Friday, November 7, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Gay Paratore

Gay Paratore of Santa Fe, TX, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be in the spotlight, please email your information to Anna at

Artist Biography: 
Artist Gay Paratore

Gay Paratore was born and educated in Galveston, Texas.  She has taught art at all levels and is a former Art Department Head of Alvin Community College. She also taught art history at College of the Mainland. She has a Bachelor and Masters’ degree and 1/3 of her doctorate in art studies. She attend classes at Sam Houston University, the University of Houston, the University of Texas, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle. She is a Texas State Certified Art Consultant. She has studied with many noted artists in the USA, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  She attended classes at the Art Students’ League of New York City and the National Academy of Art and Design.                                                                               

Gay teaches all media of art and all ages. In Texas, she currently holds workshops at Butler Longhorn Museum in League City, at Upper Bay Gallery in Clear Lake, and Wednesday classes in her studio in Santa Fe, and in Maine: in Winter Harbor for Schoodic Arts For All.  She has taught workshops for the Galveston Art League, Brazosport Art League, and Watercolor Art Society of Houston, TAACCL, and the National Society of Artists. She is in the process of scheduling Workshops for Rockport, Texas and the Corpus Christi Art Centers as well. Gay has won numerous Best of Show and 1st Place Awards. She is a signature member of the National Watercolor society, the National Society of Artists, Watercolor Art Society of Houston, and the Texas Watercolor society.  

Gay recently traveled to California to receive the $1,000.00 Jack Richeson Merchandise Award for her painting, “Stutz DV 1932 Monte Carlo”; it is a painting of a car that is the only one in existence of that year and model (see photo above). This painting was in the National Watercolor Society’s International Show and is in their current traveling show and will be shown in art centers and museums across the Nation until December 31, 2014.  This year and last year, Gay took trips to California to attend two parties that honored her and other artists for being accepted into the San Diego Watercolor Society’s International Show. Earlier this summer she was accepted into the National Watercolor Society’s Membership Show and on June 7th was awarded one of the three top awards of $1,000.00 cash; it was the Leonard Edmonson Award. The painting is titled “Hang Ten Woody” and was shown this summer at the NWS Gallery in San Pedro in the Laguna Beach Area of California. Her painting “Poor Man’s Yacht” (1/2 sheet of Arches at $2,500.00) was selected for the Adirondack American Watercolor National Exhibition and sold. She is the only artist from Texas or Maine in this show. 

When Gay was teaching art history at College of the Mainland she met Neil Welliver (he replaced Andrew Wyeth in the Art History books), when he lectured and had a show there. She corresponded with him; he had a big influence on her going to Maine. Gay’s goal is to capture her impression of the places and people of Maine; she likes to paint people doing their daily chores and scenes that are uniquely Maine. She also loves to paint cars and flowers and especially her children and grandchildren. 

Interview with November Spotlight Artist, Gay Paratore:

1) When and how did you first become seriously interested in art? In second grade one of my teachers declared me "the class artist" I had drawn my pet white rabbit. In 8th grade, I was only 11 as I started school early, I did a drawing for the school open house. My father had recently died and my mother did not have time to take me to any classes, but my art work prompted the other parents to call my mother an insist that I get lessons. The local art teacher was from Italy and had studied art there and then at the Chicago Art Institute. Her name was Marie Ragone and she was a portrait artist. I had one lesson in drawing, one in pastels, and one in watercolor, and then told I was ready for oils and gave me a list of supplies. I was also lucky enough to take a work shop from Frederic Taubes in ala prima oils at the age of 12. He wrote a column for American Artist Magazine for many years until his death. when I was 13 I took from Phoebe Flory the partner of Elliott O'Hara, the father of modern day watercolor. I did a portrait in that workshop. I was serious about art practically my whole life.

