Montgomery Art Association

© 2019 Montgomery Art Association Inc., PO Box 2154, Kensington, MD 20891-2154

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  • 29 Apr 2021 1:39 PM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    Welcome - Susan diRende

    Hometown: Bethesda, Md

    Media and subjects: I have two different styles of work. I create miniatures in ink on the small polyvinyl panels used for credit and ID card printing, and I create larger works in acrylic on paper and canvas. The miniatures are mostly representational landscape and nature images. The acrylic works tend to be abstract and focused on shape and color.

    Why you joined MAA: To connect and find a community to share ideas and philosophies of art and the artist’s life.

    Something fun about you: I was a clown in the circus when I was in my 20s.


    Social media:  



    Twitter: @sudi

    Artist Biography:

    Susan diRende — writer, artist, filmmaker, and clown— founded the Broad Humor Film Festival in 2005 for comic films by women.  She grew up in Montgomery County.  Her family moved here when she was entering junior high, and although she has traveled and lived in many places over the past fifty plus years, Susan keeps coming back to this area.  In 2015, she sold everything and took off for a vagabond year of wandering the world with laptop, paints, and camera. The year has somehow stretched into 5 until the pandemic grounded her. Her series of daily artwork, A Year in Miniature, has had exhibitions in Seattle, Wellington, Brussels, and Chapala. Her comic science fiction/fantasy novella, Unpronounceable, was awarded the 2017 Special Citation for Excellence by the Philip K Dick Awards. She continues to write, paint, and clown around from her home base in Bethesda while waiting for the world to open back up for wandering.

    Please enjoy viewing a sample of her wonderful work. 


  • 18 Apr 2021 10:29 AM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Martina Sestakova

    Members of Montgomery Art Association come from all walks of life and their artworks and creative processes reflect this wonderful variety. In this blog, we invite you to enjoy a selection of pieces that explore the concept of renewal. Scroll down to enjoy a lovely array of ideas!

    Christopher Hoppe, "Southwest Sunrise" (24x30", oil on canvas)

    When I did this oil painting, I just started dating my wife. She renewed my faith in love and relationships. So this painting symbolizes renewal to me.

    Joyce Koeneman, "Spring Forward" (11x14", acrylic on canvas)

    The beginning of spring, the early flowers peeking up through the remains of winter debris.

    Martina Sestakova, "A Fresh Start" (10x8", acrylics on yupo)

    "A Fresh Start"... This painting ponders the value of our past and the value of leaving it behind. Focusing on the present moment - and dreaming of a good future - is healing, isn't it? Filled with colors, there are a lot of textures and details in this piece.

    Rosemary Behizadeh Yue, “Radiance” (16x20”, acrylic on canvas)

    This took 3x to get right but I always feel hopeful when I see it.

    Dora Patin, "Vernal Harbinger" (8x10", oil)

    I love to see daffodils pop up everywhere as the weather warms up. It’s such a happy sight.

    Lesley Anne Hansley, "Dulcimina" (24x36”, acrylic on canvas)

    A current painting with a character from my past.

    Anastasia Walsh, “Maine Cabin” (9x12”, watercolor)

    The sunrise revealed this paradise white cabin on a remote island off the Maine coast. Each day is a renewal and resurgence of hope.

    Jenny Wilson, "Spring Flowers" (6x8", pastel)

    Liz Zadravec, "Something in the Air" (8x10", colored pencil)

    Things will start to bloom, a buzz is in the air, something to sing about.

    Sue Fierston, “Spring Color Change (10x8", hand printed gyotaku, Akua ink on paper)

    The energy of the spring pinks and greens brought this fish’s expression to life.

    Alan Rich, "Rain Barrel" (2014 commissioned installation at Willey Farms in Townsend, DE. Fluid pour skins glued to plastic 55 gallon barrel)

    In November 2018, a massive fire burned it to the ground. Miraculously, the first phase rebuild and reopening was late 2019 and there was still building going on in 2020. Sadly, the barrel is lost forever, but a renewed spirit has emerged.

    Thank you for stopping by and enjoying the artworks of our members! Be sure to check out our other blogs as we celebrate the unique artworks of DMV-based artists. 

  • 2 Apr 2021 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    We are excited to announce the lineup of artists for our special evening of art and storytelling on April 12. More than a dozen artists who are participating in MAA’s current online exhibition “Our Stories, Our Journeys” will show their works and share the stories behind their art in an inspiring online event on Monday, April 12 from 5-6 pm ET.

    Participating artists are: Blandine Broomfield, Stephanie Gustavson, Hiral Joshi, Mita Lazarte, Miguel Mitchell, Lesley Riley, Martina Sestakova, Fran Simon, Joyce Smith, Kathleen Tevnan, Alexandra Treadaway-Hoare, Marti Wells and Lis Zadravec.

    The event is free and open to the public. Advanced registration required.

    Sign up today

  • 1 Apr 2021 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    In our April 2021 newsletter, President Alan Rich talks about his hopes for the spring and coming year, including the possibility that the Paint the Town Labor Day Show in Kensington may proceed in person.

    We also preview some upcoming events and feature 13 members' recent art achievements.

    Read this month's edition

  • 27 Mar 2021 9:06 AM | MAA Treasurer (Administrator)

    by Judith Levine

    Lee Krasner : Lenore "Lee" Krasner  October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984

    Lee Krasner by Irving Penn

    Lee Krasner is often thought of as Jackson Pollock’s wife and staunchest supporter. That is true, but Krasner was an accomplished artist in her own right.  The only one of her siblings born in the US to immigrant Jewish parents, she grew up in Brooklyn, NYC.  (1) “Her career as an artist began when she was a teenager. She specifically sought out enrollment at Washington Irving High School for Girls as they offered an art major. After graduating, she attended the Women's Art School of Cooper Union on a scholarship. There, she completed the course work required for a teaching certificate in art.[5] Krasner pursued yet more art education at the National Academy of Design in 1928, completing her course load there in 1932.” (2) Unhappily, little work from her early years remains as much was destroyed in a fire. One that does is a self-portrait now belonging to Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her eventual move into abstraction can be seen even in this piece.

    Self-Portrait-ca. 1929, Oil on canvas, 30 × 32 1/8 in. (76.2 × 81.6 cm)

    After completing her education, of necessity during the Great Depression, she took a job with the WPA in 1934. It entailed enlarging others’ works for use in murals, etc. She hated it but because of the time, she remained there until 1943. She continued making works of her own.  In 1937, she would attend the 8th Street atelier run by renowned German cubist artist Hans Hoffmann; it was a major turning point in her life and work. “...already an established figure in the local art scene, met her future husband [Pollock] at a 1941 exhibition where both had works on view. The pair married in October 1945 and soon moved to a rural East Hampton farmhouse where they could better focus on their craft. While Pollock was busy creating his characteristic panoramic drip paintings, she was focused on producing her kaleidoscopic canvases.” (3)

    She spent a good deal of her marriage supporting and encouraging Pollock’s work and her own became subsumed in many ways. The public saw her as Pollock’s wife and seemed to forget that she was just as talented. Only after their separation and his death would she put the same energy in to promoting her own incredible work. Unfortunately, the image of her as Jackson’s wife was so deeply embedded in the public’s mind, she was basically ignored. It didn’t matter to Krasner who just kept on painting and making collage works and mosaics, even using pieces of older work to make them.


    Desert Moon, 1955                             Icarus, 1964

    Mosaic Table-1947

    Krasner would have only one major retrospective during her life, Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican. London’s “Barbican is displaying the first major presentation of her work in Europe in over 50 years, with nearly 100 paintings on view for the first time in the UK. This brilliant retrospective shines a much-needed light on Krasner’s work,...” (4)  Finally someone said it out loud.  “Unfairly associating Krasner with Pollock and finding Krasner wanting is a bad old habit. Let’s have no more of it... Krasner... knew many things. She was a synthesizer. She welded gesture to color, Matisse to Picasso, expression to decoration and figuration to abstraction. She combined aggressively fractured forms with rounded stability. She found astonishing ways to marry centrifugal energy to lashed-together, locked-down forms.” (5)

    It is finally Lee Krasner’s time to shine. Her brilliance is now out from under a husband’s long shadow. Krasner’s work influenced many of her contemporaries. Let her now influence yet another generation of artists to be bold, seek out what is most important to them and let it be seen in every work. Gender is not a bar to excellence in art anymore.


    1., 4/12/19
    2. Rose, Barbara. Lee Krasner: A Retrospective. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1983. pg. 13
    3. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 5/ 2019
    4. Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican,  Antonia Cunliffe, That’s Not My Age,  5/ 21/ 2019
    5. Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post, 5/1/ 2020
  • 26 Mar 2021 10:30 AM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    April’s New Member Spotlight  - Renee Hanson, PhD

    Hometown:  Kensington, MD

    Media and Subjects:  Graphite, charcoal, and colored pencil drawings of people, portratis and environments. 

