Favorite American Artists
CA Artist of the Year 2018
Deirdre Shibano is an award-winning artist residing in the Bay Area of California. Originally trained at the Art Student’s League in NYC with many notable teachers, she travelled out to the West Coast in the mid-70’s.
Totally enamored with the extraordinary landscape of the state, she spent many years focusing on Plein-air painting. It is only in recent years that she has returned to her roots of portraiture and figurative work.
Deirdre is passionate about painting. It is “the magic of paint” that inspires her. Always learning and continuing to grow in methods and techniques, she believes that “you will never get bored, because there is always so much to learn, and so many ways in which to improve!”
Deirdre strives to share this excitement and inspiration with her students, while still focusing on the foundation skills of drawing and painting.
An exhibiting artist, she is available for commissions. Contact her directly for teaching workshops.
CO Artist of the Year 2018
Joe’s work focuses on the history of the North American Fur Trade during the early 1800’s. It was the trappers and traders of the era that showed the way west to those that would follow. And come they did: the settlers of the Oregon Trail, the miners, the cowboys and the railroads. They all followed in the footsteps of the mountain man. Joe captures this important era like no other artist. His passion is evident in his work.
For the past 10 years, he has been one of 15 contemporary artists invited to participate in the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction in Reno, NV, the largest western art auction in the US offering the work of current and past masters. Joe’s work is shown in West Lives on Galleries, Jackson, WY and Settler’s West Galleries, Tucson, AZ.
CT Artist of the Year 2018
Marny Lawton is a painter working in oil and egg tempera painting nature and food that never spoils to help feed the hungry. More naturalist and painterly than romantic, she looks for the meditative beauty in the ordinary, the extraordinary in the often overlooked. Her work has been shown across the country and collected internationally.
Lawton graduated from Paier College of Art in New Haven, CT, picking up egg tempera painting later. She says it feels like working directly with the old masters, making her own paints and working as an alchemist. Giving the viewer a feeling of belonging in nature she strives for an archaic knowledge that is part of our genetic makeup and responsibility of living on this planet we all call home.
DC Artist of the Year 2018
Her goal is to create semi-abstract images that allow viewers to engage in some way with what they see. She works to capture the essence of her subject by combining linear aspects with layers of jewel-like color. Layering color results in unique and varied visual effects. Her current mixed media paintings incorporate acrylic paint, ink, glitter, and paper on canvas or board. She is particularly inspired by the work of Japanese masters from the Edo period such as Ogata Korin and Sakai Hoitsu who created such elegant masterpieces often depicting the change of seasons. She finds the work of Henri Matisse and contemporary artists Stephen Quiller and Robert Kushner very stimulating through their use of color, design, and line.
Martha H. Tisdale
GA Artist of the Year 2017
Martha Tisdale creates art from an inherent desire to express visually that which she sees in life around her. Color, the effects of light and shadow, the tension between shapes or figure and their surroundings are expressions she wishes to record for others to share through her eyes. Her magnets are the visual aspects of everyday life, wishing to convey the beauty in ordinary things: landscapes such as gardens, ponds, vistas and figurative works.
Tisdale’s media ranges from watercolor, acrylic, oil, to pastel and crayon. Each medium is chosen for its characteristics: watercolor to express quick and fluid characteristics, acrylics for quick drying, oil for blendable color variations, and pastel or crayon for strong linear marks. Her style is not to be photo-representational, but to create a painting of recognizable subjects which give one glimpses of life where we are at the present moment.
Allen M. Stamper
HI Artist of the Year 2017
Allen Stamper was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1964 he attended the Honolulu Academy of Arts where he studied drawing with Joe Feher while apprenticing painting restoration with his father, Willson Stamper. In 1965 he began an apprenticeship in traditional sculpture with New York sculptor, Eddie Schillaci. Later he briefly studied dark to light painting techniques with Snowden Hodges.
Stamper’s work hangs throughout the United States in private collections; additionally he is represented in collections in the United Kingdom, Europe, Korea and Japan.
He currently resides in New York City with his partner and maintains a studio in the Nest Arts Factory in Bridgeport, CT.
IL Artist of the Year 2018
William Marvin is a representational artist with a real appreciation for the design aspects of abstract art.
