Monday, November 16, 2015

From Meadows to Mountains

In recent years, Plein Air Washington Artists have held an end of year juried art show to showcase and celebrate the great art that our members have been doing. This year's theme is "Meadows to Mountains" and is ongoing right now.

We celebrated the opening of the show at the American Art Company a couple weeks ago. It was great to see a lot of the people that I've painted with and their work nicely framed in the gallery. I must say I wasn't terribly surprised at the winners; all were stunning and quite deserving of winning the awards.

Ned Mueller, "Mt. Shuksan"

Here are the awards:

From left: Michael Situ, Jim Lamb, and Ned Mueller
photo credit: Karren Bakke

This year's judge was the esteemed Michael Situ. When you visit the gallery, there is a wonderful Michael Situ painting there that we are raffling off for just $5 per ticket. It's a great opportunity to get such an exquisite painting. But of course, there are other excellent paintings by many many artists. This year there are nearly 90 paintings on display, go and check it out yourself! The exhibit runs through December.

American Art Co is at 1126 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA 98402. For those who cannot go to Tacoma, this show also has an online gallery where you can also purchase the art.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Featured Artist: Kathleen F. Ritz

Our featured artist this time is Kathleen Ritz!

One thing that's nice about doing these artist features is that I get to go read their bios, check out their websites, and learn more about their art. I've painted with Kathleen on a couple paint outs before, and really enjoyed her work. But I must admit, I didn't know much about her background. So here's Kathleen's bio:

I have a Bachelors Degree in Nursing but my interest in art is as strong as my professional career. I have had an interest in art all of my life, sketching and working in watercolor from an early age. I began working in watercolor in 1986 taking classes and workshops, then my interest changed to oil painting and I sought further art education beginning in 2006 from the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, WA. The object of my focus includes the natural world and the elements people have designed, working primarily on sight in plain air. I have had a lifelong interest in nature and can be found walking and hiking most any month of the year, rain or shine, eyes wide open to my surroundings. I enjoy painting landscapes, historical architecture, boats and water scenes, and occasionally have opportunities to paint someones portrait, which is a wonderful experience. Artists who have influenced my works include Edward Hopper, Emily Carr, Tommy Thompson, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
I do think that these influences really show up in her work:

Kathleen's website is at

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We got on TV! Baker and Shuksan paintout

It was one of the more challenging paint outs logistically, but our facilitator, Karen Bakke ably handled it with enthusiasm and aplomb. Many of us stayed in the Mountaineers' Baker Lodge, together with another group of artists from Canada, and a photography group. It was a blast to see so many artists staying together under one roof, even for just a couple nights. I think PAWA got the other artist groups beat when it comes to wine consumption :).

(photo credit Susan McMamamen)

This is the second time I've been on a paint out at Baker, and the views are just spectacular.  The paint out was over the weekend. Saturday was a bit rainy and chilly, though people managed to come up with some spectacular plein air work anyway.

Sunday, we got much nicer weather! With the sun out and blue skies.

Among the guests at the mountainteer's lodge was Diane Lewis filming some of us for Evening Magazine -- and so PAWA got on TV! It's really fun to see the Evening Magazine segment, with much insights from Jan Jewell and Michael Hopcroft. I particularly liked Michael saying that "art is infinite."

Thanks again to Karen Bakke. One of the mountaineer's volunteers was talking about how they run the lodge, and he said that usually people trickle in Friday night and he usually had a few hours Friday afternoon to prep the lodge. "But this weekend, someone was there waiting for me when I arrived!" he said, incredulously. And Karen was like... "That was me!" Thanks Karen, your efforts made this one of the best paint outs of the year.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Featured Artist: Emiliya Lane

Emiliya Lane is a multiple award winning artist living, painting and teaching in Seattle, WA. She was born in Russia, and has been drawing and painting since she was three years old. Emiliya's parents were very supportive of her artistic gifts and enrolled her into art school at age 7. She has been constantly surrounded by the visual arts ever since.

