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Artist Profiles

We travel the world to identify the best artists for Our Fine Tapestries. In almost every case, our artists are inspired to move out of the ordinary, experimenting with differing mediums to achieve their vision.





John James Audubon
Artist Profiles

John James Audubon

Audubon was born in Saint Domingue (now Haiti), the illegitimate son of a French sea captain and plantation owner and his French mistress. Early on, he was raised by his stepmother, Mrs. Audubon, in Nantes, France, and took a lively interest in birds, nature, drawing, and music. In 1803, at the age of 18, he was sent to America, in part to escape conscription into the Emperor Napoleon’s army. He lived on the family-owned estate at Mill Grove, near Philadelphia, where he hunted, studied and drew birds, and met his wife, Lucy Bakewell. While there, he conducted the first known bird-banding experiment in North America, tying strings around the legs of Eastern Phoebes; he learned that the birds returned to the very same nesting sites each year.

John James Audubon (1785-1851) was not the first person to attempt to paint and describe all the birds of America (Alexander Wilson has that distinction), but for half a century he was the young country’s dominant wildlife artist. His seminal Birds of America, a collection of 435 life-size prints, quickly eclipsed Wilson’s work and is still a standard against which 20th and 21st century bird artists, such as Roger Tory Peterson and David Sibley, are measured.

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Riccardo Bianchi
Artist Profiles

Riccardo Bianchi

Hello!
I am Riccardo Bianchi. I was born in 1962 in Orvieto, a nice old town in central Italy, where I live with my family and where I work as well.

This page is still to be completed, because writing about me is not my favourite occupation.

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Albert Bierstadt
Artist Profiles

Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt was born 1830 in Solingen (Germany) but began his journey painting in New York. This is where he was inspired to paint large landscapes of the American West, making it the dominant theme of all his paintings. He became a part of the Hudson River School and embraced luminism. This method of painting involves beautiful strokes which make the painting appear illuminated, as if it is glowing.

Albert Bierstadt studied painting in the Dusseldorf School in Dusseldorf, Germany for five years. The year 1859 saw his first westward journey in America. Later, he continued to tour the American West during his career to paint absolute masterpieces.

Albert Bierstadt made use of fogs, clouds and mist to add to the feel of his painting. In addition to this, he painted on large canvases that overshadowed the art of his contemporaries when on display. His paintings inspired awe while bringing out his love for nature and devotion towards romanticism. Bierstadt has created as many as 4000 works of art, the prints of which are commercially available.

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Betsy Brown

Rose Garden I

Artist Profiles

Betsy Brown

Betsy Brown's prints have been delighting us for years. Her unique ability for diversity is part of her large appeal. She can take us to the quaint towns of Yarmouth and Asheville with their sense of family heritage. Betsy brings us to the sultry streets of New Orleans where one can almost hear the mellow sounds of Carmen Leggio's tenor sax. Alluring European landscapes capture our eyes with the way she creates the magic of distance and the penetrating effect of color and light.

Perhaps it is her attention to detail or the broader effect. Whatever the reason, what touches Betsy personally seems to affect so many others drawn to her work.

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Karen Dupre
Artist Profiles

Karen Dupre

Karen Dupre was born in California. She is a self-taught artist whose first inspiration stemmed from her interest in horses. This fascination quickly led her to translate the splendor of these animals and other wildlife through drawing. At age nine, Karen Dupré began working in pastels, which soon progressed into the use of other mediums – primarily acrylic paints. Since her early years as an artist, Karen Dupré had broadened her work to include landscapes, still life imagery, and figures. In addition to painting and drawing, Dupré’s artistic inspiration comes from a variety of sources, primarily several nineteenth century artists such as Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet, Frederic Remington and Auguste Renoir. She is particularly drawn to this period in art history when artists were challenging the established ideals and shaping their own schools of artistic thought. Similarly in her own art, Dupré strives to expand her style both in color and composition, not limiting herself to conventional artistic standards.

Dupré’s paintings reflect her versatility in terms of subject matter, ranging from calm landscapes and serene table settings to bold images of exotic animals and inviting entertainment scenes. Throughout her imagery, one can find a certain sense of harmony. This tranquility is partly a result of her gentle brushstrokes and her talent to illustrate the play of light in both nature and manmade objects. Dupré’s work is adept to capture a fleeting moment in time.

