by David Carus
Looking at the world, it’s easy to accept what we see without daring to change it, but for artists like Susi Galloway, painting new realities over old ones is just another day at the easel. Her imaginative paintings and artwork depict the fantastical, transforming the everyday into scenes of pure uplifting, bold adventures. In particular, her ability to impinge on the viewer with color is striking. Her emphasis on the sky injects a sense of space and openness that immediately pulls someone in and what she puts in the sky is often nothing short of miraculous.
Originally from Switzerland, with a background in Heraldic art (a style inspired by knights, coats of arms and nobility), she now lives in Florida creating commissioned paintings and illustrations, many of which have become children’s book covers. Her art communicates a strong message of hope, creativeness and encourages people to dream. There are no boundaries in a Susi Galloway painting. She invites participation because as you look at her white clouds across a blue sky you get the feeling that you are moving them. She transports you to a dream world where anything is possible, where trees can fly just as much as fish can, where we tower over the ocean, spot a mermaid and break free from anything trying to make us drown.
Imagine Salvador Dali and Frida Khalo painting together, minus the heartbreak and serious subject matter, put to the task of rekindling the human spirit through illusion and you get an idea of Susi Galloway’s work. One of her best arrows in her quiver is the color blue. Blue finds its way into the sky and onto the water in so many of her paintings. Not just any blue either. Big, bold, awe inspiring, imagination lifting blue. The kind of blue that reminds you how glorious the world is because we have such a color. Galloway’s art reminds you of what it must feel like to be an astronaut taking in the whole Earth from miles up. There is possibility to be had, ideas struck and paint splashed when one looks at one of her paintings.
Susi Galloway has produced an impressive body of work and she continues to capture the imaginations of her audience. There are too few individuals giving the world this type of pure universe creating inspiration and there is no doubt that Galloway’s work will spawn others. She takes us to the edge and shows us there isn’t one. Her art stretches into forever, dreamscapes for the dreamers.
For more information visit www.susigalloway.com
Portraits are priceless because they capture the people we cherish most, leaving us with an impression of them forever. They hang in our homes reminding us of why we get up in the morning and do what we do. You could say they fuel the soul and one artist feeding the flames is Christine Sargent. She has mastered the ability of immortalizing the human spirit on canvas, selecting just the right moment to capture for each of her subjects. She communicates the beauty she sees in life and through her work has managed to uplift so many grateful pairs of eyes.
Her career stretches back more than a couple decades, from Southern California learning to paint, to Washington State studying at the New Renaissance Academy, and Sargent gradually built a loyal group of fans, clients and collectors. Several years ago inspiration struck when the artist looked at photographs of her niece’s tea party with friends. She immediately began creating works which strove to capture the beauty, happiness and hope found in children playing. The artist believes that children are the key to our future and as one looks upon her works we see a passion for her subject unmatched by so many other visual artists. You can see the care, the thoughtfulness and the intention Christine Sargent uses to paint children and communicate their spirit.
It’s no wonder that the artist spent many years teaching children art. One of her fondest memories was helping her students put on art shows, watching how some of the kids that used to cry when it came to art, beaming from the praise given by the people in attendance. Sargent is definitely an artist that works towards the empowerment of others through art. Every year she hosts an art show at her home and invites new artists who are able to show their work in public for the first time.
To her audience, she continues championing the idea that art should communicate “beauty.” There is a hopefulness, a sense purpose to enlighten, across all of Christine Sargent’s works, that is unmistakable and wholly appreciated by the viewer. Scenes of children playing, smiling faces, loving glances, enchanting backdrops, warmness, innocence, wisdom, and much more emote from the pallet of an artist not only at home in her craft, but venturing towards ideals much needed by mankind. For instance, the artist sometimes takes an old black and white photograph and transports the subject into a world she feels is where the subject really wanted to be. It’s no small task to pursue one’s dreams but Christine Sargent strives to create a space where others’ dreams are realized.
Her next project? A painting whose theme is “love and help children,” meant for a major art show in Washington D.C. and one the artist hopes will do just that. Christine Sargent is talented in both artistic skill and warmth of character. Her purpose, passion and painting are like children let loose to laugh and explore on a magnificent playground. You can’t help but smile and want to play too.
For more information please visit www.christinesargent.com
Shani Waldbaum was born in South Africa and has etched out an impressive career capturing the beauty of her homeland in a truly unique way. She became fascinated with the way Western culture influenced South Africa and painted what she saw: the combining of cultures and customs to form an ever changing world where commerce and politics fought it out with freedom and the human spirit. Waldbaum's body of work as an artist is just as diverse and multi-layered as South Africa is. From oil painting to charcoal sketches, tattoo art to photography and sculpture, she is at home in any medium. The wonderful thing about her work as an artist is that in every piece she creates there is one resounding quality: the celebration of all that is beautiful in man.
