INCRESCENT: A VALA Collective – August 4th through September 3rd, 2017

The Artists

Throughout life, most people strive to leave their mark on the world in a positive way and ultimately be remembered.
When it comes to my generation, I believe that the generations before ours are dissatisfied and disappointed in what we are doing with our lives. My photos display the previous generation’s negative perspective of us. Our generation is viewed as being delinquents with no motivation to preserve anything that has been passed on. People are always questioning us about what we will do with our lives and how the world is going to be run once it is our responsibility. The mugshot type photograph is composited with a picture of graffiti vandalism. The mugshot had to do with the concept of how my generation acts juvenile, flaunting an “I could care less what you think of me,” type attitude. The photograph as a whole is about displaying the fact that the actions we take not only affect us, but also our environment and others, I believe that this constant judgement from our elders will leave a lasting stain on who we are, embedding the doubt on ourselves, and thus fusing us with our predetermined unruly fate.
Bill has been a passionate photographer for the last 15 years. He enjoys photography and works hard to present the viewer with an image that provokes a thought and/or a feeling with a two dimensional quality. This combination results in an image that holds the viewer’s attention, invites ones imagination and prides a sense of place. His photography has evolved from a variety of sources over the years. His favorite author, teacher and photographer is Freeman Patterson.
Bill arrived at his individual style and technique by hands on work in the field. Only after years of shooting, inviting critique from artists in all mediums was he able to develop his own technique and present the viewer with an image that will be appreciated, valued, and enjoyed.
Cherie Fruehan is best known for her distinctive bold faces conveyed through various mediums and resins applied to canvas, wood and Lucite.
Primarily self-taught, Cherie’s work lends itself to a synthesis of Neo-Expressionism and Pop Art, frequently altering a recognizable subject into something unique by utilizing vivid colors, or by completely distorting the form into an abstract interpretation. She is a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist who implies imperfect processes to achieve her desired result; a satisfying fusion of color and emotion.
Christine Smith has been creating artwork and painting her whole life; though recently switching from her profession of CG art back to her roots of fine art. Her work, particularly paintings, have evolved from classically trained surrealism to more emotionally driven abstract art using a rich blend of materials, mediums and techniques that draw the observer in, to evoke feelings and provoke wonder through the use of color, texture and form.
Through experimentation and a bit of chemistry of mediums, new depths of texture and movement evolve with each new work of art. Almost all of her work has an underlying personal emotional relevance that is translated into the painting while creating it. It’s for this reason that the artist has chosen not to sell her work (until now), but rather gift it to those who were in mind when it was created, or kept in her own possession. This body of work shows the versatility and evolution of the artistic process as the artist moves into a new era of art creation.
One of Daniel Moulden’s favorite things to do is to go for long walks to enjoy the parks and green spaces around the areas where he lives and works. Since he also have a camera with him all the time, he inevitably capture moments and scenes that strikes him along the way.
Over the last few years, he has taken to painting many of these scenes in his studio at home, working from the photos as well as the memories.
Diana Vargas (Dianita) is almost entirely self-taught and has been working as a full time artist since 2007. Her work is focused on Fantasy art and a not-so-secret love for horses; she is currently working on a portfolio of pieces that are close to her heart.
Dianita’s drawings and paintings have been exhibited in small galleries in Florida, California, Texas and Oregon, but most of her work has been created for private clients all over the world. Her hope is to create images that bring smiles, tranquility and hope to other people’s lives. “Eternity” was created in 2016, during that time they faced the sudden loss of a dear uncle, as well as many unforeseeable losses among family and friends. Her own feelings of sadness and helplessness after these events turned the creation of this piece into a healing process. A horse is her image for hope; this painting represents her dream that our lost ones become stars, and that they are waiting for us until we meet again.
Jacque Forsher is an artist who experiments with multiple mediums, including paint, mixed-media, photography, and assemblage.
Forsher has participated in numerous creative events, including as an artist at Dallas’ Art Con event – a nonprofit community that conspires to brings artists and musicians together to raise funds and activate awareness for regional creative programs and causes; a previous member of the MAC (McKinney Ave. Contemporary), and supporter of EASL (Emergency Artist’s Support League). She is a founding member of the Dallas SLANT artist collective, an artist run gallery that emphasizes art appreciation and she is currently employed as a Communications Specialist in Dallas, Texas. Forsher has participated in local and national juried & invitational exhibits.
Julie first became interested in art when she was a mother of two young children in 1989. She began taking some evening design and drawing classes at the local community college.  Her interest grew when she realized how much she enjoyed drawing portraits of her children. As her family went through many changes, she often found solace and comfort in her drawing. She also realized how helpful it was to express deep emotions through her art. As an artist, her work has evolved using various mediums: pastels, charcoal, graphite and watercolor.
Julie has a special affinity to graphite pencil and watercolor. She loves using vivid colors to express her deep emotions within her work and in respect to her portraits, Julie loves transforming a simple photo of a loved one into a special keepsake. She likes to think that she puts a little of her heart into every work, and that this lends to the special uniqueness of her subjects.
Originally from the Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, NM, Kelly caught the creative fever after picking up paint brushes for the first time in her early teens.