"Got Milk?" by Gay Paratore

2) What mediums/subject matter do you work in? I work in all media and crafts; the only thing that I haven't done is blow glass. This summer in Maine I did a 13" tall nude in granite in one day using an electric grinder. It was so much fun. I want to try to do a "head" next summer at the quarry on Schoodic Peninsula.

3) What do you express in your work? I try to find something of value to state in my work. In Maine, I am painting people working and doing their everyday jobs. I think a portrait should be more than just a face; it must capture a moment in time in the life of the subject.

4) What artists/professionals have been your biggest influence? Daniel E. Greene, Ron Schur, Harvey Dinnerstein, Albert Handel, Steven Quiller, Tom Lynch, Mario Cooper, Neil Welliver and the list goes on and on. I have taken at least 50 workshops over the years. I studied at the Art Students League of New York City and the National Academy of Art and Design. I have my B.A. and M.Ed. and Texas State Art Consultant Certification.

5) What do you do to gain new inspiration in your work? I look at every image that I see with an open eye and mind: other art work, magazines, people doing things, mainly my photos. I never leave the house without my camera, a Nikon Cool Pix; I photograph almost everything of interest that I see.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now? Selling it; boy do I have inventory!!! I was fortunate to get a small watercolor in the Adirondack show and sold it for $2,500.00. But to really answer the question asked, I want to keep trying new things; I just got a big printing press from my Jack Richeson Award from the National Watercolor society, so I will be doing some portraits in printmaking.

7) Do you set goals for yourself? Yes, I love competition and that motivates me. Also, I am a procrastinator and the contest deadlines give me my motivation to get the work finished.

"Learning to be Gentle," by Gay Paratore

8) Are you happy in your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently? I wanted to be a medical technologist, but my mother told me that she was paying for my education and that she wanted to be a teacher and got sick with asthma and did not get to be one, so I had to be one. I decided if I had to teach, I would teach art. It worked out well for me as I love to teach and teaching makes you challenged to learn more to pass on to your students. Two of my greatest thrills is when one of my students wins an award or when one of them goes on to be an art teacher or a professional artist. One of my students just did a demo for the National Society of Artists and told everyone there that I was her inspiration. That filled my heart with joy. I have taught all levels and at two community colleges; I am a former art department head for Alvin community college.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself you'd like to share? I majored in science as well as art (my first job combined the two; I worked in Medical Illustration at the University of Texas Medical Branch for two summers while I was in college), as I thought that perhaps I could get certified in art education and medical technology, but I got married to my late husband right after I did my student teaching and had a great life with him and my four children. One grandchild is in college and told me this week that he is taking an art class as an elective; he is studying to be an engineer. One daughter, Angela Eels, is an artist in Austin, Texas and does portraits in acrylics. One son is in business, the other son is the architect who was in charge of the "re-do" of the Golden Nougat in Las Vegas, and my other daughter is a doctor in California. They all have artistic and music ability (that is from their Dad)

10) Best piece of advice for other artists? Don't get discouraged if you do not get in a show; ask the judge or someone who did get in, what you can do to make your painting better and try to do that. Take as many classes as you can afford. Try to paint everyday. Study old masters and your contemporaries. Keep an open mind to everything. Above all never give up. When I am feeling down or in pain physically or emotionally my art takes it all away and I am refreshed. And don't let any instructor paint your painting; that is wrong on many levels and you won't learn anything but dependency on that teacher. Make mistakes and learn from them. Go back and work on your old paintings and bring them to life. Most of all have fun with your art.


Monday, October 20, 2014

More News and Shares - Fall 2014

New Facebook Group for Texas PSOA Members!
Join here:

News from Christine Elaine Patterson - & Upcoming Workshop: 

"I am studying with the Texas Academy of Figurative Art (TAFA) in Fort Worth, doing master drawing copies & figure drawing. Ron Cheek is the artist/owner & he studied at the Florence Academy for 5 years. There are part time & full time programs. I think he does an excellent job and I thought you may want to know about this resource. The website is"
Huihan Liu is coming to Dallas in April, 2015. Huihan is more of an impressionist than a realist painter, but he enjoys an international reputation, and does beautiful, elaborate tour de force figure paintings.