After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Lane was simultaneously accepted to Ural State University and offered a job at a local film studio as an animator. So, the artist accepted the position at the Sverdlovsk Film Studio. After a 15 year career in commercial art, as animator and Illustrator, and earning a Master degree in Fine Art and Art History, she relocated to the United States and continued to improve her painting techniques with such masters as Scott Christensen, Jeremy Lipking, Pam Ingalls, Rob Liberace, Ned Mueller, Jim Lamb, John Bodicin, Ovanes Berberian, Kathryn Stats, Zhaoming Wu.

“I found a real joy in painting ‘ala prima’, directly from life, in the Russian Impressionistic tradition. The combination of color, light and brush strokes provided me with an intense sensation. Painting became both a profession and an obsession! The subtle effects of light upon a form or capturing the emotion of a very simple moment on canvas never fails to amaze me."

I really do think that there is really something about Emiliya's application of color, and handling of paint, that I cannot help but stop and look and wonder at her paintings.

Emiliya is affiliated with Oil Painters of America, Portrait Society of America , American Impressionist Society, Women Painters of America , Plein Air Painters of Washington and The National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society. She is a Signature Member of Puget Sound Group of North West Artists. She is represented by, Kronos Gallery and Brackenwood Gallery in Langley, WA. Her website is

Speaking of wonderful artists, Michael Situ, this year's juror for our Meadows to Mountains show, is also doing a workshop November 8th and 9th. It's a wonderful opportunity to study under an amazing landscape artist. More information here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

More Congratulations

I just learned that a bunch of PAWA members won awards during the recently concluded Paint the Peninsula event, so more congratulations are in order. Congrats especially to Robin Weiss who won 3 awards including best of show!

Airstream and Tractors - Robin Weiss

Here are the awards:

Robin Weiss
  • Best of Show for "Airstream and Tractors"
  • Dungeness Light Station Award for "Driftwood Giants"
  • Artist's Choice Award for his overall body of work.

Ned Mueller - Second Place for "Nash's Gas"

Jan Jewell - Olympic Interpretation Ranger's Award for "Righting a Wrong, the Remains of the Glines Canyon Dam"

Susan Ogilvie - Honorable Mention for "Salt Creek Morning"

Steven Hill - Honorable Mention for "Sol Duc Morning"

Jim Lamb
  • Special Sponsor Award for "Beach at Marlyn Nelson
  • Third Place in the Quick Draw for "Industrial Stream"
Melanie Thompson - Special Sponsor Award for "Shifting Waters"


Also congratulations to all who have been accepted to Plein Air Washington's annual juried show. You can see the published exhibit at the daily brushwork website. Everyone's been doing so much good work!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Two PAWA members win June/July Plein Air Salon

Plein Air Magazine's awarded not one, but two Plein Air Washington Artists members in their June/July Plein Air Salon. Congratulations to Ned Mueller and Melanie Thompson! Ned won 3rd place overall, and Melanie won best artist under 30.

Here's Ned's painting, "Lowtide-Mevagissey, England"

 And here's Melanie's "Around the Bend"

Both are absolutely stunning. Congratulations again, well deserved, obviously.


By the way, speaking of competitions, I just learned that because of some billing snafu, PAWA's deadline for our annual art show and competition is extended to September 20. So there's just enough time to squeeze a painting in!

To be honest, I wasn't feeling like submitting anything this year. I had many excuses, like the fact that we have so many world-class talent in our ranks (see above), and how I hadn't had as much time painting as I wanted this summer, and so on. But I decided what the heck, better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all. So I entered what I thought was a last-minute painting.

