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

Cuong Nguyen









Trained to be a traditional portraitist at the age of 10 in his native Vietnam, Cuong has always had a passion for drawing human faces. He finds the natural beauty in the people that surround him—from the men and women he painted to earn money on the streets of Saigon as a child, to the denizens of Silicon Valley that he often paints today. Faces inspire him—so much so that that he has been known to approach strangers to request that they model for him.

Despite his focus on the human form, Cuong remains remarkably versatile as an artist. As an illustrator at Yahoo, he works on a digital canvas no bigger than 50 pixels square, designing icons that are viewed and loved around the world. At the other extreme, he has been invited to festivals in the U.S. and abroad to create pastel paintings on pavement as large as 24 x 16 feet. Though he always returns to people, he has developed a unique eye for still-life and even abstract work. His primary mediums include pastel and oil.

Art has always been a passion for Cuong. His formal training began at the Academy of Art in Saigon, but was interrupted when he realized his dream of escaping the country and coming to the U.S. Starting with only twenty dollars to his name, he worked multiple jobs to put himself through school and earn a degree in illustration and graphic design from San Jose State University. Though he put aside his fine art ambitions for a time, he was unable to stay away for long.

Cuong’s paintings depend on the dramatic portrayal of light, shadow and environment to create their mood and sense of realism. He often supplements the emotions visible in his subjects’ faces with symbolic imagery that adds a sense of mystery. He believes that a successful painting requires that he establish an emotional connection with his subject, so that the viewer in turn connects at an emotional level with his work. Cuong is a member of the International Guild of Realism, member of Oil Painters of America (OPA), and recently earned his tittle Distinguished Pastelist of the Pastel Society of The West Coast.

Cuong admires work by John Singer Sargent, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and Norman Rockwell. His favorite contemporary artists are Jeremy Lipking and Daniel Greene.






Stephanie Deshpande












Stephanie Deshpande (b.1975) graduated from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1997 with a degree in Painting. She continued her studies at the New York Academy of Art and earned her Masters of Fine Art. She has exhibited her paintings in New York City since 1998, and has been represented by the Art Student’s Showcase as well as Belenky Gallery in SoHo. Currently, she is participating in the CONCEPTION group shows in Tribeca.





Honors:
Finalist, ACOPAL’s Contemporary American and Chinese Realism Competition, November 2011
Best in Show, Synchronicity Space, Manhattan, NY, January 1999
Chancellor’s Talent Award, 1994-1997
Fellowship to Yale’s Summer Art Program at Norfolk, Summer 1996
External Jury for an Award, Spring 1997, Spring 1996
Award of Excellence, Department of Art Spring 1997, Fall 1994
William F. Field Alumni Scholars Award, Spring 1996
Area Award in Painting, Spring 1996
Internal Jury for an Area Award in Painting, Spring 1996
Internal Jury for Award of Excellence, Spring 1996











Mattias Sammekull








Mattias Sammekull (b. 1972 Stockholm, Sweden) is one of Sweden's foremost figurative artists. The artist lives and works in his own studio Ateljé Sammekull, located just outside Helsingborg. He calls himself a visual storyteller, whose aim with his work is to convey emotions, to tell his own stories using himself or other models to create his scenes.
Sammekull is an autodidact painter, but has studied with Odd Nerdum in Norway and also in various art academies in Sweden. He divides his time between his own paintings and commissioned portraits.
The artist has had many successful shows in Sweden as well as internationally, in Germany, Norway and Italy. His work is found in private, corporate and public collections all over the world. Sammekull woks in traditional methods and always use the absolutely best materials found today guaranteeing his work will last for a very long time.
He also teaches private students in his home studio.

EDUCATION
Student of Odd Nerdrum
Student of Eser Afacan
Internatinal school of Arts, Stockholm
RMI Berghs, Stockholm
Various art courses at art acadmeies in Sweden
Private studies in art history and philosophy


also here










Jack Richard Smith










Born: Fremont, Michigan 3 August, 1950
1971-72 Thomas Jefferson College
1970 -71 Instituto Allende at San Miguel de Allende
1968-69 Columbus Collage of Art
1966 Interlochen Arts Academy
Awards and Honors Summary

Past Achievement Award, Peter and Madeline Martin Center for the Creative Arts
Speaking and Lectures

University of Cincinnati School of Art and Architecture
Muskegon Museum of Art, A Light from Within
Harwood Museum of Art, Taos Portraits
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Portraits of American Poets with Poet Laurette Billy Collins
Taos Center for the Arts


























Richard Smith






Having always lived in the Bay of Plenty, time spent on and about the Tauranga Harbour during my formative years has had a lasting influence on my approach to painting.

Frequent travel throughout the country visiting both new and familiar locations also provides inspiration. Often it's the everyday and urban, places that represent the fundamental nature of the country's people and places and examine the relationship between the past and present. These places fellow travellers might pass by, but of course are as typically New Zealand as our iconic and picturesque landscapes. They are locations I search out.

















Richard Smith was born and raised in Tauranga. From a young age he had an interest in drawing and painting. As a child he spent many hours in his father's boat-building workshop observing and drawing boats under construction, developing the accomplished skills and techniques now so evident in his work.

Influences have been the American painter Edward Hooper and a number of New Zealand painters, including Peter McIntyre. The solid compositional and drawing abilities and unerring sense of perspective that they demonstrated in their work are also a strong feature of Richard's.

Throughout his working life, which was spent predominantly in the field of marine manufacturing, Richard sustained his passion for art. It became his primary focus in 2001 when he made the decision to paint full-time. Since then he has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions.

Richard's versatility leads him to depict landscape, the marine environment of wharfs and vessels, and buildings of character. It is from years spent in and around the marine environment, that Richard gleaned his knowledge of boats and of the mercurial nature and characteristics of water. He is able to capture the distinctive 'personalities' of different boats and the elusive, reflective quality of the water around them. "I want water to look fluid and wet, as if you could dip your hand in… or an old post so solid and textured that you want to reach out and touch it. An elusive goal but one I'm always aiming for", he says. Peoples presence and relationship with their environment is another theme often explored through paintings of old structures often abandoned and left to ruin.

Although based in Tauranga Richard finds inspiration from frequent travels to different parts of the country. While he used to paint on location, he now finds this takes too long and prefers to work from sketches and photographs in his studio. His keen eye for the subject observed 'en plein air' is reflected in his paintings.

He describes himself as a 'contemporary realist'. Although his art appears detailed, it is not the detail that interests him, but rather to create paintings that look spontaneous and convey a sense of life. 'My art covers many aspects of our land and lifestyle'.







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