A painter living in Portland, OR, Kelsey Birsa has a BFA in Art Practices from Portland State University. Interested in traditional and contemporary painting techniques, Kelsey’s paintings are united by her use of detailed realistic painting alongside abstract marks, varied surfaces, and graphic highlights. She is the recipient of awards such as Best in Show at the Society of Washington Artists, The Artist Magazine Student Portrait Competition, Best in Show at the Around Oregon Annual, and first place at Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Blackfish Gallery, Art at The CAVE, Gallery 360, North Bank Artist Gallery, and many more. She has been published in the Columbian, Willamette Weekly, Beacon Magazine, Pathos, and The Artist Magazine.
Find her current work on Facebook and Instagram @kelseybirsa. She also has a traveling sketchbook project viewable on Instagram @roamingsketchbook.
Jolyn Fry was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She graduated with honors from Pennsylvania School of Art and Design in 1996. Since moving to Portland, Oregon, the following year, she has exhibited her continually evolving body of work in many group and solo shows. She is a trauma survivor and has used the practice of art-making and mindfulness in the process of recovering self. Whether depicting literal, physical landscapes or those of a more personal, emotional nature, Jolyn says, 'Surrendering to my artistic process grants me the kindest perspective of myself and the life that moves around me.’ She currently lives in Portland, OR and works as an art instructor at Radius Community Art Studio, Oregon Society of Artists, and Portland East Collective.
Scott Gellatly is a proud Oregon native and currently lives in Portland with his wife and two sons. Scott has always been driven to make things. No matter the medium, he finds excitement and wonder in creating something that didn’t exist the day before. Whether that creation succeeds or fails, it drives his creative process forward – eager to begin the next piece. Scott has shown in galleries across the country and is a celebrated painter and printmaker.
Scott teaches beginning printmaking and landscape classes.
Anji Grainger’s work is derived from the magic and wonders of nature. She is drawn to see and focus on what others may not notice. At a closer look, there are many wonders to see inside a raindrop, within the soft folds of a rose petal or in the tiny pieces of pollen clinging to the back of a bumble bee. Anji’s goal is to give the viewer a look into the unique creations that surround us and to portray a feeling of magic and mystery.
Anji Grainger has studied with acclaimed contemporary artists in both Italy and France and has brought her talent and knowledge to the OSA community for over five years.
Jef Gunn was born in Seattle and grew up along the West Coast from Puget Sound to Southern California to Hawaii. He studied drawing and painting in California through the 1970s, held residencies in Barcelona and Paris in the 1980s, and since the mid-1990s has engaged in a passionate study of Asian art. He holds a BFA in painting from Marylhurst University (2005). For many years, he was a guest lecturer at Oregon College of Art and Craft. He is represented by Traver Gallery in Seattle, i.e. gallery in Edison, WA, Cedar Street Gallery in Honolulu, and by Augen Gallery in Portland.
His work attends to Land, Water and Sky. “In the middle 90s, I turned my attention fully to Wilderness as a subject. Whether the work is simple and abstract, or more naturalistic, the motivations are the same: wonder and affection, sadness and delight.”
Witnessing habitat loss and species extinction I wish to express a deep compassion for nature. Representing small fragments of seemingly unrelated plants I encourage viewers to reflect on our fragility and interconnectedness with nature.
Dorota Haber-Lehigh is an artist, educator, and a naturalist with a passion for native plants of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Poland, Dorota loves foraging for berries, mushroom hunting, field sketching and collecting specimens. Dorota relies on drawing from observation as much as possible both in the field and in the studio. Dorota has two degrees in Art and International Studies with a focus on indigenous cultures, a master’s degree in teaching, and a diploma in Botanical Illustration from Society of Botanical Artists in London. She is a member of Oregon Botanical Artists, Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists and American Society of Botanical Artists.
In his paintings Wayne Jiang enjoys creating an ambience that reflects on stillness, solitude, and mystery. He believes in using simple, quiet scenes and objects to communicate deep emotion and relevance. In his work you might find influences from 17th Century Dutch genre paintings as well as 19th and 20th Century American Realism. When composing a painting and choosing subject matter, Wayne draws inspiration from modern and documentary photographers like Walker Evan and Sally Mann. Born in Guangzhou China, Wayne came to the US at the age of 15. He is currently living in Portland, Oregon.
For three decades he has worked as a fine artist and graphic designer and holds a degree in illustration from San Jose State University. Wayne currently teaches acrylic painting at OSA.
Steve Kleier began his career as a commercial art contractor to photographers and advertising agencies. Clients included Nike, Microsoft, Tektronix, US Bank and many more. Since then he has focused on fine art and teaching. He has a deep understanding of art concepts and a good clear way of explaining them. In Steve’s class you will learn how to think about painting and the skills to turn them into beautiful pieces of art. He encourages creativity and appreciates every student for the journey they are on. Steve is a member of the National Watercolor Society and serves on the board of directors at the Oregon Society of Artists.