And now with the deadline extended, you can submit your very own last minute painting too! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Featured Artist: Jolyn Wells-Moran

Continuing our series highlighting our premium members, this time we feature Jolyn Wells-Moran

"There aren't any better days than the ones in which I feel that I’ve accomplished conveying my aesthetic and emotional experience of nature -- although I love the struggle, drama and comedy of the actual process too,"  says Jolyn Wells-Moran. Wells-Moran is a plein air painter in oils. She often uses her plein air studies, memory and sometimes photographs to enlarge upon a plein air piece, or to develop it further, in the studio.  Wells-Moran studied at the Marchutz School of Art, Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence; minored in Art in college; and has taken workshops and classes from Kathryn Stats, Camille Przewodek, Pam Ingalls, Eric Jacobsen, Mitch Albala, Charles Emerson and other fine artists-instructors.

Here's some example of her work:

To me, Jolyn's strongest work really evokes a sense of the atmosphere of a place. Wells-Moran was recently named a finalist in the Artist's Magazine's Annual Art Competition, received a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Art from Art, Space & Time Gallery's 2014 International Open Competition and was featured in the editorial of Southwest Art Magazine, “Top Honors,” January, 2015. Her work can be seen at Gallery North in Edmonds, WA and upcoming shows in the fall, to be announced on her web site. She will show some work from Baja California Sur, Mexico, Arizona, Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

By the way, there's less than a week left for our upcoming art show and competition! I hope everyone is wrapping up their work. Paint, paint, paint!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hurricane Ridge, Mt Vernon, and Deception Pass

Well, we had a fun couple of paint outs since I last posted. The Hurricane Ridge paint out had a surprisingly large number of people come out and paint, maybe 20 of us were there over the weekend. I was there on Saturday that weekend, and has a really nice time painting the scene with the dramatic clouds over the mountains.

Towards the end of the day Karen Bakke and I were starting to paint a mountain slope, when it started raining really hard! My painting did not do well in the deluge and ended up looking like this:

Karen had better luck with the oils, and while we had to pack up quick, she finished the painting in the studio:

The next week, we had a nice sunny weekend in Mt. Vernon/Deception Pass paint out. I was only able to go to the Mt. Vernon one, but it was nice to paint side by side with Sharon Curran, who did this lovely painting of the Skagit River:

Couple more from the paint out:

By the way, the deadline for the upcoming art show and competition coming pretty soon.  This year's theme is Meadows to Mountains, and will be juried by Michael Situ. The deadline is September 15. Here's the prospectus. Happy painting!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Featured Artist: Sylvia Carlton

I'm glad to say that the second in our planned regular series of posts highlighting our advertising members is Sylvia Carlton. As the founder of Plein Air Washington Artists, all of us in PAWA owe Sylvia a great debt of gratitude. If not for her founding PAWA and being its president for a large part of its existence, we would not be the organization that we are now.

More in Sylvia's own words:
As PAWA founder, I am passionate about painting outside on location. I love being outside painting what I see and how it moves me. The beauty of the landscape is like music to me. I want to paint the day’s light in all of its subtleties and its glory. 
I am also a studio painter inspired by what I see outside and through inspirations by ‘painting from life’  usually florals. I rarely paint from photographs but rather from smaller paintings, sketches and still life. 
Always eclectic, my style will change depending on how my painting unfolds or how my subject speaks to me. My work can range from traditional to whimsical and abstract. I interchange materials such as Oils, Acrylics, and occasionally Oil Pastel. 
When others are able to experience the beauty of the natural world through my artwork I am happy. I was honored to have been chosen to show a number of my plein air paintings in the inaugural exhibit at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
Here's a sampling of Sylvia's work:

Poppy Daze

Rainy Day At Skagit Wildlife

Orchid Splendor

Coastal Storm

Personally as someone who likes to paint in acrylics, I find it inspiring and comforting whenever I see Sylvia painting in acrylics in our paint outs, among the sea of oil painters (not that there's anything wrong with oil painters). Regardless of medium, there is a directness to Sylvia's work that I really appreciate.

Sylvia's work is available online,, at her studio on Bainbridge Island by appointment anytime, or through Blue Water Artworks, Poulsbo WA.


