ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

CREATECONTRIBUTEINSPIRE

Beth Bale

Thank God for high school art teachers.  I had a great one.  Under her tutelage, I worked in a myriad of artistic media and loved most of them.  I have no memory of painting in watercolor as a child nor a teen, but I discovered it during my college days at Georgetown College in KY.  I have been mostly self-taught in painting watercolor, beginning with an independent study in college.  For the past 20 years I have painted largely in watercolor, with the occasional foray back to the acrylics of my college days.  Chatham County, NC, is my home.  I hold leadership positions in several state and local arts organizations, teach watercolor painting in Pittsboro, NC, and show my work in state-wide exhibits, at Pittsboro Gallery of Arts in Pittsboro, NC, and Stray’s Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, Milton Gallery of Art and The Mann Center in Sanford, NC.  I earned my signature status in the Watercolor Society of NC in 2017.

I LOVE watercolor painting.  I love the way the pigment flows on the white paper when I paint in a wet technique and how the edges blend and mingle, soften or harden depending on my use of it.  I am passionate about the transparency of watercolor and the way the light bounces off the white of the paper and zings through the transparent washes of pigment when done properly.  The play of it calls me.  The colors inspire me.

I have been passionate about nature and animals all my life.  From my first “kitty” at age 5 when I told my parents I would give all the presents under the tree for a kitty, to my cats, dogs, chickens and horses currently in my life and the beautiful ones at the NC Zoo, I find inspiration in all of these.  It took me several years after starting to paint in watercolor to follow the adage I had heard so many times, “Paint what you know.”  Now I do just that.  All my animals, flowers, love of the landscape around me and that of my youth, appear in my work.  I see beauty all around me.  Painting changes the way one sees the world.

Barbara Berman

For many years I worked as a commercial interior designer specializing in design, space planning, colors and materials. Now that I am retired, my years of design experience and my love of art and fabric have led me to something very special I call "Fabrications."

My fascination with art and design began as a little girl going with my mother to her art classes, and it took me through Syracuse University where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Some thirty years ago, my husband Fred bought a sewing machine so he could hem his pants. Not surprisingly, he hemmed maybe one pair. I tried the machine, fell in love with sewing, and things have never been the same.

I started sewing kites, scarfs, quilts, and purses. My friends encouraged me to try my hand selling at craft shows. So twenty-five years ago Craftibarb began! Today my purses and backpacks sell at high-end art and craft shows across the country.

After moving from Maryland to North Carolina, I started painting again and joined our local artists' league. I teach art classes and have won numerous awards for my work.  

Recently I have experimented with making "paintings" out of fabric. My technique is to adhere pieces of fabric directly onto a canvas. I am pleased and surprised by how these "fabrications" spring to life. Something like a jigsaw puzzle, every element is made from bits of fabric. Little did I expect that this would become my passion.

Arlene Brencsons

Arlene Brencsons is a native Manhattanite who always had art on her walls and in her heart, but with family, nursing career, then business, wasn't creating it. After retiring to North Carolina she joined a weekly painting group, and from the moment she first touched color to canvas, knew it was love! 

 

Arlene's imaginative acrylic artwork reflects her worldview; we can't address the ills of society if we can't even envision our world as the beautiful, peaceful, loving place it should be for all. Her art is never realistic, but depicts a hopeful, idealized point of view.  

 

She also believes that humor is an underrated, but essential tool in navigating life's sharper edges. Not everything has to be rule driven or serious in life – or in art. Painting is fun and exciting for her, and she wants to share her joy. Buildings might be a bit tipsy and the sky may be lavender, but life can be beautiful, and she's having fun bending reality with you. Relax and enjoy the view!  

   

Arlene's art has won several awards from the first time exhibited. Her work has been shown at Campbell House in Southern Pines, NC, and her painting of a local landmark is on permanent display in a Lee County government building. She's delighted to have sold many paintings to collectors, and was honored to be chosen "Breakout Artist of the Year" in 2018 by the Sanford Brush and Palette Club.

