Ouvert Gallery Announces “The World As I See It” Artist Opening

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On July 25th, 2015 Ouvert Gallery will host their first gallery opening entitled, “The World as I See It”. The opening celebrates all of the gallery artists while featuring three artists with unique distinction, Victor Abarca, Bradley Milligan and Dakota Saulsbury. They are connected by their passion for the arts, and demonstrate the importance of individuality of expression as they each work in separate mediums.

Victor Abarca is known for his work in collage, multi-media, sand painting and melted crayons. Bradley Milligan, though young in years, shows sophistication in his Plein Air landscapes. Dakota Saulsbury’s medium is more experimental fusing a combination of recent and older technology and real-life objects. The variation of styles elevates the viewer’s appreciation for the conviction each artist shares for their own artistic vision.

“This is our first artists’ opening at Ouvert and I believe it is a true representation of the spirit of the gallery. Each artist has their own unique style and technique – Saturday’s event will be a celebration of this spirit. The night will be full of surprises and is sure to be an art event like no other!” says co-owner of Ouvert Gallery, Jen Wagner.

The Meet the Artists – Opening Reception offers an opportunity to meet and chat with the artists in this intimate environment from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Ouvert Gallery will welcome guests with light refreshments, beer and wine, and the wonderful musical talents of Emma Myers and Sam Pugh.

The Ouvert Gallery in St. Michaels is committed to bringing the community together to celebrate creating unique art. For more information call (443) 521-4084, Visit ouvertgallery.com.

Artists Opening July 25

Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery Announces Plein Air Artist Exhibits and Demonstrations

“Grazing”  by Len Mizerek

Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery is pleased to announce special exhibitions by Plein Air Easton! artists David Csont and Leonard Mizerek throughout the competition week July 11-19. In addition, both artists will be offering public demonstrations of their painting styles.

Watercolor has been a passion of David Csont and is evident in his painting and illustration style. Over 25 years he has developed a colorful, painterly approach, rooted in the tradition of English watercolorists like John Sell Cotman and Cyril Farey. Ever cultivating his technique, he can be seen painting traditional plein air watercolors as he travels the world.

David Csont  “Front Porch”, watercolor

David Csont “Front Porch”, watercolor

When asked about his creative approach to watercolor and plein air painting, David said;“As an artist my first response is to draw or paint to communicate my ideas. I strive to tell the story through pictures that my words can’t easily communicate. The act of painting is a process that involves all of the senses. I immerse myself completely into the subject in order to draw out all of its character and hidden meaning, hoping that if I observe it closely enough I may glimpse the true essence of what makes it special. Sketches and drawings done on-site and in the field really speak to my core artistic values because they are the pure interpretation of my subject. All of my past experiences weave themselves into my work. I have had the benefit of traveling all over the world and witnessing first-hand its natural and man-made beauty. Watercolor is ideally suited for this work because it is flexible, portable, and responsive. I love to develop my sketches from simple contour drawings in pencil to bright and colorful impressions, capable of allowing the viewer to see what I see and feel what I feel.”

Always having a passion to share what he knows, David has led over 50 lectures and seminars in art and painting throughout his career. He has participated as juried artist in Plein Air Easton from 2010 through 2013, one of the premier traditional painting exhibitions in the country. He was also the founder and organizer of Plein Air Mt Lebanon, A nationally recognized week long professional competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

David will be giving a demonstration at the gallery on Friday July 17 from 1-2:30 PM.

Leonard Mizerek Fellow, ASMA, nurtured his artistic love of nature while growing up in the Brandywine Valley. As a young boy, he often went painting along the Brandywine River, deriving inspiration from the countryside of nearby Pennsylvania. His early influence was with the Pennsylvania Impressionists and Brandywine School. Throughout the last few years, Leonard participated in several invitational Plein Air events including Mystic, Annapolis, winning Honorable Mention and Easton Md. winning Second Place in the Quick Draw event. He was featured painting live on TV France3 during a major antique boat festival. Known for his colorful, luminous seascapes and expressive brushwork, Leonard paints on site deriving inspiration from the many nearby coastal locations as well as harbors throughout the world. A central theme throughout Leonard’s work is his use of light.