    Why you joined MAA:  I would like to connect more with local artists. 

    Something fun about you:  I am a self-taught artist.  I have been illustrating on and off since childhood as a hobby.  I was interested in fashion design as a teenager.  When I was fifteen years old, one of my design drawings was created and featured in a Washington, DC fashion show.  I am mostly an academic but I soon realized that I still love to create art and that this skill will always be part of my life.  

    Artist Biography:  Renee Hanson completed her Joint PhD. degree at Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology: School of Architecture, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences: Rutgers School of Nursing specializing in Urban Systems:  Global Urban Studies/ Education, Health, and Environment.  Renee was also awarded a highly competitive dissertation fellowship from Rutgers University-Newark to complete her degree.  Hanson has a master’s degree in sociology from American University and a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.  Her areas of interests are in education, health, environment, history, sociology, urban studies, data science, and policy.  

    Renee has over fifteen years of professional expertise as a scholar for public policy corporation, researcher, education program and project coordinator, education specialist, teacher, and consultant.  As an emerging scholar, Renee was funded for research on K-12 education issues, health, poverty, and other areas concerning communities of color.  She was the program coordinator for American University Ronald E. McNair Scholars program which recruits low-income, first generation and/or underrepresented undergraduate students at American University and the University of the District of Columbia in preparation for doctoral study. 

    Renee has a dozen published articles/reports in the areas of education, health, sociology, and history.  She was designated as a peer reviewer by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for their 2016 Annual Meeting and was recently a peer reviewer for the 2021 AERA Annual Meeting.  She served as the project coordinator for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement’s (NCSCE) STEM project, and hosted by the Department of Technology and Society at Stoney Brook University. 

    Renee most recently submitted work to the MAA Still Life Show in December 2020.  Please enjoy a few of Renee’s art pieces below. 


  • 22 Mar 2021 5:11 PM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Martina Sestakova

    Members of Montgomery Art Association come from all walks of life and their artworks and creative processes reflect this wonderful variety. In this blog, we invite you to enjoy a selection of pieces that explore the beauty of black and white. Scroll down to enjoy a lovely array of ideas!

    Elissa Leibowitz Poma, “Toledo Bar Trio,” ink on paper, 8x8”

    Jean Fin, "Play Time," oil, 16x20”. Tuxedo cat steps out of the shadow for play.

    John Mac Arthur, "Life Rolls Along," acrylic, 8"x10"

    Alexandra Treadaway-Hoare, "Black and White with a Splash of Color!," watercolor, 22x15" 

    Marti Wells, "Eric Contemplating Donkey's Diet," pen and ink, 8x10"

    Alan Rich"Beach Sweet Home," watercolor on paper, 8x6". Current WIP, will be adding watercolor to it.

    Martina Sestakova"Walking Through," acrylic and yupo, 4x6". I never paint in black. This may be the first time in about 3 years. But the inspiration - the words 'walking through' - kind of called me to use black as a symbol of some of life's darkness and the fact that we indeed have the power within to get through everything.

    Christopher Hoppe, "Shadows,” charcoal on paper, 12x18". Doing studies on Poppy flowers in preparation of doing a series of varies flowers in oil paintings on canvas.

    Judith Levine, "Lost in the Moment," natural India ink on paper, 9x12". I was watching a rehearsal, sketching and noticed this one dancer moving almost as if in a trance. I just needed to catch that moment.

    Jeanne Sullivan, "Majesty," mixed media collage, 11x14". Inspired by rocky mountain landscapes, I used hand painted and altered papers to turn the landscape into more abstract features.

    Pritha Srinivasan, "Nina," charcoal sketch, 4x6". Sketch of my daughter Nina from some years ago.

    Hiral Joshi"Drizzling Dreams," acrylic on canvas, 18x24"

    Paige Friedeman, "Kokeshi," digital illustration.

    Tena Turner"Jennifer," pencil on paper, 23x18"

    Pat Koval Whittle"The Event," charcoal, graphite, paint pen and marker, 22x30". This abstract represents the chaos of life events, the rising white chevron represents hope.

    Dora Patin, "Regal, "oil, 8x10”. Standard poodles are very proud and smart dogs. It’s wonderful to watch them as they move with elegance and grace. On the other hand, they are also very silly and playful. I think this portrait symbolizes both characteristics: it’s a traditional composition with an added playfulness by the colorful bow.

    Elizabeth Amanda Elgin, "Magpie Zebra Connection," oil, 8x10". Ref photo by Paul Fine, with permission.