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Roger Duvall

Floral Reflections I

Artist Profiles

Roger Duvall

Roger Duvall was born in Quebec, where both parents were artists who inspired and nurtured his early interest in art. He studied art, including ceramics, at the University of Missouri and printmaking at Vancouver University in British Columbia, Canada.

His current focus is to capture the drama of the French countryside. He has traveled extensively in Provence, France, and has recreated the interesting buildings and villages of this beautiful area. His paintings have a dimensional feeling, which he obtains through the use of acrylic paint and texture.

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Nicole Etienne
Artist Profiles

Nicole Etienne

Paint. With Etienne, it's everything. Life, love and work. It's under her nails. It's in her hair. In fact, it's in her blood.

Imagine putting your dreams and ideas on canvas. Painting by instinct, not convention. Trusting your heart, not your eye. Etienne did. It's what makes her work so unique. And so hard to describe — Etienne's style is truly her own.

Sure, as with all artists, there are influences. Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, the Italian Masters. But there is so much of Etienne in her work. Her character, her passion, her imagination, her zest for life. And perhaps most important of all, her flare for the 'now'.

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Barbara Rosbe Felisky
Artist Profiles

Barbara Rosbe Felisky

Barbara Rosbe Felisky is well-known for garden and landscape paintings done in visible brush strokes, betraying impressionism. Travel keeps her inspired and proves to be a rich source for her images. Every year Felisky sets out to explore new areas, filling her mind with dramatic scenes to pep up her spirits.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Barbara Felisky now lives in Southern California. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Under the tutorship of Fredrick Odell and many Californian artists, her skills were further honed. Although Barbara Felisky started working as a qualified artist, she taught drawing and painting to adult and school-age students.

Felisky captures the invigorating shades of the flowers and shrubs with precision. The stone walls, bridges, paths and garden pools make you experience the tranquility of English countryside. Still life tableaus and floral paintings provide creative change in her artwork.

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Arnie Fisk
Artist Profiles

Arnie Fisk

Arnie Fisk, a free-spirited artist, hails from Kenora Ontario. His passion for painting took him places, exposing him to varied cultures and art around the world. He got acquainted with the variety in art that world has to offer and hence prefers not to stick to any specific area of specialization. Extremely talented and creative, Fisk explores art with a determination to savor it whole.

Arnie Fisk has taken up art as his full time career and leads a colorful life in Vancouver. His art showcases rustic, soft, tranquil as well as meticulously done old world paintings. Fisk’s art graces the walls of corporate and government buildings around the world. Home decors are also adorned with his artwork.

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Julie Greenwood

Magnolia Montage

Artist Profiles

Julie Greenwood

After studying Fine Art at The School for the Art Institute of Chicago, Julie became an artist specializing in photography. Her knowledge and passion for art is evident in her striking compositions, soft, delicate tones and a lighting style one can only describe as beautiful.

Julie’s photography is inspired by the subtle complexities of nature yet she is able to transform her subjects into refined, elegant works of art. Her photographs are sold throughout the world and cherished in private collections in America and Europe.

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Max Hayslette
Artist Profiles

Max Hayslette

Max Hayslette's love of travel is second only to his love of art, and his works have been influenced in various ways by the far corners of the world he has visited. "Every image begins in my head," says Max Hayslette. "The combination of a long dance between memory and imagination. Memory colored by imagination is the root from which my images grow. As is my practice in all of my paintings, I choose a subject - sometimes more than one - study it or them well, and then mentally disassemble the parts, mixing and reassembling them into a new image with a new spirit, which is my own."

Max Hayslette considers himself a romantic artist, one who seeks to give his works a warm and gentle spiritual quality. For him, the essence and spirituality of his subject are more important than detail, and he finds that he can grasp this spiritual essence more completely when his subject is illumined by the dawn twilight, halfway between light and dark. The viewer of Max Hayslette's work will witness a symphony of color and light, and their soul will be naturally and effortlessly won over by a quiet triumph of beauty.

