Montgomery Art Association

  • 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.

  • 29 Jan 2021 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    by Jan Rowland

    We're pleased to announce that Diane Wilson has been selected as the judge for the 2021 Creative Expressions Show.

    Wilson is a figurative artist who has been an instructor at the Washington Studio School for over 20 years. She brings years of artistic experience as a practicing artist pursuing her own unique style of art with emphasis on the human form and the use of harmonious colors.

    Describing Wilson's art, Mark Jenkins, art critic for The Washington Post once wrote, “Dolls merge into humans and frozen dancers conjure movement, in Diane Wilson's fluid drawings and paintings.”

    The Creative Expressions Show is one of the MAA's marquee exhibitions each year. Traditionally an exhibition at the Friendship Heights Visitors Center, due to the Covid-19 situation the show will likely be an online exhibition again this year; we will confirm this with our members as soon as we know.

    There are five categories for the show: Landscape, Still Life, Portraits, Animal World and Abstract. Medium: 2D Work: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Drawing/Ink medium. Photography and 3D work are not included in this show.

    The 2021 show is planned to be an outstanding event for artists and viewers alike. So start planning your entry now.

    Advice from the 2020 Judge, Lee Newman is as follows: “ In judging the works submitted to this exhibit I relied on several criteria. Is there a clear visual statement? Is there a command of the elements of the visual language to support that visual statement (or composition). Does the artwork display some mastery of  the craft? 
    I also considered how each piece honored the category it was in. For example, did a painting in the landscape category feature the depiction of nature as its primary subject. Does the portrait painting strive to make a recognizable likeness of a person? I found that there were many excellent paintings some of which didn’t fit the category in which they were entered.”

    Our call for entries opens May 3.

    See Diane Wilson's work on her website,

  • 27 Jan 2021 10:46 AM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    Lives in:  Ashburn, VA.

    Media and subjects:  Oil, gouache, watercolor, acrylic. My primary medium is oil. Recently I have been working in gouache on black paper and Mi Teint board. 

    Why you joined MAA: I love to see other artists’ work and to have opportunities to share my own work. MAA has an excellent cadre of artists to enjoy and learn from.

    Something fun about you: I love the beach, no matter its location. One of my favorite hobbies at the beach is shelling. I have a glass coffee table full of beautiful shells I have collected, mostly from FL, but also from other places around the globe.

    Social Media:  Facebook:  Lee Ann Howdershell  


    Artist Biography/Statement:

    Color is my muse. I am inspired by pops of pure color that appear in nature and other subjects. My paintings vibrate with colors that occur naturally but that we don’t normally take the time to see. The juxtaposition of complementary colors gives a glow to the picture and makes my heart sing. 

    The textural quality of oils helps me engage my subject not only in a visual way, but also in a tactile way. Using the palette knife or the brush to push and pull color and texture creates a sense of sculpting on canvas. Painting with gouache gives the viewer a new way of seeing. Thick application of the paint can produce a bold statement while using more water can contribute to a transparent, more ethereal quality. 

    I want my paintings to make viewers stop and wonder – I want them to elicit deeper meaning from nature and everyday objects.  While painting, I get lost in seeing things a new way, a way that feeds my soul. I hope my art will do the same for you.

    My painting career began at Loudoun Academy of the Arts painting in watercolor with Dell Keathley. Studying Figure Drawing at the Art League with Lisa Semerad helped my drawing skills.  I have spent the last several years studying at the Yellow Barn Studio where Christine Lashley instructed me in watercolor and beginning oil. The last several years I have been painting both the figure, still life, and en plein air with Walter Bartman, Founder and Director of the Yellow Barn Studio.

    Please enjoy of sample of Lee Ann’s art.

    Lets Relax  

  • 14 Jan 2021 8:40 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 color lime green in art. Enjoy this lovely variety of ideas!