Nancy Klos has made her home in Portland, Oregon since 1985, establishing Klos Studios in 1990. Although she has lived in many parts of the country, she considers the PNW her real home. In her studio “Atelier NAN” she creates drawings, paintings, mixed media, Sumi.e ink paintings & numerous commissions for a national clientele.
Nancy has offered workshops throughout the western states, including the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. She has been a guest instructor at the Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, Sitka Center of Art and Ecology, Menucha Creative Arts Community, Coupeville Arts Guild on Whidbey Island, and at the University of Idaho Convergence Conference.
Nancy has been an Artist-In-Residence at The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland and Hawk Creek Gallery in Neskowin, OR. Her work has appeared in both Plein Air Magazine & Outdoor Painter and featured on OPB’s Oregon ArtBeat and HGTV’s Modern Masters. She served on a panel for Oregon Considered-“State of the Arts in Oregon Her oil painting “Peppers” was featured in the special section for Women Artists of the Paciﬁc NW-an annual feature in SW ARTS Magazine!
Joanne Kollman is a Northwest oil painter, her representational paintings of the figure, landscape and still life are earmarked by a lyrical style and eye for design. Brushwork and use of broken color elicit movement and spontaneity in her paintings. As a representational alla prima oil painter, her surroundings motivate an interest to explore her subjects with the expressive quality of oil paint. She strives to capture the energy of her subjects through brushwork and observation of changing light. Joanne paints daily from the model, still life, or landscape.
She teaches and exhibits at The Elisabeth Jones Art Center and Oregon Society of Artists. Joanne facilitates figure drawing and painting and teaches Energize your Paintings, an expressive painting class, at OSA.
From a young age, Susan Kuznitsky was trained in traditional art methods, working in charcoal from plaster casts, then oils, then watercolors. She studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago after high school. Susan quickly fell in love with the Impressionists and became completely smitten with the pastels of that era. She moved to New York to study with pastel artist Albert Handell and worked for him as a studio assistant where she learned to teach. In the early 1990’s Susan moved out to the Northwest where she continued painting and teaching.
She is currently looking for ways to reach underprivileged youth and share her knowledge of artistic expression. Susan teaches pastel and painting classes at OSA.
Greg Lewis is celebrating 45+ years of creating contemporary art and fine art decor for clients in architecture, interior design, publishing, art collections, liturgical and healing environments. In addition to his art and design studio practice, Greg taught drawing, painting, and watercolor studios for over two decades at Concordia University-Portland and was co-founder of its Art & Culture Program. He led tours of London and Paris for art and culture studies in art and architecture.
Greg holds degrees in Commercial Art/Graphic Design and in Visual Communications Education.
Gage Mace was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. In the 80's, he studied with Norwegian classical realist painter Jan Saether. Gage later moved to Portland and over the last 30 years here he has taught painting and figure drawing at Hipbone, the Multnomah Arts Center, and his personal studio. He has exhibited his work at various venues in Portland including Froelick and Attic galleries, and at the Portland Art Museum.
His large triptych of the JFK Assassination is slated for the permanent collection of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, TX, which will be launched in a special exhibition to be held sometime in 2021.
Originally from Michigan, Lisa Mann has travelled and lived overseas extensively. Travel has given her great perspective and the desire to connect with the essence of a place —those abstract and intangible feelings don’t come from photos or textbooks, but rather from being there. It is this experience that Lisa brings so vividly into her artwork. She is a largely self-taught artist. She worked for twenty years in education and counseling, both in the US and abroad, before returning to art. Over the past ten years, Lisa has immersed herself in creating abstract art, using oil paints mixed with cold wax medium. Like a story being written, the process involves building a painting layer by layer, adding texture, line, form, memories, emotions... and then scraping back through the wax to reveal pieces of the painting’s past.
Lisa has had the honor of being a part of juried competitions across the US, winning honorable mention in several of them. Currently her studios and gallery space are in Portland (OR) and on the Greek Island of Naxos, where she holds abstract art retreats.
Chas Martin’s art path spans 40 years of visual communication. After studies at Pratt Institute in New York City, he spent 10 years as an art director and creative director for Boston and San Francisco ad agencies. At night, he began painting to keep his sanity. Experiences directing still photography and video honed his sense of perception, perspective and emotion. His work has always been concept driven.
In 1980 he pursued painting full time, averaging an oil painting a day for nine months. He transitioned to dimensional work, exploring sculpture, collage and box art. Martin was a member of the Marin Society of Artists and frequently showed his work at several San Francisco area galleries.
Martin moved to Hood River, Oregon in 1981 and applied his talent to carving wood for several years before returning to marketing. He works daily from his Multnomah Village studio where he mentors artists and offers classes on acrylic painting, watercolor painting, sculpture and creative processes. He is a former instructor at Boston Art Institute, San Francisco Academy of Art College, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Northwest Academy and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
Joanne Mehl is an accomplished figurative artist best known for her commissioned portraiture, figure painting, and equestrian subjects. Over thirty years of disciplined oil painting and glazing experience imbue her pieces with a depth of color, and her keen eye for composition brings dynamism to the humblest scene. Joanne graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Illustration from Pasadena's Art Center College of Design in 1983. She has completed more than 120 commissioned portraits, and her work hangs in venues ranging from the Kentucky Governor’s mansion to numerous private collections.
