Featured Artists

DEE BEARD DEAN has been painting all her life.  Her work has become highly collectible throughout the United States..  She studied art at Grand Rapids College, Kendall College of Art and Design, and the New York Academy of Art.  After marriage, she moved to the Florida Keys where she became a professional painter and passed the gift of painting to her two children, both of whom are now successful artists. Before gaining recognition as a portrait and landscape painter Dee was a well-known fashion designer manufacturing her own clothing line with a national label.
Dee is a passionate and prolific artist who has studied with many renowned artists and is nationally recognized for her painterly landscapes and her expertise in watercolors, oils and pastels. Her greatest inspirations have come from painting en plein air (or on location) where her eye for color and composition, and her elevated senses, guide her hand in creating paintings filled with evocative light and dramatic shadows.

She founded the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAP-SE), a professional organization of acclaimed plein air artists living and working in the southeastern United States.  She is a signature member of AIS (American Impressionist Society), a signature member of ASMA (American Society of Marine Artist), ELPA (Eastern League of Plein Air Painters), and many other organizations.  Dee’s workshops are in great demand, offering painting instruction in this country and in beautiful locales around the world.

She is also well known for her portraits and has done numerous noteworthy commissions. Her work has received many awards at juried art competitions, and has been published in regional and national journals and she is represented in fine art galleries.  She resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Dr. Nicolai Chalfa.  Her first book “Painter By Providence” is in publication.

MIKE GAYDON is a fine artist, muralist, painter, fine art conservationist, and commissioned artist, but most importantly a loving father and a caring friend. He is originally from Greensboro, NC  and attended Guilford College before studying art at the New York School of Visual Arts in1992. Mike's artwork encompasses a wide range of portraits, landscapes, and skyscapes from homes to businesses and anywhere in between. His paintings have been exhibited in major cities like New York, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Miami, and all over North Carolina. Mike finds inspiration all around him in his daily life, being surrounded by the realism and natural beauty of the High Country. Most of his inspiration, however, comes from his two wonderful daughters! Mike can often be found working or painting in his gallery where he showcases artists from the local area as well as all around the country.  

VICTOR DEL CASTILLO was born in Lima, Peru, in 1968. At the age of three, a trip to El Callejon de Huaylas became his first source of inspiration. The rich and deep colors of the sky and landscape moved him to draw and paint a sketch. Despite his young age, the quality of the drawing was such that his parents were convinced he would become another Da Vinci.

At the age of 17, del Castillo joined the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima. After reviewing the different painting schools, Victor experiments and tries Impressionism, Fauvism, Abstraction and Informalism to end up at his graduation with realism.

His main subject, the still life, is given a special sense and sentiment by which the trivial elements become alive. It is as if every fruit he paints represents a state of the human soul.

Victor has participated in a long list of exhibitions and is being collected by serious and well-known art collectors.

KIM ABERNETHY is an artist who has known that she wanted to be an artist since she was six years old. Like many people, she did not listen to that voice until much later in life. Finally, she did stop to listen, started painting fulltime, and has never looked back. “I’m the poster child for it’s never too late.”

Kim and her husband, Tom, have lived in Boone for thirty plus years. They met in college: She attended Appalachian State University and he attended Lees McRae College. After marrying, they settled in Boone where they raised their two children. During those years, Kim’s art took the form of photography and interior design. These days, she can be found painting by the scenic pathways, byways, and rivers of the High Country.

Kim has a deep love for the mountains and focuses on those places untouched by development. She has always possessed a heightened awareness of, and an appreciation for, the beauty in the world around her. Using oil as her medium, much of her work is done outdoors or en plein air. The experience of creating art outdoors gives her a connection to the work and allows her to convey a strong sense of place and time in her paintings. She expands on this experience by using the plein air pieces as a basis to create larger works in her Boone, North Carolina studio.

Kim is a member of Oil Painters of America, The American Impressionist Society, and North Carolina Plein Air Painters. She has participated in numerous juried group and solo shows. Kim is represented by several galleries across the Southeast and her work can be found in collections throughout the United States.


“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

 George Eliot

Paul Gala is an artist living in Chapel Hill, NC.  His works have been exhibited in one-person, two-person and group shows, auctions, and online shows.  Paul has taught workshops, has been a guest speaker, and has won various awards, most recently, the Christopher E. Burke Fine Art Grant from Gallery 25N for his work in the Emotion and Energy of Color 2018.  Paul has a working studio and gallery at Artspace in Raleigh, NC. 

Gala's paintings are a reflection of how he views the world and often gets lost in the creation. Using different techniques, including abandoning the brush and using my hands and rags, Gala directly connects with the painting.

"There is a kind of magic that happens when you are completely in the moment of painting."

Reared in a family of artists, writers, professors, and university presidents, BEN LONG was as precocious in his artistic ability as he was eager to apply it. At 18, Long followed his father's footsteps to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in Creative Writing under the guidance of his friend and advisor Reynolds Price. Upon completing his University coursework at the insistence of his advisor Long moved to New York to immerse himself in the study of fine art.