By emphasizing strong shape relationships and connecting bands of textural color, he is able to paint the natural world in two-dimensional patterns while creating interesting three-dimensional compositions. He values the drama of a strong composition, solid drawing, complex textures, and sumptuous, rich color. His love of the outdoors shows through with his ability to capture the ever-changing light patterns that reveal nature’s often overlooked beauty.
MA Artist of the Year 2018
Award-winning artist Kim Alemian attended Massachusetts College of Art and Boston University where she studied with George Nick, David Aronson and Graham Nickson.
Alemian’s oil paintings reflect the way light streams in her studio at varying angles in during the course of the year. Observing how objects and space change each minute the level of light moves across the plane, she is mesmerized by the way light transforms whatever it hits to make it exceptional. Process and exploration is at the heart of her work as it develops through reworking, redrawing, turning the substrate, imposing images on top, scraping, sanding, adding and subtracting media.
She resides in the coastal Boston area with her husband where she maintains her studio.
MN Artist of the Year 2017
Nanci Fulmek was born in Italy and grew up in Minnesota. She has always loved and drawn horses. In 2009 she completed five years of study in classical realism. This involved over 7500 hours of intense training at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis, where she mastered classical realism values and American impressionism color accuracy.
Nanci currently freelances as a portrait and equine artist. She is grateful to have found a profession where she can combine her two greatest passions; painting and horses. Her originals are collected internationally.
MS Artist of the Year 2018
Don Jacobs is a Mississippi-based artist best known for his realism and large-scale paintings and murals. Despite having grown up in the South, he spent the better part of a decade in Germany earning his degree in graphic design. Upon returning home at age 30, he embarked on a career as a graphic artist. At 33 he began dabbling in painting for the first time and entered a whole new world of expression. Self-taught as a painter, he eventually went out on his own, first doing faux-finish work and then graduating to murals. His prize piece is his monochromatic “Mississippi Landscape” in the Mississippi Governor’s mansion, but he’s worked all over the state and has work in collections from California to Europe.
NC Artist of the Year 2018
Charlotte artist Jean Rupprecht paints both plein air and in the studio. Since childhood, her love of painting and drawing has given her the foundation needed to pursue her passion for oil painting. Whether traveling or at home in beautiful North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and three active teenagers, she pursues art full time.
Jean’s love of color is easily seen infusing everything she paints. No subject is too mundane as she looks for the unique beauty in the everyday world around her. Her impressionistic landscapes evoke a feeling of place and her florals are vibrant and joyful. Jean looks to each subject to capture its essence and translates it into her own vivid interpretation for the viewer.
“I’ve always had a love for both big, bold landscapes and the intimate beauty of flowers. I draw my inspiration from the natural world and find that the act of capturing my vision on canvas infuses a bit of myself into the work.”
NH Artist of the Year 2018
David A Lussier is a nationally-recognized landscape painter whose work has garnered more than 75 awards and is in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Mr. Lussier is also an official U.S. Open artist for the United States Golf Association. Lussier’s technique is characterized by a masterful use of color harmonies and poetic brushwork that bring his paintings to life.
Mr. Lussier has exhibited his work in galleries and various national venues for more than 25 years. He has participated and competed in the top invitational and juried plein air events throughout the U.S. for more than a decade. He has also held outdoor workshops in various parts of the country spanning most of his career. His annual Monhegan Island workshop, held in Maine, is now in its 19th year.
Grace Zambelli, PhD., A.T.R.-B.C.
NJ Artist of the Year 2017
Grace Zambelli is a NJ Licensed Psychologist and an art therapist who has keen interest in art, psychology and helping others. She has melded a professional career and a personal life that have combined these passions.
Grace uses acrylics and pastels to capture the mood and nuances of everyday life. Her work in bereavement counseling has propelled her to create art that affirms the consistent, positive details that are often overlooked in one’s hectic, sometimes overwhelming life.
Grace is an associate artist at the Noyes Museum and the Riverfront Renaissance. She has exhibited at numerous galleries in New Jersey. To see a complete listing of Grace’s shows and paintings go to
NY Artist of the Year 2017
Beki Powell is a multi-media artist and DJ, born and raised in New York. Her artwork ranges from oil paintings to large-scale installations, often marked by vivid, dreamy color palates and heavily defined imagery. You may notice a theme of reflections in her work. She loves to capture the parallel visual universes created when imagery is reflected. Somewhere in translation, these beautiful little details you never knew existed, arbitrary interactions of light and color generated by Mother Nature, suddenly come to life. A reflection is an image that is transformed into something surreal, a new world that never existed before–a dreamscape. Beki continues to explore this phenomenon in her work. Feel free to allow your paths to intersect her’s; her doors are always open and welcoming.