As a student in public school and private classes, Kelly was able to experiment with many mediums. Oils became her clear favorite, a Blue Ribbon at the State Fair the pinnacle of success at the time. Moving on and away from Albuquerque, painting became a distant memory. Although painting isn’t all about canvas and paint brushes, creative projects were always part of her everyday life. Fast forward through life’s joys, trials, tribulations and everything in between, the desire to find a source of fulfillment expression and release became a primary focus. After spending countless hours roaming galleries looking for art to fill her home, she soaked up inspiration and the paint brushes were quickly back in her hands. Nature is always an influence—the universe has its own special techniques for creating the most beautiful pieces of art.
Ken Byler started painting in an Americana style and his favorite subjects are the Southwest, historic landmarks, small town, farm and ranch life, but he loves to experiment in other styles and forms.
Ken is self-taught and has developed a mixed media style in rendering his impressions Watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, tempura chartreuse highlighter and even oils can be found in a single painting. Ken transfers his creations to canvas Giclee and then enhances each piece making each rendering different from the others. Much of Ken’s works are Plein Air but most are from pencil sketches, personal photos and memory. Ken’s favorite artists are Thomas Hart Benton, Maynard Dixon, Edward Hopper and all the artists that have brought the Southwest art style into prominence. In addition to his artistic endeavors, Ken has written several novellas, magazine articles and essays and currently writes an opinion column for several weekly newspapers.
Kristi Smithon’s fine art is made in multiple mediums including oil pastels, acrylic, and most recently resin and oil paintings.
Across the various products Kristi has created, one thing is consistent… her artwork is dimensional, with pattern, repetition, and symmetry. She is inspired by nature and the world around us. Kristi loves making art that is reminiscent of abstract landscapes when viewed from above at exponential scales and compositions of dreamlike ethereal spaces. Art is not only for the walls. Kristi has turned ordinary functional household objects like side tables and trays into beautiful accent pieces by giving them new resin art surfaces.
An optical illusion enthusiast, Lizzy uses photography to capture moments in life and turn them into mind-bending landscapes that blend abstraction and asymmetry with the contemporary landscape.
Lizzy is compelled to combine multiple images in an attempt to simplify landscapes into form, line and color while retaining the essence of place. She finds that taking photographs prompts her to be present, and finds reprieve in the act of capturing the humble moments in life. These moments of solace often happen outdoors, in nature. While this practice is an effective tool, she is not satisfied with one frame as the true depiction of a moment. Using photo-montage she strives to commemorate each fleeting moment and transform it into an abstract, asymmetrical composition that is bound to time and place.
Color and creativity best describe Marie Renfro’s work in oil, acrylic or watercolor.
Marie is a very versatile artist, and enjoys using various media to express her emotional response to a subject. An intuitive approach to painting helps her find compositions and subjects she might otherwise never consider. She has painted for 40 years and through the years has tried many new surfaces and ideas.  Mixing collage with paint is the favorite mode of her current work. Marie’s work is based on strong color, texture, and design. She begins a painting with wet paper and lets the paint and the reaction of the water give her stimulus for beginning the composition and design.  It is very exciting to see a painting emerge under her skillful hands.
Maureen Botello has been creating images since she was a child and has discovered an interesting inter-life.
Maureen’s work walks a line between the outer world and of her  life of seeing and feeling. As she creates places arises up and paces push out of the blank pages and pulls her into a magical process.
Painting is Pamela Van Laanen’s passion and joy. Her process is intuitive, though informed by good composition and design principles.
Pamela paints what she remembers, or thinks about, or feels, or just what comes off her hands to the brush to the canvas. She typically chooses her support, textures it, selects her palette, and go. There is nothing more satisfying to her than watching paint run and move. She loves the surprises, experiments and learns constantly. A remarkable journey that she is pleased to share with you.
Inspired by books, music, the world around her, and the world within her imagination Patricia McMillan has always found comfort and solace in drawing. Now that she has the gift of time, her creative imagination has been ignited. In the murky space between sleep and wakefulness, images, colors, patterns and visual stories present themselves to her.
Much of Patricia’s work is influenced by animals, especially the iguanas she has had as pets. Their colorful, varied and unusual spikes and armor frequently find a place in her art. The deep spiritual connection she has with nature, the earth, moon, and the mystery of life and death has become a theme in many of her paintings as well. These are the images she ‘sees’ in that murky space.
Terry Parshall is a visual artist working primarily with acrylic paint and natural material sculptures (wood, stone, etc.).
Through the mediums of acrylic on canvas and Masonite, and using stone, wood and other natural materials, the artist is presenting and expressing images, ideas, dreams, and their archetypal themes which reside within the subconscious mind and in our DNA. He is investigating, through his paintings and sculpture, our thought processes and impulses, positive and negative, and our place in the multiverse. He seeks also to find that space wherein the concrete and the abstract intersect thematically and visually. His work is deliberate and spontaneous, semi-figural and abstract. He trusts the internal logic of the subconscious mind to interpret the magnificent chaos and deep logic of our collective mind, spirit, body, soul and the commonality of our experiences as human beings.

The Artwork

Ashley Claes:

Bill Carter:

Cherie Fruehan:

Christine Smith:

Daniel Moulden:

Diana Vargas (Dianita):

Jacque Forsher:

Julie Martin:

Kelly Steller Hrad:

Ken Byler:

Kristi Smithson:

Lizzy Hicks:

Marie Renfro:

Maureen Botello:

Pamela Van Laanen:

Terry Parshall:

Patricia McMillan: