Hollywood in 1955, John Cosby was raised in the West. He began to draw and paint at an early age and his grandmother was an oil painter. John also started traveling at an early age. At 18, he was hired as a communications advanceman for President Nixon and began to travel the globe, serving through the Ford Administration. He was captivated by the great works of art he encountered.

After leaving the White House,John began his art career while sailing up and down the eastern seaboard for three years with a friend. After returning to California, he began painting the sea and landscape of coastal California.

His success as a painter quickly followed.John lives in Paso Robles, California, where he has a studio, and works on location around the world. He was a founding board member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and is a signature member of California Art Club. He was also a founder of the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational held at the Laguna Art Museum.

Andy Evansen
Andy Evansen began painting watercolors in the mid-1990s, is largely self-taught, and has studied with such well-known watercolorists as Skip Lawrence, Eric Weigardt and Alvaro Castagnet. He served as president of the Minnesota Watercolor Society from 2004 to 2006 and teaches workshops around the United States.

Evansen’s paintings have appeared on the cover of American Artist's Watercolor, International Artist and American Art Collector. He wrote an article about a trip to China that was published in American Artist called "Plein Air Painting in the Far East."

He took part in Coleman Fine Art's “Wet Paint 2007” plein-air event, where four artists from around the country were invited to paint the city of Charleston, South Carolina, for a week. Evansen is the first watercolorist to participate in a Wild Side art show.

Kim Lordier
Native to the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, Kim Lordier combines keen observation and sensitivity to create her award winning landscapes. After college, Lordier flew for a major air carrier, experiencing many domestic and foreign locales, while keeping up with painting and portraiture. After the events of September 2001, she turned to painting full time.

Inspired by the turn-of-the-century California Impressionists and Tonalists, Kim paints in the plein air tradition. Fascinated with California's unique atmospheric qualities, Kim strives to capture the beauty, depth and energy of the land and sea. She is currently a Signature member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters, the Pastel Society of America, a Distinguished Pastelist in the Pastel Society of the West Coast, and Artist Member of the California Art Club.

Joe Paquet
Joseph Paquet, while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the School of Visual Arts in New York, had the good fortune of finding a mentor in John Foote, who opened his eyes to the joys of drawing the human figure. After graduating, Joe met another major influence in his life, John Osborne, who was uniquely gifted in producing convincing landscape paintings from memory. Osborne believed a landscape painting should begin on location, but that its poetic essence should be completed in the solitude of the artist’s studio.

Joe experienced a demanding and rewarding apprenticeship, in which he learned to fuse field studies with the image he could see in his mind’s eye. To summarize this experience, he explains, “The intellectual process became married to the intuitive. Paint what you know well as what you see. If I have the need or desire to move a mountain, add a figure or change the course of a river, I can do so. I am no longer shackled to nature. Now, I am painting my picture.” Joe teaches and paints at Hurinenko and Paquet Studio in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He has been featured in Washington Post Sunday MagazineThe ArtistAmerican Artist and Plein Air Magazine. Paquet’s recent awards include both Artists’ Choice and Collectors’ Choice from the 2007 Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational as well as the 2008 Alden Bryan Memorial Prize from the Salmagundi Club of New York and the First Place in Landscape from the Richeson 75: Artist’s Choice Competition.
Joe is a Signature Member of the Plein Air Painters of America, The Salmagundi Club and an out-of-state artist member of the California Art Club.

Jesse Powell

Jesse Powell was born in 1977 in Los Angeles, California. He has lived most of his life on the California coast, where he has developed a deep attachment and respect for a rapidly disappearing natural landscape. A third generation artist, Jesse's love for art stemmed at an early age, mostly from the influence of his father, nationally recognized artist John Powell. He now resides in Carmel, CA.

Jesse graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in painting and drawing, and went on to study Russian Impressionism in the Republic of Georgia under the tutelage of Nicholai Dubovik, Ilya Yatsenko, and John Wurdeman. His education has continued with numerous trips to the Scottsdale Artist School to study with painters such as Matt Smith, George Strickland, and Kenn Backhaus.

He is an artist member of the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society and a  Signature Member of the California Art Club and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

Ron Rencher

The summers of Ron Rencher’s youth were spent on the family ranch, which provided him with the rewarding experiences of country life. These were experiences that helped to shape the character of a boy who would later turn to the brush and canvas for inner peace. After moving from a small Utah town to Orange County, California, as a child, Ron felt like a fish out of water in his new environment. His salvation was finding the paint box that his father had used in college over twenty years earlier. Ron recalls, “The paints, brushes, palette, and mediums were all still intact and viable. Dad took good care of his painting gear, so I was able to use what he left to get started. I was twelve at the time, and my first inspiration was from paintings he had done in college that were hanging in our home.”

Ron’s interest in art continued throughout his school years. He graduated from Southern Utah State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in 1975. It was during his college years and for eight years after that Ron took on the responsibility of maintaining the family ranch. During his post-collegiate years on the family ranch Ron made attempts at painting, but in his words, “A career in painting demands that you devote yourself at least 100% to the endeavor. You can’t be half-hearted or have the distractions of other occupations." He eventually made his break and turned the responsibilities of the ranch over to my brother.

After leaving the ranch, Ron worked in watercolor for five years in and around Zion National Park with excursions to the Grand Canyon and the Indian Country of Northeastern Arizona.

Brian Stewart
Before becoming a painter, Brian had a successful 25 year career in advertising doing award winning work on national corporate and packaged goods accounts. He was recognized for his excellence in graphic design and advertising art direction in print and broadcast. His career culminated with owning his own agency, Kauffman-Stewart which serviced regional clients like Arctic Cat Snowmobiles and Dayton Hudson Corporation.

He received his early art training at The Art Center in Los Angeles and later at Atelier LeSueur in Minneapolis where he learned the classic, academic fundamentals as they were taught in Paris a century ago. Teaching has also been a major part of his art career. He has taught at Pasadena JC, the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, lectured at the U of M and taught workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad.

He’s a signature member of the grand daddy of all the plein air groups: the exclusive Plein Air Painters of America. He’s also a member of the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America and the American Society of Marine Artists. A visual raconteur, he’s known and collected nationally for his unique vision and the story-telling quality of his paintings.

This native Californian, who now makes his home in Minnesota, can be found playing the banjo when not painting.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1960 and moved to Arizona at a young age. He later moved to Europe, where he lived in France and Switzerland. Matt has also painted in Germany, Austria and Italy, but has spent most of his life in Arizona, where he has a deep attachment and respect for the Sonoran Desert.

Matt graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting.  He studied the traditional styles of landscapes masters such as Maynard Dixon, William Herbert Dunton and Edgar Payne.

He can often be found painting plein air from southern Arizona to the Canadian Rockies, the California coast to the mountains of Colorado. Matt says he is especially inspired by the untouched landscapes of the American West.

Matt is a signature member of Plein Air Painters of America. He lives in Arizona with his wife, Tracy, who is also a painter. 

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