Beverly Brookshire

Beverly Brookshire is an Expressionist Artist and is known as a vibrant colorist.  Her subject matter extends from abstracts to still life. She works in various mediums including watercolors, acrylics, pastels, oil pastels, and ink.  Her work has been featured in several venues in the Sanford, NC area, in New York City and other states across the country.

 

Beverly is known locally for her paintings of Sanford and sought after prints and cards.  Her artwork has been published in three nationwide magazines, numerous New York City tourist magazines, and articles in North Carolina and Tennessee.

 

Beverly was honored in 2014 as the Sanford Brush and Palette Club’s Artist of the Year.  She has won many awards, including First Merit, the Mayor’s Choice Award, and several Blue Ribbons.  She is the recipient of the Lee County Centennial Art Award and was named a 2009 North Carolina “Main Street Champion” for her civic work in Sanford.

Reggie Carde

Reggie Carde obtained a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Painting from UNC-Greensboro.  Reggie’s paintings are influenced by expressionist and folk artists, which balance realism and abstract images by emphasizing bright colors and bold lines with positive and negative space.

​Reggie incorporates layering, glazing, and dry brush techniques using acrylic paint within his art.  Reggie also works with pen and ink and enjoys drawing old houses, scenic byways, and landscapes.  Reggie’s quirky 3-D wooden fish are popular with local collectors.

​Reggie is a participant in Public Art Projects around the Sanford, NC area, recently completing a whimsical street piano. Reggie also creates wall murals, which are showcased in the children’s section of the Broadway Library and in the reading area of Books at a Steal, a local bookseller.

 

Reggie is a Member of the Sanford Brush and Palette Club and has won numerous awards during the annual art show and was named Artist of the Year in 2018. Reggie’s greatest accomplishment is that of teaching and developing his mother’s skills as a folk-art painter.

Linda Collura

Linda Collura loves to discover images in nature by taking photos, creating drawings, then combining ideas for images to coexist to create an imaginary world. She lets the idea emerge and then finds the media to help translate intense light, texture and color for each painting, collage or drawing. In other words the subject defines the media, whether it’s watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, or mixed media.

 

Linda has a BFA from SUNY of Art & Design at Alfred University, a Graduate Level Teacher Certification from Rider University, and a Masters in Art Education from East Carolina University. She worked with a custom wall design company in NJ creating  faux finishes, murals, and plaster treatments for homes and businesses. Linda Collurais currently a full time art teacher and has a studio in Pittsboro, NC.

Ginny Connolly-Manhardt

Ginny Connolly-Manhardt has always been fascinated by big, bright, beautiful color and the emotions that color invoke. This color journey started while she was growing up in New Jersey, and as an adult living in New York, Pennsylvania and now in Sanford, NC. Ginny earned a degree in Studio Arts and K-12 Art Education from Chatham University.  She did her graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University,  at which time she was working in oils.

 

She did not paint for over thirty years, as her family and career took precedent. In the 1990’s, she started making jewelry as a creative outlet. During that time she also started traveling the world, seeking out fine art and crafts wherever she went and finding the inspiration to resume her journey in the arts.  After she retired from the non-profit world, she started painting again in acrylics, alcohol inks, and watercolors.  She also continues to make Jewelry. Abstract art is the foundation of her work, as it speaks to her and gives her a voice.

Everett Cox

Art has been a very important part of Everett’s life, beginning as a young child connecting dot to dots and painting watercolor scenes.  Later in life, he worked in oils until the Army called him to duty.  After his time in the Army, he started working with acrylics and then took a long break from art.  Everett earned an engineering degree from North Carolina State University and worked for 40 years as a test engineer and lab manager for various companies.

Upon retirement, Everett started taking classes with Yvonne George through Central Carolina Community College.  He was encouraged to join the Sanford Brush and Pallet Club and its’ members have been inspirational in moving his artistic abilities forward.  He entered the 51st SBPC art show and has displayed artwork in subsequent art shows, winning awards for acrylic and alcohol ink works.  Everett was the President of the Sanford Brush and Palette Club from2019 to 2020.  Everett's artworks are on display in the SBPC art studio in Sanford, NC.