In NYC, Long became a member of the Art Students League of New York, studying under the guidance of such notable artists as Robert Beverly Hale and Frank Mason. Then, in 1969, Long preempted the draft by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served just over two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Marine Corps Combat Officer; during his last tour he served as Commander of the Combat Art Team, and much of his work from that period is now on display at the United States National Marine Corps Museum. 

Upon leaving Vietnam, Long traveled to Florence, Italy, to apprentice himself to internationally renowned Maestro Pietro Annigoni, with whom he learned the art of True Fresco. Long committed himself to Annigoni for almost nine years. His apprenticeship culminated in 1976 when he was awarded the prestigious Leonardo da Vinci International Art Award.

In 1984, Long moved to France where, for the next 14 years, he split time between Paris and the Gard region of Provence. By that time Long had completed several frescoes in Italy - including a joint fresco with Annigoni and the only work by a non-Italian at the Abbey of Monte Cassino. These works set the stage for several major fresco projects in the U.S. (15 to this day) including a dome and the largest secular fresco in the United States.

In addition to his prolific fresco work, Long has had works in the Royal Academy as well as the Royal Portrait Society (London, UK). He has exhibited in Florence, London, Paris, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and is represented in major collections throughout Europe and the Americas. He has lived and worked in Europe for over thirty years and now divides his time between Europe and the United States.

In her decades spanning exploration of the traditional art of oil painting, ANITA LEWIS has created her style out of textural exploration of themes, having a certain "ethereal" earthiness to it. Born in Los Angeles, yet influenced by her European life abroad, she has managed to fuse the modern with the ancient and the reclaimed with the sparkle in her abstractions. She creates scenes that remind of things, yet are untold stories. "I don't tell you what to see; you create your own story." One finds her love for detail in the obscure, noting every minuscule application up close, yet creating the bigger picture from afar, much as Claude Monet managed to pull off. Like Monet or Jackson Pollock, painting large takes on importance. 

Her painting life has led her to exhibitions in Italy, Germany, Argentina, and all over the US, and features in magazines and television. Not only is her abstract art enjoyed worldwide by many collectors, but her love for the Ballet world and the Motorsport world have led her to further opportunities of oil painting exploration and exciting exhibition ideas. 

Currently you will find her art exhibited in San Diego, Laguna Beach, Houston TX, Santa Fe NM, and Cortona Italy. Her collectors are in London UK, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, South America, USA, and Canada.

A lifelong artist LYNN VANNATTA has seen the world through the perception and sensitivity of a lifelong artist. As a child she sensed a strong connection to the world of art because of her great attraction to visual detail and color; as a teenager she attended youth art classes at the Summit, New Jersey, Art Association. Lynn graduated from the University of Massachusetts, where she earned a BFA and certification in Art Education. Now she expresses herself primarily through oil painting, though she continues to experiment in other media. In her Vermont studio Lynn paints impressionistic still lifes and portraits in lush colors with free brush strokes. Her plein air paintings are inspired by the rolling hilled vistas and ever-changing seasonal hues of the Vermont countryside. She also considers Monhegan, Maine, and Tuscany, Italy, her current favorite locations to paint. Lynn studied portrait painting with renowned Copley Artist Mark Hayden of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and was strongly influenced by landscape painter Caleb Stone of Rockport, Massachusetts. Her still lifes, landscapes, and portraits capture the true image and essence of each subject. Painting on her own or in the company of other artists, Lynn savors every opportunity for challenge and constant growth that she finds in the life dedicated to art. Please contact Lynn if you would like to discuss a commissioned painting.   

Bryan Koontz a native of Asheville, North Carolina, has an inherent appreciation for the beautiful scenic mountains and their rich, historic culture. Being drawn to the arts and creative work from his youth, he decided to pursue a career using his artistic skills. He attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC studying in the art department and graduated with a BS degree in Commercial Design. He then worked in the printing and graphic design industry for many years, which in turn,
led to freelance graphic design, illustration, and fine art commissions. In this capacity, he has worked on numerous graphic design projects, private commissions,
and commercial illustrations; including historical and children’s book illustrations. Presently, he works out of his studio, Shepherd’s Mountain, as a full time fine artist,
illustrator, and graphic designer. Bryan works in many different media, including graphite, charcoal, pen & ink, watercolor, and oils. He uses time tested traditional methods and archival materials to produce works of art that will endure and be cherished for many generations.
He says of his work, “No matter the subject I am painting or drawing, whether it is a landscape, still life, or portrait, I strive to make an object of beauty and quality. My
intent as an artist is that my work may evoke a positive emotional response in the viewer. As they look at my paintings, and drawings, I hope it will cause them to stop
and linger and hopefully impart to them a sense of joy, peace, solace, and comfort. I want my art to convey to the viewer that spark of inspiration I received when I
gazed upon a certain place, scene, or person’s image. An inspiration that compelled me to produce a creative work that hopefully has a glimmer of those divine virtues
of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, for which we all hunger; with the primary and ultimate goal and intent of enhancing their life experience and imparting hope and