Information about the workshop [and others] is now on our website:

News from Rosslyn Duncan:

"I am still busy in London, at the moment my work is on display at the Oxo Tower in the Southbank and I am still teaching art and anatomy at St.George's Hospital in London to a cohort group of post-graduate medical students.

Here is a selection of photos of my recent studies. I am still working on the back study at the lab as it is a large drawing so I am taking my time with it. All drawings are done at the lab and no photography is allowed due to the sensitive nature of the work. I am very grateful to Dr. Philip Adds, a client of mine who allows me access to the medical school and the dissection lab. I was honoured to watch the students I am teaching do a complete dissection for their projects."

Shared by Baron Martin:

Baron's first post with the PSOA: "This is a commissioned painting for a family here in El Paso. It is simply titled 'Lupita'. The girl's name is Guadalupe, But her nick name is Lupita. I used a very simple background to help accentuate the innocence I feel when I talk to her. The family is very pleased with this piece. Thanks again for taking time, and making me feel welcome with the Texas Gang."

"Lupita," by Baron Martin

News from Michael Gillespie:

Michael Gillespie participated in the Oil Painters of America members' paint out in Boerne, Texas, October 15 and 16. Participants were mostly local artists. A silent auction featuring the plein air paintings done was held Friday evening October 17, but it was rather overshadowed by the larger Hill Country Invitational Art Show in the next room. Ideas are being considered to garner a larger audience next year.

News from Jana Rentzel:

Jana Rentzel's portrait of Paul B. Loyd, Jr. was unveiled at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, in honor of his generous gift to build the Loyd All Sports Center on campus, where the portrait now hangs.
Pictured left to right: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Loyd, SMU Athletic Director Rick Hart, SMU President Gerald Turner and SMU Vice-President Brad Cheves.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Artist Blurbs & News - Fall 2014

2014 has been a busy and productive year for Texas artists! Our state was represented well at this year's "Art of the Portrait" conference, and those of you who got to attend said that it was a wonderfully inspiring and educational experience - possibly the best conference ever! We are already looking ahead to the next event next April in Atlanta!

Texas artists at the 2014 "Art of the Portrait" conference in
 Reston, VA  (photo credit: Delaram Mowatt)

Teresa Elliott:
"My painting "High Noon" will become part of the National Western Stock Show's permanent collection in Denver, Colorado. This will be in the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, in 2015 where I will be the featured artist. If you are in Denver this coming January (2015), stop by and see my collection of new paintings."

In other news, Teresa had a solo show this past May at Insight Gallery. There were lots of red dots! Congrats to Teresa for all of the recognition!

"High Noon" by Teresa Elliott

Delaram Mowatt:

"Since I left my job as a geophysicist in the oil industry in May 2013, I made several different decisions (1) going back to university for PHD in geophysics and peruse an academic position, (2) changed mind again and decided to go back to oil industry, but after couple of interviews I found my heart is not really there. I travelled to Iran to visit my parents. My dad asked me to imagine what makes me the happiest regardless of income, and I immediately said painting. For now I made a decision to paint paint paint for a year and see if I can be successful. I have ideas for my painting subjects but I'm not sure if they will sell or if a gallery will accept my paintings. I registered ‘Delaram Fine Art’ as a DBA and made a FB page for it and now it is time to spend more time behind my easel.

About the conference 2014: It was the first time I was attending the "Art of the Portrait" conference and I had a magical time being surrounded by so many talented minds and hands and eyes... So different from those boring oil industry related conferences I used to attend!"

Delaram, that is a courageous decision but one you will not regret. Just keep painting as you said! Your fellow portrait artists are cheering you on!

