Gala Artists Contributing to the Art Piece Take Away
“My life has been surrounded by art. Painters and paintings have always fascinated me. So many styles, so many types of paint, I have always wondered what I could bring to life on a canvas.”
Bradley Donaldson grew up in a military family. His mother was artistic, and encouraged him to explore various art forms. Yet for years, art was overshadowed by Donaldson’s professional and athletic pursuits. His focus changed when his daughter went to college for art and shared with him her passion for contemporary art. This led to Donaldson explore his artistic practice thanks to his daughter’s inspiration. He has found a passion for Abstract Expressionism using clear polyester resin. Donaldson’s art is shown in McKinney at The Last Art Gallery, in Sanger at Kamme Art Gallery, and in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Lotus Contemporary Art Gallery. His work is currently in the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council 29th Annual art Exhibition.
“My goal is to make people laugh out loud, or at the very least to make them smile. I often create intuitively when inspiration strikes, and my goal is to strive for less ‘hoity toidy’ in art and more fun! I’m thinking that’s how life should be as well!”
Kim grew up moving from country to country, and as a child, her source of entertainment was paint-by-number coloring sheets, although she didn’t always follow the numbers. Kim is a classically trained artist. She attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas, the University of Colorado in Boulder and the Institute of Art, Lacoste, France. Previously known for her intricate fresco style murals, Kim now focuses her creativity on whimsically themed oil paintings and new techniques for portraiture. She also has a particular love for creating three-dimensional works using papier mache. Kim delights herself in the many opportunities to be a participant in local charities, especially the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Her art studio is located in downtown McKinney inside Orisons Art Gallery. In McKinney her work is also at LAST Art Gallery, Diggin’ It, The Cove, and Hugs Cafe.
K D Hafley
” I have loved animals all of my life, and being able to show their essence as the wonderful, beautiful creatures they are is one of my driving passions. Whether an animal is wild and exotic or just an everyday pet or domestic animal, he or she is a unique creature with a unique essence. My goal as an artist is to capture that essence and share it with those who view my work. I think you see the soul of a person or animal through their eyes, so when I paint people or animals I try to make their eyes so real they seem to look back at you.”
K D is an award-winning artist whose work appears in public and private collections nationally. She is a Unique by Nature Juried Art Competition Prize Winner, and her art is part of the permanent public art collection of the McKinney Performing Arts Center. She received her formal education in art from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. After graduation, she managed galleries in Chicago and San Diego. She returned to her home state of Texas to work in animal rescue operations. However, her passion for art has led her into a career as a full-time artist. She creates art, teaches, exhibits, and continues to rescue animals.
Lynda DeGrow Kingsley
“I have long been mesmerized by the beauty of nature – the colors of a flower, the veins on a leaf, fish in a pond, or Cicadas humming. Similarly, I seek out the dramatic look of a rusted door knob, or a rusted vintage truck. Metal objects that have been exposed to the elements eventually erode and rust. The artist Henry Miller said, ‘I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth.’ By combining organic structures with assorted types of rusting metal, I hope to engage the viewer in further examining the new and lovely, but also the old and worn.”
Lynda DeGrow Kingsley is a McKinney, TX artist who works in both watercolors in what she calls “watercolor unleashed,” and in vibrant inks on tile using epoxy resin. She ignores outdated Victorian watercolor rules to create vibrant new pieces, often in three-dimensions, including abstracts incorporating multimedia. Her previous work as a ballet costume designer is often repeated in her watercolor collage work. The earthy organic structures in her paintings are inspired by her yard full of perennials, greenery and rusted objects. She frequently creates 3-D works on a 2-D plane with watercolor papers infused with rust from found rusted objects.
Since beginning in watercolors she has shown extensively and won many awards. She teaches workshops, leads critique classes and curates shows. Her work has been commissioned by both individuals and businesses including cover art for a published book. Her work is shown in both the LAST Gallery in McKinney and the Artist Showplace in Dallas.
Julia Pappas McNally
“I am enthralled by what surrounds me in the urban environment: skyline views, people immersed in their daily routines and leisure activities. Through loose yet accurate brushwork, I translate these scenes, rhythmically, boldly onto my canvases. Seeing becomes seen through the trope of sunglasses that hide and reveal.”
Julia specializes in figurative and urban landscape paintings. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with High Honors from Michigan State University. Her work can be seen in galleries and in public and residential collections, both nationally and internationally. Julia is also a Unique by Nature Juried Art Competition Prize Winner, and her art is part of the permanent public art collection of the McKinney Performing Arts Center. She works with clients on commercial and residential commissions.