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Anthony Holdsworth
Artist Profiles

Anthony Holdsworth

Anthony Holdsworth artworks emanate an utter love for life. The painted images seem so life-like as if it’s life itself, flourishing and illuminated. His themes commonly portray a play of sunlight at different times of the day. Enthusiasm about living is what makes Anthony Holdsworth run behind the source of life - the sun.

He observes in his surroundings what ordinary people cannot and brings out the beauty hidden in it through his art. Mid-morning tenderness is as accurately captured in his work as the thrashing intensity of afternoon sunlight. This tough art is meticulously accomplished when Anthony Holdsworth gets down to work. The illusionism projected by Anthony Holdsworth takes a viewer to a world on canvas before him.

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Liz Jardine
Artist Profiles

Liz Jardine

Liz Jardine was raised in New York and attended the State University of New York to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in design. She was involved in various apprenticeships following her graduation that exposed her to a variety of artistic techniques. Among her favorite techniques was the incorporation of fiber into porcelain wall pieces, the results of which brought a solo exhibit experience early in her career.


As her interests are broad and her talent versatile, She has been involved in a variety of different art forms, from formal dress design, to illustration, to watercolor. Her extensive travel agenda is a main source for compiling ideas for her next work. She has experimented widely with varied mediums, including the layering of rice paper to create collage formations.

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Thomas Kinkade
Artist Profiles

Thomas Kinkade

T homas Kinkade is America's most collected living artist. Coming from a modest background, Kinkade emphasizes simple pleasures and inspirational messages through his paintings. As a devout Christian, Kinkade uses his gift as a vehicle to communicate and spread inherent life-affirming values.

It was while growing up in the small town of Placerville, California that these important values were nurtured. It was also during this time that Kinkade began to explore the world around him. He spent a summer on a sketching tour with a college friend, producing the best-selling instructional book, The Artist's Guide to Sketching. The success of the book landed the two young artists at Ralph Bakshi Studios to create background art for the animated feature film Fire and Ice. It was also during this time that Kinkade began to explore light and imaginative worlds with abandon.

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Gustav Klimt
Artist Profiles

Gustav Klimt

Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, the second of seven children — three boys and four girls. All three sons displayed artistic talent early on. His father, Ernst Klimt, formerly from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. Ernst married Anna Klimt (née Finster), whose unrealized ambition was to be a musical performer. Klimt lived in poverty for most of his childhood, as work was scarce and the economy difficult for immigrants.

In 1876, Klimt was enrolled in the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule), where he studied until 1883, and received training as an architectural painter. He revered the foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart. Unlike many young artists, Klimt accepted the principles of conservative Academic training. In 1877 his brother Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend Franz Matsch began working together; by 1880 they had received numerous commissions as a team they called the "Company of Artists". Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstraße including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".

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Aleah Koury
Artist Profiles

Aleah Koury

Aleah Koury expresses his inner world through art in truly unique ways. He experiences immense freedom and a sense of accomplishment by indulging in his art. By adopting a non-traditional way of painting, he combines earth, water, fire and air in striking imageries that seem simply magical. It was a dream that spurred him to create his first large, controlled environmental structure using these basic elements.

Aleah Koury loves purity in his work and makes use of purest materials to create his unusual masterpieces. Fire as a mark making tool and transformer, along with copper, steel and bronze powders are his common vehicles. Consciously applying both traditional and advanced techniques for creation, Aleah Koury lets his subconscious take over until the work reaches completion.

The repetitive nature of his art provides a release for his imagination letting him discover new horizons to work upon in his studio. Inspired by oneness in all things, Aleah Koury recently launched two new series – ‘Before Genesis’ and ‘Oh Happy Days’.

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Jaume LaPorta

White Sails II

Artist Profiles

Jaume LaPorta

Jaume Laporta was born in Barcelona in 1940 to a family with a long artistic tradition. He started painting when he was 14 years old. In 1957 he began studies at the Fine Arts School of the University of Barcelona. There he studied sculpture as well as painting, and ultimately graduated with a degree in painting.

In 1967 Laporta worked as an Assistant Professor of Drawing at the Institute of Seville. Later on he became Professor of Painting at the Barcelona Institute.
In the 1970’s Laporta settled down in Costa Brava, attracted by the singularity and beauty of the Mediterranean landscape. While drawing at the beach in 1981, he decided that from that moment he would dedicate his creative skill to capturing the seafaring world with the greatest artistic realism possible. In his oil and pastel paintings, Laporta tries to maintain a realistic feel while playing with his paints and brushtrokes and avoiding an excessive faithfulness to reality. Boats and fishermen’s items achieve a leading role in his works, his passion and skill filling them with life and being.

