Featured Artists

Artwork by Cindi Norton Williams
Cindi Norton Williams

In 2012, Cindi decided that at age 55, she was ready to change her life. As her only child was graduating from high school, this single mom decided to retire from her university accounting position after nearly 25 years. It was time to begin enjoying life on her own terms! Cindi bought a new camera, camping gear, and some art supplies, then set out to enjoy nature and attempt new things. Her biggest challenge was to learn how to transform her amazing photos into recognizable drawings!

As a self‐taught artist, Cindi began watching drawing tutorials on Youtube, and came across the free videos of Darrel Tank's Five Pencil Method, as well as discovering the 5pm website. By learning his graphite pencil techniques, and a lot of practicing, Cindi's work began to dramtically improve. Her work then took a new turn, toward colored pencils and a few pastels. Now her passion lies mainly with doing nature scenes and animals, using colored pencils and occasionally her trusty graphite mechanical pencils. Cindi tries to achieve an oil painting look to her drawings, and mixes various brands of colored pencils on all of her drawings to achieve the results she is striving for. She is always trying out new papers and pencils to see what can be achieved.

Since Cindi is dedicated to drawing everything freehand, she feels nature scenes are so much more forgiving than portraits, thus more enjoyable to do. Cindi believes that anyone can draw, it's not talent, it's skills that anyone can learn and practice. The main point of drawing is to enjoy your time doing it! Knowing that you are creating something that others will enjoy, from just a blank piece of paper and a few pencils, is one of the most gratifying feelings Cindi says she has experienced.

You can see more of her work, and contact her through her Facebook Art page Willow's Heaven Fine Arts ‐ https://www.facebook.com/WillowsHeaven. You can also email her with commission requests at willowsheaven@gmail.com.

Raul Salas

Born in El Paso Tx, and currently residing in Las Vegas Nv, Raul "J.R." Salas is self-taunt artist who fell in love with drawing and comic book art at an early age. In 2012 J.R. decided to dedicate himself to his craft. As his skills grew he began focusing on 30 day challenges, using various mediums(colored pencils, markers etc) to further develop his craft. J.R. has a versatile drawing style, switching from comic books to portraits , using Instagram to share his work. J.R. continues to gain notoriety, being featured on multiple Instagram art pages, and has experience working with companies such as Copic Markers, Sakura of America, Charpak, and Kohinoor & Strathmore. Having caught his stride, J.R. is currently focusing his attention on building a clothing brand that combines his passion for art with the type of creative details only he can produce.


Logan Childress art
art by Logan Childress

300 Series Mixed Media

About Logan Childress

photo of Logan Childress

Logan Childress graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design, also known as "SCAD," where he earned his B.F.A. in Illustration. He continues to further his artistic skills by experimentation as well as collaboration with other artists. Inspired by anything around, his main focus is figures and portraits but has been known to produce a very wide range of work from tattoo designs to painted shoes. He hopes someday to be able to solely work as a freelance illustrator and travel.

Interview with the Artist

How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
To be honest, still life used to be very boring to me and I didn't like it. However, I grew to realize the importance of it quickly in college. As I see it, still life is a base, a foundation to grow from and build upon, which has helped me get to a comfortable style with my own work.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
The mixed media paper was great. I'm not the type of artist to have one set medium I work with, so to have the freedom to work with anything that I felt would work was great. It really allowed me to get straight into the art, rather than worrying about what materials I could use.

Which artist(s) inspire you?
I love the work of individuals such as Sterling Hundley, James Jean, John Foster, and Sam Weber, as well as younger artists such as Tran Nguyen and Beatriz Martin-Vidal.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Don't be afraid of what people will say about your art. There's always going to be someone that doesn't like it. If it's something you have a passion for, pursue it. Also, try not to compare yourself to other artists; our art is a representation of ourselves not of someone else's.

Tyler Vouros art
art by Tyler Vouros

500 Series Charcoal Natural White

About Tyler Vouros

photo of Tyler Vouros

Tyler is a lifelong resident of western Massachusetts.  He studied painting at Greenfield Community College where he received an Associate of Fine Arts.  He then finished his BFA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he graduated with honors after receiving full scholarships based on academic excellence and multiple awards for his artwork. 

