Art Cellar Gallery artist, Nancy Oppenheimer, was one of eight artists whose work was selected to be featured in the Greenville - Spartanburg Airport!Read More
“Acorns and Green Glass” 14×18, Oil on Linen. This painting has bee juried into the 1st Spring Best of America SMALL PAINTING Exhibition in Nashville, TN.
The exquisite detail in paintings by Loren DiBenedetto are a hallmark of her work. Her sensitive handling of her subject matter, the harmonious color palette, and the graceful compositions create a sensation of quiet beauty. She often sets her subjects against a neutral background to bring forward their importance, and carefully directs the light and shadow.
“First of Spring”, 18×24, Oil on Linen, Tree’s Place Gallery, Orleans, MA
Loren DiBenedetto grew up in a creative household, where both parents were amateur artists, and encouraged her creativity. She holds a degree from the DuCret School of the Arts in New Jersey, and her art instruction continued at the prestigious National Academy of Design (now the National Academy Museum and School) and the Art Students League in New York City.
“Dance of the Daffodils”, 24×36, Oil on Linen,The Art Cellar, Banner Elk, NC
Inspired by Master Artists such as DaVinci and Sargent, contemporary artists Daniel Sprick, Daniel Keys and Kathy Anderson, DiBenedetto has skillfully created her own brand of realism. Using nature as her muse, she most often works in the still life genre. Inspiration comes easily from the simple effect of light hitting an object, or the display of fruit at the local grocer. Her depictions of natural objects focuses on their form and color, and she arranges them in compositions that include elements of texture, line and often a bit of unpredictability.
“Bag of Cherries”, 16×20, Oil on Linen, Private Collection.
Her process begins by setting up the still life in natural light, often in morning or late afternoon to get the best shadows. She takes many photos, and after sorting through the photos, she chooses her best options, often working from multiple shots. Working on a neutral-toned canvas, she chooses whether to do an underpainting. Her palette consists of titanium white, cadmium yellow light and medium, cadmium orange, cadmium red light and dark, alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, raw sienna, burnt umber, raw umber, burnt sienna, sap green, ultramarine blue, cobalt turquoise, and ivory black.
“Gourds and Bittersweet”, 12×25, Oil on Linen, The Art Cellar, Banner Elk, NC
Though DiBenedetto has won numerous awards, she states that her greatest accomplishment is the ability to paint every day. The common thread of advice running through all successful artists is the importance of practice. As Loren states: “Paint, paint, paint. Being successful in any endeavor takes time and practice, painting is no exception. Make a commitment to what you would like to accomplish and go for it!”
Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director
Art Cellar Gallery artist, Nancy Oppenheimer is having a big fall season. She was featured in October's edition of Southwest Art Magazine with her painting of "Night Magic" and she has now been selected to paint an incredible painting for the new wing of the Greenville/Spartanburg Airport! The painting will stretch an incredible 14 feet in length. Congratulations Nancy Oppneheimer!!
Artist Richard Oversmith was featured in the January/February edition of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazaine as one of the "Three to Watch" artists! We have provided an image of the page below for you to read up on this amazing artist. Congratulations Richard!
The Healing Arts
A background in medical illustration merges with fine art to provide restorative benefits.
Art has the power to heal.
It evokes an emotional response, and
emotions have an effect on the body’s
physiological responses. Medical
studies document the favorable
therapeutic impact of visual arts:
Looking at art can change brain wave
patterns, the autoimmune response
and neurotransmitters that shift the
body from stress to relaxation. It also
can modulate attitudes from fear to
acceptance, from negativity to hope.
Below the Surface
As a young child, I understood that
the surface appearance of objects
depended upon the scaffolding
underneath. The shape of a face, for
example, wasn’t determined by the
skin, but by the bones of the skull upon
which muscle and sinew supported fat
beneath the skin. My interest in the
anatomy of shapes was recognized by
a college professor who suggested that
a marriage of nature, human form and
artistry could be crystallized in the
study of medical art.
With this in mind, I decided
to pursue a master’s of science in
medical illustration at the Medical
College of Georgia (now Augusta
University). As a medical art student,
I explored dissected cadavers in
gross anatomy lab, and learned
about the microscopic world of
health and disease through histology
and pathology. I also went into the
operating room—pencil, sketchpad
and camera in hand—to observe and
draw surgical procedures.
In the studio, I produced sketches
with strict attention to anatomical
accuracy, revealing not just surface
anatomy but that which lies beneath. I
sought input from instructors and rendered
pencil drawings into final form
in a variety of media. This was before
the era of digital art, so I created mine
by hand at the drawing table. When,
after years of freelance medical art, I
was ready for a change, I picked up a
pastel. It seemed the ideal medium.