    Sue Fierston, "Coos Bay" (8x10" white line woodcut). Foggy Coos Bay, Oregon, woodcut made with xacto knife on plywood panel, oh did my hand ache afterward!

    Paige Friedeman, "#6 Remix" (a 4ft base tetrahedron sculpture). This piece (part of a sponsored commission by One Montgomery Green) made by myself and artists Mary Del Bianco. It is made of mixed media but mainly incorporates repurposed plastic material that are #6 Polystyrene, which is not recyclable in Montgomery County. It was reshaped and manipulated to represent flowers, insects and other organic shapes from nature to remind us all to appreciate the little things around us and reduce our plastic waste. 

    Paula Eillum, "Sonja’s View" (9x12" pastel on sanded paper). Mexican countryside outside of San Miguel de Allende where I have spent the past 11 winters.  

    Alan Rich, "Gretta" (16x20" acrylic on cradled wood panel). One of a few car portraits I've done.

    Judith Levine, "Outside Klum Park (9x12" watercolour on Fabriano 140l lb cold press paper).

    Dora Patin, “Pom Poms” (8x10" oil on panel). This is my standard poodle, Darcy. This special panel was sold by Trekell for their annual pet portrait competition.

    Jennifer Kahn Barlow, "Potential” (12x16" oil on canvas). Green is the color of beginnings!

    Tena Turner, "Summer Flowers" (15x11" watercolor on Fabriano paper). My best offering, lots of green, and some is lime,, especially some small details in the yellow iris. 

    Martina Sestakova,  "It Might Mean Something" (26x20" watercolors and acrylics on yupo). The title is words out of Mary Oliver's poem, 'Watering the Stones'. I love Oliver's work and really enjoy exploring her words and their perceived meanings through colors, shapes, and textures.

    Rosemary Behizadeh Yue, "Summer Respite" (16x20" acrylic on canvas). Many greens describe cool shadows and lush foliage along a small creek. 

    Jenny Wilson, "Violet Coast" (16x24" acrylic on canvas). An imaginary coastline perhaps in Maine or Cornwall.

    Jennifer Beaudet, “Into the Weeds” (30x40” oil on canvas). Inspired by coastal Rhode Island and my morning runs past the lush marshland.

    Ingrid Lohr Matuszewski, "Clore Road" (20x20" oil on canvas) Madison, VA series. This piece is inspired by childhood memories of Clore Road in Madison County, Virginia where my great-grandfather started Clore Furniture in the 18oo's. This is an abstracted version of the road to the homestead and Clore Furniture.

    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.   

  • 2 Jan 2021 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    Our exhibition team has been busy designing an innovative and creative lineup of online and in-person shows for 2021. We're pleased to share the schedule for the year ahead, so that you can start planning.

    Tasting Room Exhibits at Windridge Winery

    Submit works depicting the Maryland region for consideration for an ongoing, in-person exhibit at the winery in Darnestown. Winery staff select works for display. First entry deadline is December 24 for a January 12-March 15 show. More info

    MAA at Art Enables

    Entries are being accepted through December 28 for this in-person and online show in support of the DC-based nonprofit. Subject is your choice. Show runs mid-January through February. More info

    Light & Hope: An Online Exhibition

    Our first themed exhibit of the year focuses on light and hope. Members may submit one 2D or 3D work for this online show. Call for entries is January 10-20; show runs February 1-March 31. More info

    3D Works: An Online Exhibition

    We’ll showcase three-dimensional media in this online exhibit. Subject is your choice; you’ll be able to submit up to five images. Call for entries is February 10-20; show runs March 1-April 30. More info

    Our Stories, Our Journeys

    In conjunction with this online show, join a workshop on how to tell the stories behind your art. We'll also cohost an online storytelling happy hour with members of the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville, introducing your art to a new audience.  

    Creative Expressions

    We don’t know yet whether our annual judged show will be in person or online. But this marquee event on our annual calendar will continue nonetheless, with a judge awarding prizes in multiple categories.

    Fantasy: An Online Exhibition

    Fantasy is defined as “the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.” How does that translate to your artwork? Let’s explore it in this online exhibition.

    Paint the Town Labor Day Show

    Fingers crossed that conditions allow for our annual Paint the Town Labor Day Show and plein air competition to take place! If so, the weekend-long event will be September 4-6 in Kensington.

    10x10 Online Show and Sale

    Just in time for the holidays: Members will be invited to create any work that’s 10x10 inches in size and priced at $100. We’ll promote the show as a way to purchase cool holiday gifts.


    More Info: Full details about these exhibitions will be added to our website as soon as they become available. Additional shows may be added, too, and all shows and dates are subject to change. We'll always send you info via email and post it on social media. 

    Shows Planning Team: Vice Presidents, Shows: Elissa Poma, Miguel Mitchell. Show Managers: Meredith Osterman, Rachel Patton, Jan Rowland, Martina Sestakova, Kathy Tynan, Anastasia Walsh, Helen Wood.

    Volunteer with Us: Interested in being a show manager or helping to produce a show? Email us.

  • 25 Dec 2020 1:47 PM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    Lives in: Gaithersburg MD. After moving to one country to another every four years, I finally moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland.  I grew up in Manila, Philippines and married my husband 40 years ago who is a Swiss. Raised two boys and now a very proud grandmother to a boy. 


    Media and subject: Mixed media. I create anything that comes to mind and abstract it. 

    Why you joined MAA: To meet other artists and non- artists alike. 

    Something fun about you: I love to cook and feed people, I love to socialize, play tennis. I just love to have fun! 

    Artist Biography:  Cecilia Tobler was a personal trainer for twenty plus years retired about twelve years ago. Cecilia lived and moved from one country to another every four years with her family in the last 35 years. Cecilia didn’t intend to be an artist until the family moved to Berlin, Germany.  Her first impressions were that the whole city looked like an art museum. While in Berlin, Cecilia decided to teach herself to paint. Her love for colors and textures inspired her to create big paintings. Cecilia’s work was exhibited twice in Havana, Cuba with two other Cuban, artists. 


  • 25 Dec 2020 1:24 PM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    Lives in: Rockville, MD

    Media & Subject: Acrylic (including fluorescent and phosphorescent versions) and mixed media. My subjects are primarily sourced from science fiction and fantasy.

    Your experiences as an artist: In reflecting on my public experiences as an artist, I feel that I have had three periods when I actively exhibited my paintings: in my 20s with my father at Sundays in the Park in Boston, at Third Friday events in downtown Salisbury, MD a decade ago, and now with MAA.  My work has been shown in the Creative Expressions receiving and Honorable Mention in the Portrait category; Kensington Library, and the Kensington Paint the Town Show, Colorful Exploration at Glenview Mansion, Oasis Gallery, and the more recent virtual Portrait Show. 

    Why you joined MAA: I joined MAA in March 2019 because I wanted to meet other visual artists in the area and to have the opportunity to exhibit with them and support each other. 

    Why you volunteered to Chair Hospitality: I volunteered to join the MAA board and become the committee chair for hospitality because I liked throwing parties! Bringing good food and drink is all about making any event a party. I recommended Bota Nero in Rockville, MD to cater the Paint the Town Show – MAA’s largest annual show. I thought it was important to have a source of delicious, varied, and safely prepared food for such a large public event.  I think that really raised the fun level of the show and most people really liked the food and sangria.

    Why you want to be the Co-VP of Shows: I enjoy helping to create a variety of art events for our members, increasing their visibility to the public in a way that enhances their ability to sell their work.

    Something fun about you: In addition to being a crazy chemist, throwing in chemical effects to enhance my art, I am also a science fiction and fantasy writer and won 3rd place for a short story submitted to the 2020 Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing Contest.

