Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Women Painting Women

Wed, Oct 18th -12-3pm: Painting Demo, Wright Gallery with Jennifer BalkanKaren Woolley Offutt, Rachel Constantine and Alexandra Tyng
Thurs, Oct 19th - 10-11am: Panel discussion, Wright Gallery, with curator Alia El-Bermani and artists Nancy HollinghurstJennifer BalkanHaley Hasler, Alexandra Tyng and Rachel Constantine. 
Thurs, Oct 19th - 5:30- 7:30: Opening Reception, Stark Gallery, Texas A&M University. Eight participating artists in attendance.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Announcing THREE Texas Open Figure painting/Drawing Sessions


WHERE: The Society of Figurative Arts
3306 Wiley Post
(close to Addison Airport)
Dallas, Texas

WHEN: Thursdays 10:00 am to 1:30 pm with 30 minute break for lunch
COST: $20 per session

Easels, drawing horses, and drawing boards will be furnished by The Society of Figurative Arts
For more information, please contact Michael Mentler at



WHERE: The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Pl
San Antonio TX
WHEN: Tuesdays 9:30-12:30
COST: $5 for Coppini members, $10 for nonmembers per session
Easels, and drawing horses are provided by the Coppini. 
Get there early for a good spot. 
For more information contact Teri Jo McReynolds at



WHERE: Hull Art Academy
1404 West Hebron Parkway 
Carrollton, Texas
WHEN: Ongoing Twice a Week Saturday 10:00 AM- 12:30 PM Monday 6:30 -9:00PM
$25 dollars drop in rate or save by paying for the semester prorated each week.
Fully equipped academy... bring your choice of mediums

Call for price of semester Mary Hull 972-394-6111 

Congratulations to Shelly Hubel!!!

I just received this email from fellow member, Shelly Hubel. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

I wanted to share some exciting news.  After entering Strokes of Genius 9 last fall, I found out that two of my works were going to be in this falls book release.

This week I found out that my work is actually being featured on the cover!  The book is now preselling on Amazon!  Crazy!!!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Face-Off in Alpine, Another Successful Event!

The first annual West Texas Face-Off is now in the record books! 

Many thanks to Carol Fairlie for the stellar job she did in getting us a great location, providing all artists with easel and taborets and having it all set up before any of us got there!

A big thank you to Mary Bones and The Museum of the Big Bend for your most enthusiastic support.  

Thanks to all participating artists for sharing your talent and the great brainstorming session that followed and to our beautiful model, Renee Shelton

It was a wonderful event because of all of you!

Carol Fairlie

Deborah Allison
Edna Krueger
Kim Roberti
Molly Secrest
Gaye Sekula

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Help for Art Victims of the Hurricane. Thank you, Eric Rhoads!!!

On behalf of the Texas members of the Portrait Society of America...
Thank you, Eric Rhoads!!!
Gaye Sekula, Texas Ambassador, PSoA

Dear Friends,

As publisher of various art magazines and newsletters, I feel that we have a responsibility to help artists, galleries, and museums impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

When Katrina hit New Orleans, many galleries there were in trouble. Tourism fell way off, and locals were consumed with things other than buying art.

At that time we stepped in and offered free advertising to help some of those galleries survive, and we later learned that it helped a lot. Thankfully, collectors with good hearts looked at the websites, found art they liked, and did some purchasing. 

We feel an obligation to give back during this storm as well. We know of one gallery whose building collapsed. We also know that there are galleries that will be impacted by a lack of traffic and tourism, and galleries affected by flooding in their space or simply the distraction of storm-related issues in their communities, keeping people from visiting and buying.

We have set up a quick temporary website for people affected by the storm to register and tell us their stories.

We will reach out to these galleries, artists, and museums, and offer them a chance to participate in an ad spread to try to get people to visit and buy from them, to help sustain them during this difficult time.

We are not charging them for this special ad space, which will be in the next issues of PleinAir and Fine Art Connoisseur magazines, and promoted on the magazines' websites as well.

Please do us a favor and FORWARD this to anyone you think is impacted in Texas so that we can help them.

Please visit or forward this link:

We know the storm continues to create flooding in Houston and other areas, so please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers. 

This is a time when we, as a community of artists, galleries, collectors, museums, and auction houses, can come to their rescue. I encourage you, particularly if you were planning to buy art anyway, to consider visiting these people online and making purchases.

Yours truly,

Eric Rhoads, Publisher

PS: This is not a time for competitive differences. Therefore I encourage all of my sisters and brothers in the arts community to come together, and for local galleries and artists not affected to help those who are. I also call on all other art magazines and websites to step up and offer a similar program of free advertising for people impacted by the storm.