In other PAWA news: our prospectus for the upcoming art show and competition is up.  This year's theme is Meadows to Mountains, and will be juried by Michael Situ. The deadline is September 15. Here's the prospectus. Happy painting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Fun

Well, it's summer in the Pacific Northwest, and it's difficult to make myself sit still indoors and do a blog post. But here's a recap of our summer activities so far:

First, a big thank you to our paint out faciliators! Larry Walden faciliated a paintout in Seabrook in the Olympic Peninsula. Blanche Niznik facilitated a fun paintout at Bastyr University. Plus Paula Ensign and Kathryn Townsend facilitated the big trip to Jasper National Park. I only got to paint in the Bastyr University paint out, but the pictures posted in our facebook group have been pretty amazing.

Aside from the official paint outs, our various members have been out and about painting by themselves or with groups as well. Our artist members were everywhere from Mt. Baker to Mt. Hood, to the Olympic Peninsula, or just to the local park. Come paint with us! Our Eventbrite page has the upcoming paint outs.

Finally, I should note that our prospectus for the upcoming art show and competition is up.  This year's theme is Meadows to Mountains, and will be juried by Michael Situ. The deadline is September 15, which if you think about it is coming up really quickly. Here's the prospectus. Happy painting!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Featured Artist: Jan Jewell

This is the first in a planned series to regularly feature a profile of one of our advertising members. And who better to start with current president, Jan Jewell

Jan has expressed her creativity with different art forms throughout her life. From winning a high school art competition, to an accomplished career in jewelry making, to becoming a wildly successful entrepreneur, to designing her own timber frame home in the Olympic peninsula. Except from her full Bio:
Since 2010, Jan has focused on representational oil painting. She has studied with Scott Christensen, Jeremy Lipking, Ovanes Berberian, Ned Mueller, Kathleen Dunphy, Alexander Zimin and David Gray, among others. A year after joining Plein Air Washington (PAWA), Jan joined its board as webmaster, and this year serves as its president. She found plein air painting to be exhilarating, and has traveled on painting adventures either with groups, or solo to France, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Arches National Monument, the Grand Tetons, California, Hawaii and all over her home of Washington State. She was granted a one-month artist’s residency in Dinan, France for the month of September, 2013. She is a mother of four, living with her husband Mike in Bellevue.
I get super envious of Jan's stories and pictures of her hobnobbing with some serious world class artists. Here's Jan painting with Jeremy Lipking in Hawaii:


Having a chat with esteemed portrait artist, Everett Raymond Kinstler:

Spending time with Rosemary Thompson of the famous Rosemary brushes:

Of course, Jan is a fabulous artist in her own right. Here's a sampling of her art:

More at Jan's website, and in her PAWA gallery.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Woodinville Paint Out

I caught the tail end of this paint out, and met the last few painters by the pond at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Despite being less than 5 miles from my home, I've never painted on the lovely grounds of the winery, well known for being the pioneer that established the Washington wine industry. Close by the winery grounds are the Sammamish River, the trail right beside it, a lavander farm, and other wineries, breweries, and distilleries. So many things to paint in Woodinville, and certainly our paint out participants took advantage.

Thanks so much to Sue Thim for facilitating!

Here's some lovely artists:

And some lovely artwork:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I wasn't able to go to Eastern Washington for the Palouse Falls paint out this year. I went to the Walla Walla paint out last year, and Palouse the year before, so I knew people would really enjoy painting over on the sunny side of the state. And from what people shared in our facebook group, it looked like a ton of fun! Or as Karen Bakke said "If this is what PAWA is all about, I'm HOOKED!!" Needless to say, I'm quite jealous of everyone who were able to make it there.

Here are some artists hard at work painting the majestic views by Palouse Falls:


:) Ok, some serious painting got done too:

I love Larry Walden's spicy apron! Big thank you to Melanie Thompson for facilitating, I think the Eastern Washington paint outs have turned into one of those "must-go" PAWA paint outs.