OR Artist of the Year 2017
Trained in interior design, Kathy Morawiec uses her extensive knowledge of color, texture and mood to create vibrant scenes.
Every painting begins with a color scheme in mind, no other structure or expectation, just the idea of seeing how colors work together. Kathy has found painting to be both liberating and exasperating. Quickly fluctuating from “Somebody stop me!” to complete joy in just a few strokes of the brush. “That moment when all thoughts stop, the brush takes over and the magic happens is the process that makes this form of creating beauty such a worthwhile endeavor.” If the viewer senses this, then Kathy Morawiec has accomplished her goal of creating and communicating beauty on canvas.
PA Artist of the Year 2018
Clare Klaum is a Central Pennsylvania pastel artist. She loves the vibrancy and intensity of chalk pastels, making her paintings jump off the page. Her paintings of nature evokes the pure joy of life and all that God has created. She has cultivated a passion for art through most of her life, but it has only been over the last 12 years that she has studied under award-winning artists and perfected her skills in pastels. Flora and fauna are among her favorite choices of subject matter. Her painting, Oriole Splashdown, (with a surreal twist) was juried into Art of the State Pennsylvania 2017. One of her specialties is pet portraits.
Clare’s artwork can be found at several local galleries.
TN Artist of the Year 2018
Gary Dagnan was born and has resided in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Gary has a BFA degree in Graphic Design and an MS degree in Art Education from the University of Tennessee. He retired from the University of Tennessee, where he was employed as a graphic designer 40 years. He now devotes full time to fine-art oil and watercolor painting.
His inspiration comes from the mountains, lakes and woodlands of East Tennessee. The changing light and colors of the distinctly different seasons of Tennessee offer unlimited subject matter for his work.
He has won numerous national, state and regional awards for his work. He is represented in more than 500 private and public collections throughout the United States.
TX Artist of the Year 2018
Berry Fritz’s work has been accepted into juried shows nationwide. She has been awarded signature membership in Oil Painters of America and was elected a Fellow of the American Artists’ Professional League, headquartered in New York City.
She has won Best in Show or First in Oils in many international, national and regional juried shows and has earned numerous secondary prizes, purchase and materials awards. One of her bird paintings was recently juried into Birds in Art at the Woodson Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin and selected for their two-year touring exhibit.
She is represented in Texas by Nuevo Santander Gallery in McAllen and The Good Art Company in Fredericksburg. Her work can also be viewed at www.BerryFritz.com.
WA Artist of the Year 2017
Trina began painting full time after being diagnosed with narcolepsy in October of 2015. For 15 years prior to her diagnosis, she worked in public service. Trina served four years as a firefighter/EMT and nearly 11 years as a police officer in Portland, Oregon. Born in Longview, Washington, she comes from very creative and skillful parents. Trina’s Dad is a retired welder, pipefitter, millwright. Her mother is a retired florist with an eye for aesthetics. Having been bathed in creative juices, it is no surprise that Trina began drawing at a very young age. Trina feels there is no limit to her abilities as an artist.
Trina paints in her home studio located in Olympia, Washington, where she lives with her wife and children.
WI Artist of the Year 2018
“The layering of color stands for the metaphor of the rich and continuous feedback between the artist and subject. Through this layering and enhancement I seek to create paintings that are sensual and intimate from natural subjects that are commonplace and ordinary.”
Rosalie Beck has an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches drawing.
She has exhibited her paintings, pastels and watercolors in numerous exhibitions such as Les Pastellistes” 18th International Exhibition in Montreal where she was awarded “Best Portrait”.
One-person exhibitions include the Lakeshore Gallery in Milwaukee, Anderson Art Center in Kenosha Wisconsin, SEAMEO-SPAFA in Bangkok, Thailand, Edith Barrett Gallery at Utica College of Syracuse University, New York, Manitowoc Art Gallery at UW-Manitowoc, and Riverside Gallery in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
AK Artist of the Year 2011–2012
Dot Bardarson is a leader in the world of Alaskan arts. She served on the Alaska State Council on the Arts for six years. Watercolor is her favorite medium. Her two current styles reflect working in the studio and in plein air.