“Grazing”  by Len Mizerek

“Grazing” by Len Mizerek

In Mizerek’s words, “ Light alters the color of all objects and touches those nearby. It sets a mood and evokes emotion, which I strive to portray in my work. I often explore various methods to interpret the way I view nature. I prefer marine subjects because I enjoy the way water reflects the floating objects, as well as the sky and time of day. It mirrors shapes and intensifies light. I paint outdoors to capture the light first hand and bring out all its color and luminosity.”

Leonard was awarded the Salzman Award for Excellence in Painting in the 112th Annual Exhibiting Artist Members’ Exhibition of the National Arts Club in New York City. He received the Iron Man Award from the American Society of Marine Artists for distinguished achievement and the 2006 Merit Award at the Coos Art Museum in the state of Washington.

Len will be giving his public demonstration at the gallery on Friday July 17 from 2:30-4PM.

In addition, Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery will be featuring demonstrations by Award winning Botanical Artist Lee D’Zmura on Friday July 17 from 10-12 Am. PLEASE NOTE that advertised demo with bronze sculpture artist Joan Bennett set for Saturday July 18 has been cancelled.

Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery is Easton’s liveliest gallery in the heart of the historic district. Additional artists featured include Fine Art Photographs by Nanny Trippe, watercolors by Don Hilderbrandt, oils by well known Plein Air and “Traveling Brushes” artist Roberta Seger, oils by Ann Sharp, watercolors/oils by Joe Mayer, as well as nautical and innovative metal sculpture by John C. North.

Works by Howard and Mary McCoy on View at Adkins Arboretum

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A young boy on a preschool field trip at Adkins Arboretum thought it was a dinosaur nest. A man riding by on a bike remarked, “If that’s a bird’s nest, it must be a mighty big bird.” The “nest” they were talking about is actually a sculpture created in the Arboretum’s forest by environment artists Howard and Mary McCoy of Centreville.

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“Accumulation” is among the works of Centreville artists Howard and Mary McCoy on view through Sept. 30

On view through Sept. 30, Unnatural Nature is the McCoys’ ninth outdoor sculpture show at the Arboretum since 1999. Using only natural materials collected in the woods, they have created ten site-specific sculptures, each inspired by a particular place in the forest. The artists will lead a sculpture walk during the show’s reception on Sat., June 6 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“Accumulation,” as the nest sculpture is titled, was inspired by the way pine trees tend to let their lowest branches die back as they grow upward through the forest canopy to catch sunlight. The McCoys were fascinated by how many of the Arboretum’s pines have stubs of old branches protruding from their lower trunks. It seemed to them to be an invitation to make a sculpture, so they gathered fallen pine branches and laid them across the broken stubs along a pine tree’s trunk, creating something resembling an enormous nest.

“It’s a little mischievous,” Mary McCoy said. “We like to make you smile.”

There’s humor in many of the McCoys’ sculptures, particularly “Toppled.” The two artists noticed part of a tree trunk stuck upside-down in the earth next to the gently winding stream of the Arboretum’s Blockston Branch. Realizing that it had broken off and fallen from high up in a dead tree still standing nearby, they decided to call attention to what had happened. They inserted branches gathered from the forest floor into the main tree trunk, pointing them upward as if they were growing there, but to show that the tree’s top had flipped over as it fell, the branches they inserted in that section point downward.

The show’s title, Unnatural Nature, comes from the McCoys’ practice of altering what they find in nature just slightly so that you often have to look twice before you realize you’re looking at something that’s not quite what nature would do. A woodpecker wouldn’t drill holes in a straight line and certainly wouldn’t make them all a uniform diameter. Vines wouldn’t grow in the shape of a cloud around a tree trunk. Consequently, their sculptures are gentle, low-impact works that will decay and disappear naturally with the passing of time.

The two artists started creating their works in March.

“It’s cooler then, and you don’t have to worry much about ticks and poison ivy,” said Howard McCoy. “And it’s especially good because the understory plants haven’t grown up yet, so you can see way back into the woods, plus there’s less chance of harming things underfoot.”

