Nov 17, 2009

Interview with Artist: Janet Fons

Where do you get your inspiration?

I am inspired by the impressionists and the expressionists. I appreciate their attempts to create an emotion, a spontaneity of style, freezing one moment in time. I like that their approach, materials, and methods were personal and not tied in any way to another artist's dictate. Another painter who has always inspired me is Georgia O'Keeffe. Her individuality as a woman and an artist has always stood out to me. I also admire the work of contemporary artists Bill Creevy for his textured and layered paintings and Susan Ogilvie for her amazing use of color.

What draws you to the medium you use?

I am drawn to oil pastel because the pigments are pure and brilliant. It's a very tactile medium that you hold and apply right onto your surface. I like that it is permanent but non-toxic. There is no dust or fumes and it can really be applied to almost any surface. I've been exploring the use of alkyds as a medium with oil pastel. It liquefies the pastel so I can use washes and glaze layers of color. It also sets the pigment so I can apply a color over another without changing the underlying layer.

I've explored using oil pastel on different surfaces for several years. I wanted change the traditional presentation of matted and framed pieces under glass and the barrier it creates between the art and the viewer . I discovered that Oil pastel can be sealed and the color will not be affected. Some of my early experiments involved painting on paper (Fabriano Murilla) and then gluing the piece to panel and sealing, but the gluing part can be quite nerve-racking because you only have one chance to get it right. So I began preparing my own hardboard panels with a mix of pumice, gesso and soft gel, tinting it after the surface is dry. My panels are cradled and I carry the image around the edges like gallery-wrapped canvas.Most recently, I've been painting larger work on canvas. I like how much lighter-weight canvas is than panel.

Where is your studio and what is it like?
My studio (number 20) is in the Foundry Art Centre in Saint Charles. There are twenty studios located on the second floor of the Foundry. The public is invited to visit and interact with the artists in our studios. I have a single studio which is almost 20 ft by 20 ft with lots of room and light. My windows face west. All the studios have glass half walls facing the walkway that runs around the open atrium overlooking the great hall.

Are you formally trained and if so where?
I have a Bachelor of Fine Art from Michigan State University. My major was printmaking. As a student, my favorite printmaking methods were stone lithography, metal plate intaglio and serigraphy. Printmaking was a rigorous discipline; our finals were a series of five prints (minimum), all hand pulled and they had to be identical. Each method (or class) required at least three editions, so if you were taking a litho, etching and serigraphy class you had nine editions to finish by the end of term. Talk about burning the midnight oil!

You can find out more about Janet on her web site at or on the Gateway Gallery web site at

Please come visit Janet and the Gateway Gallery artists at the Gateway Gallery this Friday November 20 from 6-9PM.

Many of the Gateway Artists will be presenting works in the theme of Paris and Other Delights and we will be enjoying some lovely hors d'oeuvres compliments of Mazara's.

Oct 1, 2009

Interview with the Artist: Janice Schoultz Mudd

What kind of art do you make?

I am a mixed media painting and collage artist working with contemporary abstractions of the landscape as well as visual interpretations of conceptual ideas. I started painting while studying interior design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. The program was rigorous and weighted on developing the skill of realistic accuracy in painting and drawing before moving on to tackle abstraction. This approach gave me the sound foundation that allows me to stretch my imagery with confidence.

Although I have not abandoned the idea of painting with figurative accuracy, I confess I find it much more interesting to interpret and develop a concept into a visual form. Each piece is pretty much of an experiment. I do this working with layer upon layer of color until the canvas glows and sorting through my boxes of collected stuff, trying to find just the right pieces to incorporate onto the canvas.
What draws you to the medium you use?

This is such a great time to be an artist because there are so many art materials and mediums available. Thank goodness we don’t have to grind our own pigments and make our own paint anymore. There are so many different materials available and being inherently curious and creative, I really love finding out what is going to happen if I ……

Why do you make art?

The truth to this question, is that I really can’t help it. Making and creating things is the way my brain works. When I was a kid, growing up in New Jersey, I made up board games, books with collaged illustrations, and paid a great deal of attention to critically examining things I saw (the changing color of pond water throughout the day, the colors of our neighbors’ furniture, shoe shapes etc.). I know,.. weird. I worked as a designer for many years and when my kids were growing up and art supplies were out of the question, I designed cut cookie forms and did great icing decoration! I have noticed that this creative force always comes out somehow.