Yvonne George

Yvonne George was born and raised in the Northeastern part of the United States.  She spent her career as a Registered Nurse before moving to Miami, Florida.  While in Florida, Yvonne’s true commitment to art began, as she took classes in painting, sculpture, and printmaking.  During this time, she developed a love of pottery and thus began her journey into sculptural ceramics.

 

Yvonne moved from Florida to Texas where she was President of the Ceramic League of Houston. She was a member of several galleries there and worked with an Interior designer who placed her work around the country.  She eventually returned to Florida, forming a partnership with another ceramic artist and began making one of a kind pieces for custom homebuilders.

 

Yvonne now resides in North Carolina and is a member of the Sanford Brush and Palette Club and the Pastel Society of North Carolina.  She also teaches painting at Central Carolina Community College.  Yvonne’s work continues to be influenced by the places in which she has lived and traveled while raising her family.  Yvonne currently paints in acrylics, pastel, alcohol inks, and watercolor. She also creates unique copper and silver jewelry.
 

Wanda Southern Geske

Wanda grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of SW Virginia. She studied art throughout high school and was art club president. She went on to study commercial art at Virginia Tech. ​

Wanda was a graphic designer and art director throughout her career. She worked for ad agencies, publishers, and more. She won multiple national awards for publication design.

She went on to co-own a printing company in Florida. ​Wanda won six ribbons at the 2019 SBPC Art Show.

Wanda likes to work in pique assiette -- a style of mosaic that incorporates pieces of broken ceramics,  plates, glass, vintage jewelry and other found objects into the design. This type of mosaic must take in ideas of lateral thinking, humor, the art of recycling and the significance of found objects. She has recently worked in alcohol inks, flow acrylics, resin work, but always returns to her love of mosaics. Wanda is a member of the Society for American Mosaic Artists.

 

Angela Carden Hilliard

Angela Hilliard is a North Carolina native, originally from Durham. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Commercial Design from Barton College, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Angela began her career in painting, working primarily with acrylics. She is strongly influenced by North Carolina craft, culture, and landscape. Her main focus is that of abstraction and how line and color work to create depth, visual impact, and interest. Currently, Angela works in collage, taking elements of painting and craft to create her works of art.

Angela has exhibited her work locally and in surrounding areas of North Carolina.  Her work can be viewed as part of the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project.  She is a participating Art-O-Mat artist and has her work distributed throughout the United States.

Sandra Lett

Sandra Lett is a North Carolina native currently living in Garner.  She has always loved art from her childhood days.  Her grandfather was a huge influence in her life as a little girl.  She is proudly a self-taught artist for over 22 years; and had a thriving decorative art business for 18 years at the beginning of her career.

 

Her first and foremost love is acrylic painting. She also started a YouTube channel at the end of 2017.  With a much loved and loyal following there of over 76,000, she became known for her intuitive acrylic pours and embellishments.  She also has found a new passion in the last year in resin art.  She is most satisfied and grounded when she is in her studio doing what she knows God created her to do.

 

She sees herself as an ever-evolving, lover of beauty in creating whatever she is inspired to do, no matter the medium.  She loves people and has found a desire to also reach out and inspire and mentor others through her YouTube channel, her online painting tutorials, and a growing Facebook Group of over 11,000 artists.  Her heart is to inspire others with light, love and joy through her own art pieces she creates; as well as to touch other people’s lives in a positive way by promoting them to also pursue their dreams and become the artists they have always wanted to be.

Cindy McAuley

I’m a Sanford native and a self-taught artist. Although life took me away to Charlotte NC for 25 years, I returned to my hometown in 2012. A couple years later my father Charles McLeod, a long-time Sanford Brush & Palette Club member, passed away and I inherited his art supplies. I had always been fascinated by art and enjoyed all sorts of creative hobbies, so I decided to learn to paint. 

After many hours of YouTube tutorials and multiple incomplete attempts at painting a landscape, I finally convinced myself to finish a painting no matter how bad it might be. But it wasn’t bad, it was actually decent, and I was hooked! 