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Don Li-Leger
Artist Profiles

Don Li-Leger

Born and raised in British Columbia, Don Li-Leger has painted since childhood, focusing initially on the birds and animals of his native province. Li-Leger’s formal training includes studies at the Vancouver School of Art, Simon Fraser University and the Banff Centre School of Fine Art.

His work has been featured in exhibitions throughout North America, including the prestigious Leigh-Yawkey Woodson traveling exhibit, and is represented in many private collections. Li-Leger works from the Crescent Beach, British Columbia studio/home he shares with his wife, Cora, also an artist, and their two young children. Li-Leger’s original works may be seen at the Petley-Jones Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Laurie Maitland
Artist Profiles

Laurie Maitland

Born in Portsmouth in 1969, Laurie came from an artistic family. Having been brought up in the Cotswolds for the formative years of her childhood, she moved to London as a teenager and excelled in the arts.

She studied photography, life drawing and specialised in set design as part of an English and Drama degree. After teaching for a couple of years, Laurie first exhibited her work in 1995 and has since owned and sold on two art galleries and furniture design business.
Laurie now paints full time and her work is a best seller in galleries up and down the country as well as overseas.

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Keith Mallett
Artist Profiles

Keith Mallett

For Keith Mallet, painting is a spiritual journey. It is a journey that started in childhood and continues to this day. Keith has worked as a painter, etching artist and ceramist. His subject matter ranges from still lifes to abstracts. In recent years, he has devoted his talents to themes that portray the beauty and strength of the African American experience.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1948, Keith studied painting at the Art Students’ League and Hunter College in New York City and LA Valley College in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited throughout the world and is in corporate and private collections. A variety of television shows and movies have featured Keith’s artwork and his paintings have graced the covers of several books. He has also enjoyed considerable success with numerous sold-out limited edition prints and was honored with a commission to paint the official limited edition print commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic breakthrough into major league baseball.
When asked what he wants viewers to take from his work, Keith states, “It is my desire, through my artwork, to depict the positive aspects of the African American experience. If I can show but one child the strength and beauty of her past or the bright hope of his future, then I feel I have accomplished my goal.”

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Barbara Mock
Artist Profiles

Barbara Mock

BBarbara Mock found her niche in impressionist paintings. Her art includes floral designs, still life, pleasant cottages, and tranquil scenes, finely painted tea cups, unusual gardening angels, colorful dried flower wreaths, and ivy-framed bird houses. Brush strokes ranging from thin to bold infuse life into her paintings. Barbara creates exquisitely fine lace patterns and strong blends of subdued color, making her art perfect traditional décor.

Art runs in her blood. Barbara began her art career in grade school and continued to follow her passion throughout her life. Her married life and consequent stay in Dallas, Texas, Coral Springs and Florida did not stop her from pursuing an art career. She now lives with her husband Jim Mock in the colorful Georgia Mountains.

Barbara Mock regards each painting as a challenge and a rich growing experience. She studies each new blossom to bring out the beauty that the world rarely has time to stand and stare.

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William Morris
Artist Profiles

William Morris

William Morris (1834-1896) was among the most creative artists Britain has ever produced. His accomplishments are extraordinary in their range and depth. He was a revolutionary interior designer and book printer, a staunch socialist, a famous and prolific poet, a weaver, embroiderer, dyer, calligrapher, translator, businessman, and architectural preservationist. He established the internationally successful firm Morris & Company, for which he mastered the design and production of stained glass, wallpaper, printed and woven textiles, carpet, and tapestry.

William Morris embraced an ideal that viewed modern art as mere mass production, with none of the uniqueness of earlier approaches, in particular Medieval art, which he believed retained more of the artist's original personality in the work. All Morris tapestries are a testament to craftsmanship, technique and discipline, as well as triumphing the artist above the process. It is for this reason that these wall tapestries are valued as highly as they are today. Each piece really is a one-off, and combines modern weaving technique with the striking dynamism of pre-Renaissance art.

