For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

William Barnes

Of the many Midwestern artists focusing on landscape and still life compositions, William Barnes creates compositions which seem to contain some mystery or situation beyond the sum of the visual parts revealed. Although obviously aware of artists of the past, Barnes approaches but skirts any direct links with the surrealist or trompe l'oeil genres. His early realistic work with simplified forms and subdued coloring suggested Hopper without deriving directly in any way. His collages contain figures in situations and settings reminiscent of illustrations for 19th century French or German novels.
Barnes' extreme care in developing his small to medium-size acrylic or casein panels is apparent to even the casual viewer. Precision and intricacy of detail draw in and hold the viewer. His use of unusual objects commands admiration from collectors who value traditional rendering of form and color, as well as those fascinated by the juxtapositions of miscellaneous remnants of the natural and contrived universe.
Growing up in California, Barnes attended UCLA before studying with Byron Burford in Iowa City, whose course in materials and techniques introduced him to egg tempera and casein, his major media since. Soon after his Iowa City period, signs appeared of what has become Barnes' signature style - landscapes noted for their "loneliness" by a local critic alternated with still-life studies of odd combinations of small objects. Recently, after sojourns in Tucson and Santa Fe, Barnes is bringing a warmer, more relaxed ambience to his exotic works.
Since 1983 Barnes has exhibited in over 45 Midwestern and Southwestern exhibitions, and his work, which hangs in over 20 public and corporate collections, is sought after by a faithful and patient group of private collectors. Images of his work have been published in ArtNews, Southwest Art, New Art Examiner and New American Paintings.


Grant Searl

Craft, technique, patience and originality are the four cornerstones on which Grant Searl’s works are founded. Assuming no substitute for persistence and self-application, Searl’s paintings are the product of his life and recollections so far. Memories from childhood, inspirations from popular culture and his insatiable appetite for books all inform the idiosyncratic and stylistic representations present in Searl’s work.

Son to a master tailor, precision and attention to detail are virtues that are ingrained in Searl’s paintings as much as they are in his genes. These qualities have been honed and refined over 25 years, first whilst studying art at Preston Polytechnic before – what’s credited as his real education – time as an interior decorator. This period, most of which was spent in clients’ home advising and planning, also meant time spent learning, perfecting and appreciating the craftsmanship of old artisan skills and techniques, now being lost to time. An irreplaceable by-product of which was a deeper understanding of the importance of colour and the restorative properties, on both mind and body, of traditional canvas art that conveys truly original visions from a modern, but personal, perspective.

This understanding and confident awareness of modern influences and tastes, combined with classical and timeless techniques, provide Searl with an understanding of, and appreciation for, a sympathetic but striking colour palette for modern and traditional, living spaces.

Christened Romantic Surrealism, Searl’s oil on canvas pieces are an eclectic mix of influences. Echoes of Surrealist masters Magritte, Di Chirico and Dali are combined with shades of pre-Raphaelite artists Millias and Holman-Hunt brought into the twenty first century with its subject matter. Nature, architecture, literature and, of course, human relationships, all provide a rich and inexhaustible seam of material. At times dreamlike and ethereal, at others dramatic and intense, but each as atmospheric as the next, Searl’s distinctive style is painstakingly created, building layer upon layer of oil over a period of months, to achieve a depth and vibrancy of colour that provides his trademark and his legacy.

Stuart Dunkel enjoyed a successful career as a professional oboe player, including work with The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, before returning to his first love - that of painting in the 1990’s. His work has been shown in exhibitions nationwide, and has been published in the Boston Sunday Globe, 1.9.00 and Boston Globe Arts Section, 8.11.95. A member of the Copley Society of Boston. Stuart has appeared as guest lecturer at Wellesley College and the Cambridge Art Association. His professional life also includes teaching art to private students, as well as music at the Boston Conservatory of Music. A composer, Stuart has recently produced a solo CD of himself performing compositions based on four of his paintings, called “Oboe Colors”.

“Being a painter, musician and author; sight, sound and words are my tools of expression. I began painting at age five and at age 7, I began studying music. The very discipline of formal training has always appealed to me and I have dedicated my life to the in-depth study of both painting and music. I studied music and art at Boston University, received my Masters in Music at Mannes College of Music, and received my Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Juilliard School. Further art study continued at Boston’s Museum School, Kent State, The Academy of Realist Art, The Seattle Academy of Art, as well as private study with respected teachers. After all this, I still feel that I am fundamentally self-taught.

My breakthrough moment occurred when it became apparent to me that music and art were made up of the same ideas. Conceptual juxtaposition has always been my gift. Rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, balance, contrast, scales, chromatism, keys, high and low, dark and bright, loud and soft, colorful and dull, jumbled in my mind’s eye.

My most recent paintings are about all the things that I love; dogs, cupcakes, various still life objects and landscapes. My dog, Oboe, takes me for 2 talks a day and introduces me to all her friends. Over the last year I have painted many of them in various compositions. I place them in their natural environments, and I put them in trompe-l’oeil portraits, concentrating on facial expressions and textures. Recently, an uneaten cupcake became an inspiration for confectionery stillife. Cupcakes let me have fun and explore subtle colors of cake, decorations and sprinkles.

