Susan Nicholas Gephart developed a deep appreciation of the earth and its relationship to art when she was a young child. Her passion to explore out door painting, or “plein air” painting is expressed through a unique use of color, texture, and atmosphere, capturing the landscape with spontaneity and directness. Susan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pennsylvania State University in 1979, and an Associate in Arts from Montgomery County Community College in 1977. She has been exhibiting and painting award-winning landscapes for over forty years. Her colorful, impressionistic plein air pastels and oils are in private and permanent collections across the country, such as The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Susan is an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America, and a Signature Member of the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society. She also co-founded the Plein Air Painters of Central PA.
Susan spreads her love of creating art in nature to all ages through her teachings. She has been instructing since the mid 80’s, and organizing the Hameau Artist Retreats for all levels and mediums. Susan’s workshops are supported by top national art supply companies. Her workshops and artwork are advertised in Pastel Journal, PleinAir Magazine, and Fine Art Connoisseur.
Susan’s pastel, “Hameau Farm Sunset and Clouds,” was published in PleinAir Magazine’s July 2016 article, “The Many Moods of Clouds.” This fall, Susan was a featured artist to watch in Pennsylvania Crave Magazine. Susan will be invited faculty for the 6th Annual Plein Air Convention in San Diego.
For more of Susan’s work, visit her website at www.snicholasart.com.
I began watercolor painting about twenty years ago at Gerlesborg Art School in Sweden. At this art school, I was educated by many of the very best Swedish watercolor artists. This education has intensified after moving to the USA five years ago. I live in Central Pennsylvania, where I am surrounded by beautiful farms and farmland. Here you find beautiful hills and valleys, oak forests and lime-stone fed spring creeks.
I love to paint old barns that are surrounded by a rural landscape. I also like to paint dilapidated farm houses and sheds. Fishermen’s sheds, boats and harbors attract me as well. Being outdoors, painting is very inspiring and I love it. It’s a challenge to paint outdoors while being exposed to wind, sun, rain and even snow.
When I paint, I aim to express a feeling or a mood of the object.
I work primarily outdoors, directly in nature, trying to capture the uniqueness and essence of a scene. A connection may be inspired by an attraction to a particular place, the interplay of light and shadow, the soothing sound of a riffle or waterfall, the feel of a rocky climb, or the smell of a field of freshly baled hay. These natural elements trigger my desire to capture their spirit in a painted image to share with others. By working outdoors, I believe the painter not only paints the landscape, but becomes a real part of that landscape and is able to express a more authentic and honest interpretation.
I am especially concerned with the health of our regional waterways – streams and rivers – and am partnering with community groups whose work promotes conservation and improvements. By working together we can draw attention to the delicate balance that exists between man and nature and increase awareness and efforts to sustain and protect our natural resources.
My working process often begins by developing several notan studies followed by a gestural drawing in nupastel with a turpenoid wash. A variety of soft pastels are applied loosely over the underpainting working from the general to the specific. I enjoy using a limited palette of pastels to bring cohesiveness to a painting. I also believe that painting, like flyfishing, is a life long and delightful learning experience – an artistic journey of truth and discovery.
My love of farms, old barns and the beautiful rolling countryside of central Pennsylvania is the inspiration behind my paintings. Commissions from the owners of Bear Meadows Farm, a grass-fed dairy farm, brought dairy cows into my artistic genre. When painting these gentle animals, getting their eyes just right brings them to life in my studio! I strive for realism in my painting. I work in my studio from photos I have taken of rural central Pennsylvania.
Resume: Barb Pennypacker was a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. She held the rank of professor of Agronomy and assistant Dean of the Graduate School before retiring in 2005. She soon realized that the old barns she loved were rapidly disappearing as farmland became housing developments. Barb felt a strong desire to paint these barns, which she considered to be windows into our agricultural past, before they disappeared forever. To realize this dream, Barb took a private, month-long, drawing class. The studio was an abandoned farm with a crumbling barn. She spent the next year plein air sketching the old barns on Centre County farms. Classes at the Art Alliance of Central PA and subsequent painting partners took her from sketching to watercolor to the oils she now uses. Barb’s paintings are featured in the Bellefonte Art Museum book ‘Landscapes of Central Pennsylvania’, and have been in numerous juried shows including the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Biennial 2016. She is a member of the Farmland Preservation Artists, the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania and the Bellefonte Art Museum’s Artist Registry.
Anne Kenyon is an artist who has worked in a variety of media, includingwatercolor, handmade paper and most recently in pastel. Her work is primarily landscapes with a focus on local scenes, farms and gardens. For many years she worked in handmade paper collage, making her own paper colored with artists’ pigments and developed into paintings. Over the years, she has experimented with different media and a workshop in pastel led to further exploration of that medium. Her current work is created in pastel. Some works feature pastel over underpaintings of handmade paper or acrylic, adding texture and depth. More recent work includes watercolor and pastel over drypoint.
Ms. Kenyon is a member of the Art Alliance of Central Pa., a signature member of the Central Pa. Pastel Society and the Farmland Preservation Artists. She has exhibited her collage work and her pastels at the Central Pa. Festival of the Arts for many years. In 2002 she received an Award of Merit at the Arts Festival. More recently her pastels have been accepted into juried pastel society shows in New Mexico, Florida and Connecticut. In 2012 Ms. Kenyon had a solo show at the Bellefonte Art Museum in Bellefonte, Pa. In 2015 she had a joint show at the Bellefonte Art Museum featuring her Florida paintings. Also in 2015, Ms. Kenyon ‘s painting “Late Summer” was included in a show sponsored by the Central Pa Pastel Society and the Pittsburgh Pastel Society at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley. Ms Kenyon has two landscapes in the recent book, Landscapes of Central Pennsylvania, published by the Bellefonte Art Museum.
Ms. Kenyon has taken a variety of courses and workshops over the last 25 years in watercolor, papermaking and pastel. She studied watercolor with Elizabeth Ayers Nesbitt & Bill Vrscak and papermaking with Jean Giddings. Her recent studies in pastel have included workshops with Robert Carsten, Ron Monsma, Judith Carducci, Terri Ford, Richard McKinley and Albert Handell. More work by this artist can be seen at the Gallery Shop in Lemont and the State College Framing Company and Gallery, Rolling Ridge Dr, State College.
Stacie Bird is a photographer who has lived and worked in Centre County since the early 1980s. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State in Film in 1985. Her background in film making guides her photography and visual storytelling. The vibrant, saturated colors of Mexico are providing the most recent distraction, but she always returns to her first love; black and white photography. Stacie is a member of the Art Alliance, is on the Artist Registry of the Bellefonte Art Museum and owns her company, birdworks.
HeimWorks images have evolved from a personal passion for capturing the beauty of nature, and compassion for the people of the places Art Heim visits. Photos are taken around the world in many countries and in the United States.
Many of Art’s best works are from walks alone in the woods on quiet mist- laden mornings, while others are the result of hours of searching and waiting for just the right moment.
My thirst for travel and eye for composition started in the back seat of my family’s Buick as I read the map for my father and helped navigate the route for our annual summer vacation. My entry into the world of photography began as a graphic design major in eastern Pennsylvania where I fell in love with capturing the historic doorways and wooded landscapes.
My passion still lies in noticing the stark beauty of nature and the eloquence of architectural details wherever I happen to be in the world. I am always surprised by the elegant simplicity in the twist of a branch, a ripple of water, the curve of a brick. In my studio I may soften the image and highlight details to invoke a feeling of tranquility and an appreciation for the purity of the colors and forms.
My artwork is about the world of the mind, the world of science, and of course, the world of art. I work in many different traditional and non-traditional media, often blending the two in in new and experimental ways. My hope is that the engaged viewer will respond to my work by finding in themselves an equivalent feeling to my feeling when I created these images.