“By the time the show opens, the woods are full of new growth,” Mary McCoy added. “Which, of course, is one of the fun things about making sculpture here. Whenever you come to visit, the sculptures and the forest around them will look a little different. They just keep changing.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on through Sept. 30 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Cutline: “Accumulation” is among the works of Centreville artists Howard and Mary McCoy on view through Sept. 30 at Adkins Arboretum. The artists will lead a guided sculpture walk during a public reception on Sat., June 6.

Image of The Day by Bill Thompson

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Skimming the Water Clouds by William Thompson

Skimming the Water Clouds on the Choptank River by William Thompson



The Art of Erin Murphy Set for Adkins

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Erin Murphy finds worlds within a patch of sunlight or shadow. On view through May 29 at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center, Quoting Nature, her show of paintings, drawings and monoprints, draws the viewer into deep, atmospheric space.There will be a reception on Sat., April 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. to meet the artist.

“The Field” by Erin Murphy

“The Field” by Erin Murphy

Murphy’s works are full of sensuous, subtle colors and rich textures. Inspired by landscapes from Baltimore to South Africa, her poetic abstractions often hint at vast swaths of sky and earth but might just as easily be intimate close-ups. Mysteriously shining through velvety shades of darkest blue, the luminous radiance of “The Field,” a large monoprint, suggests a twilight sky above a meadow and distant tree line, but it could be many other things.

A young artist who graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2011 with a BFA in painting, Murphy is an avid hiker and traveler with a fascination for varied landscapes. She studied at MICA’s Summer Study in Sorrento, Italy, and atCentral Saint Martin’s College, University of the Arts London and has had artist residencies at Salem Art Works in Salem, N.Y., and the Bijou Studio in Cape Town, South Africa.

While studying at MICA, Murphy made copies of Old Masters paintings, a practice she sometimes still uses when she’s looking for inspiration. In working on these close studies of major works of art by artists such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, J. M. W. Turner and John Singer Sargent, she would often find herself fascinated by a small area of a painting and use it as a jumping off point for creating her own painting. This is the same process she uses when working from nature.

“I take in bits of sky or patches of light streaming through the trees or filtering onto a crumbling rock face into darkness,” she explained. “I try to isolate that moment, which is abstract but very alive. I’m an extreme editor of nature.”

Murphy’s works imply thresholds into subtle worlds of changing shadow and light. These are images of possibility and revelation. A brushy streak of bright yellow flashes across the lush brown surface of “Glimmer,” a small oil painting created while Murphy lived in Baltimore. It is as if in a moment, a sunbeam, an open door or a huge mountain will come into focus.

Occasionally, Murphy’s titles refer to specific places. In “Mist on Table Mountain,” a raw pigment drawing made during her residency in Cape Town, a curl of blue-white edges over the top of a dark triangle in a reference to the mist that can often be seen flowing over the dramatic horizontal peak of the mountain that soars up behind the city.

“There wouldn’t be any cloud cover,” Murphy said, “and it would literally be the mist pouring over the mountain. They say that’s how you can tell a storm is coming.”

Currently living in Nashville, Tenn., Murphy uses her artistic skills in her day job creating window displays for Anthropologie while pursuing her studio work at Fort Houston, a communal creative work space for artists and craftsmen that features a print shop, wood shop, photography studio and other facilities. Adding to her skills in painting and printmaking, she is learning woodworking techniques there and constructed her own frames for the works in the show.

“I feel like it hones my observation skills to take on a new project in a new space,” she said, “And I’m excited to think about what my work will look like in a year!”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on viewthrough May 29 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours

Working Artists Forum Set for Chesapeake College

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Chesapeake College will host the Working Artists Forum (WAF) for their annual Spring Show at the Todd Performing Arts Center from Wednesday, April 1st through Thursday, April 30, 2015. Member artists of WAF will be presenting recent works in oil, watercolor, pastel, pen and ink, and mixed media. Each artist will bring their own style, technique and subject matter to this yearly event.

“Juan” watercolor by Donna Winterling

“Running Before the Storm” watercolor by Sandy Alenko

The Working Artists Forum is a non-profit organization of more than 90 professional artists living and working in and around the Eastern Shore who meet monthly at the Academy Art Museum in Easton for discussions, demos and critiques. Membership is established by a jury composed of fellow artists. This show is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday and during specially scheduled weekend performances. Matthew Hillier, an internationally acclaimed wildlife and landscape artist living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, will be the judge for this show.

