Brian Blood, a resident of Pebble Beach, California, is widely recognized as one of California’s most important plein air impressionist artists. Married to award winning artist, Laurie Kersey, they live their childhood dreams.
He began his professional life as a graphic artist and art director in Boston, Massachusetts. Although Blood's career was successful, he was frustrated personally and realized he wanted to be a fine-art painter. A leap across the continent to California took him to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Blood and Kersey were both later instructors at the Academy of Art University for 12 years.
From the 1990s, Brian Blood has been painting full time as well as conducting landscape painting classes at his alma mater. He also conducts ongoing workshops in his studio, and surrounding areas of Pebble Beach, California.
Primarily a plein-air painter, Blood creates hundreds of studies directly from nature, observing the ever changing light of day. He then takes his studies and supporting reference photos back to one of his two studios, either in San Francisco or Pacific Grove, to paint. He uses these studies as the basis for his larger scale works.
Blood has had his work featured in articles in Southwest Art Magazine (May 2002, and March 2005); Art of The West Magazine (March/April 2004); American Artist Magazine (January 2004); Plein Air Magazine (December 2005); and The Central Coast Journal (October 2005); to name a few.
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.
Don Demers was born in 1956, in the small, rural community of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. His interest in painting maritime subjects began while spending his summers on the coast of Maine near Boothbay Harbor. After finishing an exemplary high school art program, he furthered his education at the School of the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA, and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA.
Don’s maritime experience came about as a crewmember aboard many traditional sailing vessels including schooners and square-riggers. He continues to be an avid sailor.
His professional career began as an illustrator and expanded into the field of fine art. His illustrations can be found on many book covers and in national publications such as Reader’s Digest, Sail Magazine, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Yankee, and National Geographic.
Demers is a “Fellow” of the American Society of Marine Artists, an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, an elected member of the California Art Club, and a signature member of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America). He has won a record seventeen awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic, CT. including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award in 2006. Demers’ illustrations have been recognized by the Museum of American Illustration four times in their national competition representing the finest examples of work in the field. Recognized for his communication skills, Don conducts workshops for artists as well as producing instructional DVDs. He also lectures on his landscape and marine art. His audiences include museums, art associations, yacht clubs, historical societies and educational institutions.
Kathleen Dunphy’s rapid success in the competitive art world was predicted when American Artist Magazine recognized her as one of the Top Ten Emerging Artists in 1998, just 2 years after she had closed her floral design business to devote herself full time to painting. She is one of those rare people who have true passion, dedication, and a gift for transposing nature’s beauty to canvas.
Kathleen’s early art education included workshops by Kevin MacPherson and Dan Gerhartz. In 2000, Kathleen was awarded a full scholarship at the renown Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She maintains strong ties to the Academy, where she has been offered a faculty appointment and participates in the annual Alumni Auction. Further study with Scott Christensen and T. Allen Lawson helped hone her skills and refine her own unique style of painting.
In 2003, Kathleen designed and built her own studio in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California, where the pristine setting of her home provides endless inspiration for her work. Kathleen’s landscape paintings can now be found in galleries from coast to coast. Her honors are considerable and include important juried shows in California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Maine; Best of Show from the American Impressionist Society; an Award of Excellence from the Oil Painters of America; ten California Art Club Gold Medal Shows; eight magazine articles including being featured in Southwest Art’s plein air issues in 2009 and 2013; the Federal Duck Stamp Competition; Birds in Art; Arts for the Parks; Grand Prize at the Acadia Invitational Exhibition in Bar Harbor, Maine; and many others. In 2014, Kathleen’s painting “The Flotilla” was purchased by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum for inclusion in their permanent collection. Kathleen has attained signature status with the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, Laguna Plein Air Painters, the American Society of Marine Artists and Artists for Conservation. Her highest honor to date came in 2013 when she was elected to join the prestigious Plein Air Painters of America as one of only 35 Signature Members. In a short period of time, she has earned an impressive and growing reputation with galleries, private collectors, and art magazines across the United States.
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.
Californian Debra Huse encourages her students to work on small 6 x 8-inch panels so they can focus on the big shapes and simplified designs. During each workshop session, she covers the fundamental aspects of painting, discourages “futzing over” details, and encourages each painter to have fun.
Talking only about Debra Huse’s teaching barely touches the wide range of her professional activities — but that would also be true of discussing just her marine paintings, her participation in plein air festivals, her travels with painting friends, her studio work, or her gallery activities. Nevertheless, the easiest way to understand why Huse is so much admired as an artist and teacher is to look at some fundamental aspects of her creative process. That’s what she shares with students, so it’s a logical way to learn more about this multi-talented individual.
“My approach to teaching is based on what worked for me when I transitioned from being a
graphic designer and studio pastel painter to an active outdoor painter,” Huse says. “I was a pastelist for 17 years, and during that time I spent my days working as a graphic designer and
my evenings painting on a wall in my studio. I started using pastels outdoors, but I found
myself longing for the feel of a paintbrush and more texture.
“My first efforts at plein air painting were based on the techniques I used with pastels, of working from hard pastel to soft pastels — thin to thick — and from dark to light values
through layering. When I adapted that process to oils, I scrubbed in thin and transparent darks
and applied middle to light values on top with thicker paint. Scrubbing in the darks with a
brush allowed for luminosity and avoided the lifeless look that sometimes characterizes thick
darks. Although I eventually shifted toward direct strokes of thick color, the pastel painting
techniques I used with oils helped to distinguish my style of oil painting from most other artists.”
Artist Laurie Kersey loves the dramatic coastal landscape of the Monterey Peninsula that she and her artist husband, Brian Blood (www.brianblood.com), call home. For a painter, the West Coast offers a great deal of diversity, from sandy beaches and rocky coastlines to rolling farmland and golden hills dotted with oaks.
Currently, Kersey’s work includes the dramatic coastline and quiet countryside of California; elegant, traditional still lifes and florals; figures in quiet moments; and horses at work and play.
After an early education at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a 15 year career in commercial art, as an Art Director and Illustrator on the East Coast, she relocated to San Francisco and studied painting at the Academy of Art University. She later taught painting and drawing in the Fine Art Department at the Academy, as well as conducting private workshops near her home on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.
Kersey has participated in gallery shows, national juried shows, and museum invitational shows, including the Greenhouse Gallery Salon International, California Art Club’s Gold Medal Exhibition, Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art, Cowgirl Up! Museum Invitational, Torrey Pines Plein Air Invitational, Maui Plein Air Invitational, and the Oil Painters of America’s National and Western Regional Exhibitions.
She has been honored with awards in the OPA National Juried Exhibition, Greenhouse Gallery Salon International, Carmel Art Festival, American Women Artists National Juried Exhibition, Hudson Valley Art Association National Juried Exhibition, Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Plein Air Painting Festival, San Luis Obispo Plein Air Painting Festival, and Torrey Pines Plein Air Invitational. She has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine, Plein Air Magazine (now Fine Art Connoisseur), American Artist Magazine, USEF's Equestrian Magazine, Horses in Art Magazine, and has been a first place winner in the Artist’s Magazine’s annual competition.
Kersey is an Artist Member of the California Art Club and the American Impressionist Society, a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America, and is represented by Jones & Terwilliger Galleries in Carmel and Palm Desert, CA, K Nathan Gallery in La Jolla, CA, Garden Gallery in Half Moon Bay, CA, and Fairmont Gallery in Sonoma, CA.
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.
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.
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.