My art journey since then has been exciting and frustrating and amazing. My favorite medium is acrylic and my favorite subjects are landscapes and more recently animals. I hope to be able to learn to paint  the rest of my life.

Barbara Miller

Barbara Miller is originally from the small town of Mine La Motte, Missouri. However, she spent most of her adult life in Florida before moving to North Carolina to be closer to family.  She has always been a creative person, starting with the mural of a mountain scene that she painted for her parents on their living room wall!  Barbara has tried many different forms of craft over the years, from doll clothes and furniture, to crochet, jewelry making, and furniture refinishing.

 

Once Barbara retired, she began taking an art class mentored by the successful Dutch artist, Johanna Pol.  During this class, she was introduced to oil painting and has remained an oil painter ever since.  She enjoys the fluidity of oil paint and the ease with which you can change things as you go.  Barbara enjoys taking classes and trying new mediums and techniques.  She is a yearly participant in the Sanford Brush and Palette Club art show.

Shelby Mossey

Shelby Mossey is a painter and sketch artist who recently relocated from Vermont.  Her grandfather inspired and encouraged her drawing when she was very young. She loved drawing mermaids and creating faces from memory. She learned to draw Manga/Anime and developed her own style from there. She took as many art classes as she could in high school. The teachers even created classes for her during her senior year. Shelby then decided she wanted to become an artist.

 

Shelby attended a few years of college,  but realized she hadn't learned much. Most of her skills were developed from watching YouTube videos and trying new techniques. Her preferred medium is mechanical pencil on paper. Recently she has begun to paint more with oil, watercolor and acrylics.  In March 2021, Shelby entered an acrylic painting into an Instagram art contest. It was a painting of a Queen fairy with a background story. Out of over 1,000 entries, her painting made the top ten and the host of the contest uploaded a video critique. She was amazed to hear other artists talk about something she had painted and as happy to gain recognition for her work.

 

Shelby hopes to continue to hone her style. She is currently working on a fairy series and is creating their universe. Her plans are to eventually have enough paintings for an illustrated book. Shelby has never been part of an art community and is excited to see where her art journey takes her.

Brandi Neighbors

Brandi Neighbors is an artist and photographer who obtained her Bachelor’s degree and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Pensacola Christian College.  She also attended the NC School of Communication Arts and Fayetteville Technical Community College.

 

While attending Pensacola Christian College, she would realize her true passion in representational art and teaching.  While earning her degrees, Brandi learned various techniques in oil and charcoal.

 

Along with producing and growing her knowledge of art, Brandi continues her many opportunities in teaching, which include drawing, painting, and photography at the collegiate level and through personalized classes for individuals and groups.  Her dream is to continue to use the skills she has learned to refine her talents and to help others reach their own creative potential.

Mickey Pace 

Mickey is originally from Long Island, New York. Her art pursuites started with oil and watercolor paintings. After taking lessons with a women's group, she joined the group, and studied further through The Wet Paints Art Society.  She was accepted into numerous juried art competitions. She has won many awards throughout the years.  In 1984 she won Best in Show along with First Place in Watercolor at the annual Wet Paints Art Society show. 

After discovering the magic of pottery, clay became her new "canvas ".  She chose to get her education in clay by attending various types of workshops given by famous potters.  She traveled across the country from Nevada to Vermont, not to mention New York.  By putting together all the techniques learned from these potters, she discovered the unique designs by "Pottermick"!

 

After moving to Sanford in 2013, she joined the Sanford Brush and Palette club family.  She is now serving her 2nd term on the Board of Directors.  She partnered curating the annual 54th Art Show.  In 2018, she received Best in Show at the County Fair, and First place for clay in the 2019 Sanford Brush and Palette club show, among numerous other awards, She received Best in Show for her sculptures. 

Edna Perkinson

Born and raised in North Carolina, Edna Perkinson and her husband moved to Sanford in 1974. Edna was a hospital pharmacist by vocation but always an artist at heart. She has painted since childhood. During her career, she managed to study with a variety of artists in workshops throughout the Southeast. Since retirement Edna has concentrated on oils, especially figures and water and the beautiful reflections they make. Her works have won awards statewide and hang in many private collections.