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Michael O'Toole
Artist Profiles

Michael O'Toole

Michael O’Toole was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1963. His interest in art began with drawing at an early age and painting has now become his “all consuming passion”. Michael studied architectural design at BCIT and pursued a career in architectural illustration, living for a short time in Toronto, before choosing to devote his time fully to his art.

He now resides in White Rock, where he paints in a variety of media including watercolors and acrylics. His work appears in major private and corporate collections, and he has had many successful shows in Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.

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Susan Osborne

Morning Dream II

Artist Profiles

Susan Osborne

Susan Osborne says her primary artistic objective is to “pursue the legacy of simple form, line and design.” It is without a doubt that this objective is the major driving influence in her work.

The Delaware County, Pennsylvania native began her formal art education at the Pratt Institute in New York City in the late 80’s. While in New York she took advantage of the many art galleries and museums, especially the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

Upon winning a scholarship to study in Europe, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland in 1993. After working for several years overseas on various public art projects she moved to the Phoenix area in 1996. Since then she has endeavored to “create truly unique and original art to suit all imaginations, traditions and interiors.” Susan currently resides in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and son.

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Nancy O'Toole
Artist Profiles

Nancy O'Toole

Nancy O'Toole is well-known for her dynamic use of color, intensity and luminosity in her impressionistic paintings. Although well-versed in several media, her favorite medium at present is Acrylics. Nancy has painted a variety of subjects including portraits, florals, still life, and diverse landscapes. At present, recent travels through Europe have been the inspiration for many of her landscape paintings. She is sought after by collectors of fine art and has paintings in corporate and private collections throughout North America, England, Ireland, France, Japan, and many other countries around the world.

As a full-time artist, Nancy has numerous solo and public exhibitions to her credit, and she has been featured in galleries throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and Ireland. She is presently featured in Adele Campbell Gallery (Whistler, B.C.), Peninsula Gallery (Sidney, B.C.) and Stephen Lowe Gallery (Calgary, Alberta.)

Nancy has several images in open-edition prints that are available worldwide. A popular instructor in Acrylics, Nancy conducts workshops throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and worldwide.

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Paul Panossian
Artist Profiles

Paul Panossian

Paul Arthur Panossian was classically trained in the methods and techniques of the Old Masters. Inspired by the Renaissance period, his artwork is characterized by clarity of form, use of color, subtle detailing and unified schemes of interior design. Raised in Southern California, Paul was recognized to have artistic talent as early as age 5. A family trip to Italy became his earliest art influence; and many years of private instruction and worldwide travel inspired him to carry on the traditions and imagery found in art forms dating back to antiquity. He mentored under professional artists from the age of 5, and later earned a B.A. from California State University Northridge.

Paul spends a significant portion of his day creating art. Says the artist, "Like a musician who regularly practices his instrument, I believe it is vital to continually put paint to canvas." A unique interpretation of classical decorative art, Paul’s work has merged adaptations of both Etruscan and Rococo motifs into delicate works of art. His artwork has been painted on canvas, walls, ceilings and custom made panels, textured to have the same surface appearance as Old Italian frescoes.

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Bill Saunders
Artist Profiles

Bill Saunders

Bill Saunders, born in 1948 Montreal, started his life-long relationship with Quebec scenery since he was a young child. He began sketching at the age of four, and painting at twelve. The farmlands of Quebec and Ontario continue to fascinate him till date. An old farmhouse on a quiet country road, an isolated lake amidst range of hills and mountains and forest of maples hiding a sugar shack are frozen in his paintings. These are his cherished scenes which he hopes never disappear as the world advances.

Bill Saunders never fails to capture even the minutest details with acrylics. His paintings adorn galleries and private collections in Canada and the US.

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Adin Shade
Artist Profiles

Adin Shade

Adin Shade - water colors never flowed so smoothly as in his art work. With a passionate Adin Shade at work, what else do you expect? He has been painting for more than forty-five years. His expertise in water color painting gets reflected through his artwork. In the Kachina School of Art, located in Phoenix, Shade studied the art under the guidance of Jay Datus. He developed an interest in water colors at the Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona.