From a young age Waldbaum was observing Zulu culture and forming a unique perspective on the African continent that found its way into much of her work. We see African women presented as if under an intimate spotlight, revealing a powerful honesty, stark beauty and we feel as if the stories of generations have found their way into us. At the same time, it is the contrast of a simple pair of tennis shoes which speak volumes of context and invite the viewer to form their own story of who these women must be. These works accomplish what great art always does: to communicate ideas and engage the audience to contribute to them. They are catalysts for social change, documentations of a reality that is complex and always beautiful. Shani Waldbaum manages to capture the very best of a culture; forging a path that is always inspiring, enlightening and uplifting.
It is no wonder that Waldbaum became associated with the Superblur Art Movement: a movement which focuses on the creation of works of art which depict a separateness from reality, often conveyed with blurring effects, to create something new. It is a movement, like Waldbaum, with roots in South Africa. It is also a liberating style that matches seamlessly with her philosophy and approach to subject matter. Here is an artist that is not only tackling the essence of the human spirit but injects epic doses of blows to the enemies of freedom with every brush stroke. She has the ability to communicate profound social and culture themes in the rendering of something as simple as a picture of birds flying away. On closer examination of one of these works we see that it is the world Waldbaum has created for her subjects to exist in which is where the real genius happens. This is not birds flying through a blue, cloudless sky. Instead we see birds flying amidst a bleak, colorless landscape where we immediately become engaged in building its background story.
Waldbaum's works are jewels to the South African culture and stand as storytelling ambassadors for not just one culture, but the melting of many. They are shining examples of all that is possible through art and reveal the efforts of a tireless champion of human beauty, spiritual freedom and the might of art. Shani Waldbaum looks at the world as visionaries do: seeing the world for what it can be and carries us over from what it was. Prepare to fly away with a story or two, dance in the fires of a hundred haunting eyes and feel a connection to a place that is real and gets better with each visit.
Lindsay McNally does not take the path that many artists take, that of trying to capture the world in as realistic a manner as possible. Instead McNally takes the road less traveled and attempts with each work to capture the feeling and emotion that emerges from the world, and in particular, from nature. Like the great impressionists before her, this young but mature artist from Chattanooga, Tennessee spends her time at the easel capturing the mood of the landscape and shapes it into a beautiful vibrant picture that does not truly exist in reality but in the space between the environment and the viewer, the place where the magic happens and energy connects. Lindsay McNally has also merged more modern influences into her impressionist works, injecting large sections of a single color or playing on solitary shapes. Also, she does all this with a very much appreciated use of vibrant and eye popping color that serves as the glue for combining all of the unique elements she puts into her art.
McNally was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She had a grandfather artist whose work helped inspire her to start painting at a very young age. Her work was shown at various fairs and festivals and by the time she was in high school, she was in the Fine Arts Guild and had her work hanging in galleries and businesses. After high school, the talented artist ventured into studies at UT Chattanooga and soon appeared on television station WRCBTV's "3 Plus You" and was chosen for the RAW Artists Exhibit in Nashville, Tennessee.
There is something soothing about McNally's work and it may be because of her approach to painting. Her motto is, "Empty yourself and let the universe fill you." When she paints, she focuses on having a relaxed state of mind and letting nature inspire her to create something peaceful, something that captures the beauty of the moment and allows her to paint her interpretation of paradise. She is gifted with more than unique talent, Lindsay McNally is an artist with clear cut direction of where she wants to go, what she wants to paint, and that resolution transfers itself into each of her emotionally moving pieces. Take the much needed step from your current course and explore this artist's paint splattered, nature infused path for just a few moments; enough to connect with beautiful landscapes and breathe in a moment of time that may have passed too quickly for most of us, but which Lindsay McNally captured for us so skillfully.
For more of Lindsay McNally and her work visit: https://www.facebook.com/lindsaymcnallyART
Isaac Fortoul grew up in New Jersey and is one of those rare artistic finds that has somehow managed to transcend the normal path of art school and opted for the tougher, yet more rewarding path of self-instruction. Over the years he has taken his life-long love for art to a multitude of platforms and captured uniquely, often unplaceable subjects which only exist on Fortoul's canvases, and offered up some of the most daring and culture colliding artwork in years.
