Artists Blogging at Jerry’s Artarama

Joseph DiGiulio

JoDiGiulio talks art on the splatter

Joseph DiGiulio is a professional abstract painter and recent cancer survivor from Raleigh, NC. He is the Educational Accounts Manager and Executive Artist for Jerry’s Artarama, which is one of the country’s leading artist materials retailers. In 2006, Joseph traveled to Sydney, Australia to help develop a range of fine artist acrylic color for Matisse Derivan. Since then he offers free art lessons on line and produced two DVD’s that highlight his teaching skills in abstract painting and product usage. In June of this year, he traveled to Southern France, testing out another paint line, Charvin Oil Colour.

Trained in Art Education at East Carolina University in the 70’s, DiGiulio worked in the textile screen printing industry until the 90’s. His self owned printing business catered to clients such as Phillip Morris, Pepsi Cola, Adidas and Banana Republic. He is also on the Merchandising Advisory Board for East Carolina University. Joseph holds numerous awards, such as the SAS Institute Purchase Award, and has recent installations at the Raleigh Duke Hospital and the new RBC building in downtown Raleigh. His latest pieces are large-scale abstract acrylic paintings that reflect his use of color, line, shape and texture. His art takes on the expression of color and dynamics that capture the success of his cancer recovery and the essence of his travels.

Joseph has juried many scholastic art completions in recent years for the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh and was one of the two jurors for the K-12 category for art at the 2008 North Carolina State Fair, and recently the Scholastic Art Awards for 2009 featuring students work from over 69 counties of Eastern North Carolina at Barton College. His work is represented by Art Source as well as Nicole’s Studios and Gallery, both of Raleigh, NC and Spectrum Art and Jewelry of Wilmington, NC. His web site is

Sharon DiGiulio

Sharon talks art on the splatter

Sharon DiGiulio is an award winning acrylic/collage artist. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Fine and Applied Arts at Central Michigan University, DiGiulio moved to Key West, Florida to pursue a career in the arts. She worked as a graphic artist and package designer for six years before relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina landing a position with the largest screen-printing company as the art director. Her passion lead her to Jerry’s Artarama as the event coordinator where she organizes workshops lead by internationally known artists from all over the country.

Heavily influenced by the talent surrounding her, DiGiulio now has no choice but to work in a mixed media fashion. “It seems I learn something new about a different medium weekly and I just have to try it! I dare myself to use every technique I can think of from transfers, to watercolor to basic drawing, and printmaking to encaustics, to painting and stitching in creating my acrylic collages. The choices are endless. Now my challenge is to put it all together with my collection of photos and make it work. I read a ton of books and pull from childhood experiences and memories to embellish my work.”



Wilson Bickford

Wilson Bickford professional artists talks art on the splatter

Some things are just “meant to be”. Northern New York native WILSON BICKFORD was always interested in art, but never pursued it earnestly until his early 30’s. “I’ve been drawing since I was 5 years old, but I never thought of it as a viable career option. So, I put it on hold for quite some time, until my heart eventually led me down this path”.

Though being self-taught and getting a late start, Wilson is now an award-winning artist and nationally recognized art instructor who teaches in several media. ( Oils, Watercolors, Acrylics, Pen & Ink ) He has been instructing workshops for over 20 years. He is also a published author. ( “WILDLIFE LANDSCAPES YOU CAN PAINT” – NorthLight Books )

He uses many approaches in his work, from traditional Old Master’s grisaille underpainting and glazing to the big brush wet-on-wet method. Wilson is “more of a realist” when it comes to his art and his work encompasses everything from landscapes, wildlife, florals and still life. “The whole world is subject matter for the artist. You don’t have to look too far to find an interesting subject. When I find an inspiring subject, I perceive and envision it according to the finished piece I see in my mind. From there, it’s just a matter of steering in that direction”. Wilson has released his own instructional Dvd’s, as well as those he has filmed for Jerry’s Artarama. You will find information regarding his book, Dvd’s, class schedule and artwork for sale at his website;

To see him in action, visit where you’ll find MANY free lessons featuring helpful tips and techniques. Also, don’t forget to check out his FREE ART LESSONS on the Jerry’s website!

Wilson is currently working with Jerry’s to produce a “signature” line of products, which among other items, will include a white oil-base painting medium for “alla prima” applications.

“I firmly believe that ANYONE can learn to paint. It’s not an inborn talent, but rather, a learned skill. If an individual is devoted and willing to work for it, skill can be acquired”.

He has made “believers” out of several thousand students over the past two decades.

Deb Bartos

Deb Bartos talks art on the splatter blog

Deb Bartos comes by her art naturally, as her paternal family is from Bohemia, (now the Czech Republic). “I’ve always seen beauty in nature, and painting is my creative response. I enjoy dramatic natural lighting, and patterns and color in nature. The more I paint, the better I see, and am more able to accomplish what I want to share.”