 

Currently Edna maintains a studio in Sanford where she paints in oils, acrylics and gouache. Her paintings are colorful and fresh with an impressionist feel.  Edna paints a variety of subjects from landscapes to flowers to animals. However figures and water are her favorite subjects. Many of her paintings include the ocean, where she spends much of her time.

 

JuliAnn Robinson

Originally from the Midwest, JuliAnn Robinson found her way to Sanford via the San Francisco Bay Area.  After selling her business and retiring, she and her husband moved to North Carolina where one of her goals was to pick up a paint brush and start to create fine art. That was five years ago.

 

As a self-taught artist, JuliAnn has spent the last four years honing her skills by using a variety of mediums and subject matters.  She is inspired by both Master and contemporary artists, as well as, her personal visual experiences while traveling internationally and domestically.

 

JuliAnn has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Loyola University-Chicago.  She has exhibited at the Campbell House in Southern Pines, the Temple Theatre, and the Sanford BPC Fall Show.  Her work can be found in private collections in the Midwest and North Carolina.

Doug Rowe

Doug Rowe was born at Whiteman Air Force Base near Warrensburg, Missouri, in January 1960. After a short time in Warrensburg and Roswell, New Mexico, he was raised predominantly in the North Kansas City area, where he earned a BFA in Commercial Art from the University of Central Missouri (formerly CMSU).

 

After college, Doug joined the Air Force and served as an instructor pilot in T-38s at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX, and then as an aircraft commander in C-130Es at Pope AFB in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before turning to art as a profession. He paints many subjects, but his favorite is aircraft and in a very realistic style. 

Carolyn Rotter

Originally from NY, Carolyn earned a Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Art Education.  As an art educator for 30+ years she was recognized for her skills in teaching and received awards and honors locally and statewide which attest to her distinguished career in the classroom.

Upon retiring, Carolyn was able to devote her time and ambition toward painting and found Sanford, NC to be the perfect place to relocate.  Here she maintains her studio.  Her works have frequently been accepted into juried competitions and have garnered numerous awards.  

Carolyn’s paintings are included in private and corporate collections throughout the USA.  She is currently a member of the prestigious artist organization, Oil Painters of America. Carolyn’s paintings reflect every day scenes which she renders with joyous color and vibrant light.  Strong composition and skillful techniques are combined to create each painting.  A diversity of subject matter and an eye for capturing the moment are a hallmark of her creations.

Maria Rowe

Maria was born and raised in northwest Missouri where she first fell in love with the landscape through the expansive skies and farmland there. She received her BA in English Literature from Texas Tech University and has now called central North Carolina home for over thirty years where the varied land and seascapes continue to amaze her.

 

She began taking art classes and workshops upon joining the Sanford Brush & Palette Club to pursue her passion to creatively capture the interplay between light and shadow, which has always drawn her to any subject since observing those landscapes while growing up.

 

Maria attributes her greatest art breakthrough in seeing as an artist to Brandi Neighbors while studying realistic drawing with her. She has also studied with TJ Cunningham, Adam Clague and locally with Susan Hecht and Joe DiGiulio. She is influenced by the work of Richard Schmid, Susan Lyon and CW Mundy, and most enjoys the styles of impressionism and abstraction. To create in these styles she has become familiar with many different mediums, but primarily works in oils.

 

Ted Sloan

Ted Sloan is a Certified Floral Designer, earning his accreditation from the American Institute of Floral Design.  He owned his own floral business for more than thirty years before retiring in 2005.  During his career as a floral designer, Ted served as President of the North Carolina State Florist Association and was an instructor for floral design workshops.  One of the many highlights of Ted’s career was working with floral designers from across the United States preparing floral designs for the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush.

 

Since retiring, Ted has become a member of the Sanford Brush and Palette Club.  Ted uses his many design talents exploring different mediums; such as acrylic pouring, watercolor, and mixed media collage through local class offerings and demonstrations.  Ted is a yearly participant in the Annual Sanford Brush and Palette Club Art Show.

