Through numerous gallery exhibitions and shows, art lovers around the world have come to admire and enjoy the art works of Victoria Brooks. She captures the essence of sun-drenched images typical of California in a vibrant, impressionistic style. Victoria’s paintings are characterized by intimate moments set in romantic, richly conceived landscapes and seascapes. The result is a hauntingly personal connection with the viewer that resonates at the deepest emotional level. Her special talents are particularly evident in her expressive portraits where she reflects the mood and inner nature of her subjects. After a successful career as an art director in television and motion pictures, she pursued her love of painting, which she has been doing for 20 years. In addition to being a talented studio artist, she is an accomplished plein air painter as well. She has won numerous “Best of Show” awards for herstudio and plein air works. Victoria loves teaching oil and watercolor painting and is a favorite of art clubs for her informative art demonstrations. She teaches plein air painting workshops in California, Italy, France, Ireland and Greece. Victoria is a Signature Member of National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) and American Impressionist Society (AIS). She also is an Artist Member of the Oil Painters of American (OPA), California Art Club, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico and Plein Air Painters of Hawaii. http://www.vbrooks.com/
Helen Gibb - Ribbon Art Helen Gibb - is an international ribbon expert and teacher specializing in ribbon flowers. She is a regular guest on The Carol Duvall Show (HGTV and DIY), and she has appeared on PBS’s Creative Living, and on network TV news programs in Denver. Helen has authored four books on ribbonwork - The Secrets of Fashioning Ribbon Flowers; Heirloom Ribbonwork; Ribbonwork The Complete Guide, and Elegant Ribbonwork. She has also produced a two-hour instructional DVD - Beginners Guide to Ribbonwork. Helen’s ribbonwork has also been showcased in numerous magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Doll Costuming, and Embroidery and Cross Stitch magazine in Australia. http://www.helengibb.com/ For the last ten years, Helen has organized and taught her own ribbonwork retreats in Colorado, and has taken students on a trip to Australia. She also teaches ribbonwork in Canada, and at all the major quilt shows in the USA. Self taught, Helen's ribbonwork journey started in 1996 with the purchase of an antique book on old millinery techniques. In that book were some simplified instructions on how to make a ribbon rose. Since then, Helen has acquired several 1920's books about ribbonwork and some lovely samples of vintage ribbon flowers from the 1920's, many of which are shown on the pages of her books. Visit Helen's web site - www.helengibb.com for books, DVD, ribbonwork supplies and for more information about the supplies needed for this Tuscany ribbon workshop.
Carolyn E. Lewis - Plein Air Cortona A commendable quality of Lewis' work is the feeling one experiences of actually being in the scene while viewing her strongly designed landscapes. Lewis continues, "...but most of all, I enjoy the process of creating art and communicating the atmosphere and drama of my subject." The art of Carolyn Lewis is inspired by nature, wildlife, and people. It is sensitive without being overly sentimental. Her commissioned portraits of individuals and animals, and her powerful landscapes, are steadily gaining acclaim in national art circles. In September 2005, Carolyn's first book entitled Land and Light Workshop, Painting Mood and Atmosphere in Oils was released by North Light Books, and an accompanying video/DVD entitled Painting Mood and Atmosphere in Oils was released by Teaching Art, Ltd. Her work is also published in The Ultimate Guide to Painting from Photographs, edited by James Markle and Layne Vanover, North Light Books, October 2005. In addition, Carolyn is published as one of 6 artists featured in Artist's Photo Reference - Landscapes by Gary Greene, 2001 and Artist’s Digital Photo Reference, edited by Erin Nevius, also published by North Light Books, 2006. Recently, she has written articles published in Paint Magazine for the Society for All Artists, UK. She has also had her work featured in The Artist's Magazine. http://www.lewisstudio.com/ Signature membership status: Oil Painters of America
Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 20 books and the founder and director of theNational Writing for Children Center. She is also an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature and the host of Book Bites for Kids, a talk show about children's books, LIVE every weekday afternoon on blogtalkradio.com. As The Working Writer's Coach, Lieurance helps people who like to write become "working" freelance writers who earn a living from what they like to do best - write. Lieurance's newest book for adults, The Life of Your Dreams - Building Your Life and Career Around the Things You Love Most, will be available in March 2008. Her newest children's book, The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, a historical novel, is due for release in May 2008. http://www.suzannelieurance.com/
Patrick Mahoney - Treasures of Tuscany & Tuscan Cooking, Food & Wine Patrick Mahoney (Miami University BA'80, MA'82) lives in Cortona where he continues a twenty-eight year career in the field of Arts & Entertainment producing events, workshops and tours and providing opportunities to share the Italy experience with travelers, artists and people who share his interests for foods, wine, art, culture. Patrick's passion is to conceive and realize various ways in which the human spirit can express and demonstrate its capacity to create. His ability to fearlessly think, conceive, and work "out of the box" has earned him the attention of artists & musicians, colleges & universities, and public & private organizations, business and industry. Patrick brings integrity and a unique vision to Toscana Americana and he is committed to realizing the opportunity for participants to create in an atmosphere of peace, joy, respect and mutual support. As a "slow traveler" and a supporter of "slow food" Mr. Mahoney rides trains, walks, lingers over lunch, dinner or a cup of espresso, stops to smell the roses and savors the sensory feast wherever he is!