As an RN and nurse educator for 35 years, she has an appreciation for finding beauty in life.

In grade school, her art teacher recognized her talent, and she was invited to study art at the Baker-Hunt Academy in Covington, Kentucky. In college she studied photography and art appreciation in addition to her psychology and nursing courses. Since moving to Colorado, she has taken classes and workshops with nationally acclaimed painting instructors whose work she admired. She continues to learn new techniques and improve her work by time at her easel in the studio and with other painters as often as she can.

Her work has been exhibited and purchased in many regional juried shows, and through friendships developed both in the United States and internationally. She enjoys travel and the learning experiences and new friendships it develops.

She taught Art Appreciation to college students for 7 years and loves the interaction and learning experience that engaging others in the process provides.

She is planning to teach plein aire workshops in Colorado this summer, and is looking forward to meeting new students and painting together. Her art blog can be found at



TMNK professional artists talks art on the splatter

I’m just an artist, a nobody. But I hope my art and that of our crew/collective inspires thought, and stirs your emotions. The aesthetic, distinctively urban, is influenced by the people, places, and events encountered along the journey.

Cheryl Denise Whitestone

Cheryl Whitestone professional artists talks art on the splatter

Cheryl Denise Whitestone

“Often people wonder about my work and inspirations. To me the process of living and learning can be inspiring. An artist must first to learn how to “see” and study its subjects in detail. Art is a matter of careful observation, even with abstract paintings; color, composition, energy and balance all play a part in how effective the finished work will be. Then once you have a mastery of your mediums you are able depict your vision in a powerful way. Some things are so beautiful I am urged to capture that image and exaggerate it for the viewer, so they will see what I have seen. For example, when sunlight hits a pine tree in Carmel, California, its shadows are purple and the light is warm golden with reds and oranges accentuated by an azure ocean. This is incredibly beautiful; these colors are complementary. (opposite in the color spectrum) The use of complementary colors next to each other causes the paint to vibrate and look more alive on canvas. In portraiture, I become sensitive to my subject and observe quietly to understand how to best portray them, showing not only the physical, but also the essence, personality and power of the person. As an artist, I want to change your frame of reference and transport you to the world I have glimpsed. Hopefully, I will do this powerfully enough to move you emotionally, much like any good writer or creator would do. To me, the art of observing and analyzing the elements of nature has led me to many realizations and great respect for life and the process of living and learning.”

Cheryl was born and raised in Southern California and started painting at age 10. Today she works in every arts medium. Those who have witnessed her abundant inventiveness, sensitivity, experimentation and productivity have called her a “A Living Master.”

Her mediums include Oils, Acrylics, Pastels, Watercolors, Gouache, Pen & Ink, Pencil, Sumi Painting, Portraiture of people and animals, Costume Design for television, including make-up, Video Production, Writing & Poetry, Computer Arts, Residential and Commercial applications of Murals, Fine Crafts.

Her client list for murals and paintings includes the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, Elementary Schools, Restaurants, Health Clubs, Health Care Facilities, Salons, Special Events Facilities, Real Estate Offices, Historic Homes, Estate Homes, Show Homes, and many others. Her commissioned works of art are in private and public collections in the United States, Scandinavia, and throughout Europe.

Awards: Chateau Elan Winery & Estate Homes “Best Dining Room”
County Club of the South Estate Homes “Most Loved Charity Show House”
Sugarloaf Country Club “Best Charity Show Home”
Atlanta Homes Magazine “Best Luxury Bath Room”
Habitat for Humanity “People’s Choice Award”
Hands on Atlanta “Director of Two Art Enrichment Projects in Urban Environments”
High Musem of Art Atlanta “Vogue, Wine, Food & Fashion”

Art Shows:

Whole Earth Show Downtown Atlanta
800 East Art Show Miami Circle, Buckhead, GA
Breeze Gallery St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Luz Mercado Madrid, Spain
Inman Park Art Festival Inman Park, GA
Chez Belle Gallery Blue Ridge, GA
Art Papers Magazine Benefit Art Show, Atlanta, GA
Georgia In Bloom Madison, GA
Black Heritage Art Show Madison, GA


Kim Ellery

Kim Ellery professional artists talks art on the splatter

Kim ElleryMy name is Kim Ellery. I am an artist who lives in Rhode Island with my husband, two amazing daughters, and two dogs. I have loved the arts since middle school; and like the air I breathe, I can’t live without creating. I have worked in clay, stone and wood for sculpture mediums. I have painted furniture, murals, canvas, panels…pretty much anything that doesn’t move.