Trying to find someone to compare Isaac Fortoul with is difficult because that person may not exist. Yet, there is a familiarity to his work which seems to combine the aesthetics of every culture on Earth with the pure imaginings of a dream world which could only animate itself within such an artist's mind. His use of color and abstractness harkens to Picasso but there is too much else happening in his art to say he fits that mold. What Fortoul is doing appears to be a more modern take on those same, now classical, styles and one is left happily transported to magical places and left warm from the kindling of those deep logs which slumber in all of us waiting for the touch of fire to ignite us back to a certain essence of our past that constantly plays so subtly in our present. There are swords, heroism, mystery, masks, keys and lots more symbolism to be found in the young artist's works which communicate some far off adventure waiting to be had if one just gazes ever so carefully into one his paintings.
From huge murals, to large paintings, to designing 3-dimensional masks or using an old mattress on the street for a canvas, Isaac Fortoul is able to take any space in our universe and create new worlds. His talent is beyond his physical years, his work continues to effect wonderment and marvel at what is possible in art, and his creations manage to stand as fantastical escapes from our world into newer, more exciting ones. Fortoul is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the art world and we are sure to see plenty more from this exciting artist which has only begun to take us on voyages that are exhilarating, unforgettable and always magical.
For more information on Isaac Fortoul please visit: http://fortoulpresents.com or www.40owls.com
Dan Deming paints from his studio high up in the mountains of Big Bear, California. He has been creating art for over six decades and his work can be found all over the globe. He has truly lived life, gotten into every nook and cranny of it, exploring the planet, always with the viewpoint of an artist. While working on an oil rig or operating a printing press, or even while driving a semi-truck, he has looked at the world with a keen sense of aesthetics. He truly recognizes the power of art and has used every piece to communicate on a level which penetrates deeply and finds the very essence of what we are and what this game of life is all about.
Although he's been painting since he was 6 years old, it wasn't until his first studio in Baltimore, Maryland in 1988 when the artist truly found his stride. At one stretch he produced nearly 2,000 paintings in a couple of years, sometimes as many as 10-15 in a single day. He dived into several phases artistically until finding what was something that felt different than all the rest. He notes that artists in the past have all "painted objects looking at other objects" but for the first time, his art is traveling an entirely new and exciting path of painting the life force essence that actually animates those objects in the physical universe. His groundbreaking approach to painting puts him in a place which can only be described as exhilarating. He does not paint people like you usually see them depicted, instead he paints the actual people represented as an energy or force rather than blood, skin and bones. Looking at one of his paintings for the first time is like looking into some gigantic spiritual mirror that reveals your true being and sucks you right in just so it can lift you high up to where you should be. There are few uplifting works that can match those of Deming; he manages to accomplish the impossible task of communicating in such a powerful way that you are emotionally moved but in an entirely original, inspiring and unexpected way.
Deming has been featured on TV, radio, and magazines. He has been shown in countless art exhibits and had his paintings sold to wealthy collectors, yet financial and material wealth are in no way signs of success for the innovative artist. His rewards come from achieving a level of technical skill that requires no thought because it just instantaneously communicates and cuts across every wavelength, hitting his audience every time so that they are moved. From his abstract dots we gain a glimpse into the true nature and life of our universe, through his impressions of people we see spiritual imprints of ourselves as they play across the canvas, capturing every emotion and especially every thought. Dan Deming has the amazing ability to paint not only who we are, but what we think and what we thought: his paintings travel through time. He is nothing short of an artistic genius, not the kind that was born one, but the kind that was made. He has put in the hours; he knows what he paints and why he paints it. He is blazing in a glorious path towards an epic new style of painting and is most simply put, the future of art.
For more information on Dan Deming or to purchase one of his works, go to:
www.demingstudio.com or www.dandemingsworld.com
Sally Matsukawa grew up in California and was lucky enough to have a wise grandmother that gave her and her sister cameras to use while on summer vacation. Why was she a wise grandmother? Well, because that simple, kind action sparked a love for photography which spanned that little girl's life and led to a career capturing all of life, in pictures. From 35mm to disposable to digital camera, Matsukawa has handled enough photography equipment and taken enough shots to easily qualify as a true professional.
It is unusual to find such a steady passion for a career choice, even amongst artists, who often move from one field to another, yet Sally Matsukawa's interest and experience with photography has been practically life long. It shows in her work which is very cognizant of utilizing light and finding those perfect angles to capture the very best in a subject. She has photographed many artists, fashion models, and creative types with the launch of her business Toy Elephant Photography in Nashville, Tennessee, which places her in one of the largest pools of artistic talent in the world. Matsukawa herself has also managed to gain skill in video production, working with moving pictures and even became involved in acting. She continues to explore our exciting world as if she is still on summer vacation and lucky for us she finds all the perfect pit stops and tourist attractions as well as those hidden jewels that only seasoned travelers can find and captures it all in just the right light.
