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Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival 2019 Artists

Twenty-seven artists painted en plein air from October 8 – 12 around the Hudson Valley and displayed the works they created at Orange Hall Gallery on SUNY Orange’s Middletown campus at the corner of Wawayanda & Grandview Avenues (GPS: 24 Grandview Avenue), Middletown, NY 10940.  The paintings were shown from October 13 – November 25.

2019 Artists

Olena Babak

Olena Babak is an award-winning, classically trained artist, whose landscapes and figurative works can be found in galleries, public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Some of her selected awards: Best Marine Cape Ann Plein Air, Artists Choice Plein Air Richmond, 1st place Quick Draw & People’s Choice Award Finger Lakes Plein Air, Best Representation of Rockies National Park, 1st place Booth Bay Plein Air and others. Her work has been featured in “Strokes of Genius” series, the “Poet’s and Artist’s: 100 Great Drawings,” and the “Classicist” as well as Plein Air Magazine.

Richard Bazelow

Most of his life has been spent in the Hudson River Valley of New York state. The Catskill Mountains were to his north, Hudson River to his east and the Shawangunk Mountains to his west. Surrounded by that kind of landscape, it’s easy to grow up and appreciate the many wonderful perspectives that nature offers. Primarily self taught, he has benefited greatly from periodic mentoring with a number of professional artists. When he is not involved in studio painting he loves driving back country roads or coastal byways observing nature. Setting up along these wonderful vistas gives him a sense of peace and completeness. He also finds himself drawn to marine painting, old architecture and urban settings as well. He is currently a member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA) and Plein Air Painters of Columbia County.

Janet Campbell

Janet Campbell has always had a love of art and nature. Her initial art education was in the Botanical Illustration Program at the Bronx Botanical Garden. In the 1990s she fell in love with watercolor in her first class taught by Mary Whitehill. She has had many inspiring teachers and among them found Mel Stabin most helpful in her evolution. Her paintings reflect a transparent and loose style. Early watercolor experiences and plein air painting classes focused her on landscape painting. Living on the Shawangunk Ridge and close to the Bashakill Wetlands in Sullivan County NY offers her rich subject material. Along the way she expanded into figure work and the painting of shelter animals. She has developed a passion for color pouring with watercolors.  Janet teaches workshops and classes in watercolor at the Wallkill River School of Art in Montgomery, NY.  Janet has had solo shows hosted by Newburgh City Hall, Vino 100 in New Windsor, the Berkshire Bank in Bloomingburg, NY and the Glen Rock NJ Public Library. She has exhibited in several “Kindred Spirits” shows with Pat Morgan in the mid-Hudson area and at The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ; she partnered with David Munford for their “Oil and Water” exhibit in 2014 in Hasbrouck, NY. Her work has been accepted into the American Watercolor Society Exhibition, the North East Watercolor Society International Exhibition, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America Exhibition, and the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors where she has won numerous awards. She is a Signature member of the North East Watercolor Society. She is represented by the Wallkill River School and Gallery in Montgomery, NY. Locally she is a member of the Wurtsboro Art Alliance, the Middletown Art Group and the Community Art Association of Allendale, NJ.

John Capowski

He grew up in Edward Hopper’s hometown of Nyack, New York in the Hudson Valley and was influenced by Hopper’s work and that of the Hudson River School painters. School trips were often to the New York City museums, and he continued to regularly visit the museums when home from college and graduate school. While he has painted and drawn throughout his life, knowing the difficulty of a career in art, he earned a law degree at Cornell and has made his career in public interest law and as a law professor. In college, he studied painting with James Penney and, while living in Baltimore, he studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art with Louise Hennessey, Philip Koch, Stan Friedman, and others. In recent years, he has focused on plein air landscapes in oil. Whether on his porch as a child or in the fields of Upstate New York, he painted en plein air long before he had any idea what that meant., and he has participated in a number of plein air events in recent years.

Daisy de Puthod

Daisy de Puthod is an accomplished professional artist with over 35 years of experience. Born in Paris, France, to a family of artists, Daisy has a strong drawing foundation, reflected in her representational paintings. She is comfortable working in many mediums, including watercolor, gouache, pastel, or oil. Daisy de Puthod finds plein-air painting outside on location the best way to capture the true feeling of a place. Having participated in over 17 Plein Air events from coast to coast, the artist always finds it inspiring to discover new places. Daisy is on the advisory board and a Signature member of the New York Plein Air Painters, and a Signature member of the American Impressionist Society. Daisy de Puthod’s work has found its way into numerous private and public collections, museums and publications. You can view Daisy’s paintings of Arizona, California, the Hudson Valley, Maine, Maryland and Vermont on her website, www.daisydeputhod.com.

Regina Gelfer

Regina has been an illustrator/graphics designer for over 20 years. Published works include several children’s books, as well as designs for PepsiCo, Inc. She also teaches after school art programs and loves to paint.

Naomi Genen

For the past eleven years, Naomi Genen has been inspired to paint the beauty of the Hudson Valley region of New York, and the Inter-coastal region of Miami, Florida. Her major was Fine Arts at Brooklyn College with a minor in Education. She taught art in junior high school for twelve years in Brooklyn, and ten years at Round Hill Elementary School in Washingtonville, New York.  Now retired, she spends her time painting, an activity that she loves. Most of her paintings are in acrylics, with a few in oils. She is a member of the Wallkill River School. She enjoys painting en plein air, which allows her to capture the essence of a landscape in a limited period of time. naomigenen.com

Jennifer Gibson

Jennifer Gibson is an artist and illustrator based in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. She works in a variety of media and primarily pencil, gouache and digital. Currently, she is focusing on children’s book illustration and plein air and portrait painting from life. She received a Bachelor of Humanities and Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon. She has participated in a number of exhibitions and plein air events.

