A gentle enthusiasm twinkles in Mary Ellen Palmeri's eyes as she says, "Every time I fold origami models, it amazes me to watch flat paper transform into three-dimensional shapes that become vivid plants, animals, or human figures with real character traits." Her special joy comes from incorporating origami folds, pop-up card designs, and artists' books with detailed painting and collage techniques. She calls her unique mixed-media creations "Paper Dream Paintings". They have filled her days over the past 25 years. Previously she worked as a professional photographer and a Masters Degree art teacher while raising her two children.
Leonor Pisano is an award winning international jewelry artist with a passion for copper! Her one-of-a-kind jewelry creations are exquisite, unique, and all hand made. Her work features copper combined with other metals, minerals, and natural materials found in the Sonoran Desert. Her jewelry is artfully assembled into beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other body adornments. She combines copper with silver and brass, and often with surprising touches of turquoise, fresh water pearls, cholla, ironwood and leather. One of the unique features of her metal jewelry is the etching that depicts petroglyphs or original drawings which have been adapted for the etching process.
Alexandria Winslow has not lived in Southern Arizona her entire life, but when she arrived in 1982 it was clear to her that the dramatic landscape hit all the high notes of visual beauty she had been longing for as an artist. Her art had always been about nature and wildlife so the Sonoran Desert full of color and drama really appealed to her passion for drawing and painting.
My work is related to an ancient art form that was originally developed by the Aztecs, who used silver and gold to emboss their artifacts, decorate their temples, tombs, masks, war tools, create seals and make jewelry. The technique was later used by the Spaniards to adorn their homes, churches, buildings, furniture, dishes and personal items. It was used on anything they wanted to beautify with silver and later on with pewter or lead.
Inspired by the beauty of the colors and objects in the skies above, Celest Michelotti seeks to find colored gems, and golden and silvery textures that evoke the natural beauty of the cosmos in her jewelry, bringing you a piece of the sky for your adornment. Although a classically trained pianist, the metal “in her genes” demanded expression—her grandfather, father, and brother have all worked with metals in a diversity of fields
It is obvious from her large striking and colorful paintings, that Darlene LeClair lives in the Sonoran Desert. Her paintings are eye-catching whether they are of one cactus flower, a prickly pear plant full of fruit, or a broader view of desert saguaro’s rising up in front of distant mountains. Darlene not only depicts the plants of the desert, she also paints scenes of houses, missions, and backyards typically found in the Southwestern United States.
One of Wanita's earliest memories was of a prized box of watercolors. She was heartbroken when her younger siblings played with the colors and got them "dirty." With such a passion for color at such an early age, art was destined to be an integral part of her life. When she was 12, her mother enrolled her in art classes and she was off on a life-long journey of creativity.Wanita branched out to several art forms…lapidary art, jewelry making, oil and watercolor painting. Eventually, the lure of the brush and a palette of fresh oil paint triumphed over them all, and has resulted in exquisitely executed oil paintings of garden iris and the plants and flowers of the Sonoran desert.
It is her wonderful use of color that strikes the viewer in Denyse’s oil paintings of Tucson’s historic architecture and the surrounding desert. Unlike plein air artists who concentrate primarily on views of the desert, Denyse’s focus is on the homes and doorways in Tucson’s traditional neighborhoods, and in the downtown Tucson Barrio. Her dramatic use of color produces patterns of bright purple shadows and mountains that glow orange in the sunset. The pattern and interplay between light and shadows is something that interests her most. Her unique style gives viewers a fresh new look at scenery and buildings that might otherwise seem ordinary.
When you view a Paddie Flaherty painting, you will receive the gift of bright and vibrant colors, for these are what speak happiness to this artist. Turquoises, Greens, Violets, Peaches and Rusts are high on her list of favorites. The subjects that speak to her with the most enthusiasm are florals, animals and scenes that speak of Native American Cultures. She can make a dynamite painting of a piece of pottery or a pair of moccasins.
Over the past decades, I've been fortunate to receive awards and important nominations for my writing and painting. That helped support me financially but rarely helped when facing the next blank page or canvas. A steady focus on the work did, and continual experimenting along with rigorous honesty about the results. I'm also fortunate that I never "have to" retire from this work or surrender learning as a constant companion.
Should you feel that a degree in Astrophysics would impede the development of a very artistic journey, you should meet Judith Probst. She received her BS in Astrophysics from Indiana University and worked in Astronomy Departments at Indiana U. and later at the U. of Virginia. However, her constant doodling in the margins of her notebooks (mostly small portraits of her classmates) caused her to rethink. Post Graduate studies in Studio Art (with Richard Crozier at U. of Virginia) led her from science to art. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting at San Jose State University in California, and dove with delight into the world of Watercolors, Acrylics and teaching.
