KAREN BARTON-GRAY

Karen Barton chronicles our relationship with food and packaging through her contemporary still life paintings. Her works – from nostalgic spice tins to the hottest new flavors of high-end ice cream – are celebrations of personal and familial memories, cultural symbolism, and social commentary. In this way, she places herself in a long line of still life painters throughout history who have used food to represent both the significance and the fleetingness of everyday moments and things. Karen knows that food and the feelings it evokes are very personal and simultaneously integral to larger cultural identities.

As an only child, Karen was brought up on US military bases in Germany. There, her history-buff father and artistic mother exposed her to the great narratives woven into regional food cultures. Their family of three would regularly stuff themselves into a non-airconditioned VW square-back and head out on adventures to historical sites across Europe that always included finding good places to eat. Car windows rolled down, hair whipping furiously, bright colored suitcases stacked high in the backseat, and guided by a deeply creased old-fashioned road map, Karen learned to love the intersection of history and food. “It seemed as if every place we went had a story,” she recalls. And often these stories were connected with the local cuisines.

Her childhood culinary adventures were not limited to the historic. Much to her mother’s dismay, Karen and her father shared a passion for the prepared foods of the day — Swanson’s TV dinners, Sara Lee frozen brownies, Juicy Fruit gum, Hawaiian Punch, Pop Tarts, Ding-Dongs, and hot dogs on a bun were all high on their list. Her mother considered these products questionable and would only rarely relent.

Whatever the genesis, Karen’s paintings capture foods of today that will become someone’s nostalgic memories and foods from times past that can poignantly evoke the experiences they accented. Karen was always interested in art. “As a child I literally drew hundreds of horses that I fantasized about owning in a gigantic stable,” she recalls. Her mother frequently created with her, making crafts or drawing and painting, while sharing memories of her own past.

But art wasn’t really considered a sensible career choice, so her traditional parents encouraged Karen to pursue a “real profession.” Honoring their wishes, Karen graduated with a teaching degree, but she managed to also squeeze in an art minor. As a result, she enjoyed a 30-year career as a first-grade teacher. And, not surprisingly, art time was always a favorite part of the day for her students (and their teacher).

Despite the rigors of teaching, Karen never gave up on her art pursuits. Whenever school vacations came along, the paint brushes came out; and she continued to develop her painting skills. In the back of her mind, she always had the goal of becoming an artist. And now that dream has come to pass. One year after retirement, she picked up her brushes and embarked on her new life as a professional artist, with the full support of her husband and grown son.

In the beginning, Karen painted a variety of subject matter. But one day she watched a TV documentary on the life of Gloria Vanderbilt. When she learned that Vanderbilt painted vignettes of her memories and experiences, often writing her thoughts on her paintings, Karen was profoundly affected. She became inspired to paint some of the wonderful foods that lived in her memory. Her early food and product paintings sparked conversations with relatives and friends about their favorite memories. And the rich discussions that ensued established Karen’s desire to create a visual history of foods — past or present — that bring comfort, spark delight, or hold personal significance. Just as sharing food with one another creates a bond, Karen hopes that her paintings will create connections. She sees each piece that she paints as a small history with a story that is both already present and still waiting to be told by the viewer or collector.

Working in oils with brush and palette knife, Karen describes her painting style as “messy realism.” It suits her to be meticulous and also to create soft edges that break linear boundaries. In her work, you can see the influences of two of her favorite painters — Nicholas Simmons, whose bold, bright paintings refused to be constrained by the traditions of his medium, and Wayne Thiebaud, who loved color and painted food with passion. Karen also loves the vibrant color, subject matter, and compositions of Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec.

She muses, “I am attracted to color and texture, as well as, visual contrasts. I like for my paintings to speak for themselves at a distance and to grab one’s curiosity with their texture and interaction of colors when up close.”

Karen Barton lives just south of Seattle, Washington, with her husband and their sassy standard poodle, Libby.

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ASHLEY GLAZIER

Ashley Glazier was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL and raised in Boise, ID. Like a lot of artists, she’s always been creating in one form or another since childhood, but it wasn’t until college that she oil painted for the first time. She immediately knew that oil painting was something she’d pursue for the rest of her life. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration in 2017. Ashley currently lives and works out of her studio in Provo, Utah with her husband, Tyler, and ginger cat, Oscar. Ashley spends her free time outside in nature, reading novels, watching movies, spending time with her friends, and playing with her nieces and nephews.