Adin lets the water colors play on the paper. This is what makes his paintings completely alluring. To add to this, his attention to detail gives a new color to his paintings. Shade has observed and absorbed the terrain of Arizona and has successfully portrayed it through his paint brush, be it the pines of the country or the deserts of the south.

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Davis Short

Moorings Low Tide

Artist Profiles

Davis Short

Davis Short was born in Nottingham in 1940 and was encouraged to pursue his interest, and obvious talent, during his early school years. He later attended the Nottingham School of Art. David painted as an amateur for several years followed by a number of years as a semi-professional. He spent a great amount of time in Devon and Cornwall studying the landscape, the sea, and inshore boats.

In 1972, he achieved his ambition to become a full-time artist. David has always felt the need to vary his subject matter. He believes the variety keeps his work fresh and adds to its collectability. Initially, his reputation was built around his marine work but his portfolio now includes landscapes, beach scenes and scenes of Tuscany. David’s paintings are much sought after by discerning galleries throughout Europe and by private collectors worldwide.

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Allayn Stevens
Artist Profiles

Allayn Stevens

Allayn Stevens (CAC, OPA) studied art in Laguna Beach at the Laguna Beach College of Art and the San Miguel de Allende Instituto. Her work has been displayed at the Western White House in San Clemente and is actively collected by Home Savings of America, Butterfield Savings and Loan, Allen Meyers, Quality Inn Suites, Dr. Frederick Corbin, Dr. Richard German, the Waterfront Hilton, Marriot Hotels, Broadcom, Henry Nichols, Kathy Lee Gifford and Mr. and Mrs. Enberg.

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Jennie Tomao

Radiance Pillow

Artist Profiles

Jennie Tomao

Tomao was born in New York City. She attended the prestigious New York School of Music and Art, where she received an Award of Excellence from the Pittsburgh Institute of Art. She has been painting for over 30 years. Tomao is renown not only for her magnificent landscapes but also for her traditional images of women and children in imaginative settings, and her exquisite lifelike flowers arranged in elegantly detailed vases. Her palette is both jewel-like and muted - light glistens off the focal objects, sometimes actually flowing with their inner radiance. Her style is strongly reminiscent of George Innes in its quiet feeling of warmth and space.

Tomao has had exhibitions in Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Desert, Portland, Vancouver, New Orleans and Palm Beach.

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Fabrice de Villeneuve

LA TAVERNE CHEZ ELLE

Artist Profiles

Fabrice de Villeneuve

If I could take you on a walk to my childhood, we should be in France, in the magical region of Normandy. The house I grew up in was surrounded by a lush garden of flowers and vegetables. I was, in part, raised by the sea and the flora surrounding it. My affinity with my splendid surroundings was to characterize what I was to become in life.

After a few years, I decided to become an antique dealer. During that period, I filled my life with whatever objects, paintings or pieces of furniture that captivated my sense of beauty. When I became an artist and creator in my own right, it was again the richness and peacefulness that I had been enamoured with as a child that I tried to recreate in my work. I needed to share this with others.

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Leonardo Da Vinci
Artist Profiles

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was a Florentine artist, one of the great masters of the High Renaissance, who was also celebrated as a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. His profound love of knowledge and research was the keynote of both his artistic and scientific endeavors. His innovations in the field of painting influenced the course of Italian art for more than a century after his death.

Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, in the small Tuscan town of Vinci, near Florence. He was the son of a wealthy Florentine notary and a peasant woman. In the mid-1460s the family settled in Florence, where Leonardo was given the best education that Florence, the intellectual and artistic center of Italy, could offer. He rapidly advanced socially and intellectually. About 1466 he was apprenticed as a garzone (studio boy) to Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painter and sculptor of his day. In Verrocchio's workshop Leonardo was introduced to many activities, from the painting of altarpieces and panel pictures to the creation of large sculptural projects in marble and bronze. In 1472 he was entered in the painter's guild of Florence.

Although Leonardo produced a relatively small number of paintings, many of which remained unfinished, he was nevertheless an extraordinarily innovative and influential artist. During his early years, his style closely paralleled that of Verrocchio, but he gradually moved away from his teacher's stiff, tight, and somewhat rigid treatment of figures to develop a more evocative and atmospheric handling of composition.

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