Submitted by Regina Lord
Regina Lord was born and raised in northern Arizona and has lived in Arizona for most of her life. She has been living in Tucson, AZ with her husband and two boys for over 10 years. She was very interested in art at a young age and was encouraged to be creative by her loving grandparents. Regina studied art throughout her school years along with studying to become a registered nurse and received her Bachelors in the Science of Nursing from Northern Arizona University in 1999, working as a pediatric, mother baby nurse and lactation consultant for 13 years. She left her nursing career in 2012, to pursue her creative dreams of being a full time artist and now spends most of her time making art and playing with paints and other interesting mediums.
By Gretchen Huff
Kathy Robbins has an artist’s heart. Born to an artist mother, she was continually encouraged and inspired from infancy on. She remembers that an important part of her early childhood was spent sitting at her Dad’s big desk and drawing. Kathy would draw girls and boys dressed in her concept of the costumes they would wear in their countries of origin. By the time she entered grade school, her art abilities had developed to the extent that her classmates would copy her in art classes.
Submitted by the artist.
Each of my ceramic pieces are hand painted in my studio, here in Tucson, Arizona. I grew up in the Southwest where the brilliant colors and designs influence all my art. You'll find hummingbirds, wildflowers, quail, desert scenes and more - all designed to help you Celebrate the Everyday!
By Alexandria Winslow
Accessing the energy of the desert, which reminds me of my native Africa, South Africa in particular, I think of myself as a 2-D artist resident in Tucson, and enjoying creating in oil, ink, and pastel – encaustic as a medium still on the horizon. I am convinced that a marvelous occurrence back in 1972, as I was trying to escape apartheid, plays a large role in my creations – that being a near-death experience. My ability to follow creative vibrations serves my images well.
By Alexandria Winslow
As many artists before her she was creatively inclined from her youth. I had to laugh when she told me that her mother would tell her to Go paint a picture when she would sing. Apparently it was good advice and Pamela was soon hooked."
Submitted by the artist
Gretchen Huff began her life in Bloomington, IL, moving to Tucson in 1956 to teach school Her Tucson home has a tiny studio, a view of the Catalina Mountains, and a wash stretching behind her home that is labeled a “Wildlife Corridor” (close to the beautiful Sabino Canyon). It is therefore no wonder she has fallen in love with the desert’s “wild folk” that inspire so many of her paintings. She paints from photographs—mostly her own or the occasional one that a friend contributes. Her chosen media is watercolor with which she can do soft glazing to capture depth and light.
Submitted by the artist
Her paintings focus on the moment you feel the wow factor of the scenery, with an emphasis on using bright color to bring the onlooker into her experience. Alexandria’s paintings have been described by many of her collectors as having a feeling of great movement with a contemporary edge. She chooses to paint very purposefully and confidently in what she calls a high definition style. Emphasizing the natural contrasts in the landscape she plays with the dramatic lights and darks you find in the southwest. Her medium of choice is acrylic and most often on gallery wrap canvas that does not need frames.
By Alexandria Winslow
When you walk into Terry Slonaker’s studio it is immediately evident that this is where the magic happens. As I took the tour with Terry as my guide, I began to piece together the picture of an artist who has had a love affair with art his entire life. There on tables were lovely sculptures in progress and peeking out of the kiln was a family of exquisite figures just waiting to become masterpieces.
Submitted by the artist
Dikki Van Helsland has a great love of nature and it shows in her beautifully rendered artwork. She is a batik artist who uses this ancient technique to bring to life the desert animals and landscape that she loves. Batik, with its distinctive crackle pattern, is the art of creating images on fine cotton cloth using dye and melted wax as a resist.
By Jane Hamilton
The beautiful impressionistic landscapes by Tucson artist Mark Daniels
have brought the desert alive to many visitors, residents and art collectors alike.
Mark spent his youth traveling with his family and being rerouted across North Africa and England where his father was frequently sent as a petroleum engineer. This time abroad exposed Mark to many cultures and the great music and museums of Europe.
By Ric Nielsen
Combining his love of nature, his fascination with winged insects and his innate gift as a commercial artist, Ric Nielsen has created a one-of-a-kind art exhibit now showing at the Ranch House Art Gallery at Agua Caliente Park.*
* as of publication date April 2016
Submitted by Jane Hamilton
The Friends Of Western Art - Artist Of The Year for 2017 is the self taught artist of historic western paintings Santos Barbosa. This honor and recognition comes after a lifetime of dedication to his mastery of art.
Santos Barbosa was born in Mc Allen, Texas a small town on the border of Mexico. He has always drawn people and places, and while serving a 2 year stint in the US Army, he spent spare time creating renderings of his fellow Army buddies and their sweethearts.