Larry is a painter with a message. He has committed his life to documenting the natural world. In his words: "Today, our beautiful planet is taking a beating through overdevelopment and abuse. I try to capture the grandeur of nature. To create reminders of peace and beauty. It's my way of making a statement against destruction." Larry was born in 1957 and raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida. When his family first began to recognize his talent, he was a tender nine. First drawing, then painting, then surfing. At age 14, Larry had already combined his passion for nature and surfing with his gift. He began airbrushing surfboards, vans and wall murals. Since then, Larry's success has been rapid. The mass of awards listed below gives clear witness to his position among the country's leading artists. Larry has been awarded the highest national and international honors. To date, over 30 pieces of art have been accepted into the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles. Recently, he was awarded the Society's most prestigious honor, a gold award. Without pretension, Larry attributes his success to passion, hard work and problem solving; a technique he learned as an illustrator. Since 1993, Larry has taught illustrating, drawing, creative thinking and oil and pastel workshops. In front of the classroom, he is known as an instructor, role model and mentor. Time and time again, Larry has helped promote young artists to heights they never dreamed of reaching so soon. Perhaps this ability to nurture came from the support of his family. Growing up surrounded by talent, Larry's mother, grandmother, brother and stepmother were all artists. Larry remembers clearly the day he discovered plein air painting. From that moment, he knew exactly what he wanted to do: Combine his experience, his passion for nature and his life-long goal of becoming a better painter. "It's all about the learning journey." Larry Moore.
The seeds for plein air painting were planted in Robert Simone while growing up in Cleveland, Ohio.“My father spent his summers boating and fishing on Lake Erie and his winters painting watercolors in the basement.He fueled my passion for the outdoors and taught me to draw. He wasn't a professional, he just loved it.My earliest artistic memory, about age five, is painting a still life of stuffed animals using Dad’s watercolors.With his help I wrote the title, Dogs on Piano, right across the bottom.Looking back, I couldn’t have been more fortunate.” Robert is somewhat of a renaissance man who has had a variety of occupations.He has a degree in Structural Engineering, a captain’s license, ran spear fishing charters in the Gulf of Mexico, worked as a dive master and owned a successful landscape company.He eventually followed his dream of becoming an artist.“Shortly after we married in 1998, Penny realized I was a frustrated artist.I took her to museums and festivals critiquing everything.Finally she signed me up for classes.The instruction wasn’t great but it got me started.I read books, watched videos and took workshops.I’ve been fortunate enough to receive instruction from Anthony Ryder, Scott Christensen, Clayton Beck and Christopher Still.” As a painter, Robert portrays the peaceful beauty of a Florida landscape which is being steadily absorbed by urban sprawl.As an instructor, he is an excellent communicator with a keen sense of humor.His classes emphasize using a limited palette and solid fundamentals.Inspired by the old adage: Teach a person a fish and they will fish for a lifetime… Robert believes that if students are taught certain fundamentals they will paint for a lifetime.“Too many artists become perpetual students, never realizing their potential because they aren’t taught to see and paint the critical information.” Visit Robert J. Simone online.
Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books, a writing coach with clients all over the world, and a former instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her articles and stories have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and newspapers and she writes regularly for several blogs and websites. Suzanne lives and writes by the sea on the Treasure Coast in sunny Jensen Beach, Florida.