A native of Western North Carolina, CHRIS BELL grew up on a farm surrounded by the land that had provided for his family since the early 1800s.  The landscape and its rich history fascinated him and drawing various aspects of it quickly became a favorite pastime. After several years of private lessons, he formally began his studies as an apprentice to the painter Julyan Davis in Asheville, NC in 2008.  Although he continued to draw and paint privately, a desire to attend college led him to Western Carolina University where he would earn a B.S. in History and a B.S.E.D. in Social Sciences in 2013. Chris now works to encourage an appreciation of Appalachia within his classroom at a local middle school and to produce a body of work that honors this beautiful region.

TOMMY MITCHELL designs and creates all of his pieces in his NC studio with the help of a dedicated team of artisans. He began his career as an art restorer and for more than 20 years repaired pieces and crafted finishes for importers and private collectors. He was intrigued with metal sculpture and began creating his own floral pieces for a small audience familiar with his work. Clients commissioned works for their second homes and he travelled often to NY and Palm Beach for installations. Word spread, and boutique owners and magazine editors began to feature his collections.

Tommy spends most days in his studio working with a combination of copper, brass, and steel, paint and gold leaf. His works are notable for their tactile finishes, and influenced by his years working with important antiques and aged patinas. Each piece is hand made and signed.

Tommy lives in Chapel Hill, NC and New York, NY. 

A phrase that best describes RAYMOND BYRAM and his work is: "technical virtuosity". The late Dr. Ben Miller Chairman of Indiana University at Pennsylvania's Fine Arts Department that taught Ray in his final advance oil painting course before graduation stated at that time that Byram has reached a level of "technical virtuosity". Byram has been painting in oil since 1969. He received his Fine Arts Degree in 1976 while also receiving a minor in Art History. He co-founded the I.U.P Fine Arts Museum while completing a museum internship under the nationally renown art historian Dr. Balsiger. Since graduation he has devoted himself to his painting, having one man and group shows throughout the East.

A native of Huntington, West Virginia, WILLIAM F. POWELL is a globally known artist. Powell expresses his remarkable ability as a colorist in his could and skyscape paintings. His 45 years of experience in art and illustration began with his study of art at multiple schools including Art Student’s Career School in New York, Harrow Technical College in Harrow, England, and the Louvre Free School of art in Paris, France.

Powell spent his life dedicated to painting his own creations and becoming an instructor for the fine arts. However, he was never limited to just this. Holding numerous awards, Powell was talented in the technical side of art as well. He developed illustrations that aided major space and environmental programs, animated cartoons, and many other projects.

In a blend of realism and impressionism, artist DEBORAH SQUIER creates an intimate interpretation of the landscape around her. Her luminous, atmospheric paintings capture the subtle light, time of day, and tonal shifts in both color and value.


In Deborah’s words: “My focus is on the Appalachian landscape, not only the terrain we’ve come to know with its varied and distinct mountain vistas and lush veil of atmosphere, but the ongoing daily relationship we have with the land.  Our relationship with the natural world is constant and profound. The experience is both organic and mystical. I am ever grateful for the transcendent quality of life afforded by these ancient mountains. They teach me and they touch me deeply.  It is my hope that as we cultivate our awareness of this complex and essential connection with Nature, we can begin to heal the earth and ourselves.”


Squier received a BA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She attended the Boston Museum School prior to graduating from UNC. Her works have been shown in galleries, museums, and in private and corporate collections across the United States.

Deborah currently works from her studio in North Carolina.

JUDY studied Art at the University of Oklahoma, Art History at Barat College, Lake Forest, Illinois, painting at Glassell School, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston ,TX and Design at the Academy of Merchandizing and Design in Chicago, Illinois.  She is a professional Interior Designer (A.S.I.D) as well as an artist. She has traveled extensively for business and painting. She has also participated in workshops in France, Ireland, England, Mexico, Italy, Czech Republic, Sicily Portugal, and Greece and all over the U.S. with notable teachers, which has prepared her to be a competent as a painter.  She is represented by the Jack Meier Gallery, in Houston Texas, as well as Area Interior Design Shop in Houston. She also shows at the Sasanqua Day Spa and Peyton Williams Jewelry Store on Kiawah Island, in South Carolina. She has recently become represented by the Martin House Gallery in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.  

Judy was  juried into the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society Fall (NOAPS) Show, which hung in Fredricksburg,Texas at the R. S. Hanna Gallery for the months of September through December 2017.   She also was invited to be the Artist for the Edisto Island Preservation Society (Edisto Island S.C.) to do paintings of nine plantations houses for the October Plantation tour of October 2018.

Martin House Gallery

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