Submitted by Bill Moomey
Bill Moomey was born and raised in Nebraska during the infamous Dust Bowl era. During those pre-TV, computer, and cell phone years, most of the after-school activities centered on sports. Today, Moomey works in a style ranging from realism to contemporary impressionism and lets the subject determine the style. He says, the more intense the subject becomes, the bigger the brushes and the broader the strokes.
By Christy Krueger
Joe Bourne: Visual Artist and Vocalist of Jazz, Blues and Pop
While Joe Bourne was performing on the German cruise ship MS Europa as it sailed between Manaus, Brazil and Cape Town, South Africa, Joe was bit by the painting bug after attending a class in watercolors. Since then, he has attended several artists' workshops and created many paintings in watercolors, acrylics and encaustics - a painting style that uses hot beeswax and resin.
Submitted by Bonnie Pryor
Bonnie Pryor is a Tucson-based jewelry artist who creates handcrafted Sterling silver chain maille jewelry under the name Joya Bonita. She loves jewelry that has a clean, classic style and works to create pieces that embody both a simplicity and elegance of design.
Submitted by Paul Pryor
Paul Pryor is a Tucson-based landscape photographer who specializes in producing large format giclee prints on canvas. His primary area of interest is capturing dramatic images of the incredible natural landscapes found across the southwestern U.S., as well as many of the national parks and monuments, and other areas of untouched beauty found throughout the west.
Submitted by Lisa Mishler
The Book: L’Chayim – To Life: Memoirs of a Survivor of a Nazi Ghetto Inspired by stories in her father's book, artist Lisa Mishler has created powerful artwork that expresses her father Sol's story about surviving the Holocaust and has used all this to create a memorable book. The story is about love, war, and heroism. Through artwork, prose, and memoirs, their story is told. Luba and Sol, two remarkable people, endured the unimaginable and survived against all odds to be able to create a new beginning in the United States. Rabbi Stephanie Aaron was inspired by the moving imagery to create her heartfelt writings. The combination of imagery, literature, and the actual excerpts from Sol's memoirs leave you with an experience that will stay with you.
Submitted by Nancy Bautzmann
"Extreme realism describes my art," explains Nancy Bautzmann O.P.A. "My technique is in remembrance of the old masters, with a transparent underpainting and opaque overpainting." Her subject matter is taken from her life and surroundings. Since Nancy spent a large part of her childhood in England, the teatime was an important part of her life. Those memories return over and over in her many still life depictions of the English tea settings. "They call me the tea lady," Nancy says of her art students. "I love to drink it, I collect teapots and tea cups, and I love to paint them."
Submitted by Bonnie Pisik
After making the move to Tucson in 2014, Pisik decided to expand her artistic endeavors and developed a workshop that teaches this highly original and unusual art form. Back in August of 2014 she presented the concept to several exclusive resorts and country clubs and the “Inspiration Under Glass” workshop was born. Since then, Pisik’s workshop is featured weekly at Miraval Resort & Spa and monthly at La Paloma Country Club, The Lodge at Ventana Canyon and at Skyline Country Club
Submitted on handwritten notes by Jeff “Pinkeye” Storey
My sculptures grow out of 45 years of silversmithing rings, bracelets, and the usual jewelry line that all silversmiths start with. To be recognized in the jewelry world, like anything else, you had to build things that had never been seen. This was in the 1970s, so new ideas weren't as hard to come up with as it is today. I was of that time, the time of Hula-Hoops, Pet Rocks, Skate Boards, Rotary Phones, station wagons and even black and white TV’s were just coming about. So my designs in jewelry were some of the first.
By Liam Lai-Fu
Twenty-one years ago Ken Tesoriere and Mary Ellen Palmeri founded Lyric Arts to promote their various arts. Their work includes painting as well as origami (paper folding), pop-up books and artist's books made by using collage, paint, drawing and hand embossing. They also bring Masters Degrees and decades of experience to teaching art workshops and moderating Lyric Arts Folding Fest, a free monthly local origami club that explores all aspects of paper folding. Both native New Yorkers, in 1994 they moved back from Europe to Tucson, for the pure quality of light, open spaces, and the many other special qualities of living in the Southwest.
Submitted by Laurie Brussel
Today, I paint basically whatever moves me. If there is a special light on the mountains, or I see dramatic shadows formed from an adobe structure, I want to capture it in a painting. Sometimes I long for the water and the smell of the ocean so I will paint a beach scene. I like to create scenes that are tranquil, where the viewer can escape and relax. I often have an open gate or a pathway to draw the viewer into the scene. I don’t put people into my paintings because then the scene will belong to the figures and not the person enjoying my painting.