Delaram Mowatt with Michael Shane Neal
at the 2014 "Art of the Portrait" conference

Connie Chadwell:

"Two of my figurative drawings are included in the upcoming book "Strokes of Genius, The Best of Drawing" and one of my ink portraits will be in the next "Art Journey: People" - both books are published by North Light Books." 

"Boxers" by Connie Chadwell

Michael Holter:

"Juror Feeling Lin selected my watercolor, "Prima 2," to receive the Holbein Award from the Southwestern Watercolor Society at the 51st Annual Show. It is a great show with many outstanding paintings. It continued through September 28 at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson, TX."

"The Veil Has Been Torn," by Michael Holter

In other news, Michael won the Lehmann Memorial Award from the Transparent Watercolor Society for his portrait, "The Veil Has Been Torn", and his painting "The Circle is Unbroken" was included in the National Watercolor Society Annual Member Exhibit in San Pedro, CA.

Michael Holter with his award and
"Prima 2" at the Southwestern
Watercolor Society
51st Annual Show
Upcoming workshops with Michael Holter:

Workshop Dates: 10/21/2014 - 10/23/2014
Location: Plano, TX

Irving Arts Association
Irving Center For the Arts
Irving, TX

Workshop Dates: 11/18/2014 - 11/20/2014
Location: Plano, TX

Workshop Dates: 12/1/2014 - 12/3/2014
Ada, Ok
The Center of Continuing Education
and Community Services,
East Central University
1100 E. 14th, Ada, OK 74820

Workshop Dates: 1/28/2015 - 1/30/2015
Location: Wenmohs Ranch Workshops (Near Marble Falls, TX)

Susan Hotard:

I will be teaching 2 portrait workshops this fall in historic New Orleans:

The Garden District Gallery
1332 Washington Ave. ( across the street from famous Commanders Palace restaurant)
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
2 day, Saturday/Sunday, 9 to 4
October 18/19
BYOE (bring your own easel)

The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts
5256 Magazine Street (Magazine St. is known for fun shopping and excellent cusine)
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
2 day, Saturday/ Sunday, 9 to 4\
November 15/ 16

New Orleans weather is usually at its best in the fall. Enjoy the sights, historical (hysterical)locale, and fine eating!

Come join us to paint the portrait!

"Rusty," by Susan Hotard

Ann Kraft Walker:

" Jessica " received and Honorable Mention In OPA's Online Showcase

" Memories Of My Grandmother " received Best Still Life in NOAPS Spring Online Exhibition

" Psalm 149:3 Revisited " won The BoldBrush Award in July"

" Jiggy's Birds " is a finalist in Art Renewal Center

" Eileen's Lament " First Place Still Life Member's Only PSoA

Painting in shows: OPA National, OPA Western Division, Salon International, International Guild of Realism, NOAPS Best of America, Richeson 75 Figure/Portrait

"Jessica" by Ann Kraft Walker
"Jiggy's Birds" by Ann Kraft Walker

Steve Ko:
"1. Art show at Luminarte gallery - Texas Artist Show. : a couple of my recent paintings are displayed there
2. I'm currently working on the commission work - Dr. Smatresk, president of UNT"

Brenda Hash:

"My pastel painting, "Thoughts of Elberta", won the "Pastel Society of America Award in Memory of Flora B Giffuni" at the PSA's Enduring Brilliance exhibition currently hanging at the National Arts Club in New York. In addition, it was selected from this show to travel to the Butler Institute of American Art to be on view later this year with other selected pastel artwork. An image of the artwork is attached (Thoughts of Elberta, pastel, 24 x 36). This painting was awarded a Certificate of Excellence at this year's Portrait Society of America."

"Thoughts of Elberta," by Brenda Hash

Michael Gillespie:

"I spent the month of August as Artist-in-Residence at a 5-star hotel and resort in Tuscany. While there, I taught a few painting lessons, did a lot of plein air painting, sold a couple of those, and was commissioned to do a small portrait of the child of guests from Sweden (attached). I also spent a few days in Florence where I met and visited with Matthew James Collins, Portrait Instructor at the Charles H. Cecil Academy."