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  • Ashley Glazier
    Arrangement In Ruby
    Oil on panel
    Image size: 20 X 24
    Framed

    $1,850.00
  • Ashley Glazier
    Dutch Creamer In Blue
    Oil on linen
    Image size: 11.5 X 16
    Framed

    $1,100.00
  • Ashley Glazier
    Golden
    Oil on panel
    Image size: 20 X 20
    Framed

    $1,700.00
MILES HERMANN

Miles Hermann began drawing and sifting the world through an artistic eye from a very young age. He sketched animals and homes in the neighborhood, drew album covers on t-shirts for friends, and was the go to kid when it came to having something drawn in school. It wasn’t until he began attending Sacramento City College in the Fall of 1979 that he began to realize that art could be a career. By virtue of being a witness to the careers of Greg Kondos, Darrell Forney, and Willard Melton, Miles became emboldened and enriched by the notion that he too could follow in their path.

If City College was his artistic foundation then the San Francisco Art Institute was where he honed his artistic expression. Through the enthusiastic and honest mentoring he received from Carlos Villa, Miles learned his strengths and shortcomings in Art and was able to address both. Though he was forced to leave the SFAI due to financial constraints, Miles was able to secure one more year of instruction at Humboldt State University. There he amassed a portfolio of varied but significant work that was to become the initial success of his nascent career.

Miles was introduced to the Sacramento art scene in 1987 and has worked diligently to get his work displayed at every regional gallery of even marginal regard. From coffee shops to the Crocker, he continues to go where his art takes him. He currently divides his time between personal, creative pursuits and his commissioned work, but has made a concerted effort to present his work in galleries.

Miles Hermann’s paintings have been collected both regionally and nationally, and of recent note, were awarded Best of Show at the 2003 Vacaville Annual and a Publishers Award at the 2008 California State Fair. As he continues to explore himself and his surroundings, he is constantly pushing to blur the boundaries of Realism and Expressionism.

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  • Miles Hermann
    Brown Betty
    Oil on linen
    Image size: 9 X 10

    $1,100.00
  • Miles Hermann
    Nectarines
    Oil on canvas
    Image size: 12 X 16

    $1,500.00
  • Miles Hermann
    Sarah Lee Cannon Camellia
    Oil on canvas
    Image size: 9 X 12

    $1,100.00
  • Miles Hermann
    Still Life With Mandarins (Prayer Rug)
    Oil on canvas
    Image size: 16 X 20

    $2,100.00
VITA KOBYLKINA

Vita Kobylkina is a self-taught artist who was born in Ukraine and currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her paintings cover subjects ranging from pet portraits to various food items and vintage objects that she collects. She takes pleasure in the meditative moments that painting provides and enjoys the challenge of painting novel subjects through commissioned artwork. In her free time, when she’s not at the easel, Vita enjoys exploring the outdoors with her two dogs Jax and Scout.

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JAMES MERTKE

James Mertke is an acrylic painter from San Jose, California. His still life paintings feature a variety of seemingly ordinary items that are brought to life through his use of color. Subjects such as fruits, candies, and items of nostalgia are prominent in his work. 

While James always loved painting, his practice became more defined after finishing a painting challenge and documenting it online for over three months. After completing 100 days of daily painting, James continues to paint as much and as often as he can. It has become part of his daily routine, and he enjoys every moment of it.

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SARAH SEDWICK

Sarah Sedwick is an oil painter who makes her home in Eugene, Oregon. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1979, she began oil painting at age ten. In 2001, she earned a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art, with a focus on illustration and painting, and a minor degree in art history. Her work focuses mainly on still life and portraiture, painting from direct observation. Sarah has been writing a studio blog since 2008, posting new paintings as they’re made and chronicling her art journey. She is also active on Instagram and Facebook.

Teaching is an integral part of her creative work. She teaches still life and portrait painting workshops around the country and internationally, as well as an online art mentorship program.

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JEANNE VADEBONCOEUR

Jeanne Vadeboncoeur embraces the traditional practice of still life paintings, rendered usually in oil. Her subject matter, however, is not so traditional. With precise execution, Vadeboncoeur explores objects that we often overlook in the day-to-day banal: a pile of donuts, an assembly of gummy bears, or a bag of marbles. Her objects are taken out of their usual context and isolated on a stark background with dramatic lighting that permits the item to be viewed with a fresh perspective. Vadeboncoeur received her BFA in painting from San Jose State University. She has shown at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Triton Museum of Art.

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JAMES ZAMORA

James Zamora investigates current trends and their effects on the consumer. Born in Graham, TX in 1988, he earned his BFA in painting and drawing from The University of North Texas in 2010, then an MFA in painting from Texas Woman’s University in 2015.

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  • James Zamora
    Grapes
    Oil on panel
    Image size: 12 X 16
    Framed

    $1,150.00
  • James Zamora
    Peonies
    Oil on panel
    Image size: 16 X 12
    Framed

    $1,150.00
  • James Zamora
    Roses
    Oil on panel
    Image size: 12 X 16
    Framed

    $1,150.00
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