Thursday, January 31, 2013

Featuring Fresco Artist Joy Baer 2013 Artists Series

I would like to introduce you to the gifted artist, Joy Baer.
Her work is wondrous and her use of Old World Techniques is done exquisitely.

Please enjoy our conversation and some of her works of art!

Wall panel detail "Eternal" fresco with bronze minerals

 1) and 2)    Joy, I have loved seeing your enthusiasm and coverage on the Kansas City Art Scene; even though you have frescoes all over the world. What sparked your interest in creating works of art and when?

When I was a child, I was inspired by an article on Pompeii , Italy in a National Geographic Magazine. The frescoes' message transcend time with themes of family, commerce and great food. Today there is a loneliness in modern day communication. A fresco message has an earth-made sense of camaraderie and community. There is a sociality about a storytelling fresco. My goal is to bring this power of storytelling frescoes into businesses, public spaces and homes worldwide.

"Church Wall, Salute" plaster fresco detail

3)    Were there other mediums you worked in before the art of  Frescoes?

 Other mediums, yes! "Fresco" is Italian for "fresh." The process is created using fresh earth minerals, water and plaster. This process can also be created on stone, slate, cave walls, canvas, bisque ceramic - any porous surface. A chemical bond occurs, which can endure for centuries. There is a natural, intuitive instinct in painting the fresco process, and a feeling of permanence. Where old world meets new, I scan frescoes and send them into other venues of communication on line. A recent show "Storytelling Paper Outfits" used earth minerals and fresh inks on hand-made fiber paper to convey their stories. Currently I'm working on a fresco robotic display for an upcoming gallery show that will express this concept of timelessness.

Earth minerals, pigments and inks on hand-made paper fibers

"Home: Dorothy Gale" in the Colombian Foundation Museum

 4)    Have you traveled extensively to see examples of frescoes and their history? How did that inspire you? Have particular artists inspired your works?
The fresco process is found in every culture throughout history. The earth creates an endless and sustainable gift of art supplies. 

Earth Minerals
Teaching a fresco workshop in Pompeii, Italy inspired me for eternity. A future fresco workshop is planned in Hong Kong. There is no limit for this inspiration. I am inspired by all fellow artists, both ancient and current.

"Purple Rain" fresco casein on Canvas
 5)    Tell us about your work for Hallmark Cards Headquarters.

My work background includes being an art director for ad agencies and a creative product designer for Hallmark. I love communication in all forms, in all cultures, throughout history. I was inspired working with people from around the world, especially the computer geniuses. These jobs were wonderful, but I held a longing for authenticity in a world filled with increasing non-personal messages. From my research, a fresco can be defined as having an ancient spiritual quality and association, with a message that is endless. I was ready to begin painting frescoes. My family jokes that it took me 45 years to create my first fresco. Today, I paint quickly and with gusto.

6)    Where some of your art installations; and what are you currently working on? I hear it is quite exciting.

In the studio, at any given time, I work on a variety of fresco projects. I am honored to have frescoes in museums and pubic spaces, and to keep me humble, my sister displays my fresco above her bathtub. My frescoes are also in bathrooms around the world, and I am happy with this. Today I am in the planning stages for a fresco project in Washington D.C. .

Outdoor Fresco Studio, Joy Baer

7)    Where can our readers see your art whether online or in galleries, public spaces etc? gives a current list of where to find frescoes in public spaces. Each month I promote a fresco to charity, with an attempt to give back to our community. Facebook will show what is being created in the studio each week, and I also use LinkedIn for ongoing and future fresco projects. My work is represented by the Todd Weiner East Gallery, 1817 Grand, KC MO. Worldwide, I am represented by Bridgeman Art in London .

Detail Plaster Fresco tabletop 3 x 2 ft x 1.5" deep

8)    Finally what advice do you have for the aspiring artist of any age or place in their career?

While painting a fresco, there is an interval where everything is coming together. This is carbonation, a chemical bonding, but something far more profound is occurring. I describe it best as a jubilee. A leisure. It's the mystery of the creative process. There is a spontaneity in painting a fresco, combined with a sense of eternal permanence. When I'm painting, I feel buoyant, as though I coexist with time. I encourage all artists to strive for this unhurried, natural and gentle countenance. It took years of faith to get here and I shifted from artist angst to artist faith. My goal is that each fresco will march with a message of inspiration and hope. I have a complete trust in the creative process.
"Heaven" plaster fresco, Ralph Foster Museum

Joy, thank you so much for your intuitive and poignant thoughts on the artistic process and an artists' life!

Dear Friends and Followers. I hope you have enjoyed this feature and please do leave a comment on Joy's works of art! I truly appreciate your support of the Art's

Art by Karena

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Renowned Painter Allan Chow-The 2013 Artists Series

Introducing artist Allan Chow whose paintings will light up your world!
Enjoy this insightful and poignant interview. 