She is currently teaching at Oregon Society of Artists. Joanne’s instructional methods are fresh and accessible and help build a classic foundation of skills while encouraging individual style.
As a native Oregonian, Michael Orwick cannot separate his art from his love of the Pacific Northwest. The coast, mountains, and meadows, each infused with mysterious light and atmosphere, weave narratives into their settings. He is deeply inspired to tell their stories with paint and brush strokes. Inspiration comes so naturally here.
As a painter, the effects of light and atmosphere are what Michael remembers about a location and what inspires him the most. Light transforms the ordinary or even beautiful into the exceptional. His quest is to capture these fleeting moments and help people see things again through new eyes.
Janet Parker fell in love with drawing and painting botanical subjects through a certificate course at the New York Botanical Garden she began in the early 2000’s. She fit those classes in around the demands of a busy career as an art director for magazines and book publishers before picking up and moving to Portland in 2009, to establish an art department for Tin House Publishing. After leaving Tin House in 2012 she helped to form a group of botanical artists, Oregon Botanical Artists, which now has 45 members. She enjoys sharing her love of this endlessly interesting and meditative art form through teaching.
She has taught Botanical Drawing classes at OSA since 2014, and at several other venues in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon. She is an active member of the American Society of Botanical Artists.
For as long as Elaine Pawski remembers, she has needed to create. Elaine studied and practiced drawing and painting in many medias. She studied Art at The New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ, and taught art in kdg-8 for several years. She studied at the Ridgewood Art Institute in NJ and the Sharon Arts Center in NH and in 1995 attended The Pioneer School of the Visual Arts in NH, where she was introduced to the Macintosh Computer. Her life and art have never been the same.
Elaine's work is mostly watercolor, colored pencil, digital painting, and photography. She believes the media that was used to create is not as important as the effect it has on the viewer. Her digital art has the look and feel of her traditional media work and is actually rendered in a very similar way. While photography often helps her gather her subjects, she is very much committed to freehand drawing and letting the drips and splatters of color reflect the human touch.
Currently, Elaine teaches iPad Drawing and Painting at OSA. She is a freelance Graphic Designer and Photographer, specializing in Real Estate and Architectural Photography, doing business as Sunflower Creative Media LLC.
Nicole Poole is an artist living in the Pacific Northwest who makes her living as an illustrator, calligrapher, and teacher. She was awarded the California Arts Scholarship in1993 and has studied with various artists and schools concentrating on painting, sculpture, glassblowing, children’s book illustration, calligraphy and design. She creates her own ongoing body of work as well as designing illustrative works and calligraphy for clients all over Oregon and California.
She currently teaches art demonstrations, workshops, and classes, at OSA and enjoys sharing her passion for creativity with others.
Never one to fit as a cookie-cutter type artist, Alan Schmertzler claims art, luck, and extra-ordinary intervention as responsible for rescuing me as an overly shy kid who yearned to spirit life into drawn images. I entered professional life at 22 and have engaged audiences as a beloved educator of primary, secondary and adult education, as an award-winning, exhibiting and publishing artist in newspapers, books, magazines and webzines, such as the Huffington Post.
It is so true, first loves never die. Mine was drawing and cartooning, which later incorporated painting, but always focused on a love of story-telling of the human condition-in a sense, the caricaturing our world by interpreting the temper of the times.
Rather than follow the traditional art school route, I built my own course of continuing art education by finding dynamic professionally working artists to mentor me, with roots in cartooning, layered with years of intensive figure drawing, live caricature entertainment drawing, earning my first solo painting exhibit in 1997, to being rewarded with a contributor platform on the Huffington Post. I have authored, illustrated and published two of my own political caricature collections, “Occupied by Politics 2012”, and “Occupied by Trumpistan”.
Randall Vemer was Principal Viola of the Oregon Symphony in Portland for 20 years. Making the transition from classical music to classical painting required years of serious training and analysis. After studying Alla Prima painting, Randall became interested in the classical method of constructing a painting using layers. With involvement in Portland’s art and music scene, Randall enjoys bringing the two worlds together through subject matter and coordinating multi-media events that celebrate the visual arts and music.
Randal is a drawing instructor at OSA and enjoys bringing classical approaches to contemporary subjects.
Yong Hong Zhong was born in Canton, China and immigrated to the United States when he was twelve years old. Yong developed a keen interest in drawing at an early age. His determination to pursue his dream of being an artist prompted him to attend La Guardia High School, a prestigious school for music and arts in New York City. Yong continued his education at Pratt Institute in New York to further develop his artistic skills. He majored in Illustration and has a minor in Art History.
Yong started working for Disney Animation Studios upon graduation. During his 14 years at Disney, Yong worked on over a dozen theatrical feature films. After completion of Disney's "Princess and the Frog," Yong was ready to take a different direction and focus on his passion for traditional painting. The knowledge and experiences he acquired from the animation industry continue to be an invaluable influence in his art.