Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a native Californian and a long-time resident of San Francisco.  Growing up in Sacramento and Lodi, he began drawing almost before he could write and thus began a fascination with light and shadow that took him through serious study of drawing, photography, cinematography and (after moving to San Francisco) ultimately, painting. Born with mild red/green color-blindness, his art for many years consisted of pastel portraits in one or two colors on toned paper.  In response to a challenge by a recipient of one of these portraits, Kevin began to study the color wheel, color harmonies and design, ultimately formulating a way around this visual limitation to create harmonious landscape paintings. The intimate settings he prefers painting are inspired often by the glowing effects of grasses and foliage illuminated from behind in the  late afternoon or early morning.

“I paint almost exclusively the small details of the landscape, rather than broad vistas or ‘scenes’. The play of light and shadow is usually my principle subject, rather than the objects or physical elements themselves. The compositions are then ‘found’ within the arrangement of light and dark; objects and surroundings. Trees, especially often feel like ‘surrogates’ for human emotion. My most frequently-painted subject is San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. After 30 years, still discovering hidden little corners!”

Kevin’s website is http://www.kevinrbrownart.com/

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Sharon Calahan

Pacific Northwest native Sharon Calahan has had a lifelong love for nature and outdoor activities. Her art education in illustration and design led her into a career as an artist in the motion picture feature animation business. Since joining Pixar Animation Studios in 1994, she has helped create The Good Dinosaur, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Cars 2, Coco and many more. A star in the field of animation, in 2013 she was admitted to the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers.

Sharon has spent her career studying the effects of light and color to enhance beauty and mood in the film world and has recently endeavored to transfer this knowledge into landscape painting. She loves to hike and paint out of doors, and then to use these field studies as direct inspiration in the studio. She won the Bronze Medal Award at the 2011 Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition, and has participated in other juried events such as the Sonoma Plein Air Festival, the Napa Valley Art Festival, the Emeryville Art Show, as well as selected gallery shows.

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Bill Cone

A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in 1983, Bill Cone has been painting landscapes for the last two decades, often in the East Bay hills, with yearly pack-trips into the Sierra mountains. His pastel paintings have been exhibited in group and one man shows throughout California. His “day job” is as a Production Designer for Pixar Animation Studios, where he has done hundreds of pastel lighting studies for films that include Toy Story, Cars, Inside Out and Up. His pastel work for Pixar has been on display at the Oakland Museum. He has also taught classes on lighting and color at Pixar for the last 10+ years, and lectured at numerous plein air conventions and events, and teaches plein air workshops. Information about his lectures and workshops can be found on his blog. He blogs at www.billcone.blogspot.com.

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Christin Coy

Marin County painter Christin Coy is well-known and a favorite in the Northern California plein air scene. Christin’s oil paintings of the Marin County hills, coastal regions, and Sonoma County vineyards, reflect her strong connection with the land, responding to the unique mood and beauty of each setting. It has been said that Christin’s work evokes the deep, rich sounds of the cello. In the words of Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum, “Christin Coy’s works are soft and gentle views of California at its most spiritual moments. She treats the landscape with genuine tenderness, seeking always the most poetic times of day. Her light is subdued but heartfelt, and her colors form a deep harmony that precisely captures the soul of the land. The result is a splendid amalgam of light, tone and poetry.”

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Mark Farina

While Mark Farina travels around northern California with paint and easel, his primary subject matter is the Monterey Bay area. An unmistakable expertise with color, composition and rendering evidence not only Mark’s experience and devotion to his art but his love of the land as well.

We proudly featured Mark’s work in our fall 2009 show, “A Heaven in the Eye: Seven Painters of the Northern California Landscape.”

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Robert Flanary

Currently residing in Chehalis, Washington, Robert Flanary has spent the last 40 years painting, drawing and etching the Washington, Coastal Oregon and Northern California landscapes. His exploration into tonalist plein air painting began years ago with morning expeditions along the riverbanks of the Little Spokane River in Washington state.