Streamline Publishing Inc.
331 SE Mizner Blvd.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
United States

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Michael Mentler's SOFA Classes Begin September 10, 2017

The first classes at The Society of Figurative Arts begin on Sunday, September 10th.
Figure Drawing
Sundays 1 pm to 4 pm
6 3-hour sessions
$175.00 + $50.00 model fee = $225.00
enroll online
Develop your drawing ability to a higher level by working from a live model.
The first 30 minutes will be devoted to shorter poses with concentration on gesture and rhythm. Then a short demo presentation will be given detailing the evening's focus.
Poses will get progressively longer with the final pose being 30 minutes or longer. The emphasis will be on working from the general to the specific using comparative measurements
Individual instruction during class will be geared to improving drawing skill sets and the understanding of mass conception. To draw what we are looking at we need to understand what we are looking at in the visual language of points, lines, planes, and forms. You will learn a more accurate system of proportion based on the CSI (Cranial Sternal Index) structured around geometric solids instead of head lengths. The elements of; gesture, rhythm alignments, volumes, interlocks, tilt, twist, turn, and they yin yang approach to harmony. 
We will be working with dry media on toned paper. All materials and equipment will be supplied for this class....

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Houston Face-Off a Great Success!

Many thanks to Rhonda Lanclos for hosting our Houston Face-Off and securing such a  great venue. Thank you to all the participating artists, models, our awesome supportive members and all who spent the afternoon with us. You made this a very day!

Vicky Gooch
Robin Williamson
Rhonda Lanclos
Mohammad Ali Bhatti
Lenore Prud'Homme
Eddie Filer
Daniela Werneck
Carolyn Hancock
Brenda Hash
Alix Dunn
Ann Stoudenmire

Friday, August 4, 2017

Congratulations to Ken MacFarlane!

"More BS", 16"x 20", Oil
Congratulations to Ken MacFarlane on winning the Travis H. Toland Memorial Award in the 26th Annual Juried Art Show in Breckenridge Fine Art Center's 26th Annual Juried Art Show! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Introducing New Member: Mohammad Ali Bhatti

Name: Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ali Bhatti
Current City: Houston, Texas

Artist Statement:
Painting portraits is my passion. I started drawing when I was two years old and since then, making pictures has been at the core of my existence. As I grew up, I was privileged to work with some of the most accomplished portrait painters as their apprentice. During my training, I learned every technical and aesthetic aspect of portrait painting.I have been blessed with a gift, and it’s incredibly satisfying to know that I can use my talent to bring joy into the lives of others. My art circles around the people of various cultures, as it is often the vehicle which relays the connection.
Portraits are a predominant part of my work as I am fascinated and challenged by the changes in age, experience, the environment, lighting, and background.Every portrait I paint provides me with the opportunity to create a work of art that exhibits both beauty and timelessness.
The physical process of applying paint with a brush creates a dynamic energy that is impossible to replicate through any mechanical process. I encourage my subjects to pose from life, as often as their schedules can permit, because it gives me time to get to know them better. Working from direct observation gives me the opportunity to observe and incorporate more subtle tones of form and color into my painting. For me, the process of painting from life is incredibly exciting, but I understand that in today’s world, it’s not possible for most people to devote the time necessary to have their portraits done entirely from live sittings. Therefore, I have dedicated myself to perfecting my photographic skills in order to ensure that my reference materials provide me with the very best possible visual information to work from.It’s exciting to consider the possibility that one day my painting may become a cherished heirloom, providing deep meaning for many generations to come.

  • 1998     PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts
  • School of Interdisciplinary Arts, Ohio University, Ohio, USA
  • 1991     MFA Painting Major, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, USA 
  • 1978     MA Fine Arts, University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • 1974     BA Fine Arts, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan


  • 1978-1988     Professor and Director, Institute of Art and Design, University of Sindh, Pakistan.
  • 1988-1990     Served as Curator, Fine Art Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, USA.
  • 1991-1992     Assistant Prof. Department of Fine Arts, Ohio University Athens, (Teaching responsibilities: Drawing, Painting and Art History)
  • 1993-1995    Teaching Assistant- School of Comparative Arts, Ohio University, Athens (Teaching responsibilities: Painting, and Humanities through the Arts)
  • 1993-1995     Assistant Professor, School of Fine Art, Ohio University Southern Campus, Ironton (Teaching responsibilities: Drawing, Painting, and Humanities through the Arts)
  • 2003-2006     School of Art, University Sains Malaysia (Contract)
  • 2007-2011     Institute of Art and Design, University of Sindh, Pakistan.


