Featured Artist Gallery
Ember Blythe Estridge
I make illustrative art that is explorative and eclectic in nature. Using vivid colors and whimsical themes, I seek to use art as a tool for coping with and overcoming the discordant world we live in. Creating both sequential mass consumption pieces as well as stand-alone gallery pieces, I desire my work to captivate a wide audience.
I seek to use art as a tool for coping with and overcoming the discordant world we live in.
As an art educator in public Title 1 schools, much of my work is inspired and created around the classroom. I tailor projects and lessons to engage and motivate students, impacting my own art making in the process. The resourcefulness and inventiveness of creating art projects accessible to a wide range of students and ages allows me to see multiple possibilities for each art material.
I received my BFA from Winthrop University and my MFA from Jacksonville University. My art is varied in both the location of its creation as well as the materials I choose to work with. My art making transpires at proper easels, desks, floors, and even the ground outside - whatever venue suits the need of the piece’s creation. The media in which I work is equally varied - colored pencil, conte crayon, pastel, printmaking, acrylic, oil, watercolor, graphite, charcoal. The world of art is too broad to narrow down my favorite media. This love of diversity comes in handy when teaching art to young learners. It is imperative that I be versed in a wide array of materials and processes to best teach my students.
Some of my favorite materials from The Artist Life would include: Canson & Strathmore Watercolor paper, Prismacolor colored pencils, travel-sized sketchbooks, white charcoal, and washi tape.
In my photography, I'm drawn to the abstract qualities found in the movement of sand. I'm always amazed at its beauty. What I've been able to capture on film has inspired me to further express myself with paint on canvas. I am inspired by the movement of my surroundings; the waves, wind and sand of the ocean but also the movement of sound and light. Everything has movement even if it appears stationary.
My artistic obsession is capturing the force and subtlety of this movement in my photographs and my paintings.
Eye of the Storm
After receiving her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Texas State University and her M.A in Human Behavior from National University, Jones worked over 30 years in theatre and film as an actor, director, and award-winning producer. The Ivy Theatre in Los Angeles was founded by Jones, who as the Artistic Director had a vision and a mission to develop, produce and promote projects written by Lesbian playwrights. Her emphasis was to expand visibility and to create a social and political awareness of Lesbian artists. The city of Los Angeles honored Jones and The Ivy Theatre with a “Commendation” for the work produced there.
During the lockdown of 2020 Jones found her new creative focus as an abstract photographer who quickly morphed into an abstract painter. During a year of fear, stress and uncertainty due to COVID, Jones found herself even more grateful for her morning walks on the shores around her Oceanside home. It was during one of these walks that she looked down to discover that the sand that she had been walking on for years suddenly looked different. She was inspired by the abstract movements of the sand. She captured these with her phone before moving on to her camera. From this she created a series called SANDS OF OCEANSIDE.
Jones and dog, working hard.
Based on these photographs Jones wanted to create a group of large paintings. She used her sand photographs as a source of inspiration to painting on 8x10 inch canvas paper. Subsequently she moved on to larger scaled stretched canvas. Her paintings are always inspired by her surroundings, such as beach, rocks, sand, waves and her love of music.
“From the stage to canvas was quite easy given that for her they both require a strength of expression, observation, interpretation, risk, and vulnerability”, states Jones. “In theatre I always worked with the words of someone else bringing life to those words.
In painting it is all about my life, my emotions and my expression of those experiences.
Jones’ photographs have shown at online digital gallery Light, Space & Time as well as the Praxis Gallery & Photographic Art Center. Her paintings have shown at the Jones Gallery in Kansas City and have been purchased in private collections across the country.
Laura WallerBorn in Brooklyn, New York, Laura Waller graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Newcomb College of Tulane University and received her Master’s Degree from Tulane. Concurrent with studies in sociology, psychology and social work, she developed a passion for art and art history. After an eleven-year career as a professional therapist, Laura Waller became a certified financial planner and founder of the successful Waller & Wax Advisors firm in Tampa, FL. Throughout her thirty-year career in finance, she continued to paint and study independently with noted artists in Arizona, Florida and Maine.Since 2012, Waller has maintained a full-time studio practice in Maine and Florida. Her award-winning paintings have been featured in nine solo exhibitions since 2015 and 22 group exhibitions since 2006. In 2016, she received the Individual Artist Grant and the Carolyn Heller Visual Arts Award from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County.Her work is included in numerous corporate and private collections nationwide and was most recently acquired by the Tampa Bay History Center and the American Victory Museum, both in Tampa, FL.