Allan Chow (born April 22, 1979) is a Malaysian Chinese born landscape painter who currently resides and owns a studio in the United States. Allan received his BFA in Illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute.

 Mentored by Illustrators, Allan worked as a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer during his twenties while he experimented with paint after dark. He spent many hours after work struggling to find his identity as a Fine Artist. However, his natural attraction to Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism inspired him to develop a modern interpretation of landscape paintings with a palette knife. 

Allan's hints of Southeast Asian culture manifests through his exuberant colors, bold paint strokes and irresistible textures that set him apart from his peers and made his paintings one of the most preferred and collected in the country today.

Kansas City ASB Bridge

1)       Allan, when did you first realize you had the desire to paint?

During my third year as an Illustration major, I was desperately trying to give myself some painting exercises to learn about color theory. On top of my Illustration assignments, I remember staying up till 5am every night working on paintings of my native country, Malaysia. 

It was pure Art for Art sake. I didn’t care if it sold or not. I painted because I wanted to learn how to mix paint. I turned to paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Childe Hassam. I learn by borrowing their impressionistic color palette, style and incorporating them into my paintings. It was a series of ten paintings. That same series of paintings got me my first exhibition and also they got me into my first gallery representation two years later.

Morning View

 2)       What inspires you to begin a painting and what is your methodology?

It is such an emotional and moody process. I am most inspired to start a painting right after completing an emotionally draining painting that I spent the last month or two struggling with. This momentum happens usually in the middle of preparing a show of 30+ new paintings. If I plan a painting from start to finish, I am less excited at the end and will most likely lose interest. 

To avoid this, paint whenever I feel like an idea is ready and I keep my drawings very minimal. I just push paint around until something speaks to me. I work through mistakes and disappointments but embrace happy accidents and build on one victory at a time. Eventually, everything will work out. Tons of texture and layers of colors for visual interest is present. Most importantly, the final result is appreciated so much more.

Morning Missouri

3) Bright color and the palette knife are two signatures of your style. Would you tell our readers more about that? Oh and I do love your images of the Kansas City area.

Allan painting at the easel at a Charity Event
I was particularly drawn to muted and dark color palettes a decade ago while I was studying some impressionists’ work. The more I painted, my natural instincts and personality gradually reflect in my work. I am an optimistic person. I want my paintings to be bold and filled with energy affecting people positivelyThis explains the color palette I am using today. 

As far as my style, it is constantly evolving and hard to explain. It really is a work in progress. It changes when either a new subject matter or medium presents itself. I have learned to let go and refuse to control much these days. The more I let go, the more I discover. 

I know I love texture so a palette knife made sense. The difficulty of controlling paint with a knife forced myself to pay less attention to details. It really freed my wrists and encouraged myself to work more with my entire body. The deal breaker for abandoning a brush was that I didn’t have to wash them and I no longer have to smell turpentine.

Rocks at Rodeo Beach III
4)       Are there artists or others that you admire or consider mentors in your journey?

Allan in his Studio

Absolutely! I admire Impressionists such as Childe Hassam and Monet the most. Some of my favorite Artists are John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Aaron Siskind, Franz Kline, Howard Pyle, N.C Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth to name a few.  

One of my mentors in the past is an Illustrator who paints. He gave me the confidence to do both. My most recent mentor is a Graphic Designer and Instructor. He is probably the most giving and committed person I know. They both have different strengths that I admire a ton. I aspire to be the best I can be as an Artist. At the same time, it is important to be humble and inspire others.

Best of Show Winner -Over Majestic Hills
  5)       You are a world renowned artist and have paintings in many important collections. What are some of the corporate and private collections where your art is featured?

You are too kind. Some collections that I could think of are H&R Block, Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Intercontinental Hotel, BKD; Lewis, Rice and Fingerish Law Firm, the University of Kansas Medical Center; Russell Stover Candies; and private collections in Kansas City, Seattle, California, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Dusk at Broadway
       6)  I understand you take consignments and have amazing art available.How may readers contact you who are interested in your art? 

I can be reached at You can also contact me through my website at (

Safety of the Sunset

Kansas City Skyline
7)       Finally what would you tell the person who feels that creative spark to paint?

As a hobby, I recommend everyone to try to paint for fun and be free. I believe as human beings, being creative is innate. Find a medium that you enjoy and just have fun. Professionally, I would advice young Artists to know the difference between TALENT and SKILL. Talent isn’t enough to get you by. The skilled are those who are willing to persevere and risk it all to pursue your passion. Being a skilled Artist will ensure long-term success and personal fulfillment.

Thank you so much Allan. It has been such a pleasure to include you in The 2013 Artists Series.

Dear Readers and Followers I hope you will visit Allan's website ...and come comment on what works of art are your favorites. Allan also does still life paintings as well as his renowned landscapes.