Selected Solo Shows

  • 2016     “Splendours of color” Two Man at Ocean Gallery Karachi
  • 2016     Fist Prize winner at Water Color Society Houston TX
  • 2016     Honorable Mention 16th International Water Color Competition Houston
  • 2015     Nomad Art Gallery Islamabad
  • 2014    “Empty Souls” Momart Art Gallery, Karachi
  • 2013     “Spirited Hues” Mussawir Art Gallery Dubai
  • 2013     “Absurd Illusions” at Nomad Art Gallery Islamabad
  • 2012     “Silent Symphonies” at Collectors Galleria, Lahore
  • 2012     “Simple Improvisations” at Ocean Gallery, Karachi
  • 2010     “Sounds of Colors” at Revivers Galleria, Lahore
  • 2009     “Realistic Expressions” at Gallery 6, Islamabad
  • 2009     “Colors of the Indus” at Chowkandi Art Gallery, Karachi
  • 2008     French Consulate gallery, Karachi
  • 2008     “Impressions of Nepal” Sidharatha Art Gallery Nepal,
  • 2007     University of Sindh, Old Campus, Hyderabad
  • 2007     Majmua Art Gallery Karachi
  • 2005     Dr. Suchart Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2004     Diwan Budaya, Pennang, Malaysia
  • 1996     International Art Gallery, Athens, Ohio, United States
  • 1993     Hamilton Art Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1991     Love Land Art Gallery Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1990     Erie Museum of Art, Erie Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1990     One Man Show at St. Louis Art Gallery, St. Louis, United States
  • 1987     Sindh Artists Guild, International Art Exhibition, Hyderabad
  • 1983     “Unveiling of a creative portrait of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai,” Institute of Sindhology, Jamshoro
  • 1983     One Man Show at Pakistan Council of the Arts, Karachi
  • 1982     American Centre, Hyderabad
  • 1981     Institute of Sindhology, Jamshoro
  • 1978     University of Punjab, Lahore

Group Shows


  • Member, Board of Governor, National College of Arts, Lahore
  • Member, Board of Directors, SITCO (Sindh Indigenous and Traditional Craft Company)
  • Member Board of Governor, Centre of Excellence Art and Design, Mehran University
  • President. Sindh Artists Guild, Pakistan
  • Member, College Artists Association, USA
  • Member, Portrait Painters Association, USA
  • Member, Watercolor Painters Association, USA
  • Member, SAARC Painters Society, India

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spotlight On Mary Plaia

BFA New York Institute of Technology, Magna Cum Laude
Scholarship Recipient, Traphagen School of Fashion
Exhibitions in New York and Texas

Himba Tribesman
Pastel 18x24

Precious Moments, Oil on linen, 24" x 30

As I reflect on the early years that framed my life, as far back as kindergarten, at age 5, I was given three colors to work with red yellow, and blue.  My teacher noticed the swirly lines in my painting and yelled “Stop!” She then ran to the back of the room and added a black dot.  That dot was the eye that  declared it a "seahorse" and was  then  displayed in the auditorium for all to see.  All I can now recall was how proud my mom was and how she would always encourage me to continue my art. 
At eight years old, I was abducted by a stranger and threatened with a knife against my throat. I believe  my  faith enabled my escape, however, the trauma had a profound effect on my physical health, my faith, and my art! 
During one of my childhood hospital stays, a volunteer worker provided me with art material and worked with me. Her visits got me through each day and I will always be grateful for her encouragement.  In retrospect, I realized that early on, I learned that focusing on my art was constructive in filtering my pain into something positive which continues to give me a sense of accomplishment and joy today.
Coming from a family of limited financial resources and the oldest of four daughters, l chose a high school that was known to be progressive in the arts and therefore enabled  students to develop a portfolio worthy to qualify for art scholarships.
Around that time, I became aware of the changing times and challenges for women in the arts, in the workplace and in higher education. After high school my peers were planning their weddings . Back then the family mind set for some, was that their limited funds allotted for education, should go to the boys as opposed to the girls! 
My determination paid off when my portfolio was reviewed personally by the founder of the Traphagen School of Design  in N. Y. C . Ethel Traphagen was a renowned fashion illustrator who broke through many barriers for women when she and her husband William R. Leigh,  a famous sought after western painter, founded the pioneer design school in 1923. One year into my program, she passed away . 
That Scholarship had an impact on my life.  It was such an honor when I was asked to remain on to teach there on a daily basis.  During my tenure of nearly two decades, I served in many capacities, including assistant director.
The beginner's  curriculum enforced the importance of anatomy, figure drawing, line quality, values, color theory, painting, dressmaker details and fabric renderings. Those basics were essential in developing their designs and elongated and stylized figures in illustrations.  At that time,  I did not realize how those fundamentals are also applied to figurative and portraiture paintings.  
Although there were times that I had to put "my me" time and creative impulses on hold, every chance I got I would work in my art studio. My favorite subject matter was painting my children in their growing up years.  I was also privileged to work in groups  with many talented artists. 
With the rising cost of tuition, this juggling act enabled me to afford to send my two daughters to college. Today I am proud to say that currently in their forties they are accomplished in their careers while raising their children. 
As I reflect on pivotal moments in my life that inspired me to choose an art career, I know that it was never about acquiring status or wealth. Like my mother, who got her GED when I was in my forties, I always had a lust for learning and accomplishment.  Ironically, I too returned to school when my 18 year old started college.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my BFA from New York Institute of Technology majoring in the professional teaching program.  I guess mothers tend to lead by example.  More importantly, mentoring gave me the opportunity to share my passion and joy. I was blessed with the positive reinforcements and support l received from mentors, family and friends. I believe with strong faith and a sense of self we can overcome our limitations!