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Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro

Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro is a landscape painter and portrait artist who recently won the “People’s Choice” award that was sponsored by Plaza Artist Materials in the 7th Annual Friends of the Yellow Barn Drawing Show at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. Having grown up in Valencia, Spain and moving to Washington, DC eight years ago, Gonzalo shares how his artistic career and experiences have differed in the two countries. Read our exclusive interview with Gonzalo below to gain an inside look into his unique artistic journey. You can visit more of his work here: www.gonzaloruiznavarro.com.

Chicago Harbor, Oil on Canvas

Chicago Harbor, Oil on Canvas

Why did you decide to enter the Steve Hanson pastel drawing into the Yellow Barn show?

I was proud of that piece and I like it. I thought it had a good chance to win or place in the show. It is a piece I did some months ago in one of the pastel classes I teach at the Yellow Barn. Some days we have a live model come and pose for the class. That day, I brought in a very particular model with a very interesting face and full beard. I saw him a few years ago at the Art of the Portrait conference in Reston, Virginia, an annual conference held by the Portrait Society of America. I saw hi...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By plazaart.com
Studio Stories

“Part of my life is that I am split into these different things; there is the book, there is my teaching and then there is my art.”

Lauren Rader is a Maryland-based artist, author, and art educator. In 2005, she began teaching art classes to women called ‘Releasing the Creative Powers Within’. Inspired by the women’s individual creative journeys and life-changing experiences taking place within these art classes, Lauren wrote the book Studio Stories: Illuminating Our Lives Through Art to document and share their unique transformations.

Lauren Rader

Why did you decide to open up your personal home studio and teach art classes there?

“I have been teaching since I was 17. And I always taught kids. And I lived in California for 17 years. When we moved to Maryland, I didn’t teach at all for a while. People always told me I should teach adults, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. I was talking to a friend about what to do next. She said I should teach an art class for adults called ‘Releasing the Creative Powers Within’. And I knew that was what I needed to do. I didn’t really want to teach a painting class or a drawing class, but rather a class that focused on creativity in general, which is my comf...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By plazaart.com

Adrian-Harris-2paintings

"Honey," left, and "The Dinner Party," right. Mixed media.

One of the challenging aspects of being an artist is daily practice. For those of us who must work 9-5 but view our artwork as more than just a hobby, it can be hard to tap into creativity every day while taking care of other responsibilities. Life gets in the way of art unless you make art a way of life.

Adrian Harris is a young artist who is committed to maintaining a constant output of work, no matter how small. He is an associate at the Plaza Artist Materials store in Rockville, Maryland and he tries to spend as much time as possible practicing his craft.

Nadine, the manager at Rockville, says that he “draws constantly and on everything; boxes, transfers and scrap papers all over the store. He is so inspiring because his hand is always moving when he is not checking in shipments.”

Adrian says he enjoys taking a mixed-media approach and having a variety of materials at hand when creating a new piece. Studying abstract expressionism and impressionism has had a significant influence on his process: “I like to throw paint,” he says, but ultimately at the conclusion of a piece, “arrive at surrealism.” You can see this in many of...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By K. McDermott

Artist Spotlight: Annie Strack

Oct 16, 2015 3:17:29 PM

Annie-Strack

Annie Strack is an amazing painter and an incredibly busy artist. She teaches everywhere, including occasionally at Plaza Art—catch her this weekend, October 17-18, 2015, at Hands on Creativity in Philadelphia! In the following interview, she highlights her varied experiences as an artist, teacher and lifelong learner—including painting for the Coast Guard, surviving many hurricanes, why teaching art rocks, and the woes of painting plein air in the dead of winter.

Annie has a phenomenal energy and positive attitude; she truly loves art and you can see her passion in all that she does. If you want to know how to step up your “social media game” as an artist and highlight your work online, look to her as a shining example of how online networking is done.

A big lesson I think we can all learn from Annie’s efforts is that, as a working artist, it’s good to diversify your services and work on more than one project or teaching opportunity at a time. Check the end of this post for links to all of Annie Strack’s work and websites!

boats-annie-stracksee that you are a classically trained artist, but is there anything special about how you became interested in making art—is there any particular reason you bec...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By K. McDermott
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