I studied Fine Art at Rhode Island College, and studied Stone Carving at Rhode Island School of Design. I continue taking classes whenever I can and have studied with some wonderful teachers like Bob Burridge and Caroline Jasper. There are many artists who inspire me, but my top favorites are Van Gogh, Peter Max, Dr.Ala Bashir, and Henry Moore.

I hope you enjoy viewing my art as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Heather Goldstein

Heather Goldstein professional artists talks art on the splatter

Heather Goldstein
Heather Goldstein is a young, emerging artist. She recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting with a minor in Art History and a Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Arts in Marketing. She now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where she works as the Vice President of Artist Resources at Jerry’s Artarama. While continuing to paint, she works to offer more to artists and better the art community as a whole.

A self-proclaimed “people watcher,” Heather is interested in social interactions, or lack thereof, with people outside our own social “bubble.” She questions the validity of the quick judgments that make of others and stick to wholeheartedly. Although she often refers to her characters as “creepers,” she stands by their sympathetic nature. “I do not paint to make people uncomfortable. I paint to make people think!”


Valerie (Valry) Drake

Valerie Drake professional artists talks art on the splatter

Valerie Drake’s earliest memories revolve around art. Her family encouraged her to develop her artistic abilities and provided art materials and learning opportunities throughout her childhood. As a teenager she won several local art awards and benefited from the tutelage of excellent teachers. She received solid teaching in the basics of painting, color theory, glass blowing, ceramics and rock sculpture among others.

For 11 years following her High School graduation Valerie worked in the printing industry. As the co-owner of an offset job shop she learned all aspects of offset printing, specializing in graphic arts and typography, while also playing a key role in the business aspects of the company. During this time she learned calligraphy and become moderately proficient in this art form while continuing to explore other art forms including producing prize winning lace and other needle arts.

A career change took Valerie into the computer industry. She moved up from being a data processing operator to being a software developer and DP manager. Then her focus shifted and she has spent the last 16 years as a hardware field tech where she currently works repairing large server room equipment. During these years she explored jewelry making, pottery, macrame’, and photography.

Almost ten years ago Valerie focused on developing her life-long interest in art. Through a highly disciplined program of self-study she has developed her knowledge of almost all aspects of 2-dimensional art (she has not yet tackled encaustic, air brush, or fresco) and some 3-dimensional forms. She won an Honorable Mention in the only art competition she ever entered, was invited to participate in an international show in Europe, has taught numerous local classes, and currently sits on the Board of a fledgling not-for-profit artistic endeavor.

M Theresa Brown

M Theresa Brown professional artists talks art on the splatter

M Theresa Brown
Portraits! What a great way to make a living!

What other job exists where you can gently mix creativity, emotion, color and hard work and pour it all into a comfortable living? Or take the same ingredients, shake them up a bit and pour them into an experience? What other job affords such a diverse array of experiences in the form of people, places, movement, sounds and above all, a visual cornucopia of treasures?

Sure, awards and recognition are pretty exciting at first, but after awhile, well, it’s the clients who matter most! Maybe you’ve seen my artwork in “Veranda”, “Carolina Country” or “Our State?” Or maybe you’ve seen my illustrations in Breakthrough Publications, McGraw Hill or Houghton-Mifflin publications? I have over a thousand portraits displayed in homes and businesses around the globe. Now that’s exciting! It is hard to put a price on the gratification and emotional value of portraits and artwork that delight my clients!

My university art experience did not exactly match my artistic hopes. The reality of the education was actually a disappointment. But what I did discover was that life experiences strengthen the artistic mind and open the doors to the colors and dynamics all around us! I like to think that pieces of an artist’s life experiences lodge somewhere on shelves in the mind just waiting to be pulled out and dusted off when the visual need arises! And so when I create a painting for a client, a little piece of me goes onto the canvas.

We’re here to help you! Just ask us!


Mike Rooney

Mike Rooney professional artists talks art on the splatter

Mike RooneyI love to paint. I have painted all my life. But now I want to paint every single day.

My style is very eclectic, never really following a set pattern. I like to go outside without a preconceived method or formula. I approach each painting differently and like to experiment, to shake things up a little.

I’m a full-time plein air painter, deliberately choosing the outdoors to a comfortable studio. Bugs, pesky by-standers and bad weather are just a few of the inconveniences I endure to capture the colors and nuances of nature.

My subject matter varies, but I love painting outside year round, near the coast from Cape Cod in the late summer, to Key West in the winter, and all points in between. They say paint what you love most. That’s the coast, with its boats, marshes and architecture, etc., so I try to be there painting most of the time. I also love Charleston, SC and paint there often too.

Sometimes a scene stops me in my tracks and I just have to paint it. This definitely requires a flexible schedule because spontaneity is crucial to a plein air artist.

I want to have the ability to determine my own course in life and to paint the world, as I see it, everyday.




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