William A. Suys, Jr.

Raised by deaf parents, Bill Suys and his two sisters grew up in an environment tuned-in to visual cues. Bill drew constantly as a kid, covering all paper surfaces and grade school test margins with airplanes and helicopters. He once escaped an expected knuckle-rapping when the nun instead tapped his ‘art’-covered notebook and whispered, “Keep that up!” He has.

Though painting nights and weekends as long as he can remember and taking his classical art education into his own hands after college (Suys wishes he’d known about the atelier system when he was attending the University of Minnesota; art majors in those days received scant classical training) Suys did temporarily veer away from formal art employment by leaving the SCJohnson Wax art department – his first job after college and a coup at the time he was hired – by finishing a second degree in business management and transitioning to ‘Corporate’. Bill admits to wearing wingtips for a number of years and credits ‘JWax’ and its relentless quest for excellence with teaching him the importance of quality and the value of providing an outstanding product. He will always treasure his time there, and its lasting influence.

In 1995, Bill left corporate life to become a full time painter but almost immediately found himself a single parent to his three children, giving him a priceless role but delaying his earnest career-building until the kids had ‘fledged’. The last 5 years have seen Suys’s work become visible in one-man gallery shows, national and international competitions, exhibitions and invitationals, including the last four OPA National Exhibitions. In 2013, Suys received Signature Status from the Oil Painters of America and won Best In Show at the Salon International 2013 at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Fine Art.

A lover of diverse subject matter, Suys continues to distill his vision toward primarily figurative work – human and animal – as well as conceptual realism and the occasional surprise. Suys’s signature “People and Other Animals” tagline applies to his current gallery shows containing interesting humans and animals that often seem human. If Bill goes missing, he might have snuck off to a plein air event or could be out prowling the countryside for animals and architecture he’d like to paint, but most of the time, Bill can be found in his studio, music playing, at the easel.

Bill Suys and his wife, Kristin, live in Wisconsin’s picturesque Kettle Moraine and often visit their cabin on Door County’s Washington Island. The couple has four children and two grandchildren .

Bill Suys is a master painter whose work is included in local, national and international collections. His paintings and commissioned portraits have been selected to hang in national and international exhibitions, including The Oil Painters of America, the Art Renewal Center International Salon, the Salon International at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Fine Art, and the Portrait Society of America. Suys is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America and received a President’s appointment to New York’s venerable Salmagundi Club.

Following 20 years in corporate life, Suys turned to painting full-time in 1995.  He has traveled the world to select art for a private corporate collection. Bill holds degrees in Business and Art, and has taught classes and workshops in a variety of venues.

Frederick D. Somers

About the Artist

Frederick D. Somers, PSA, IAPS-MC, Eminent Pastellist

“I seek to bring to others an experience of the beauty of light as it bathes creation and to point them to a pathway that reaches into eternity.”

Fred visits the lush countryside, canoeing the rivers, walking through big woods, in every season and all kinds of weather. “Working outside is a source of intimacy (with the subject). I do small studies, pencil sketches, color studies, photography. Frequently things done on location become studies for other paintings, but I do most finished work in the studio.” In much of Fred’s recent work, water is evident in one form or another.  “I think of water as a metaphor. It’s what it is and what it reflects…Water is how heaven touches earth.”

“My paintings are done from 15 feet away. I decide from that distance what I want to look at and then I move closer. The painting has to be exciting both from a distance and up close. In my paintings, I want the artist’s mark to be evident…I feel that words are a first cause in the creative act, just as they were for God the Creator in Genesis. We often give words to what we need to do before we can do it. Once I was in a place I know well but had never painted. It has a waterfall and a high canopy of thick trees. The light came through and touched one part. I didn’t know how to paint it until I realized “I’ll paint the light.” In the deep woods I was unable to paint until I had the words.”

Fred Somers has been painting full-time since 1975 at his farm-home-studio near Northfield, MN. Others say “His oil and pastel paintings, known for their peaceful sensitivity, reflect themes from the land.” Whether in intimate views of grass, rocks and water with reflections of light and sky, or in spacious vistas of the countryside he seeks to share the hidden places of nature. He now also brings his love of life to sensitive commissioned portraits.

Fred’s pastel paintings of the Big Woods State Park near Northfield were chosen for the 1996 Minnesota State Park Permit design. He continues to inspire others through his painting workshops in the U.S. and abroad. Since his designation as American Swedish Artist of the Year in 1984 he has continued to exhibit and teach in Scandinavia.

Olaf Schneider

Olaf Schneider (b. 1964) is a husband, father of two, and grandfather of six. He studied at the Ontario College of Art and Sheridan College. In 1986, while painting large scale billboards for Mediacom (currently Outfront Media) he acquired a strong practical foundation that would become integral to his work today.

 He is greatly inspired by mentor Ron Greig and Norman Rockwell.