How long have you been with Gateway Gallery?

I have been one of the resident artists with Gateway Gallery for about a year. We currently have 17 juried members. The benefits of being part of this organization are tremendous. Since we are artist owned, we have no choice but to learn about all the aspects of running a gallery. Not only are each of us learning how to manage and address the business of being an artist, but this experience makes me a better represented artist in other galleries who carry my work. I now have very good understanding of a gallery’s needs and of how I can work with them so that everyone benefits.

What is the most rewarding part of being an artist?

I will be the first one to tell you that I have so much fun creating art. Much of the time it gives me an incredible sense of freedom and release, something like a bird gliding through the sky on a beautiful, sunny, warm day. When things are going badly however, it can get pretty stressful. Since I work at home, I will at that point, do the laundry, take a nap, read or walk the dog. Many things help; listening to music is one. Depending on my mood it could be Pavarotti, Ralph Stanley or The Lion King.

The most rewarding part of this whole business however, is when my work makes a connection with someone and touches their heart.

What are you working on now?

This past year I have created a number of small pieces – 12 x 12 inches– in response to the economy, so that I might be able to offer a greater price range for my work. This size has allowed me to experiment with new ideas and directions that I likely would not have thought of. A common response to these paintings has been “these need to get large”. And so… I have ordered large canvases. When you click on my my website page you will see.

Never one to stay only on one track however, how does the intersection of art and molecular biology sound?

*Please consider coming to the Gateway Gallery this Friday, October 9th from 6-9pm to see Janice's new work and have the unique opportunity to speak with her about her latest creative endeavors.
*The Gateway Artists will also be presenting new work in the theme of the reception called Autumn Lights.

Sep 9, 2009

Create St. Louis

What do the St. Louis Art Fair and the Gateway Gallery have in common?
Besides great art? Well then it would have to be Forsyth in Clayton!

The Gateway Gallery sits on Forsyth between Meramec and Central Avenue. This just happens to be smack dab in the middle of the St. Louis Art Fair! So, if you are at the fair this weekend, we will be too! Please come by and see the Gateway Gallery artists' new work. We have been working hard to make some beautiful new art for you to enjoy. A couple of our artists will be painting live on the sidewalk, and we have air conditioning!

This Friday, September 11, from 6:00-9:00 pm we will be hosting another one of our popular receptions complete with wine and and as a special bonus, Mazara's will be providing us with some of their delicious hors d'oeuvres. We would love to introduce you to our featured artists; Nancy Friederich, Jo Rezny McCredie, Marlene Lewis & Henryk Ptasiewicz, and Matt Donovan.

Jul 10, 2009

Homage to the Masters

Tonight the Gateway artists are presenting their Homage paintings at our reception from 6-9PM. The Homages are works of art that pay homage to some of the masters on display at the St. Louis Art Musuem. Maybe you will recognize some of the pieces of art we are paying tribute to.

Michael Anderson's' homage to Bingham.

Janet Fons' homage to O'Keeffe.

Vic Matis' homage to Bathasar van der Alst.

This is a great opportunity for the artists to stretch their creative muscles and even learn something new. It also gives us a chance to celebrate and even commemorate our respect for the masters. Please come see how creative the Gateway Artists can be tonight at the Gateway Gallery from 6-9PM.

Jul 3, 2009

Interview with Artist: Garry McMichael

How long have you been an artist? Since the day I could scribble with a pencil or a crayon. I have photos of myself with a Kodak Brownie hanging around my neck when I was six. I took my camera everywhere. When I was in high school I illustrated a student literary book, VIGNETTES, with my drawings. I really liked being a student school photographer. It gave me the opportunity to get out of class to take photos of other students and activities for the yearbook. I discovered a camera in my hands was like wearing a protective coat of armor. Photography helped me to overcome my shyness, approach other students, especially girls, and develop relationship skills that many students don’t learn until later in life.

Photography also helped me to develop a life-long love for the outdoors, nature and the Missouri/Arkansas Ozarks in particular. Today the Ozark landscape is an integral part of my pastel art. Our clear running streams and green-forested hills are a treasure to behold.