Any new art form presents challenges,
and I had to learn when to
underpaint and how to layer colors.
One of many workshops I took was
Sally Strand’s “The Color of Light.” It
was a difficult workshop for me, full
of color theory after years of graphite
sketches and pen and ink final drawings.
At home, I set up still lifes to
work through workshop concepts.
As I painted, however, it dawned
on me that I’d actually done this many
times before. A medical artist always
draws from the viewpoint of the
physician looking at the patient, just
as a fine artist looks at a subject from
a viewer’s vantage point. I realized
that medical art is essentially a still
life, and, as is true with any still life,
it involves narrow depth of field, with
attention to shape, light and shadow.
I felt I had come full circle artistically.
Medical Art Meets Fine Art
Artists evolve, and I began to look
inside to see what personal experiences
I could tap. What would happen
if I took the precision, detail and accuracy
of medical art but gave myself the
freedom to adapt and apply a visual
twist? The idea of combining aspects
of medical art with fine art was born.
I began a painting series that
combined the two with an emphasis
on wholeness, healing and repair. My
training in medical art facilitated
adapting natural objects to medical
treatment and the healing process.
Space can be opened for healing by
displacing a patient’s fear of medical
devices and human ailment onto the
natural form of plant life combined
It was a logical progression for
me to apply medical tools to still life
objects as a metaphor for healing.
Fruit, for example, serves as a good
stand-in for body with skin, fleshy
sections and juice. In one painting,
I sought to reveal the life force in a
lemon by showcasing its “injury” and
then “repairing” it to highlight the act
of renewal. I replaced the diseased
lemon slice in Lemon-Aid
with a healthy lime slice.
In Artichoke Heart-Beat,
the artichoke is situated in the position
of the human heart in the chest.
In a play on words, the stethoscope is
tucked under a petal, ready to pick up
sound. Meanwhile, I recapitulate cardiac
anatomy in Heart of the Matter.
A New Direction
Last fall, I was selected for an artist
residency program in the north Georgia
mountains at the Hambidge Center
in Rabun Gap. The freedom of being
removed from the distractions of
everyday living spawned an environment
in which my creativity
flourished. I enjoyed the cross-disciplinary
interaction with artists
of various ages and stages in their
careers. The time, studio space,
creative energy and freedom to work uninterrupted provided focus for the
“Healing Power of Art” series.
Cancer vs. T-Cells (above) is a conceptual
painting that began with the
crab, a symbol for cancer. T-cells, a
type of white blood cell, are instrumental
in fighting cancer. I did a
rubbing alcohol wash under-painting
on UART paper in a darker value than
the pastels I had intended to use, and
a happy accident occurred. A drop of
alcohol fell onto the paper, forming a
“T-cell” with the same tendrils as the
electron micrograph T-cells. Eureka!
I flung more alcohol on the paper,
creating hundreds of T -cells in their
plasmatic sea, before beginning to
This painting series has been a
fusion of medicine and art, ultimately
designed to inspire wellness. I’ve
received feedback from viewers saying
that the works evoke a sense of a
return to wholeness, completion and
healing. Understandably, people are
sometimes frightened or repelled by
medical instruments and surgeries,
but I intend for my art to serve as a
meditation for well-being, helping to
move people from fear toward acceptance,
gratitude and survivorship.
It has been said that medicine
heals the body while art heals the soul.
It’s my hope that by combining two
facets of my art, both can occur.
Nancy Marshburn (nancymarshburn.
com), of Davidson, N.C., is a member of
the Piedmont Pastel Society, a signature
member of the Pastel Society of America and a Master Circle member in the International Association of Pastel Societies.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of a unique and wonderful man, Eckess Jones. Eckess passed away at this home on January 13th. He had been with the gallery showing his beautifully turned bowls for several years. He will be missed by many.
Gallery Artists Trey Finney and Richard Oversmith have been accepted into the 16th Annual Juried Exhibition put on by the American Expressionist Society. The Exhibition runs from October 1st through October 29th. Please click through to the website to view all entries. American Impressionist Society Website.
Gallery artist, Robert Ray (pictured behind painting) presented the West Jefferson Alderman and Mayor Dale Baldwin with his detailed painting of the Founders of West Jefferson for the town's Centennial.
Herb Jackson was awarded the 2015 North Caroliniana Society Award for extraordinary contributions to our State's cultural heritage.
The North Caroliniana Society was founded by H. G. Jones and is dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina's heritage. One person is nominated every year to be the recipient, including artists, authors, teachers and even senators.
Congratulations Herb Jackson on this wonderful achievement!