Carmen sits down to speak with local watercolor artist Todd Saal at his home studio. According to Todd, “I am more of a multi-disciplinary artist. I use the term artist in the general sense. While I’m constantly learning and being inspired by many things, my main disciplines are being a watercolor artist and guitar player. I’m driven to create and express my thoughts through these 2 tools. The connection I have with both of these makes me lose all sense of time. I love observing places and people and capturing the intensity of those moments.”
This time on The Great Lesser Known, Carmen speaks with abstract painter Karen Johnston at her home studio. Karen enjoys showing her art and sharing the power and joy of the creative process. After her own healing journey, she came to understand the importance of having an outlet for authentic expression, learning and meaningful connections. Consequently, she developed The H.O.P.E. Ministry (Healing. Optimism. Prayer. Encouragement) in 2011 as an ongoing support community for those with cancer or other life-changing illnesses, and their caregivers. She is a founding member of Contemporary Collective, a local group of abstract artists and is an active board member with the Nashville Artist Guild. Her award-winning work gives light to spaces across the nation. Karen shares life with her husband and three children in Nashville, Tennessee.
You can learn more about Karen and her work at:
After 10 years in corporate sales, Melodie decided do something different. She longed to do something creative, entrepreneurial, and to have flexibility and freedom in her daily endeavors. She loved working with clay as a hobby and dreamed of one day being a full time potter. As many of us do, she thought retirement was the time to live out her dreams. Fortunately she chose not to wait. Armed with fierce faith and determination, lots of ideas, and a bit of savings, she set out to pursue her heart’s desire. She joined an artists’ co-op and began making wheel thrown and hand built pottery. She has combined her personal style of etching and carving with traditional and slip resist raku which fashions a look that’s totally unique from anything you see out there. She’s living the dream.
The Great Lesser Known goes international in this interview. In this video, Carmen speaks with Alexander Shegelsky, an artist agent based here in Nashville, TN. Alex represents Ukrainian artist Andrey Poletaev, an artist who creates amazing drawings using just normal ballpoint pens. Andrey’s ability to create images with exceptional details and shading to the point that they could be mistaken for photographs at distance. Closer inspection reveals the unique texture and sheen that ballpoint pen ink produces.
In this video, Carmen visits with Dana Olson Pettit. Dana is from the Chicago suburb of Plainfield, IL, where she took an interest in drawing at the age of seven. After excelling in several art programs throughout high school, Dana ultimately decided to invest this talent at The American Academy of Art (Chicago), where she graduated with trained knowledge of Fine Art and Oil Painting in 2008. The summer of 2009 was spent in Southern France attending “Atelier Neo Medici” where she studied a unique old painting technique, known as “Technique Mixte,” under highly regarded artist, Gregory Pelizzari.
Dana now resides in Nashville, TN where she operated out of the 100 Taylor Arts Collective before ultimately moving into her home studio. Since being in Nashville, Dana successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign, curated & produced a large scale pop up gallery, teaches private art lessons, supports the Nashville Creative Group, and anxiously pursues her Jesus-based portrait series project: truth between various commissions.
You can learn about Dana by going to:
twitter handle: DanaOlsonArt
Carmen interviews oil painter Patti Randle in her home studio. Art was always part of Patti’s life. As a young girl, Patti would draw whatever was around her: the border collie that was her best friend, the rabbits her parents bought for her and her sister, the family car, her parents. When her younger sister came along, she drew her.
Read more below the video…
Her father was an avid amateur painter who eventually became an accomplished oil painter of animals and landscapes. As a teenager, Patti and her father would set up easels and paint together. She learned a lot, she says, from her father’s encouragement, criticism, and love for art… and from his advice on life. “Do what you love,” he would tell her. And she loved painting.
She found a passion for painting people, for she says each one has a story to tell. The hardest part in any painting, Patti says, is knowing when to step away, to call a painting finished. “They are never finished but at some point each painting has said all it must say. If I were to paint them the next year, they might have a different story to tell.” Today she describes her art as intense creativity.
Carmen heads to Grant Cooley’s home studio to talk with him about his artwork. When asked to describe his work he replies, “My work, whether I knew it or not, has always been focused on the spaces in Between; the Realms between Light and Shadow. Through primarily Figurative images, I continue to explore this vista and hope to bring Beauty to the Corrupt and Connection to the Ethereal.”
In this interview, Carmen sits down to talk with Chris Teague, a graphic artist living in Murfreesboro, TN. Chris is an illustrator and graphic artisty originally from Nashville who specializes in creating custom images utilizing sharp linework and vivid tones. He works primarily in Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio for creating his digital illustrations.
Valentine “Lee” Adams takes castaway metal objects and composes them into meaningful art pieces that people can connect with. Per Lee, he is “fascinated and motivated by the interconnection of found metal objects that have potential to capture spirit and energy”. If you have an opportunity, visit the Brentwood library where you will see one of his pieces (a bench) located by the entryway of the library.
Carmen Bellos, co-founder of the Great Lesser Known, had the great opportunity to interview Tammy O’Conner in her glass studio.
Tammy was initially inspired by her uncle, and followed in his footsteps as a professional photographer. To that end, she studied design, color and composition at the Art Institute of Atlanta, graduating with a degree in photography. Though intrigued by playing with light and composition, the medium did not feel like a fit. Later, she was introduced to stained glass and found that she still was able to play with light and color and that is when she found her place.
Tammy has worked with glass since 1985 and has twice been awarded the James C. Whitney Memorial Scholarship by the American Glass Guild. You can learn more about Tammy and her work at her website, www.vitricvisions.com.