To learn more about Sally Matsukawa and follow her work please go to:
Nina Winters literally shapes and molds the world around her into something more incredible. Her favorite medium is bronze and her sculptures create emotions of exhilaration and action. Winters seeks to make art that uplifts mankind, establishes new realities and captures what is possible.
She was born in New York City, studied at the College of Fine Arts and Architecture at Cornell University, the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design. Today she splits her time between two studios, one in Clearwater, Florida and one in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, yet her fans span the globe. Some of her admirers are high ranking executives in PepsiCo, Paine Webber, and the Wall Street Group as well as celebrities like Grammy winning musician Chick Corea and Academy Award winning arranger David Campbell. Her art can be found in the Paramount Picture "Kiss The Girls" starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd as well as diverse countries in Europe and South America.
Winters has been featured on nationally syndicated television, had her work featured in countless art exhibits and continuously stays busy with new commissioned projects. Her story is an inspiring one largely due to the way she has approached making art. In her work she strives to empower and show people a beauty and gracefulness that does not exist but can. If Nina Winters gets her way she is sure to see a greatly improved planet that she helped shape. A recent work of hers titled "Galactic Samurai - Confrontation of Evil" is a stellar achievement in art, demonstrating that life energy, emotion, as well as story, can all be captured timelessly for generations to marvel at. Her work reminds you of the great masters of sculpture like Bernini, yet instead of getting a classical realism of David slinging his rock at the Giant, we get larger than life beings that are jubilant, heroic and unforgettable. I look forward to a future filled with Galactic Samurai and the artists of tomorrow which will no doubt have learned something from this master.
To learn more about Nina Winters please visit her website: www.ninawinters.com
Lucille Femine currently resides in Tennessee but much of her life was spent living, studying and painting in New York City. She started painting from a young age and found herself using her neighborhood in Brooklyn for inspiration. It wasn't long before she pursued further knowledge in art by attending some very illustrious institutions like the New School, the School of Visual Arts and the Pratt Institute. She explored numerous styles like abstract but found her calling in capturing the realism of the world around her. The most amazing thing about her art is that although based on reality, she transforms her subject into something more magical by finding the life in it.
Most notably Femine's works, usually acrylic or watercolor, communicate a brightness about life that projects itself through both vibrant and subtle colors. There is no darkness to be found in her paintings, these are pieces of art which use every color of the rainbow to pull you in. Her New York landscapes, from Greenwich Village to Times Square to Wall Street, all have the same excitement and activity bursting forth. She can take a sidewalk and make it dance or take a person sitting on a park bench and have you feel as if you were sitting there amidst the trees feeling the wind touch your face. Lucille Femine's paintings are as alive as her inspirations are. They create a certain mood and feeling which puts one at peace as if to say, "this world we live in ain't that bad at all, in fact it's damn beautiful." If she can take the often overpowering and intimidating city of New York and make it look like something out of Alice in Wonderland, I can't wait to see what she does with the rest of this planet.
To see more of Lucille Femine's artwork please visit her website: www.feminestudio.org
Anyes Greene immerses herself in a style of art called "Photographism," combining photography with digital graphics. It a new style of art that has emerged from the technology of digital software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which has enabled artists like Greene to create entirely new worlds visually that are stunningly realistic and at the same time utterly fantastical.
Greene's imagination springs forth like a Salvador Dali exhibit, full of magical scenes that jump and move despite being planted on a 2-dimensional surface. She is French but currently resides in London, creating commissioned works, displaying her art in some extraordinary venues across Europe and regularly delivers workshops to help show others how to create in this new but ever expanding medium of digital art.
Looking at one of Anyes Greene's creations is like watching a film action packed in other worldly special effects that somehow remains suspended in time. The imaginative worlds she creates are ones which should not exist, yet do. She is truly a shaper of new realities and sets a new bar for tomorrow's photographers and digital artists. Like many of today's groundbreaking and innovative creators, she is mixing genres, diving into unknown lands and coming up victorious.
Please take some time and visit her website: www.anyesgreene.carbonmade.com to see more of her work.
I'm David Carus. From overcoming one of the most dangerous cities in the country and graduating from one of the most prestigious colleges in America to leading an educational movement as a teacher and running for Congress at the age of 25, I decided the best hope our world has is through art.