To date, the Alaska’s Percent for Art Program has commissioned 18 works.
She was recently named “Queen of Arts” by the Seward Arts Council, not only where she designed 13 sets for plays, but for acting as well, and for her leadership in making Seward the Mural Capital of Alaska. (She was master artist for 3 of the murals, and has painted on all of them.) Her 59 prints and many giclees can be ordered from her website.
AK Artist of the Year 2013–2014
Since appearing in these pages in 2013, Alaskan artist Carol Lambert has continued to explore how human beings connect to the natural world. She describes “Wing and Antler” (2016) as a meditation on the ways wild creatures help us to appreciate both life and death.
Carol earned her BA in Art and Art History at Brown University, and went on to study at several academies and studios, including the Art Students League in New York and Gage Academy in Seattle. She has exhibited in many solo, juried, and group shows. Her work is in private collections worldwide. To see her most recent paintings, drawings, and etchings, and to read her essays on collecting and making art, go to http://carollambertarts.com.
AL Artist of the Year 2014–2015
A deep-south Alabama artist and architect, 60-year-old Durand Seay escapes from traditions that label artists by location. His paintings offer a plastic, flowing, and unpredictable expression, ever changing like water in a stream.
As an architect, Seay delivers an understanding of space and the movement within. Therein, time and movement is an essential factor which affects the participant. He builds these expressions from structures intuitively found in nature. There is a language with a quantum perspective, past, present, and future all at once. Like the fluidity of waves he harnesses a viewer’s subconscious to instill insight, achievement and the ascendancy of understanding.
With numerous exhibitions all over the southeast since 1978, Seay receives consistent award recognition such as Directors Award, LaGrange Biennial 2016.
AR Artist of the Year 2012–2013
Starting from a black canvas, I acknowledge that one must experience darkness to truly see light. I seek out the light in every aspect of my life, searching for that sliver of illumination in the midst of even the darkest moments. This longing for light drives and transforms the spark of inspiration to the fire of creation.
I strive to create a vibrancy through my use of color; an enveloping experience that washes over the viewer and draws them in to the work, filling them with lush colors, rich textures, and thought provoking imagery.
I paint echoes of my life, the ripples that life’s moments leave behind, giving the viewer a glimpse of my mind and soul, and a window to look within themselves.
CO Artist of the Year 2015–2016
Joan Fullerton grew up on the vast, slow-paced plains of Eastern Wyoming. With an MFA degree in painting from the University of Wyoming, she was able to be a college art instructor at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming for many years. In 2003, she made the leap of faith to relocate and paint full-time in Taos, NM. During her 8 years in Taos, Fullerton made her mark and established her reputation as a respected artist and teacher. When not traveling for her innovative art workshops, she lives and paints in the Denver area.
Fascinated with the power of ambiguity, she distills, describes, and then obscures images, working until she senses a certain “aliveness” on the surface. She endeavors to create something bold, with subtleties to be discovered over time, an elegance that uplifts.
CT Artist of the Year 2011–2012
Penny Putnam’s paintings have often been described as joyful, upbeat and optimistic. They are abstract tapestries of sophisticated color and marks that celebrate the natural world with a nod to the unknown. Though hints of landscape can be seen in many of her paintings, they tease us to imagine something more profound captured in layers of rich pigment and mysterious textures.
Penny earned a degree in Art at the University of Florida and enjoyed a successful career in graphic design in New York City before becoming a full-time fine artist. Penny lives and works in Connecticut. Her paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections. More of her work can be seen on her website.
FL Artist of the Year 2011–2012
Focused on the energy and spiritual essence of the landscape, his award-winning work has been exhibited and featured in the Florida State Capitol Building, public art, museums, art centers, galleries, books, magazine covers, newspapers, and websites. He is included in the permanent Art Collection of The State of Florida, The University of Florida and many other prestigious private and corporate collections worldwide. Throughout 2017 his work will appear on billboards with Art Pop Street Gallery throughout Orlando and Central Florida.
Besides painting, Gary is a horseman and raises cattle on his ranch in North Central Florida.
More paintings, photos and information at garyborse.com.
IL Artist of the Year 2014–2015
Faith Patterson paints images that she feels a connection to, that bring her comfort. Her goal is to convey her perception of an actual scene or idea so that others can see what she sees and (hopefully) feel what she feels, when they view her work.
