Rich ChapmanNovember People's Choice Winner

image8As a child, art was something that came easy to me. My first drawings were trees, tulips, dogs and cats, imagined in my mind and created on my walls, blankets, furniture, anything with a surface. Although my parents were not a fan of where I chose to draw, I could not quell the creative juices that just had to come out.

My intention was to duplicate realistic depictions of the world around me - people, animals, and landscapes. I admired the work of the artists who could create from their minds without a need for a model for reference. I longed to be able to do the same. I was a perfectionist always seen with my supplies (never without an eraser), with fresh drawing paper within arm's reach. Multiple crumpled drawing attempts accumulated on the floor of my room, yet, my childhood home was decorated with my successes. 

I studied illustration at Ray Vogue School of Design, Chicago, graduated, and almost immediately began a career in graphic design. For nine years, I was lucky enough to work as a graphic designer for two small advertising agencies. This afforded me the ability to learn not only my specific design position, but all aspects of design production. This gift opened doors as I developed the skills necessary to transition into freelance graphic design. 

Aside from occasional design and illustration projects, my art career took a pause, while I raised a family. My personal passion, was to create landscape oil paintings. Back then, it took years to paint a single image because I had the misconception that my art had to be perfect. I rarely had the time to allow my creative juices to flow in the way I thought was necessary to create an image up to my high standards.

A catalyst to change……

I was guided to step out of my comfort zone by an unfortunate event. A classmate of my young son had passed away. It awoke my creative passion as “I knew” I needed to create a piece of art in her honor and memory. Although painting realistic portraits was not something I was comfortable with nor enjoyed, I still accepted this personal challenge. It took eleven long months for me to bring her memory to life on canvas. As the eyes are the doorway to the soul this part would not come out accurately. I found myself repainting her eyes over and over again. When I finally surrendered the need to control, her likeness flowed quickly from my brushes, and there “she was.” This was a milestone in my art career. She freed me to be me.

Hers was the first of three gifts I created. Each triggered within me a memory of how much I yearned to draw and paint.

In 2015, I was accepted into the prestigious juried art fair “Art in the Barn” in Barrington, IL.  I was eager about the challenge of having to create enough images to fill the 10x10 booth. This empowered me to step into my gifts. A new chapter in my life began. I felt honored to be a part of an event where I could express myself freely. With two months to prepare, I noticed a dramatic shift in my art. It was like I was unwound, and my images went from a tight, limited view, to a more open organic style. Within one month, I was able to create more than twenty surreal, dreamlike visions for my booth. It was exhilarating, surrendering control as I switched from realism to abstract surrealism. The world was a blank canvas and I could create anything I could dream into reality. No limits! I just drew. Image after image flowed. It was the most freeing experience. Suddenly all of the ideas that had gathered in my head through the years poured forth. In that final month, I amazingly brought to life twenty-five chalk pastel drawings. 

The evolution of my artistic style continued and I have now become more of an Intuitive Artist. Along with surrendering, I listened to the guidance that comes to my head and heart, and my hand follows the creative inspiration of the universe.  Through a stream of consciousness, images are miraculously born. I am a conscious creator of light - intentionally creating uplifting pieces to elevate on sight. Light essence and vibrational artistry pour forth into my creations. They are no longer just images and pictures, but a form of energy healing embedded in colors and textures. As a Reiki and Shamanic Practitioner, my art becomes a vibrational tool for elevation, healing, and upliftment, guided by a higher power flowering from subconscious worlds.


Since 2015, I have created over 70 chalk pastel surreal pieces, including acrylic paintings, over 1000 intuitive abstract energy paintings for clients, and multiple inspirational oracle card decks with the Intuitive Life Coach and Channel Writer, Lisa Gniady. 

My work has been exhibited in galleries, stores, and juried art fairs.

I am a “conscious” graphic designer and illustrator, and Intuitive Visionary Artist. As an artist, I embrace the thrill of what is next on the horizon for me. The blank canvas shifts and morphs with the tides and I welcome what the future is ready to show me, as the creative journey continues…...