"Buster" by Michael Gillespie

Debra Richardson / Gallery 702:

"There is a new gallery in Austin that just opened, Gallery 702. I am currently exhibiting with them. The link to my work is
The main page for the Gallery 702 is"

Jeannene Stricklin:

"I am an 82-year-old painter who was never taken the time to become a better painter until now. And it's because an illness has made leaving home difficult so out of boredom I paint. Over a period of 3 years time I can say I'm no longer struggling with drawing values and color mixing. I share this with you for the ones of us who think we will never get better. The secret, guys, is like anything else you have to do over and over again.
Enjoy the process and keep going!"

Jeannene Stricklin shows off some of her work
"Ben" by Jeannene Stricklin

"This pastel was accepted into the Pastel Society of the Southwest national show. Took this picture in France at a Renaissance festival. he was super cute!"

Pastel by Ellen Moore

Chris Brizzard:
"Hi everyone, my name is Chris Brizzard. I started going to Michael Mentler’s studio (TSOFA) in Dallas at the beginning of 2013 and had the privilege of studying with him for a year and a half. It was primarily because of him that I decided to apply to Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia in order to continue my training.

Classes began at the beginning of September and the curriculum is rigorous. In the full-time program (which is 4 years in total), you are basically in the studio from 9-4, Monday through Friday. The first year is called 'boot camp' by many people, and I have the sore feet to prove it. Just a preface that we are not allowed to use any measuring tools other than our eyes and we must always draw using straight lines, no curves.

On Mondays, we have structural drawing, where we analyze the human form and aim to integrate structure, anatomy and form into a unified whole. We are currently studying the torso and will later get into the head and arm/legs by the end of the term.

On Tuesdays, we have been doing copies of various Bargue plates, the purpose being not to render, but to develop accuracy in drawing angles/tilts and getting the correct proportions of the subject at hand.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, we have our figure drawing class, where we have been working on 1-minute gestures for the past three weeks which will soon grow into 5-minute gestures of light/dark masses. By the end of the term we will be getting into 20-minute gestures. This is personally my favorite class because I love the intensity of the 1-minute gestures; you have to respond immediately to what’s in front of you, with little time to think. Sometimes I get in a state of mind where I feel like I’m doing cave paintings, just very visceral and direct. (This, in addition to the approach to color, is one of the key features of the Incamminati method, for even a long painting is initially blocked in gesturally.)

5-minute sketch by Chris Brizzard
On Thursdays, we have still life drawing, which is also very demanding in that it is much more difficult than one thinks to draw boxes and elliptical shapes that are convincing.

In addition to this, we have homework assignments where we currently must copy Bridgman and Vanderpoel. We also have to draw from life 3-4 times a week (preferably everyday) and bring our sketchbooks to class every week to show our instructors.

Studio Incamminati is not just a school; it is a community of like-minded people seeking to take their craft to the next level. My feeling is that there are few places in the world today that offer this level of instruction and training."

Still life block-in, by Chris Brizzard

"My drawings "Dorothy" and "Shadows" will be part of the Richeson 75 Figure/Portrait exhibit at the Jack Richeson School of Art & Gallery in Kimberly, WI, from October 20 - December 6, 2014

My drawing "Waiting" won the Allied Artists of America Award for Graphics at the Allied Artists of America's 100th Anniversary Exhibition that was held at the Salmagundi Club in NYC, NY earlier in September."

"Dorothy" by Tanja Gant
Anna Rose Bain:

Finally, to let you know what your state ambassador has been up to... I am posting a picture of my adorable daughter, because I can... ;-) She will be 5 months old this Sunday (October 5)!
Cecelia Joyce... art baby!
My self portrait, "The Wait and the Reward," was awarded 3rd place in the June Boldbrush competition. This piece went viral on Facebook shortly after I made it public. I am so humbled and honored that it received such an overwhelming response!

