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my bio is on file at the experession gallery
I spent my childhood in the Redwoods of Northern California where I discovered my love for nature. At the age of twelve my family moved to the Bay Area. As young teenager I loved to watch my Grandmother painting at her easel on the back porch of their Walnut Creek home. I dreamed of becoming an artist just like my grandmother someday. I took her creative spirit into my heart, and set out to follow that dream.
I studied graphic arts and was able to enjoy a long and successful career in the commercial art field. Although I am primarily self-taught I have recently studied art at Bay Area colleges. I use oil pigment to capture the beauty of nature on canvas just as my grandmother did so many years ago. Nature provides the inspiration, the color and the harmony for all my paintings. Realizing my dream I am currently exhibiting my paintings in many cities around the Bay Area and Northern California.
Amy Jo Karn lives in Oakland, CA, with her daughter. A native of New Mexico, she has been influenced by the bold and expressive art of Santa Fe, as well as by the Expressionist and Fauvist painters of the late 19th century. As a college student, Amy Jo studied Humanities and French in Boulder, Colorado, and continued on to earn a master's degree in History of Art from Northwestern University. Her shift from the study of Art History to art-making was a natural and liberating move. Her education in the History of Art enhances and inspires her artwork. As a painter, she is largely self-taught. She has a constant waiting list for custom pet portraits and has shown her work in cafes and galleries throughout the Bay Area. She was recently named Runner Up Best Pet Artist in Bay Woof’s Beast of the Bay Awards. Her paintings were also featured on Eye on the Bay, and Amy Jo was nominated for an Oakland Indie Award. Her style has been best described as "expressive," "folk- like," and "imaginative." She uses bold color combinations and expressive lines to create highly emotive paintings. Her pet portraits offer a stylized, adoring, playful look at the presence of pets in our homes and our daily lives.
Suzanna Klein has been living in the East Bay for years. She was born and raised on the East Coast. She graduated Goucher College in 1966 and then studied at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts 1968-69. She was employed as biological illustrator through the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; she illustrated Womenfolk and Fairytales, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1975. In 1976-9 she worked, at Faunus Furniture, Berkeley. She has been in various small shows and open studios. Suzanna studied with Roland Worthington and did many paintings in acrylics and oils, made small plaster objects and recently completed a ten year stint of digital painting. Working on the computer awakened her desire to make "hands-on" projects; this has led her into fabric work...weaving and most recently needle-felting. She is experimenting with converting her digital images into a softer, felty medium.
Roberta Loach lives in Kensington, CA. She has had two children, a son, Robert who is deceased and a daughter, Judith who is Deputy Attorney General, Oakland, Ca. She has an M.A in painting from San Jose State University and two teaching credentials, one in art and one in history and political science. Roberta taught art history for many years at West Valley College in Saratoga and etching, drawing and design at DeAnza College in Cupertino. She edited and wrote for a visual arts journal from 1975 – 1980 using an interview format. From 1990 – 2002 she exhibited her work in the gallery of Michael Himowitz, a major art dealer and close friend. Here she had four solo shows and a number of group shows. She was also in Smith Andersen Gallery in Palo Alto, the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara as part of their Bay Area Masters Series and her work is part of a number of private collections, most notably, Hunk and Moo Andersen of Atherton. She has curated many shows herself and has also served numerous times as a juror. Her work is currently at the SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery in San Francisco and at the Collectors Gallery in the Oakland Museum of Art. She is a member of the California Society of Printmakers and exhibits with them often. She had a solo show with Smith Andersen and with d.p. Fong in San Jose. Roberta states “ My major artistic influences are Francisco de Goya, Bosch, Dix, Kallowitz, Beckman, Daumier, Matisse, Picasso, Robert Colescott, Leon Golub, Ben Shahn, Paul Cadmus and others.”
Phelan McConaha is originally from the farmlands of Central Illinois. She now lives in Los Angeles, California. While in Illinois, she received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She has actively created artwork since childhood and passionately devoted herself to the arts by gaining a comprehensive perspective through art history scholarship as well as years of service in high end gallery curation and art appraisal. Her paintings are derivative of landscapes. While they qualify as Abstract Expressionist works, they are created with an intention to document a landscape, whether it be emotional or physical. Each painting contains the essence of places visited or felt. Her work centers around an infatuation with color, how it changes based on surrounding colors, lighting, intensity, and hue. Recently, she has been working with oil paintings on multiple layers of glass. She is fascinated by the effect of pulling paintings apart to their individual layers and observing the way light and distance create a three dimensional effect. The result of this process seems to imbue the works with a life of their own. Colors shift and change based on the light during certain seasons and even at certain times of day. The drama created by interplay of time and color allows a viewer the sensation of renewal and freshness. Overlaps created by the multiple layers of transparent color in the glass paintings provide spontaneous variations of color and intensity.