 

      

       

 


Patricia PanopoulosJanuary "People's Choice"|trishbio 

 My paintings tend to lean toward expressive portrait and figurative pieces. I paint in whatever style reflects my mood and often work on multiple paintings at the same time. My concentration is painting blues and jazz musician’s past and current. It gives me the opportunity to listen to their music and reflect on what they may have been feeling when they performed. My drive comes from a desire to communicate thoughts that don’t have words. Painting what I feel is more important than painting what I see. True beauty isn’t something that you can see with your eyes open, instead, it is something that you feel when your eyes are closed.

See more of Patricia's artwork.


 

 

 

Rich ChapmanOctober People's Choice Winner

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While attending college, I enrolled in an introductory photography class. The teacher, an award-winning newspaper photographer with charm and charisma, caught my attention. The next day before class, I bought a newspaper, and found a picture with his name credited under it. I was hooked! I went home that afternoon and proclaimed to anyone who would listen that I had found my calling in life.

Working as a newspaper staff photographer for over 30 years, I put the same energy and professionalism into every assignment given. Every subject I photographed, no matter how big or small the story was, I was compelled to deliver a picture to my editors that was worthing of getting a reader’s attention.

My career at the Chicago Sun-Times sadly ended abruptly due to budget concerns, so it was time to pivot. In recent years, I have been able to utilize my photojournalism skills and apply them to weddings, events, portraits and nature photography.

More of Rich's Art!

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 Fireworks at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington.. (Photo by Rich Chapman)   A hummingbird checks out a fading hibicus flower. (Photo by Rich Chapman)  

 

 Phragmites outcompetes native vegetation and lowers the local plant biodiversity. Phragmites forms dense thickets of vegetation that is unsuitable habitat for native fauna. Phragmites displaces native plants species such as wild rice, cattails, and native wetland orchids. Phragmites has a high above ground biomass that blocks light to other plants allowing areas to turn into Phragmites monoculture very quickly. (Photo by Rich Chapman)    Woods Creek watershed basin in Algonquin. (Photo by Rich Chapman)  

    


KerndlSeptember Best of Show Winner

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Kirk Kerndl is a realist oil painter and sculptor who lives and works in Lombard, Illinois. He was born and raised in Illinois, and he draws inspiration from the tranquility found in the Midwestern landscape and things we see everyday. 

As a child Kerndl was first inspired by his grandfather's woodcarvings and drawings. Kerndl is drawn to capturing the light and stillness and isolation in his paintings. He finds that the understated calmness of his work helps to provide a counterbalance to the chaos of everyday life.

Kerndl graduated from Elmhurst College in Illinois with a B.S. in Finance and Economics and a Minor in Art.

 

More of Kirk's Art!

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27aSeptember People's Choice Winner

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Natasha Gubernov (b. Moscow, Russia) received her Master's Degree in Advertisement from Moscow State University of Printing Arts (2009). Since moving to the Chicago Area in 2015, Natasha has participated in numerous group shows and juried exhibitions. She is currently working on a body of work, where she explores her memories of experiencing western commodities for the first time in a post-communist Russia.  

 

More of Natasha's Art!

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 Fireworks at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington.. (Photo by Rich Chapman)   A hummingbird checks out a fading hibicus flower. (Photo by Rich Chapman)  natasha gubernov small pleasures

 natasha gubernov smudged
  

    


Sybil Klug

As an elementary art teacher I was able to work with young children and expose them to the world of art, helping them to realize that art is a way of communicating with others. Children have such fresh and creative ideas. You can learn a lot from them! As Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” After having taught elementary art for 31 years, in Crystal Lake School District 47, I retired in 2012 and am now pursuing my passion for the watercolor medium.

The transparency and feel you can get from watercolor is wonderful. There are the unexpected and sheer accidents of the watercolor medium that can give us some of our most unique shapes, textures and impressions. 