"The Wait and the Reward", 30x30, oil on linen,
by Anna Rose Bain
Also, my painting, "Sharing Secrets," won 1st place in OPA Summer Online Showcase, and was a finalist in both the August Raymar and Boldbrush competitions.

"Sharing Secrets," 20x16, by Anna Rose Bain

But of course, my daughter is now my favorite model. I don't have as much time to paint anymore, but if I need some inspiration, I have her "pose" for me. :-)

"Cece at 4 months old", 10x8", by Anna Rose Bain

In other news, I am teaching two more 1-day workshops before the end of the year. Info below:

Saturday, October 18* (just a couple spots left!)
Alla Prima Oil Portraits in Color
$165/person (includes model fee)

Saturday, November 22*
Keeping it Fresh: Using Photo References
to Your Best Advantage

$150/person (no model)

*Workshop times: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
(with one-hour lunch break from 12:00-1:00)

Email me at for more information and to reserve your spot.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recent Member News & Awards

There have been lots of exciting events taking place in Texas, with many artists receiving local and national recognition. Here are a few things our artists are buzzing about:

Michael Gillespie:

Michael Gillespie of Crandall, TX, had two recent shows, a solo show and a two-person show. The solo show was "Portraits, Figures, and Biblical Themes" at C.C. Young Senior Center in Dallas, and Michael sold a figure painting there. The other show was at the Forney Art Center's Gallery in Crumbzz Breakfast Bistro in Forney.

In other exciting news, Michael received a Merit Award for a figure painting (shown below) in the Pastel Society of the Southwest's Annual Juried Show (Judith Carducci was the judge), and he was named a Signature Member.

Merit Award winning painting by Michael Gillespie
Ann Kraft Walker:

Ann Kraft Walker has had great success in national competitions, including the Portrait Society of America's Members Only Competition! Below is a list of recent awards and exhibitions:

- " Four Months At Sea " - Honorable Mention - Cumberland Society Juried Exhibition
- " Jiggy's Birds " - Award of Merit - NOAPS International On-line Exhibition
- " Eileen's Lament " - BoldBrush and Raymar Finalist (Fall 2013)
-   PSoA Members Only Competition 2013 - First Place Still Life
- " Four Months At Sea " and " Cinderella " - Salon International - April 2014
- " In A Mirror Dimly " - OPA National Exhibition - June 2014
-   Texas Masters Show - InSight Gallery - March 2014

PSOA Members Only Competition
1st Place Still Life Award winner, "Eileen's Lament"
by Ann Kraft Walker
Brenda Hash:

Brenda Hash's pastel painting, "Thoughts of Elberta" (24" x 36"), will be awarded a Certificate of Excellence at this year's PSoA Conference in Washington, D.C. for the 16th Annual International Portrait Competition. 

Certificate of Excellence winner, "Thoughts of Elbert",
by Brenda Hash

Suzie Baker:

Suzie's self portrait, "Squint" (oil, 20x16"), won 2nd place in the 2013 PSoA Members Only Competition's Outside the Box category.

2nd Place "Outside the Box" category winner,
"Squint," by Suzie Baker
James Tennison:

James Tennison received a 5th Merit award in the Commissioned Portrait category of the 2013 PSoA Members Only Competition for his beautiful portrait of "Caroline," 36x24", oil.

5th Merit award winner, "Caroline,"
by James Tennison
Anna Rose Bain:

Anna Rose Bain's oil portrait of "Caroline and Carson" (42x36"), received a 6th Honorable Mention in the Commissioned Portrait category of the 2013 PSoA Members Only Competition. 

Anna was also juried into the following national shows:
- "California Beauty" - Oil Painters of America 23rd Annual National Juried Exhibition (June 2014)
- "Self Portrait at 23 Weeks Pregnant" - American Women Artists 17th Annual National Juried Show (August 2014)

6th Honorable Mention winner, "Caroline
and Carson," by Anna Rose Bain