Intrigued by the massive commercial ships and vessels I found at the Port of Tampa Bay, located near my Florida studio, I began the Working Waterfront series of paintings in 2013. I was interested in the massive scale of container ships and how light transforms the various surfaces of steel hulls, anchors, and architectural elements. My research included a private tour of the Port which is not open to the public. From a small powerboat providing a water/ground level of perspective, I photographed what I saw happening within this international shipping hub; the process of loading and offloading containers, tugs transporting ships to and from the Port’s narrow channels, and vessels in dry dock for maintenance and repair. I accompanied a harbor pilot taking a ship from the channel, through Tampa Bay out to the Gulf of Mexico as it journeyed to its next port of call. I also began to regularly track specific ships online as they navigated to each port globally.By 2016, I completed 60 paintings of the Port of Tampa Bay and, being so immersed, realized the vital role the shipping industry played in our global economy. But it was in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, that that awareness became heightened. Because of the pandemic, shipping goods reached emergency status with orders delayed, shelves emptied of essential goods, and the industry faced a drastically decreased workforce. International commerce was nearly brought to its knees.I am beginning to paint ships at the Port of Portland, located on the Atlantic coast in Maine, where I have a studio, as an extension of the Working Waterfront series. Focusing on specific architectural elements, which can shift between abstraction and representation, I am interested in exploring how natural light in the northeast differs from Florida’s sunlight and how shapes and colors are perceived.
Regina Argentin explores the subconscious in saturated color gradations that create distilled imagery layered into representational and abstract form. Her large paintings reflect the narrative with a mystic quality. Using parts of nature, wildlife and the divine feminine, she creates an ethereal landscape of mythological dystopian symbolism.
Drawings from Regina's graphic novels charcoal on paper 9 x 12”
“My recent work reflects themes and characters from my graphic novel narratives. Introspective thoughts, dreams, devotion and melancholia are depicted within images of portraiture, adventure, supernatural situations, all within a framework of the connective relationship of human beings to nature and other species. The divine feminine, animal rights and spirituality are my central themes.”
Oil on canvas
Regina Argentin received her BFA at Art Center College in Pasadena. Upon graduation, she moved to NYC to pursue her passion as a professional fine artist. She participated in solo and group shows and has won several fellowship residencies.
Drawings from Regina's graphic novels charcoal on paper 9 x 12”
Regina's favorite Artist Life product is the Washi Ruler Tape. She says it "is unique and useful. It can be used as a straight edge and measuring."
She then returned to her native city of Los Angeles to work in the film industry as an art director. In addition to art school, she received a masters degree in spiritual psychology. She continues to do fine art, exhibit, teach and has also established her own fine and decorative art business as well as a luxury vegan organic beauty product line.
Selected collectors: Lee Iacocca, F. Lee Bailey, Liz and Allan Johnson, Jean Pierre
Jeunet, Beverly Cohen, Carol Little, Neil Diamond, Citibank, Stephan Dewy, Lord
Current Exhibition: Cad Fab Gallery, Culver City, CA 2021-2022
I am Diana D’Arcy Gorin, a mixed media artist based out of Southern California. You can find me on instagram @black.fox.stuff
I draw my inspiration from nature and the overwhelming peace it brings me.
Whether that nature is Yellowstone National Park, the Santa Monica Mountains, simply smelling a bouquet of flowers, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or just sitting in my backyard- it makes no difference to me. I love it all and can’t get enough.
I grew up spending a lot of time at my farm in central Kentucky, so when I think of the place I imagine my work truly stemming from, my mind travels there. “Spring time in Kentucky” is how i describe my work. Just imagine endless fields of wildflowers, dogwood trees, and bucks. Does and fawns running around. It’s pretty magical (except the insane pollen and humidity).
I hope with my art, the viewer can feel a little better in that moment, and forget for just a second what a drag existence can be. In other words, that sense of “I don’t want to leave, this is where I’m meant to be right now” before returning to reality... Which is coincidentally how I feel out in the woods, cruising on a mountain bike or climbing a rock wall.
You’ll find in my art a lot of colorful portraits of people, sometimes with flowers, animals too (with flowers), pressed flowers, just always flowers. I like them! They are such a weird and fun addition to earth. We should have more.
My current favorite Artist Life product is the postcard sized watercolor booklet. It's perfect for small paintings around my current home, Newport Beach. I’ve always been fascinated with the interplay between architecture and flowers.. how it can just transform a doorway.. so I like to paint on the go. And having a handy dandy little watercolor pad is the way to do it!
Dani Van Liefde
Dani at her wheel in her outdoor studio rocking her favorite La Negra Split Leg Apron.
The process of building something that wasn't only interesting to look at but could be also used in everyday life was what initially drew me to ceramics. It wasn't until college that I learned how to throw on the wheel. That was the beginning of my long term relationship with clay.
What I love about pottery is that it keeps me constantly challenged and engaged. It is an incredibly complex art. Beyond understanding how to work with clay there are infinite possibilities in the world of glaze, color and decoration. Understanding what makes up these compounds is chemistry in its greatest form. A couple years ago I bought an old electric kiln and have been learning how to fire my own work. I cherish the autonomy it’s given me. I have control of my process from start to finish.
Dani in her element - the beginning process of throwing on her wheel in her studio.