    Artist Biography:  I started doing visual art at the age of 4, learning from my late father, James Marcus Mitchell, co-founder of the Boston Afro-American Artists Association.  When I was in college, my father and I exhibited together at the outdoor Sunday in the Park art shows in Roxbury, the largest African-American section of Boston.

    My love of both science and art made me stay involved in both. Even while getting my B.S. in chemistry at M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA, I painted a sea monster on the wall of my coed fraternity.  After getting my Ph.D. in organic chemistry and retired after 23+ years as a chemistry professor, I now have the opportunity in my new science editor job to be more deeply immersed in the visual arts.  One of my central themes is otherness, representing that which is outside of our normal experience in a way that challenges instinctive rejection of the other, fostering both intellectual and spiritual growth. Otherness fits in well with my love of creating science fiction and fantasy art. My application of fluorescence and phosphorescence in some of my paintings accentuates light-dark interplay and enhances the illusion of depth.



  • 21 Dec 2020 3:02 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 REPETITION in art. Enjoy this lovely variety of ideas!

    Angela White, "Transition" (24x30" encaustic on wood cradle). It’s the first painting where I combined repeated patterns with sea/landscape imagery.

    Martina Sestakova, "At This Very Moment" (4x6, watercolor on yupo). I enjoy using lines in my artworks: as a repetitive elements and a pattern aspect. I often think of trunks of trees as lines, of rivers and their twists as lines. Doing the same movement with my brush feels healing and meditative to me. e movement with my brush feels healing and meditative to me.

    Alexandra Treadaway, "Swallowtail's Pleasure" (22" x 11" watercolor). Repetitive background in ‘neutral’ watercolors to show off Swallowtail repeatedly sipping nectar.

    Heather Pattee Medrano, "Abstract Tree" ( 36" x 24" mixed media on canvas). Patterns within the tree, patterns in background, patterns within patterns. 

    Stacy Dean Yochum, "My Dream of Jazz" (22" x 14" collage on paper). I love stripes and dots!

    Peijisan Art, "Vote" (9" x 12" ink and marker on paper). This was my winning design chosen for the Montgomery County "promote the Vote" mural contest that ended up being turned into a banner and posted to encourage voting in the Wheaton, MD area this past Oct-Nov.

    Vicky Surles, "Pumpkin Gourds" (11" x 14" watercolor). So many seasonal orange gourds in a huge box at the farmers market.

    Marti Wells, "Waiting for Godot" (11" x 14" watercolors). I saw these Terns walking on the beach.

    Anne Albright, "Repetition - Pattern - Rhythm" (9" x 12" watercolor and Posco acrylic pens). I created this for a watercolor class project. I love doing my watercolor and pen doodles, so I incorporated those into the painting and added Posco acrylic pens for the white shapes. 

    John Mac Arthur, "Bringing in the Sheep" (14" x 18" acrylic). Making America great may only feed the wolves.

    Rosemary Behizadeh Yue, "Lake Colors" (12" x 12" acrylic on canvas). The water reflection holds a repetitive pattern. 

    Jenny Wilson, "Cherry Blossom" (30" x 40" acrylic on canvas). I am looking forward to spring and the wonder of this beautiful gift from Japan.

    Elissa Leibowitz Poma, "3 Monks in the Rain" (6" x 9" watercolor and ink on paper). When I look for repetition when making urban sketches, I seek out items in threes or fives—but make each one slightly different, for interest.

    Leslie Kraff, "River Road Fences" (16" x 20" oil). 

    Kathy Farrell Tynan, "Oregon Coastal Storm" (30" x 27" soft pastel). I experienced this lovely empty beach while traveling the coast of Oregon. The waves seemed to stretch out as far as the eye could see.

    Alan Rich, "#120" (24" x 56" fluid pour on hollow door panel). I used about 12 different colors and some granular gel for texture. Set up on level table and did it all in one session. The colors migrated all on their own without manipulating the panel.

    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. 

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