Growing up in Woodstock, I have always had a passion for animals, plants, flowers, and trees. It is their fresh beautiful color and pattern found in them that cause me to admire these subjects. The beauty of the plants and nature in McHenry County leaves endless subjects for me to paint! 

Art for me is how I communicate. My paintings show how I feel about a subject and its personality, sometimes in more depth than I can describe or put it into words. It may just get others to see what I am seeing.  Art is my means to communicate what is all around us!

I am currently a member of the Lakes Region Watercolor Guild. My paintings have been juried in to shows at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, Crystal Lake, IL; The Old Courthouse Art Center, Woodstock, IL; Art of the Land, Starline Gallery, Harvard, IL; Watercolor 2017,2018 & 2019, Norris Gallery, St, Charles, IL. I was selected as the artist for Copy Express’s 2019 Woodstock Calendar. As an art teacher, I was published in the Disney Magazine “Family Fun”.

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Rich ChapmanAugust People's Choice Winner

image8

While attending college, I enrolled in an introductory photography class. The teacher, an award-winning newspaper photographer with charm and charisma, caught my attention. The next day before class, I bought a newspaper, and found a picture with his name credited under it. I was hooked! I went home that afternoon and proclaimed to anyone who would listen that I had found my calling in life.

Working as a newspaper staff photographer for over 30 years, I put the same energy and professionalism into every assignment given. Every subject I photographed, no matter how big or small the story was, I was compelled to deliver a picture to my editors that was worthing of getting a reader’s attention.

My career at the Chicago Sun-Times sadly ended abruptly due to budget concerns, so it was time to pivot. In recent years, I have been able to utilize my photojournalism skills and apply them to weddings, events, portraits and nature photography.

More of Rich's Art!

image2 copy   image4  

 

 Fireworks at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington.. (Photo by Rich Chapman)   A hummingbird checks out a fading hibicus flower. (Photo by Rich Chapman)  

 

 Phragmites outcompetes native vegetation and lowers the local plant biodiversity. Phragmites forms dense thickets of vegetation that is unsuitable habitat for native fauna. Phragmites displaces native plants species such as wild rice, cattails, and native wetland orchids. Phragmites has a high above ground biomass that blocks light to other plants allowing areas to turn into Phragmites monoculture very quickly. (Photo by Rich Chapman)    Woods Creek watershed basin in Algonquin. (Photo by Rich Chapman)  

    


Sybil KlugAugust People's Choice Honorable Mention Winner

image8As a busy mother of three, I find little bits of time throughout the week and put them all to as much creating as I possibly can. I’ve found it a lot easier to put down, pick up and rehydrate watercolor so I’ve been pursuing studies in this medium lately. My passion however, came to me about eight years ago. I’ve painted many times but one day I decided to pickup a pallet knife and paint with it. Since then, I have been obsessed with this technique and very much crave the freedom of it. Often I get asked, what sparks my creativity. I honestly can paint any subject. It’s the color that drives me. Either the hue or how it blends, weather the subject is translucent or multilayered, amount of contrast, depth. I’m always pushing my technique to the next level. Some paintings have a lot of meaning to me, others just help me portray an emotion. When I paint, the whole world fades away. 

I’m currently pursuing textile art as well. I love creating macrame wall hangings and dreamcatchers the most. Although I don’t work on sketches and color pencil drawings as much anymore, I still get an occasional commission on them as I do have a hand in being very realistic with pencil. I also crate jewelry. I started wire wrapping with copper about eight years ago. I feature semiprecious crystals in my wraps and design easy flowing lines or sculptures that resemble flowers or insects for example. All of my jewelry is coated making it hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant. Most pieces adjust in size or can be made custom.

I’m looking forward to having a studio again in the future as I really miss teaching art classes. Being a mom is the priority at this time but I’ll be back in no time. I’m considering starting a fashion project while I plan ahead.

See more of Ania's Art!

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Ken's RoseKen's Rose - Painting - NFS

|     I am 63 years old and am a retired mechanic.
I love wood working and art. I have 3 horses that I love to ride.
I also do equestrian mounted shooting.