For more information about the Working Artists Forum, please see their website: www.workingartistsforum.com.

The Art and Science of Greg Mort


With exhibitions of his work at both Chestertown’s Massoni Gallery and Easton’s Academy Art Museum taking place at the same time, the popularity and interest in the artist Greg Mort’s watercolors, oil, and pastel images have never been greater on the Eastern Shore nor in the world of contemporary art these days.

The self-taught artist and astronomer gained unique visibility for his work in the late 1970s after Joan Mondale, wife of Vice President Walter Mondale and a big champion of the visual arts in America, took special interest in Mort’s unique blending of science and nature with his art. That friendship with Mondale continued for several decades leading to a one-person exhibition in Tokyo, Japan while Mondale’s husband served as US ambassador in the 1990s.

In his interview with the Spy, Mort talks about his work at Massoni and the AAM, his use of science and the reoccurring theme of the earth’s fragile nature.

This video is approximately four minutes in length

Carla Massoni Gallery
“Body // Water” through March 22

Academy Art Museum
The Art of Greg Mort: Selections from the Hickman Bequest through April 12

“Brush with Nature” Exhibit Opens at Centre for the Arts

Owl Shaw

Owl ShawQueen Anne’s County Arts Council’s Centre for the Arts hosts an art exhibit beginning on March 13th. Jonathan Shaw and Hai-Ou Hou are featured in the first shared exhibit of these distinctly unique artists. The show “Brush with Nature” runs through April 15th with a public reception on Friday, March 13 from 5:30-7:00 pm.

A wildlife artist and avid outdoorsman, Jonathan Shaw is a familiar sight at area wildlife festivals and plein air events, often accompanied by one of his falcons.  Whether painted in oils, acrylics or watercolor, Shaw’s sensitive portraits of wildlife are rendered with exquisite detail.  British-born, Shaw lives on an historic farm in Wye Mills where he keeps Paso Fino horses and several birds of prey.  Shaw is an avid falconer who hunts on horseback, a practice dating at least to medieval times in Europe and the Middle East.  He has had a passionate love for nature since childhood, and his love of animals in their habitat is evident in this show.

Hai-Ou Hou lives on Kent Island where she has recently opened a wonderful gallery space offering classes and exhibits.  She was born in Beijing China where she received a B.A. from the National Academy of Fine Art and Design. Following her immigration to the United States, she received her Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Towson State University. Hai-Ou has received numerous awards for her landscapes, portraits and figurative oil paintings. A noted outdoor painter, she has traveled to plein air events from California to the East Coast. Hai-Ou is a member of Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, American Women Artists, Washington Society of Landscape Painters and the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association.

Visitors can see the exhibit during the Centre for the Art’s regular office hours, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saturday by appointment. For more information please visit us at www.queenannescountyarts.com


South Street Gallery Features Basham, Howard and Nuss in March

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For the month of March, the South Street Art Gallery in Easton will feature the work of three new Gallery artists. “New Artists, New Voices” will include the work of Jill Basham, Debra Howard, and Barbara Nuss. Opening on March 4th and running through March 28th, the show will reflect the artists’ unique individual sensibilities, each quite different from the others. There will be a reception held during the First Friday Gallery Walk on March 6th from 5-8pm.

Jill  Basham "Aloft" 12x16 oil

Jill Basham “Aloft” 12×16 oil

Jill Basham most loves painting landscapes. “I am particularly intrigued by how light creates mood. The landscape can be a country, city or ocean/water scene.” Her goal is to try and get the emotion of the scene across to the viewer by matching the mood with brushwork, color palette and value/temperature range. “I enjoy painting outside, often times in a large format. I paint in the studio as well, where I have more time for reflection and can produce larger works.” Much of her most recent work focuses on atmosphere, with simple design elements and a moody color palette. This recent atmospheric work will be included in the show, “New Artists, New Voices”.