​Sydney M. Somoza

Art has always been an important part of her life, which first manifested itself in classical ballet and cultural dance forms. After Sydney began painting, she traveled extensively in Europe.  She has lived in South and Central America, New York, Boston, the Midwest and the South.

While living in the Midwest, she was a Signature Member of the lowa Watercolor Society.  She was also a Member of the Southwest Watercolor Society and participated in juried shows in New Mexico and Texas.  She has placed best in show, and had several First Place awards in the Landscape and Floral categories and was nominated Artist of the Year in 2008.

Somoza's works are described as exhibiting a soft freshness and transparency that are unique to her impressionistic style. "It is my intent to spark an excitement in the viewers of my work...an excitement which enticed me to paint the painting...an excitement in the beauty of nature."

The artist's work is part of numerous private and public collections and can be found in her Garden Studio.

Yvonne Sovereign

Yvonne Sovereign majored in fine art in high school, attending a special program for the artistically gifted. She attended summer classes at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC and majored in Fine Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

 

Yvonne works in oils, watercolors and graphite drawing, and her subjects vary from landscapes to animals. She is best known for her sensitive portrayal of dogs.

 

Yvonne has exhibited in numerous juried shows, had one and two person shows and taught art classes.  She has been accepted in the juried show, Art Show at the Dog Show, Wichita, KS for a number of years since its inception, where she has won numerous awards including a Best In Show in 2013; a piece which was purchased by the AKC Museum of the Dog in New York City.

 

She has also received awards at the Watercolor Society of NC regional show,  Moore County arts council yearly exhibition and the Sanford (NC) Brush and Palette show, including several Best’s In Show. She has been a finalist in three Richeson Art competitions.

She received a runner up Best In Show at the Arts Council of Wayne County juried show and an artistic grant from Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

 

Yvonne’s work is in private collections in the United States, Canada, England, Sweden, Finland, Japan and Australia. Her work has appeared on numerous magazine covers. Yvonne lives in Sanford, NC where she has Southern Wind Studio on her home property.

Rachel Terry

Rachel Terry grew up in southern Indiana and traveled to several countries before putting roots down in Sanford, NC. After 17+ years in the medical field, Rachel returned to college to pursue her passion and earned her BFA with emphasis in Painting from Webster University in St. Louis, MO.

 

In the past, Rachel would become frustrated with her wide range of interests when feeling the outside pressure to narrow the focus of her artistic pursuit. She finally embraced her curious mind that loves to learn and experiment and uses that gained knowledge and experience to not be fenced in creatively.

 

When describing her work, Rachel says, “I find my greatest freedom of expression through creating, especially with paint. I am fascinated by textures and colors… being able to touch everything and looking closely at how colors layer and intermingle. The world is a beautiful and amazing place! Beauty can be found in the most simple and mundane things. You just have to see it. These things inspire my work as I explore color and texture in different mediums. I never want to lose that wonder and hope to encourage others to see it as well.”

 

Rachel has received many awards for her work. Her art has been in group and solo exhibitions in California, Indiana, Missouri, New York, and North Carolina and has been displayed in galleries, businesses, and private residences. She has facilitated Art Auctions for a Cause and her latest accomplishment has been co-illustrator for a published children’s book.

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson studied art with Joseph Fitzpatrick at The Carnegie in Pittsburgh and with New Orleans designer, Frances Coleman. 

 

Ms. Thompson was Director of Arts Programs for the U.S. Army in Wiesbaden, Germany for ten years.  Her innovative art, music and theatre programs received multiple European and International Awards for Excellence.  

 

Ms. Thompson is the author of "Basics of Art and the Elements of Design.”  She also teaches adult seminars at Central Carolina Community College.  She is the current Vice President and Program Chair of the Pastel Society of North Carolina.  She is also a member of the Sanford Brush and Palette Club, where she has won numerous awards for painting.

 

"My approach is to halt shadows; to capture the quiet of nature in fleeting moments.  Most of my subjects are personal - things I have, flowers I grow or fields I mow.  Composition, design and color palette are my primary concerns.  Whether still life or landscape, I seek moments of stillness and light."