What is your “day job” if you have one? I have been an editorial and commercial photographer all of my life. I have worked as a freelancer for numerous national publications such as NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, TIME, NEWSWEEK, FORBES, BICYCLING, and dozens of others. Today most of my work is for commercial clients creating annual report photography, brochures and catalogs. Computers and digital photography has flipped the commercial photography market on its head. Instead of just doing photography I find myself taking a commercial project from concept through the graphic design stage, directly to the printer and delivering the completed project to the client. I also find myself developing websites and e-mail marketing for clients. Today commercial photographers need to have full range of computer skills, need to know how to do graphic design, create a website and work with printers.

What kind of art do you make? I create fine art photography, charcoals and pastels. I find my fine art today is really a counter balance to my high tech day work, and pastels have become my medium of choice. Drawing and scumbling a rich pigment of color across a paper is such an opposite (and relief) from working on a computer as an editorial and commercial photographer my vision has always been grounded in reality. Pastels allow me release a lot of pent up emotions and work more from my imagination reality. My pastels have become much more impressionistic.

How long have you been involved with The Gateway Gallery? I joined Gateway Gallery about a year and half ago. It is everything a gallery should be. We offer original, high-quality, regional art at a fair price. There are no middlemen between the artist and collector making our art a great value for our patrons. Art patrons that visit gateway gallery have the opportunity to develop relationships with the artists thus giving our art even more value on a personal level.

There is a unique benefit to being part of an artist owned gallery. There is a special relationship developed with my sixteen co-owner artists. We are constantly sharing ideas, critiquing each other and pushing ourselves to improve our art. Gateway Gallery is a great incubator for new ideas and techniques. I am totality impressed with the originality of all of our artists. Everyone brings his or her unique vision to the gallery.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Why my next one, of course. I don’t live in the past. I want to keep learning, experimenting, playing and pushing my art and myself.

Where do you get your inspiration? When I was young my artistic inspiration came from nature and living in the heart of the Ozarks. But now, much of my inspiration comes from my family, friends and fellow artists. I’m coming to realize there is as much beauty in my back yard as there is in a thousand acres of hill-covered forests.

Why do you make art? I often tell friends I make art because it’s cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist every week. There is lot of truth in that statement. All day I work for my commercial clients and I feel my stress level rise as the day progresses. Every evening I go into my studio, turn the music up and start painting. The next thing I know, three, four or more hours have disappeared and my stress level has returned to near zero.

Who are your greatest artistic influences? When I was a young photographer I was greatly influenced by the nature photography of Eliot Porter. I would spend hours studying his work in a series of Sierra Club books like In Wilderness is The Preservation of the World and Summer Island. Today, the Hudson River School artists still heavily influence me. I would dearly love to have experienced the forested Ozarks back in the early to mid-1800’s like the Hudson School Painters experienced New England and upper New York. The works of George Inness and Asher B. Durand especially impress me. When it comes to capturing the color of the American West few artists surpass Thomas Moran. I’ll never forget the first time I saw one of his original western sunsets at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. I was stunned by its beauty. I couldn’t make myself leave the gallery; I stared at it for hours. Among contemporary painters I’m particularly influenced by the highly original pastel techniques of Bill Creevy and I greatly admire the originality of Richard McKinley. The way he allows the under painting to influence the mood of his landscapes is very effective.

Garry has a strong web presence. If you would like find out more about him please visit the following web sites:

Jun 4, 2009

Sleeping with an Original: Fine Art for the Bedroom

The Gateway Gallery is hosting a Reception Friday June 5 from 6-9 pm in conjunction with the Art D Tour. Voted as "One of the top 5 things to do in June" by St. Louis Magazine. Please come visit the gallery and see what not so sleepy artwork the Gateway Gallery Artists have been up to. Start measuring over your bed, because you aren't going to want to miss this reception!