Basham is an award winning artist. Honors include 3rd Place in Plein-Air Easton in 2012; “Best Landscape” for the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Association; The Salmagundi Club’s Thumb Box Exhibition Award Winner, as well as other honors and awards. Artwork hangs internationally, including the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, through the US State Department’s “Art in Embassies” Program.

Articles and biographies about Basham’s work include American Art Collector and the book 100 Plein Air Painter’s of the Mid-Atlantic, by Gary Pendleton. Basham’s work has been featured in PleinAir Magazine’s “Why This Works”, an analysis of what makes a particular painting successful. Basham is an artist member of the historic Salmagundi Club in NYC. Other memberships include: The American Impressionist Society, Oil Painter’s of America, The Working Artist’s Forum and The Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association.

The Tree Farm by Debra Howard

The Tree Farm by Debra Howard

Debra Howard has been an artist and adventurer her entire life. She spent her childhood in Miami, Florida, where she first discovered her love affair with color, light, painting, and sailing. She studied at Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, and began her art career in San Francisco, where she opened her first illustration studio. After 17 years as a successful illustrator, she closed her studio to concentrate on fine art painting. “I realized that the career I had found so satisfying was being taken over by the computer. I missed the feel of the brush on canvas.”

In response, she provisioned her Peterson 44 sailboat with art supplies, her old dog and her 4 year old daughter and began cruising. After almost 27 years of traveling, sailing and painting aboard, Ling Ling, she has come ashore and has turned her creative focus to painting the Eastern Shore.

Her introduction to the Eastern Shore came by way of Tangier Island. She lived there for 2years, as the artist-in-residence and then as the Executive Director for the Tangier HistoryMuseum. She accomplished the task of painting a painting a day to document theseasons and changes on this disappearing island. Her work was featured in The American Scholar Magazine. The experience changed her; “I paint now with more energy, passion and immediacy,” Howard says, “which coincidentally reflect the very nature of the island. The island is raw.”

Living and working in Crisfield, Maryland she has turned her attention to the Eastern Shore: the vast open farmlands, the growing seasons and Assateague Island. All of these subjects, featuring her distinctive and rich color palette, will be represented at the upcoming show at the South Street Art Gallery Debra is a noted award winning plein-air artist with a passionate collector base. You can

Debra is a noted award winning plein-air artist with a passionate collector base. You can often see her on location with her easel and paints. She was voted “Best Visual Artist,” forCharleston, SC in 2007.

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Yellow Roses 18×14 oil by Barbara Nuss

Barbara Nuss is recognized nationally for her oil paintings of landscapes and still lifes. She is known for romancing the light whether on a peony, a clarinet, a picturesque creek, or an historic lane. “I attempt to give a contemporary response to the landscape with consideration to the environment in the still undeveloped areas that reveal the essence of my home state of Maryland. To achieve this, I use oil as the medium to create expressive and inviting paintings that will last a lifetime or more.” She paints from her heart.

Nuss began her career as an illustrator, immediately after graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA degree. Her journey encompassed many side trips including studying at The Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, Maryland. The National Arts for the Parks exhibited many of her paintings, which launched her landscapes that have been in many other national exhibitions and won her much acclaim. She has participated in many plein air competitions, winning Best in Show and several Juror’s awards.

Barbara Nuss’ book, 14 Formulas for Painting Fabulous Landscapes published by North Light Books was recently reprinted in paperback under the new title Secrets to Composition.

Nuss’ paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States and are in collections worldwide. She is a member of the Salmagundi Club in NYC and other professional art organizations. As President of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters for 10 years, she was instrumental in the Society embracing the 21st century.

The “New Artist, New Voices” show will be an opportunity for art enthusiasts to get a firsthand look at some of the fresh work of the newest artists to South Street Art Gallery.

Please go to www.southstreetartgallery.com for more information.

Spy Pic of the Day: Bald Cypress


Surprisingly, bald cypress may be found this far north. Photographers Dave Harp and Bill Thompson went paddle-boarding recently in Delaware’s Trap Pond State Park, the northernmost extensive stand of bald cypress on the Eastern seaboard of the US, according to Wikipedia. It is located near Laurel, Delaware, between Seaford and Salisbury.


Photo is by Spy contributor Bill Thompson.