His most recent paintings are designed for the home environment, to function in understatement as part of an environment shared with other objects. They are low-key in tone to harmonize, analogous with furniture and accessories of natural tone and texture.

Conceived to rest quietly on the wall, each speaks in low light, from a particular distance. The paintings, through means of design, allow the viewer to experience his or her own thoughts and feelings while in the visceral state brought about by such harmony. The design of a tonal painting emphasizes the elements of value and subordinates color; mass is emphasized over line; the principle of unity emphasized over variety. Though subordinated, color, line and variety remain important through their relationship with their counterparts in asymmetrical harmony.

Robert’s work was featured in our February, 2015 show,  A Continuous Harmony: New tonalist paintings by Robert Flanary and Paul Roehl. View the show’s webpage…

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Ellen Howard

Ellen Howard has been a California resident for 20 years but grew up outside of Boston surrounded by relatives who were artists. After earning a B.S. in Business and a minor in Art History from Syracuse University, she then began her career in finance and venture capital. It wasn’t until her two children were older that she returned to her love of art and art history. In 2010, she was introduced to plein air painting and started taking classes and attending workshops.

Ellen works primarily in oils, studying landscape and marine subjects on location. Thus allowing her to be outdoors, taking in the nuances, beauty and diversity of Northern California. True enjoyment comes from painting the marshlands and highlighting areas along the Pacific Coast, capturing the light as it spreads across a scene.

“I strive for my paintings to engage the viewer and evoke a sense of connection, create a stillness that transports the onlooker to a tranquil space. Each painting is unique and an expression of that mood or energy expressed at that time.”  —Ellen Howard

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Paul Kratter

Holton Studio Frame-Makers has been representing East Bay painter Paul Kratter for many years now, gathering an enthusiastic following for his scenes of the state of California, from the Sierras to the seashore. Paul is a highly accomplished artist and instructor who has won numerous awards at Plein Air events across the country. A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, after 22 years working as an illustrator and publishing several books, he now paints full time and teaches plein air workshops. He has also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, and Pixar Animation Studios (where his wife Tia Kratter works in design, animation and as a teacher). Much loved by fellow painters as well as collectors, since 2005, Paul has led the Granite Group on an annual summer painting trip into the High Sierras. The humility and joy that Paul carries with him, along with his brushes, paints and panels, out into the mountains, hills, and to the seashore is directly reflected in the work he produces there. With an eye for color and form, his forthright use of paint and astonishing rendering skills allow him to capture the Northern California landscape with a direct and confident touch earned through long familiarity and devotion to the land and its light. Paul has been featured in several shows at the Gallery, including the Spring 2017 exhibit, “Paul Kratter and Terry Miura: A Language of the Land.”

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Tia Kratter

Tia joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1993 as a Digital Painter during production of the studio’s first feature film, Toy Story. She has subsequently held the Shader Art Director role on five other films, including Pixar’s Monster’s Inc., A Bug’s Life, Brave, and others. As a Texture Art Director at Pixar, Tia was responsible for specifying the color and texture of every object modeled for a film. As the Manager of Art & Film at Pixar University, the educational branch of Pixar, Tia helped to foster the continuing education of Pixar employees; teaching art classes and offering writing, film, and a wide variety of related classes to its 1300 employees.

Prior to Pixar, Tia was a background painter at Disney Feature Animation from 1980 to 1994, where she worked on a variety of acclaimed animated films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, Tron, and others.

Her paintings for films have been in exhibits around the world: MoMA, Japan, England, and beautiful Oakland, California, among other exotic locations.

When she’s not at work, Tia spends her time painting watercolors—doing her best to keep computers as far away as possible. She is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and California Watercolor Association.

Tia is a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She currently resides in Moraga, California with her husband (and co-Holton Studio artist) Paul Kratter.

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