Major influences have come from the Netherland artists between 1550 and 1720 - in particular, Kalf, De Heem, Heda and Claesz. Their clarity of image and beauty inspire me. My earlier works were Dali - inspired and taught me that creativity is that place inside that ideas mingle, collide and create new ones. The past meets the future on the inner screen between the eyes where reality and fantasy collide. I usually enjoy the darkest of backgrounds in my still life paintings as it affords the eye the most comfortable place to perceive reality at its beginning. The great Netherland artists of the 16th century knew this, and many of their most beautiful images are set against a blackish backdrop. This perception enforces my belief that nothing exists until light is draped over it. From the nothingness of black we build up to the perceived objects. As in love, we create the feeling the other inspires in us. As in art, we create the feeling to inspire the 'others,' in us. In other words, we must think about the consequences of our actions and what results each brush stroke communicates.”

performing highlights
Principal Oboe
New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra
Opera Company of Boston
Hong Kong Philharmonic
Florida Gulf Coast Symphony
Huntington Theatre Company, Boston
Substitute Principal Oboe
and English Horn 1974-1988
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston Pops Orchestra
Boston Conservatory of Music

music education
Doctor of Musical Arts, The Juilliard School
MA, Music, Mannes College
BA, Music, Boston University

Susan Seddon Boulet

Susan Seddon Boulet

Susan Seddon Boulet , a noted San Fransico Bay Area artist, died at her home in Oakland on April 28, 1997 after a long struggle with cancer. She was fifty-five.

Susan Eleanor Seddon was born in Brazil in 1941, of English parents who had emigrated from South Africa. Susan's mother Eleanor Seddon died, two years later, shortly after the birth of her scond child, Patrick.

Susan's early childhood was spent on a large citrus ranch, managed by her father, Eric Seddon. Susan loved the freedom of the farm and its closeness to nature. Encouraged by her father, she began drawing; her first subjects were the cows and horses of the farm. She always enjoyed a rich fantasy life; as a young girl she loved the folk tales and stories told by her father and caretakers on the farm. This is where she first developed her love of fantasy and fairy tales; images that would later be very influential in her art. Her formal education began at the company school, then later at St. George's, an English boarding school in Sao Paulo. Susan was a very religious young woman and contemplated becoming a nun; until her father, who could not tolerate that possibility, sent her to finishing school in Switzerland. While in Switzerland, Susan began her training as an artist.

Her father left the world of corporate agriculture to pioneer a small family farm in Goias, Brazil; but because of failing family finances Susan had to return to the farm It was this early introduction to many countries and cultures that planted the seeds of her passion to travel, helped her become tri-lingual and able to integrate almost anywhere in the world.

Susan came to the United States in 1967 and worked for Braniff Airlines. It was also in 1967 that she met and married Lawrence Boulet, who was studying at the University of Berkeley after serving in the United States Airforce. It was Larry who inspired Susan to dive more seriously into her art and they could often be found on a Saturday afternoon in a local park selling Susan's work from a fence or a line strung between two trees. When their son Eric was born the family moved to Oakland. In 1980 Larry died of cancer. It was a difficult time but with the help of friends and family Susan was able to integrate the roles of mother, business woman and artist. A yearly return to her beloved family and Brazil, helped to nurture her soul and further inspire her to continue her growth as an artist.

Her early work was clearly more light hearted and simpler in content than later work. Portrayals of medieval figures and fantasy characters, appearing in rainbow bright colors, predominated her early work but evolved into a more complex layering of the anthropomorphic images of animals, Shamans and Goddesses. Working primarily in French oil pastels, inks and occasionally pencil, she developed a distinctive personal style characterized by the use of color applied in layers from which dream-like forms emerged. She drew her inspiration from a wide variety of sources: mythology and poetry, Jungian psychology and worldwide spiritual traditions, as well as a deep love of animal and the natural world. There is a fairy tale quality to her work, a sentimental reacalling of childhood dreams of fairies and castles and magic. Her art exerted and continues to exert a profound influence on the lives that it touches. Anais Nin wrote:

"These figures are out of our dreams, those which flee from us upon awakening, those which are dispersed like dew at dawn, those which fall apart between our fingers like dust-roses.

Susan has a more muted step, or perhaps she is invisible...more soft-voiced, soft-gestured, as the images do not escape from her. She can return from her voyages with intact descriptions...from places never visited by us but which we remember."

Today Susan Seddon-Boulet is considered one of the founders of the visionary art movement in the United States. Her paintings are widely held in collections around the world. Published works include "Shaman: The Paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet", "Susan Seddon-Boulet: The Goddess Paintings", "The Power of the Bear" and a most magnificent overview of the artists' life and art "Susan Seddon-Boulet: A Retrospective" .

The artist took great pleasure in being present when her paintings were shown, and those that met her, however briefly, were invariably deeply touched by her empathy, warmth, gentleness, modesty and charm.


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