Jun 1, 2009

Interview with Artist: Michael Anderson

How long have you been involved with Gateway Gallery?
I had a featured artist show of oil paintings called Painted Houses in May 2006. I was invited to be a member artist in October of that year. The gallery has gone through many improvements since that time in its overall appearance and operation, the way the art is presented and marketed as well as the general quality of the work itself. It continues to get better all the time. Literally thousands of people have seen my paintings there. It has been a very positive experience.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My paintings are produced en plein air for the most part so I paint what I see in the great outdoors. I try to have an eye for what might make an appealing composition however I often ignore my subjects and just paint the light that falls upon the landscape, architecture and people.

How often do you create?
Like anything else in order to be competent it helps to practice, practice, practice. My business as an architectural illustrator requires me to draw and render on a daily basis although much of that time is spent on a computer. I try get in some quick sketchbook work everyday. I have done a lot of drawing on Metro Link platforms while waiting for the train. I also attend a figure drawing session with a live model at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild whenever I can usually a couple of times per month.. Finally I paint each week outdoors (if it’s not raining) with fellow members of the Missouri Plein Air Painters Association. We meet at various designated locations as posted each week on the MOPAPA website.

Who are your greatest artistic influences?
I have been an artist for 35 years so my influences have increased as I have progressed. I could cite many famous artists whose styles I admire and have even attempted to emulate. I admit to channeling Van Gogh for a while but I made myself stop. I often look at my books of watercolors by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Maurice Prendergast for inspiration. I am also very appreciative of the work of many successful artists working today especially Billyo, Charles Reid, Mel Stabin and others. But in the past few years I would have to say that I consider the artists nearest to me to have had the biggest artistic influence on my work. The plein air painters that I paint with, the artists I see at life drawing classes and my colleagues at Gateway Gallery are all very serious about their work. They consistently produce great art and are carrying on a great tradition. I feel like I am part of that.

Why is art important?
Viewing art can transport your thoughts and feelings beyond the paint and canvas to deeper insights and understanding. It opens your eyes and your mind. Artists may not be able to save the world. At times their work can be mysterious, disturbing even pretentious or silly but art can also provide comfort, inspiration and truth. The words inscribed above the Art Museum doors say “take refuge here.”

Do you have any vices for being creative? Dry martinis (Van Gogh gin of course, straight up with three olives) are a guilty pleasure but I rarely feel guilty. Also I can’t resist sketchbooks. I carry one around with me all the time and as I mentioned before I try to draw everyday. My latest acquisition is a Moleskine (pronounced mo leh skeena) watercolor sketchbook. In fact I am buying them in bulk in order to give one to each of the artists in my current workshop, Sketching St. Louis. Moleskines are manufactured by a company in Milan , Italy . Did I mention that I am pretty much crazy for just about anything that’s Italian? I am currently planning a fall sketching workshop in Florence. Would anyone like to join me?

Apr 20, 2009

Caution: Fresh Paint Reception

The Gateway Gallery enjoyed yet another well attended and fresh new exhibit over the weekend. The art was new, the wine was tasty and fun was had by all! Please enjoy a few photos provided by Garry McMichael. Thank you to everyone who visited and purchased from our wonderful artists!

See anyone you know?

Apr 13, 2009

Interview with Artist: Vic Mastis

We thought you would like to get to know our artist/owners here at the Gateway Gallery a little better. This blog entry marks our first interview with one of the Gateway Artists; Vic Mastis. Her beautiful painting Orange Trees is featured on our postcard this month. She will be presenting numerous new paintings, in conjuction with all of the Gateway artists, this Friday at the Gateway Gallery in our newest exhibit called Caution! Fresh Paint.

How long have you been an artist?

At sixteen, I drew portraits at Six Flags—(It was crazy employment for a very shy sixteen year old.) Next, I took a year of only art courses, Then, I found a job working nights at the post office. When I got off at 7:00am, I would head straight for Meramec Community College and participate in three hour figure drawing classes. I have been producing art for approximately 30 years.

Are you formally trained? If so, where?
I had two master classes in Cloudcroft, New Mexico taught by William Herring. He has had the greatest impact on my artistic life concerning the mechanics, composition, color and work ethics. They were classes that were unsurpassed by anything you could get in a book. Also, Victor Wang, a teacher at Fontbonne University has been a great influence on my present style. He taught techniques of the Old Masters, which I still use today. I have taken many workshops with great artists like, Doug Dawson, Billy O’Donnell, Gill Dellinger, Jerry Brown, Sean and David Cornell.