    Maria-Elena Lazarte, "Memories," acrylics on canvas, 24x18”. To paint this still life, I used different objects like my daughter’s sculpture, the lace tablecloth, jewelry box to create a composition of memories.

    Angela White, "Revelation," encaustic, mixed media on wood cradle, 12x16”. Using some of my Indonesian Tjaps, I created patterned layers.

    Susan Farrer, "Artie's Boots," graphite on paper, 9x12". This drawing was inspired by a photo from a friend who gave up his Red Wing boots after decades of use -- such personality and so many memories in those boots!

    Thank you for stopping by and enjoying the artworks of our members! Be sure to check out our other blogs as we celebrate the unique artworks of local Montgomery County artists. 

  • 25 Feb 2021 9:17 AM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    New Member Spotlight March: Rodney Mayer 

    Lives in: North Potomac, Maryland … Having lived in the same home for many years, I actually lived in North Potomac before there was a North Potomac.


    Media and subjects: I started with traditional oil on canvas, particularly landscapes as subject matter, due to my educational background in geography and an interest in hiking and the outdoors. Recently I began to work in the medium of wine on canvas …. Yes, wine…. Not quite sure how I got on to the idea, but there is at least one Italian artist working in that medium. More recently I began creating some quirky or offbeat 3-D works, including pasta sculptures. Another 3-D work features natural tree remnants, and I am starting work on other “sculptures” consisting of recycled paper and plastics. 

    Why you joined MAA: Having exhibited with the Maryland Federation of Arts at the state level, and the City of Gaithersburg at the local level, I was looking to become involved with an arts organization in between these two levels.

    Something fun about you: I grew up in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania … home of the groundhog, which is featured on the news every February when they celebrate Groundhog Day. 

    Artist Biography:  At the risk of revealing my age, my interest in art dates back to grade school years when I created pencil on paper drawings of the Beatles performing.  Later, in 7th grade art class in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania city schools, my art teacher admired a painting of mine titled "City of Bridges".  Pittsburgh, with its three rivers, is known as the city of bridges.  

    After college-followed by a 30 year career with the federal government, I decided to return to my artistic roots.  I joined the Maryland Federation of Art in 2019 and have had my artwork selected for six different shows over the 2019-2020.  One of those shows was at Waverly Gallery in Bethesda where I was presented an "Honorable Mention" award for my pasta sculpture titled "Elbow Room".  This work was actually cited in a gallery review of the show in the Washington Post newspaper.  

    Below are a few of my works.  "Elbow Room" is the last image presented below. I hope you enjoy them. 

    Figure 1"Road to the Sun" oil 9x12"                    


  • 20 Feb 2021 7:35 AM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Martina Sestakova

    Members of Montgomery Art Association come from all walks of life and their artworks and creative processes reflect this wonderful variety. In this blog, we invite you to enjoy a selection of pieces that explore the beauty of winter with its sights and activities. Scroll down to enjoy a lovely array of ideas!

    Amanda Spaid, "Rockville Roost" (Colored Pencils on Wood, 18" x 24"). Every winter for at least the last 40 years millions of crows gather near Rockville Pike and Montrose Road, making for a spectacular sight at sunrise and sunset.

    Judith Levine, "Circus Pony" (Watercolor on Fabriano 140lb Cold Press, 3 x 4"). This relates to a winter activity for me. I have been entering the Strathmore Miniature Show and this was one of my first accepted entries. It's called "Circus Pony" and the dance, Maria Kouppari, who is depicted, is a close friend.

    Jamie Downs, "Winter Rush" (Mixed Media, 18.5 x 26"). This was during a big snow storm 5 or 6 years ago. A bunch of crows were determined to be on my snowy bird feeder at the same time. 

    Paige Friedeman, “Casselman River Bridge” (Digital Painting). This piece was based on a beautiful photograph by a Maryland nature lover & photographer Thelma Beachy Lanteigne from whom I got permission to do my artistic interpretation.

    Rosemary Behizadeh Yue (Acrylic on Canvas, 16 x 20"). A friend posted a picture of her road as she was snowed in. I loved the photo and the painting is now on her walls.

    John Mac Arthur“Snowy BNB Detroit” (Acrylic, 8 x 10"). This is a friend's first winter after opening a BNB in Detroit. They moved from Florida. First snow experienced.

    Marti Wells, "Little explorer" (Watercolor,  14 x 16"). My little grandson exploring the great beyond. 