I enjoy making clean, refined pieces with a minimalist style. What draws me to the "not obviously handmade" look is the challenge - I love the idea of making a mug that surprises people when they find out it's handmade. I express my creativity through the silhouette itself.
The more I create, the more eager I become to explore new styles.
The TAL team helps make my surface design exploration easier with their awesome sketchbooks, like the Large Sketchbook with blank pages. I especially love their La Negra Split Leg Apron for throwing. The slit makes it so easy to straddle the wheel and I can fit my trimming tools in the front pockets for easy access.
Pictured with BB is Gabe Whorley (AKA BB's son), co-owner of Sapphire Grill and The Pantry in the artist enclave of Laguna Beach, California. The Pantry offers postcards featuring BB's paintings.
"As long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to words, colors and music, and how they can create images and draw you in."
BB Crawford, The Accidental Artist
I grew up wanting to be a writer. I never dreamed I could become an artist. Or that being an artist was inside me waiting patiently to come out and play. I realized my dream as a writer of articles and columns for online publications. I even became a speaker and trainer for the US Military and companies. My company Emotional Self Sufficiency Training taught individuals how to reduce even resolve past traumas in their lives. My clients learn how to discover their authentic selves by unpacking their emotional baggage of the past. I love watching people find their inner joy, to live the lives they desired and deserved.
When Covid Stay at Home orders were given, the first thing I thought about was not seeing our young granddaughters, for no one knew how long it would be. I decided I would write a book about adventures we would take them on once the evil virus left the land. Then I had a crazy thought that I would draw pictures and paint them. I had 30-year-old paper, brushes, and paints that were from my mom’s craft room. I used an ice tray as my pallet and went for it. Not knowing at all what I was doing. I knew it was watercolors, so I added lots of water. Silly me!
The fascinating thing was everyone loved the book and couldn’t believe I did it! Neither could I! I was hooked, I wanted to learn as much as I could about watercolors, so YouTube became my university. I began painting cards of landscapes and florals for friends and family, wishing them well during this crazy time. Then I decided
to paint my dog Sarge. As I posted pictures of my cards and Sarge, people began asking me to paint them cards and paint their pets.
I was so surprised when people began asking to buy my art, I kiddingly told a friend that I guess I am now ‘BB The Accidental Artist’! She said, “That is the name of your new art company!”
Since May 2020, I have painted more than fifty commissioned dogs and cats, sold 100’s of original watercolor notecards and many larger paintings. Who knew at 59 and half years I would finally discover my inner artist? Since then, I have watched 1000’s of hours of the amazing artists on YouTube and countless hours behind the brushes. I also attended Plein Air Live and Watercolor Live, two amazing virtual conferences. Soaking up all I could and can to improve every day!
My husband and I live in our RV full time, people often ask where is your studio? I carved out a space inside and weather permitting I paint outside with all my watercolors and brushes on a long table, or I take my pochade box to paint Plein Air here in Newport Beach or up in Idyllwild depending where we’re staying. I typically paint 5-10 hours a day as it is my Zen Zone.
Here are a few things I have discovered during this new chapter in my life at now 61 and half years old is.
Be willing to suck at anything you desire to do, because eventually you won’t suck any more. With patience, good teachers, and tons of practice you will become better and better!
I decided that fateful day to go at it like a 5-year-old, no adult was allowed to be in the room with me. No criticism, just play like a 5-year-old in total abandonment and joy! I had an elderly man ask me at an art market ‘How old are you when you paint?’ I laughed as I said ‘I’m 5!’ He laughed and said ‘I so want to be a 5-year-old when I paint! I have gotten to around 8 years old.’ He said there was still too much of the inner critic there!
People often ask what do you hope to give your clients with your art? Just like everything I do in my life, to create JOY and be ‘Love in Action’! The interesting thing is every time we do an art show, people come into our booth, saying how much love and joy they feel while surrounded by my art! It doesn't matter if they buy a thing, my mission was accomplished.
The Artist Life products are awesome. The La Negra Split Leg Artist Apron is the Bomb Diggety! It allows me to paint without messing my clothes up, holds my paint cloth, brushes etc. Plus, I look so cool too. I am so loving the paint palette as the colors are richly pigmented yet I can create a very soft transparent look as well.
The Pocket Watercolor Sketch Book is awesome, I have almost filled it with florals. I love watercolor paper as it can handle wet on wet, and I paint on the front and back of the pages. The sketch book is great for playing with ideas, creating lil floral vignettes and more. I see myself not going anywhere without the Travel Watercolor Set, watercolor travel brush and my sketchbook in my bag. Also, I would never do plein air again without my La Negra Artist Apron it is so perfect for in my studio and my outdoor studio.
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Gallery and Supplies, LLC The Artist Life (T.A.L.) regularly features artists on their website, TheArtistLife.com. There is no charge to the artist and selection of Featured Artists are at the discretion of T.A.L.
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