What draws you to the medium you use?
I have always loved glitz and glitter. One incident I remember was, when I was young, my mother would take us downtown, St. Louis to look at the Christmas displays. I preferred to look at the sequined, sparkling party clothes in the window display. My intent is to capture that spark I was always drawn to- in my artwork. After extensive experimenting with everything iridescent I could get my hands on, I came up with using gold leaf in my paintings to give my art that illumination.

How long have you been involved with The Gateway Gallery?
I was one of the original members of Gateway Gallery. We have been in business 4 ½ years. The experience and education I have gotten here has far surpassed anything I learned in college. Just being with the other owners (artists) has been very rewarding. Being among the beautiful artwork when I work is an added bonus.

Who are your greatest artistic influences?
I would have to say, Maxfield Parrish for his use of reflective color. Gustav Klimt was a superb draftsmen. His design element was something to write home about. He also applied gold lead to his paintings. Joaquin Sorolla for his direct painting method. Someone in his day described his painting style as –Sorolla paints like a pig but somehow it always comes out.

Where is your studio and what is it like?
My studio is in the basement of my house. My husband put in lights with special daylight bulbs and a slop sink. Most of the time it is quite messy with items all over the place. I leave them out because they are things that inspire me or remind me of a painting I want to create. It is fairly large but there is never enough room now that I am painting larger.

What is the best museum/ art gallery/ art exhibit you have ever been to?
The Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. I didn't want to go because I thought it would all be portraits. Boy, was I wrong. They had a whole section of Thomas Dewing of the Pre-Raphaelites. Fantastic--- Also, there were restoration rooms enclosed in glass with cameras hooked to a large screen so you could see how they were restoring paintings and frames. They also had their inventory in glass display cases so you could see all their collections and didn’t have to wait for the museum to rotate them.

Look for everyone's newest this Friday April 17 from 6-9pm by searching for this little tag.

Apr 10, 2009

Queeny Park Art Fair

The Gateway Gallery artists had a great time at the Queeny Park Art Fair. This was our first time participating as a group, although a few of our artists have been long time participators and even organizers! Thank you to everyone who came to visit us. It is so great to have your support. The winner of the $200 Gallery Gift Certificate was Rita Hassinger of Kirkwood. Thank you to everyone who entered to win.
Next week we will be hosting a reception at the gallery called Caution: Fresh Paint! on April 17 from 6-9pm. Vic Mastis is our featured artist and we will be interviewing her here on the blog next week as well. Check out our web site because many of our artists have already included some of their new work for you to see. Should prove to be a fresh new show!

Apr 2, 2009

Queeny Art Fair and ArtDTour

This weekend the Gateway artists will be displaying their artwork at the Queeny Park Art Fair in West County. This is an indoor art fair so don't worry about the weather! Click the image to get your $1.00 off coupon.

Show hours are:
Saturday, April 4, 2009 10am - 5pm.
Sunday, April 5, 2009 11am - 4pm.
550 WEIDMAN ROAD MANCHESTER, Missouri. 63031.
****Stop by and visit with the artists, view our new art and sign up for a free $200 Gift Certificate. Need not be present to win.*****
The Gateway Gallery will also be on the ArtDTour this Friday, April 3 from 6:00 - 10:30. Join the tour or visit at your own pace, either way, come enjoy some great art on your fun Friday night!

Mar 24, 2009

Sixteen Variations of Bruges

On Friday March 13, 2009, the Gateway Gallery Artists presented their interpretations of a photograph taken by Greg Matchick called Three Swans in a Canal. (shown below) This was an amazing experience for us as we translated this image with our own media. We each decided to approach the challenge a different way which made viewing the work that much more fun.

The reception was a great success with a gallery crowed with many excited onlookers. Everyone seemed to enjoy searching for each "Bruges Painting" and at least two of them sold that evening.

Michele Wells with guest

Annie Smith-Piffel with guests

Thank you to everyone who attended. We truly appreciate the fact that you took time out of your busy schedules to come see what we have been up to! If you haven't been by yet, the paintings should be up for a little while longer, but don't wait too long because we are getting ready for our next exhibit Caution: Fresh Paint in April!

If you were there, what was your favorite part of the show?