 For Olaf, each piece represents an intense exploration and refinement of his personal pictorial sensitivities, especially as they relate to beauty, form, light, and shade. Composition, color, and craftsmanship are all elements that become the building blocks of his work. Olaf is a prolific painter who is inspired by the power and diversity of the northern landscape, and anything that needs a “second look”.  An explorer by nature, he travels across North America and Europe to gain inspiration.

“Each dab I make is stimulated by the details that I observe. I hope to see what others miss and then make it compelling. I push and alter the colors to suit my ravenous needs and I love to improvise on the spot.”  

Olaf has a passion for a variety of subjects. Through his art, he expresses his love for life and his affinity for vibrant colour. 

“I like to use expressive and thick impasto brushstrokes or soft blended strokes to render a sense of movement and texture giving the painting a life of its own. My interpretation of colour also sets the dynamic mood. The tones often range from the darkest to the lightest in an effort to achieve maximum drama. This creative combination is spontaneous and intuitive.”

 To keep his mind clear and focused he limits his exposure to all the media ‘noise’ we generally are pummeled with daily. He does not watch TV and restricts his time on the computer. He starts his day with God in prayer and meditation. Painting 6 to10 hours a day is common practice. Equally important to Olaf is continued growth and learning.

 “I want to always have an open mind so that new ideas may come in. In the mind of an expert, there are few possibilities, but in the mind of an amateur they become endless. This is a God given gift and I value it greatly. If I am able to bring emotion, understanding, comfort, or joy into another’s life then I am using it wisely in His glory.”

Ken Schneider

“When painting landscapes, I strive to accomplish a marriage of apparent contradictions: of abstract imagery within a realistic framework, of arbitrary shapes and the single-source light that imbues realistic depth, and of imposed, formalist structure on random, “messy” nature. The desired effect is for a state of flux to exist in a painting; flat plane versus three-dimensional depth. The depiction of water in various states of movement and light adds nicely to this effect, so it continues to figure prominently in my work.

Most of my subject matter consists of small, local waterways and their surrounding topographies. I am drawn to these slight openings in dense forests, where light reveals a myriad of shapes and colors with the many elements of nature vividly exposed. The seasonal and conditional changes of these environs provide an endless and fascinating well of information and inspiration. For some time now, the streams and bluffs of the Baraboo Range have been a favorite stomping ground. There is both a sense of drama and intimacy to this area that I find appealing.

My strongest wish is to convey at least a fraction of the beauty and complexity in a natural scene, to underscore the truly sublime in what may first appear to be a common, anonymous image.”

John A. Sayers

I love to paint and do so every day of the year. My paintings are derived from my everyday life – from the tulips I see in the spring, to the garden vegetables used in the late fall. As well, everyday objects I have collected throughout the years and use often appear in my work: old cookbooks, kitchen utensils, cloths, vases, chairs, and a large variety of other objects. I also love to often incorporate landscapes, either in a view of a partial landscape out of an open window or by having a still life arrangement set up outdoors.

I have evolved in the technical realm of my work from working on an all-white canvas very early in my painting when in college to using a toned red canvas on which I would paint and have now gone full circle to doing work on a white canvas. It was about a year ago I had simply not quite enough red paint to cover the white canvas of a larger painting with the red, so decided to do the oil on the white canvas. I enjoyed doing it, the result, and have since done my work on white canvas or panel surfaces.

Thank you for viewing my paintings, both online as photographs and in the gallery as paintings.

Georgene Pomplun

Painting is a consuming passion for me. Although by education and profession I am a graphic designer, painting affords me a chance to explore the world around me in a totally personal way. Landscape is my natural affinity, and I am fortunate to live in a beautiful rural area of Mount Horeb, surrounded by stunning views at every turn. My scenes almost always have a human footprint, whether it is a road, a structure, or a planted field. I believe that man and nature can work in close harmony together, and my painting reflects that conviction. Painting the farms in our area is also my stake in preserving a way of life that is increasingly threatened. Often I will have painted a barn only to return in a year’s timeto find that it no longer exists. I also love the solid farmhouses that epitomize the tenets of form and function, and which fit so comfortably into their environment.

Elizabeth Pollie

“A successful representational painting transcends technique and gimmickry, eliciting from the viewer a sense of connection with the truer nature of the subject.  In the best of these works we are taken, almost unwittingly, into the heart of the painting. Here we feel, down to the bone, the more intrinsic qualities of a scene_ be they lovely or disturbing, either way we are mesmerized.  If we are very lucky our own hearts are broken open”

Elizabeth Pollie’s personal art history extends back decades. Art as a path, language and personal frontier has been present from the time of her childhood. She grew up visiting museums, studying and drawing along side her father.  She earned her BFA from The College For Creative Studies where she later taught. Her interests led her the field of editorial illustration. The 1980’s were a rich with greatly imaginative artists who honed both their conceptual and representational skills in the world of illustration.  Ms. Pollie’s work was nationally published and awarded.

As illustration began to fade from magazines and book jackets her focus upon representational painting became central. “The intrigue and intimacy found in observing the surrounding world provides me with ceaseless inspiration. There is a great sense of freedom as well as a spirit of discovery that is derived through the act of painting.” mentions Pollie.