“It’s such a joy to have art be my business after a career in the tech industry. Expressions in painting, assemblage, paper art, mosaics, photography and writing make life complete and happy. In my first painting series, Modern Dog, I am thrilled to be pulling together a point of view that is colorful, inspiring and heartfelt.”
Leslee’s collection is characterized by bright, happy acrylic and oil paintings of animals with a vibrant, colorful palette and vivid backgrounds. Each painting comes with an accompanying story related to universal themes such as love, belonging and friendship. Her transition from a career in business administration and marketing began with a three year course of study at the Mission Renaissance Fine Art Studio. She also took classes at the Interior Designer’s Institute + UCLA Extension. A surprise move from LA to McKinney a few years ago gave her a chance to truly explore her inner calling. She launched the Modern Dog series. Her work can be seen in her a studio inside Orison’s Art on Louisiana St. in McKinney and at The Cove on Tennessee St.
“From an early age, my teacher and mentor, Gustav Likan, instilled in me the desire to create beauty through color and form, regardless of the subject matter. I grew up in a musical and artistic family, and have always thrived on the synergy of creative collaboration. When I paint to live music, I am a conduit for the expression of sound through color and form.”
Anne began her art studies when she was six, attending the adult classes of Gustav Likan at the Art School at Laguna Gloria in Austin, Texas. Mr. Likan’s daring work as a colorist influenced her greatly, and he mentored her until his death in 1998. Anne’s work also reflects the influence of traditional Japanese art and aesthetics which she encountered during an extended stay in Japan. Anne earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Austin College and three Master’s Degrees from Yale University: Religion and the Visual Arts, East Asian Studies, and the History of Art. She has taught studio art for 30 years, mentoring and preparing students for higher education and career opportunities in the visual arts. She also teaches art history at the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts and at SAIL (Collin College). Anne is the Director of the Arts and Music Guild.
Jeni Weems Tomlinson
“Art for me is more than paint on a canvas. It is community, belief, vulnerability, and self-discovery. Motion captivates me. Whether it’s light playing off someone’s expression as they play the guitar or the abrupt and ruggedly beautiful turning of a cutting horse, both inspire me to capture a moment by throwing myself into the glorious mess that is my studio.”
Jeni, from McKinney, Texas, grew up surrounded by the small town Texas culture and considers it a vital part of her expression as an artist. Immersed in the artist’s community there, she has both taught and shown in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. Educated at the University of North Texas for a BFA in Fine Arts, she worked in the Dallas area for twenty years, creating murals and paintings for clients and commercial interests. Jeni has both out of state and local patrons for her mural painting and counts many people as collectors of her canvas work. She has won numerous prizes and juried competitions, including prestigious National Art Shows.
My artistic concepts are inspired by observation, human emotion, inward struggles, spirituality and daily longevity. My work in Angular Expressionism allows me to express the complexity of these inspirations.
Steve Uriegas has spent a lifetime in the arts. He spent most of his childhood drawing and playing the drums. His music was influenced by rock and roll, and his art by comic books, album art, and his colorful Hispanic heritage. As a young adult, he played in rock bands, and at the same time progressed as a graphic artist. His work as a graphic designer serves a variety of industries, including oil and gas; Steve’s work helped pioneer a unique form of geological illustrations. Steve’s fine art has developed into an original style which he calls “Angular Expressionism.”
Aimee Louise Woolverton
I love photographic art because there is no “right” or “wrong” – there is only creative expression stemming from the heart of the artist. A photograph can capture reality or it can be manipulated into infinite possibilities as seen only in the artist’s mind. We can love the results, or not; but art is a gift, an expression, a possibility coming from the heart of its creator. Above all else, that makes it beautiful.
Aimee is an Award Winning Photographer and an active member of the Professional Photographers of America. Her photographic art has published in multiple photographic award books, including the prestigious International Loan Collection in 2015 and 2016. In 2013, Aimee earned the CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) designation. Currently she is working on her Masters in Photography degree.
Originally from the Austin and Houston areas, she has been in North Dallas for 16 years. Aimee founded AimeeLouise Photography eight years ago when she moved to McKinney, and quickly grew into a sought after photographer in the area. Aimee has recently begun to dive into the fine art photography realm, using digital tools to transform photographs of everyday things into unique artistic pieces with a modern twist. While she prints her pieces on canvas, and fine art papers, her favorite medium is metal. The high gloss of a photographic art print on metal reveals detail and depth that makes the pieces come alive.