    Heather Pattee Medrano, "Colorado Cabin" (Oil Stain on Beetle Kill Pine, 8 x 16"). This was a commission of 6 pieces for an owner of an all year Christmas shop in Colorado. I was given 6 pieces of Colorado beetle kill lumber and instructions for each piece. The lumber itself to me is the beauty.

    Cecilia Tobler, “Esta Nievando” (Acrylic on Canvas, 371/2 x 371/2). Snowing in the village. Nothing like waking up to fresh pure powdery snow.

    Maria-Elena Lazarte, "Snowing" (Oil on Canvas, 12 x 9"). Plein air painting during a snowing day in January 2021.

    Freddi Batt Weiner, "White Birch Trees in Winter" (Acrylic, 16 x 20"). February 2021. 

    Thank you for stopping by and enjoying the artworks of our members! Be sure to check out our other blogs as we celebrate the unique artworks of local Montgomery County artists. 

  • 9 Feb 2021 10:57 AM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    by Judith Levine

    Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. It was his mother Matilde who introduced and encouraged him to begin his journey as an artist. She had taken him frequently to galleries in his native New York City and enrolling him in art classes. At age 7, while recovering after being struck by a car, she purchased a copy of Grey’s Anatomy; he eagerly dug into the book. (Basquiat was reading and writing by age four. By the age of 11, Basquiat was fully fluent in written and spoken French, Spanish and English.) The volume excited the already prolific youngster and began his lifelong interest in the human figure.

    Somo, 1978

    Photograph by Richard Corman June, 1984

    Basquiat was self-taught. His style was a pulsing Neo-Expressionism, primitive and throbbing with his vision of Black Americans and with his life long struggle with mental illness. Yet he said,” Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” Early work often included a crown with three prongs. It remained as part of his signature even when not in the work. Fellow artist “Francesco Clemente said "Jean-Michel’s crown has three peaks, for his three royal lineages: the poet, the musician, the great boxing champion. Jean measured his skill against all he deemed strong, without prejudice as to their taste or age." ( Editors, April 1, 2014) Within three years of exploding onto the national scene in 1980, his work became even starker. The colours are bold, strong pure. He does little blending, as if telling us not to bleed his messages. Basquiat was always acutely aware of being a Black man in America and of the history of his people. “According to Andrea Frohne, Basquiat’s 1983 painting ‘Untitled (History of the Black People)’ “reclaims Egyptians as African and subverts the concept of ancient Egypt as the cradle of Western Civilization...At the center of the painting, Basquiat depicts an Egyptian boat being guided down the Nile River by Osiris, the Egyptian god of the Earth and vegetation.” (Jean-Michel Basquiat: Poverty and Power, Scrawled on Walls, Visual Art, Jack Eidt,11/ 2017)

    Untitled (1982)

    Profit I – Jean Michel Basquiat, created in Italy in 1982

    Untitled (History of the Black People) (1983)

     “The young artist was befriended by the Pop artist Andy Warhol in 1983, and the two began to collaborate occasionally.” (Lisa S. Wainwright,  Encyclopaedia Britannica) He loved to travel, going in 1986 to Abijan in the Ivory Coast for a show and then to Germany, where “ the 25-year-old exhibited nearly 60 paintings at the Kestner-Gesellschaft Gallery in Hanover, Germany — becoming the youngest artist to ever showcase his work there.”( Editors, April 1, 2014)

    Basquiat dealt with personal demons his whole very short life. His mother Matilde Basquiat, perhaps the most important person in his life, certainly in his becoming an artist, was mentally ill. Her increasing illness led to her becoming permanently institutionalized by the mid 1970’s after his parents divorced. He bounced back and forth between Puerto Rico and New York City. This eventually led to his dropping out of high school at age 17. Living intermittently on the streets, he held a series of menial jobs but at the same time began to work as a graffiti artist and then moved to canvas, working in spray paints and acrylics and other media. By the early 1980’s he was trying to deal with his own increasing mental health problems by using illicit drugs. “He became paranoid and isolated himself from the world around him for long stretches. Desperate to kick a heroin addiction, he left New York for Hawaii in 1988, returning a few months later and claiming to be sober.

    Sadly, he wasn't. Basquiat died of a drug overdose on August 12, 1988, in New York City. He was 27 years old.” ( Editors, April 1, 2014)  This tragic event was a huge loss to the art world, now deprived of his powerful, singular vision.  It was a a loss then and still is. Had he lived more than his short tumultuous 27 years, what treasures he might have bequeathed the world? Rest in peace, Jean-Michel.

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