Tyler recently graduated from the New York Academy of Art where he received rigorous traditional training in painting, drawing and artistic anatomy.  While at the Academy, Tyler and three other students were chosen to attend an artist's residency in Leipzig, Germany for two months over the summer of 2010.  During his time there he further developed his series of self directed work and exhibited in the Leipzig International Art Program Gallery.

In the past year, Tyler has experienced a great deal of success for a young artist; his work has been privately and publicly collected in the northeastern United States as well as internationally in Berlin and Leipzig, Germany and Florence, Italy.  Currently Tyler is being represented by the Richard J. Demato fine arts gallery and the Marianne Nems Gallery.

Interview with the Artist

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing techniques?
Like a kid in a candy store, I truly enjoy picking out new artist supplies to "taste test" myself. It was delightful to try the 500 series charcoal pad and experience the lovely textures and the variety of color temperatures. This paper allowed me to make an array of different marks and the tints work wonderfully for a vivid sculptural effect in my monochromatic drawings.

Which artists inspire you?
I am inspired by Rembrandt for the luminosity he brings to his paintings, Rubens for the complexity and unity of his compositions, Corot for the time I spent admiring and copying his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Degas for his genius innovations and evolution of painting and drawing.  Then there is also today's own Vincent Desiderio who keeps what we do as artists more relevant and necessary then ever by being in constant conversation with the current world around us while keeping a continual dialogue with the masters of the past.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
My advice would be to get as strong of a traditional foundation as possible.  Study the figure and draw from observation. Once you understand how to translate 3-dimensional space onto a 2 dimensional surface accurately, you can make informed and intentional decisions in your work and branch out in other directions more successfully.

Lisa Adams art
art by Lisa Adams

400 Series Mixed Media

Lisa Adams art
art by Lisa Adams

500 Series Bristol Vellum

About Lisa Adams

photo of Lisa Adams

Lisa Adams, Vermont born, is a Pratt Institute graduate with a degree in fine arts. She began her career as a graphite artist. Residing in Coconut Grove, FL after graduating, she was recognized for her large super-realistic pencil drawing.  Relocating to New York City in the 1980's, she switched her career to illustration. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, 3X3 Magazine, Print Magazine and other industry showcases. After 21 years in Manhattan, Lisa recently moved to Mystic, CT and resumed her fine art career. She is represented by dianebirdsallgallery in Old Lyme, CT and continues to be represented by Morgan Gaynin Illustration Representatives for her commercial work. Her work appears in mainstream magazines and she is the author-illustrator of "The Twelve Days of Christmas in New York City"  - a childrens' book. Her favorite creation in 1994 - the Gap teddybear - still continues to be the mascot for the BabyGap stores.

Interview with the Artist

How did you interpret using the Strathmore Thistle for the pad cover artwork?
The Strathmore Thistle envoked memories of Scotland I hold dear. I remember hiking on the Isle of Mull and being ankle deep in thistles. The favored national footwear in that country is the Wellie and the national flower is the thistle -- so then, the image I created became just that -- a view of someone wearing Wellies walking through a patch of thistles. To showcase the various mediums that the 400 series paper can accommodate, it was a great opportunity to introduce a variety of thistles with a worm's eye view of the boot among them. It was a like a fond memory captured and better yet to be the cover art for the 400 Series Mixed Media pads.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
Using gouache for painting the Wellies was a pleasant eye-opener. Because I worked on a larger scale for this project than I usually do with that medium, I discovered how nicely gouache behaves on the paper's surface in large scale.

Which artists inspire you?
The Flemish Renaissance Masters have always been a very inspiring force in my art. I make a strong point to keep up with current artists and have assessed my steady favorites to be these: painter Julian Schnabel, graphite artist Vija Celmins, and the late illustrator, George Stavrinos.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
My advice to beginning artists is to work hard at a business model. Whether you are seeking a Fine Art or an Illustration career you must organize your vision by editing to include your best pieces and present them in a professional way. I also encourage beginning artists to not only seek out The Great Artists for inspiration but to constantly peruse current architecture, fashion and offbeat magazines for establishing your own sensibilities. Basically, I am promoting the utter soaking in of the visual world whether it be magazines or an old sign, a funky stationery store or even the lucky find of a random photo album at a tag sale. It is all out there! The rest will follow. Oh, and never ever be without your sketchbook!