Your support of the art world makes this world and our communities a better place to live!

Thank you with all of my heart for your encouragement.  
Look forward to the next Artist in our 2013 Artists Series. 

Art by Karena

Images Courtesy of Allan Chow Art 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 Artists Series Featuring Derrick Breidenthal

Introducing Artist Derrick Breidenthal. Derrick has been creating  fine art for over twenty five years. His work has been showcased throughout the US. Please enjoy our conversation below!


1) Derrick, when did you first realize that you wanted to paint and create art?

Drawing and painting started young for me. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia around 3rd grade and was encouraged to explore visual activities as one means of learning. Art was a natural mechanism to engage my brain. So it became a consistent part of my schedule. It helped relieve the stresses of things like math and English that I needed to engage in productively. As I grew older art was always an anchor for me and helped me break learning down into manageable steps. I guess I have stuck with it for so long because I like process, and it was one of the earliest things in my life that created structure for me. Which to me is all artistic process is...creating a system that makes sense to the individual artist. Regardless of any commercial success art has always helped me navigate the rest of the responsibilities of life.

 2) The works of your art that I have seen have a very ethereal and atmospheric feel to them. Where does your inspiration come from?

Color is a driving force in most of my work. Specifically the combinations of a few colors and the emotional statement this creates. Combine that with a life of being in more rural locations and always wanting to be outside you can see how my work is a reflection of this. The work consistently works back and forth from these two hero's. Sometimes my love for color overtakes any direct desire to reflect a landscape, a place, or a subject. Other times the atmospheric quality of the work - for instance trying to capture a particular experience I had - drives the entire painting and color is used strictly to emphasize this experience.
Getting Even

 3) I understand you paint Alla Prima. Would you tell our readers about that term and genre of painting?

There are a few general methods in painting with lots of in betweens. One is a indirect method composed of multi layered, many times glazed surfaces, and can lend itself to realism. 
The other is a direct method (alla prima) that is generally expressive brushwork and a desire to see the painterly marks within the piece. I tend to work in a direct method. Mostly I try to paint the entire work without removing or painting over any marks I have made. Or at the least I want the full history of the material to be seen even if it goes through a stage of material removal. I don't sketch the compositions on the surface, then fold in my shadows, mid tones and highlights in a staggered manner. 
The composition, the color, the light, shadow, and textures are all dealt with at once. If it doesn't work then I typically remove all the paint and start over. Realizing the main statement of the work in one moment is the overall goal for me. This technique has always been a foundation in much of my work, although recently I have been creating a different body of work that explores different techniques.
Spry Slope

Total Madness

4) Who are some artists or mentors that have motivated you?

I love to stay in touch with local artist as much as I can. There is so much great work being done in this town right now that it makes it an easy place to be motivated. I move around a lot in the periods of art I look at. I enjoy looking at Goya's work. 
I also like the early 1900's landscape work that began to limit color palettes and hinting at the subject matter, rather then painting every last detail. For obvious reasons. Contemporary work I have always followed include Gerhard Richter and Lucian Freud among many.

The Leftover

Lower Down

5) Derrick, where is your art shown and do you have any exhibits or special projects coming up?

I show in Kansas City at the Leopold Gallery. I'm scheduling a Spring show right now but have not finalized the date. I have other great gallery support in various cities that can be found on my site, BreidenthalArt. My schedule for shows and new work can be followed on my site. 

6) I understand your art is included in many prominent collections around the world.

Local companies such as H&R Block, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, KU Medical Center, Saint Lukes Medical as well as Kansas State University have work in their collection. Cafe Europa purchased a large grouping of paintings and is a great place to have dinner and see some work as well. A complete listing is on my site. 
Spring Flush

7) Derrick, how should those interested in your art contact you or view your works of art?

Leopold Gallery is a great place to start in Kansas City. Or Anyone can contact me via my web site, Breidenthal Art. My studio is open by appointment as well. I'm open for First Fridays here and there, but I have an amazing new son that gets most of my time on the weekends now.
Derrick in his Studio
8) A new son is such a blessing and miracle! Finally, what words of wisdom do you have for an artist of any age?

That's a hard one. If you want to paint professionally only do it if its absolutely the only thing you can see yourself doing. Its an incredibly difficult business. That said do it as much as possible, don't compare yourself to other artist or try to mimic their work. Try to find your own technique and material that will emphasize, not restrict your ideas. The only thing you have going for you is your perspective and how you choose to reflect this in the work.
Derrick's Studio where all of his amazing creative art projects take form!
 Derrick, Thank you so much for being 1st in The 2013 Artists Series. It is an honor to have you. Dear Readers, if any of you have the opportunity to view Derrick's work in person you will be mesmerized! I cannot wait to have a work of Derrick's Art in my collection!
We will be very happy to hear your thoughts and comments!
Art by Karena
Thank you so much for your friendship and support!

Blog Archive