Her emphasis is based on finding and teasing out a sense of poetry, mood and depth.  From capturing the authentic nature of animals to broad expanses of water and land, Pollie’s work has a quality of sincerity woven into it. Mystery, solitude and intimacy comingle to create a palpable experience. 

Pollie’s work  has received  a very strong reception in the art world, collecting numerous awards as well as media coverage.

Sangita Phadke

“In meticulous detail, Sangita Phadke portrays larger than life fruit, vegetables, and flowers in the limelight, showcasing the reality and glory of nature. Her paintings are elegantly formal, theatrically lit and spectacularly realistic. With loving consideration and faithful precision, she describes every dimple on a glistening orange, the subtle nuances of color blushing across a white rose petal, or a gleaming water droplet ready to slide down the flesh of a shimmering red fig.  – The Pastel Journal 

Sangita Phadke is a self taught artist from Colts Neck, NJ.  Her award winning paintings have hung in some of the most prestigious museums, galleries, and private collections across America and around the world, including The United States Embassy, the San Diego Art Institute, the Butler Institute of American Art, The National Arts Center in Taipei Taiwan, and The Art Gallery of Hamilton Ontario.

Sangita grew up in the Chicago suburbs and graduated with a degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She soon realized that her true calling was to tell stories through art. In a short period of time, she became one of the youngest artists to receive the designation of “Master Pastel Painter.”  In 2009, Southwest Art Magazine named her as one of the top 21 artists world-wide under the age of 31. Her work has been featured in American Art Collector, The Artist’s Magazine, Pratique des Arts (France), The Pastel Journal, Les Maitres du Pastel (France), International Artist Magazine, and Southwest Art Magazine.

Sangita  has captured the eyes of collectors with her ability to turn ordinary subjects into extraordinary works of art. Hidden in her paintings are stories that give life to her artwork.       A group of apricots become a family posing for a portrait, a curvy pear becomes an actor taking a bow on stage, and a single sunflower becomes a symbol of hope. Through her creativity, her undeniable talent,  and her eternal passion for art, Sangita continues to create inspiring and compelling paintings.

Dale Olsen

I got my start in the art world, at the age of 4, by using a red crayon on the black and white wallpaper in my home. My parents, while not exactly appreciative, fostered and encouraged the talent they sensed in me. I have switched to more appropriate surfaces for my work.

I am intrigued by edges, where water meets land, where snow meets the treeline, where shadows meet sunlight. I seek to give the viewer a sense of peace and a sense of majesty, sometimes in a broad landscape or in the petal of a flower. As an architect, I have been able to bring scale, proportion and draftmanship to my work as an artist.

My landscapes have been included in the inaugrural exhibition of Oil Painters of America and been awarded an honorable mention for landscape by the Artist’s Magazine. Landscape, floral and automotive works have received awards in local competitions.

I addition to painting, I offer professional services in color consultation, murals, faux finishing and stained glass design.

Tom Nachreiner

“As an ‘Oil Painters of America’  Signature Member, & an ‘American Impressionist Society’ Signature Member, I work both plein air, painting on location or from life in the studio, but I also enjoy experimenting with photos & sketches producing larger paintings. I am certainly influenced by all the Impressionists, and with the same ideology, paint to capture the essence of a moment in time, celebrating the freshness of oil paint, in aggressive, confident brushwork, trying not to fuss over the small detail, rather to capture primarily the form, mood and light, with a strong and dynamic design I instinctively build into each composition. I paint often, working spontaneously, with high energy, and a positive spirit.”

History

Tom was born in Madison WI & grew up in Verona WI, close by. He enjoyed his younger years drawing plans for projects & later meeting over the kitchen table with an interested, inventive dad, trading crude drawings. Tom’s mother would help him with school projects when it would involve art. Tom got his creative start from his parents and explored his own artistic world with their support.

Education

Tom Nachreiner has lived in Wisconsin all his life. He met his high school sweetheart, Nancy, in his freshman year at Verona High School. Tom was active in Track 4 years, Baseball 4 years, Basketball 4 years and as a Senior Tom won the Physics Award and was Secretary of Math & Science on the Student Council. After graduation, he spent one year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he started out in Engineering & then switched to Fine Art. He transferred to Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art where he won a merit award scholarship each year & at the end of his junior year he won the school’s highest scholarship. The Miriam Frink, Charlotte Partridge Scholarship, included full tuition & all art supplies for his senior year. Tom received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with highest honors.

After graduation Tom built a reputation in Milwaukee’s Advertising community. He started his own illustration company, Art Factory, Ltd. Tom’s paintings were accepted three times into the New York Society of Illustrators Show in New York, & were included in their book distributed world wide. Tom has won many illustration awards throughout the years, both locally and nationally.

In more recent years, Tom has made a transition back to Fine Art, painting from his heart & exhibiting in Galleries. Tom paints “for the shear love of it”, earlier with watercolor & gouache on paper and now, within the last 15 years, with oil on canvas or linen.