She paints in both traditional and abstract styles, enjoying the process of both. Relying heavily on the palette knife in her painting, she also tends to gravitate to brighter colors. Living in Illinois, her paintings are greatly influenced by her Midwest surroundings.
IL Artist of the Year 2011–2012
Olivera Pudar, before settling down in South Florida, had been running the Art Project Gallery in Chicago, and the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture in Italy with her husband Marc Servin. When not homeschooling her musician son, she enjoys painting, studying history, and gardening.
NE Artist of the Year 2012–2013
Virginia spotted some horses near her Council Bluffs, Iowa, home. Two white horses on Cathy Lane appeared like apparitions in the hills. The spirit of their horse-friendship has been captured in Virginia’s acrylic painting, Dinner Date. “The two horses seemed so comfortable and close, they would graze and spend their days, always just inches from each other,” Virginia mused.
Virginia received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, K-12 Education, and Master degrees from the University of Nebraska. Retired from teaching school, her artistic passion remains the figure in space. She reminisced about her childhood drawing horses and how Degas’ sculpture, “The Little Ballerina”, influenced her art career. Virginia now returns to her love for horses. Her art works are displayed at Artists Cooperative Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska, www.artistsco-opgallery.com.
NH Artist of the Year 2014–2015
Pamela R. Tarbell has a lifelong passion for the visual art, and has a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists, and has participated in several of their juried exhibits. Her new series “Marsh Kaleidoscope” focus on the wetlands and their tangled environment that is so important to our ecosystem.
Tarbell curates and is director of her own gallery, the Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, for the past twenty year. She gives of her free time promoting the visual arts in her area for non-profits. In 2015 she was awarded the one of six women for “Outstanding Women in Business.”
Kathy Lynn Goldbach
SC Artist of the Year 2012–2013
As an impressionist painter, Kathy can honestly say that a lifetime of creativity has led her to where she is today, for her creativity is a need for expression which cannot be denied. She has always admired the works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There is a looseness, beauty and casualness of this period she finds mesmerizing.
Although Kathy enjoys painting a variety of scenes and subjects, soft impressionist bridal portraiture and artwork is a passion of hers. She strives to create timeless, heirloom-quality artwork with a fresh, loose and romantic style. Her commissions require no advanced sittings!
Please visit her website to view her collection and to learn a little more about Kathy, her process and why she paints.
SC Sculpture Artist of the Year 2013
Tom Supensky is Professor Emeritus at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where he taught ceramic art. During his 35-year tenure, he taught on Fulbright exchanges in Bristol, England, and Oldenburg, Germany. He was guest artist at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He also taught in Florence, Italy, and Tasmania, Australia. He continues to give lectures and workshops as well as exhibiting his work. He makes his clay sculpture at his home in Aiken, South Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Pauline. He is the author of the book, Looking At Art, Aesthetic Concepts Fundamental To Being An Artist, Tate Publications and Enterprises, LLC. Learn more by visiting his website at www.tomsupensky.com.
SD Artist of the Year 2012–2013
My work explores the relationship between the female body and contemporary cultural, political,and societal manifestations of gender. These autobiographical paintings use allegory to illustrate a greater narrative: I examine religion’s role in the depiction of women and often draw on art historical portrayals of the female nude. Visual cues point the viewer towards ideas surrounding the history of women in art: gender identity, religious and political ideologies governing the rights, roles and responsibilities of the sexes. I choose ambiguity of symbolism to allow a broad reach for my images, as I wish to open dialogue on difficult topics surrounding the conceptual underpinnings of my work. Aestheticized and nuanced visual cues offer insight on the dialogue I strive to elicit about the ideas that compel me to paint.
William Hugh Jennings
WY Sculpture Artist of the Year 2013
Our natural world and its inhabitants are not only the subjects of his wildlife art, but also his teachers. This one-on-one contact between artist and animal play an essential part in his artistic process. Thus, the spirit portrayed in his wildlife art is more honest and believable. William Hugh wishes to touch the viewer/collector of his artwork in a way that will remind them of an event, feeling or memory from our natural world. Thus, during the fast pace of a hectic day, pleasure or relief can be found in simply viewing his artistic reminder of a shared experience.
Martha H. Tisdale
GA Artist of the Year 2017
WA Artist of the Year 2014–2015
Necklaces are made from antique trade beads, fossils, rare beads, and semi-precious stone.