Janet Gunderson

Alchemy, metamorphosis, and the power of the imagination characterize the work of Janet Gunderson. Her art is about giving form and substance to the metaphysical. With a Master’s Degree in Education and a Bachelor’s in Sociology, she has always been fascinated with observing and communicating. It was this fascination that intuitively led her into the realm of art. After a career teaching English as a Second Language for the New York City Board of Education (with a few years spent in Washington, D.C. and Osaka, Japan) she embarked on a new journey as an artist in the Hudson Valley. In her own words, “The language of art is magical. Time doesn’t exist. Colors merge together, textures are built up or carved into, shape takes form, space is created, and energetic movement is evident.” She does not confine herself to one medium or subject. She uses various techniques and tools and is always exploring and discovering. The intuitive sanctuary of her artistic practice gives meaning and purpose in this increasingly chaotic world within which we live.

Keith Gunderson

Keith Gunderson has won numerous prestigious awards, including Best In Show at the Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival in both 2018 and 2017, Reginald Marsh Merit Scholarship Award at the Art Students League in New York City, Best in Show in the Frank Mason and his Legacy Exhibition at the Bryan Gallery in Cambridge, Vermont, Best In Show at the Hudson Valley Art Association’s Exhibition at the Jasper Cropsey Museum, and was one of 22 artists selected to exhibit at the Art Students League Centennial Exhibition. “Art is a conversation between the artist and the viewer”, Keith said. “Each brushstroke and palette knife cut is imbued with intention. An inanimate object conveys the artist’s energy and humanity, his life force.” His aim is to instill the concepts of volume and light, providing a way to expression beyond mere imitation.  Keith Gunderson is on the faculty of the Woodstock School of Art in Woodstock, NY, the Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL, the Artists Collective of Hyde Park.

Jean-Pierre Jacquet

Jean-Pierre Jacquet is a French-American painter and an occasional film animator.  He likes to paint what he sees, rather than what he knows, and tries to uncover the hidden designs in his nature scenes and urban landscapes. He is partial to free and bold brushstrokes, which helps him keep a certain sketchiness to his paintings.  Two of his films are part of two museums.  Flagrant Délit is part of the MoMA in NYC, and Contrapunto is part of the Tanz Museum in Düsseldorf in Germany.  His work has been part a number of group and solo shows, and he has received a multitude of notable awards.

Jacqueline Jones

Jackie’s paintings summon ephemeral moments and emotions that are conceived in nature. Her rich color palette and lively brushwork capture the scents and sounds of the land; the rushing streams, rolling surf, nesting birds, rustling grasses and salted winds of coastal New England as well as the sights and sounds of the city. As a child she studied with local artist Joseph Gionfriddo of Gilead. A former student of Guy Wiggins and James Goodwin McManus, Gionfriddo instilled in her a love of traditional oil painting. Ms. Jones earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art as well as an Associates Degree in Illustration from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She exhibits year round and is the recipient of numerous awards including “1st Prize for Outstanding Work” at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in NYC. Her work is highly collected and recently, Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut acquired a number of her paintings for their permanent collection.

Laurie Kilgore

Laurie grew up in Monticello, NY, and has been an active artist, painter, and art educator in her beloved Sullivan County for all of her life.  She graduated with a B.S. in Art Education and a Masters in Studio Art, with a focus in Painting, from SUNY New Paltz.  She has participated in several group exhibitions including her Thesis Show Ten, in Poughkeepsie, New York, Roark’s Tavern, in Monticello, New York, and the Basha Kill Vineyard in Wurtsboro, New York. She has also displayed her work at group shows through the Catskill Art Society and Tivolli Artists’ Gallery.  This past year she painted two doves, commissioned by The Town of Thompson, for the Sullivan County Dove Trail for the 50th Woodstock Anniversary. She also collaborated with composer and musician Nancy Wegrzyn on The Four Seasons of Sullivan County in which she created large oil paintings for this project. She has created Public Art Murals in Hurleyville, Monticello, and Rock Hill, New York and has painted several murals, signs, and outdoor paintings for Sullivan Renaissance Projects. Those projects include outdoor murals on the main street of Rock Hill, New York, paintings of Roark’s Tavern in Monticello, a series of signs and outdoor murals for the Town of Thompson Park, and historical murals at the Sullivan County Historical Museum in Hurleyville.  She currently teaches Art at the Monticello Central School District and Nesin Cultural Arts and she creates original Art in her studio-business, Kilgore Artistry in Monticello, New York.

Brett LaGue

Currently, his home, studio and garden are in Fincastle, Virginia – where everywhere you look is a scene waiting to be shared.  Born in Indiana and growing up in Florida, he has spent countless hours wandering woods, fields, along riverbanks and at the beach. After wearing out several pairs of flip-flops while attending Ringling School of Art & Design (Now Ringling College of Art + Design) in Sarasota Florida, he managed to graduate with honors in graphic design & illustration.  Looking for that first job, he discovered the beauty of Virginia. Twenty-five plus years of pursuing a career in advertising somehow led him to becoming an artist full-time. He has exhibited in solo and group presentations, art festivals and plein air competitions. His work can be found in collections across the United States as well as in England and France, and he is a recipient of a professional fellowship grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Alan Lewis

Alan Lewis has been painting seriously in watercolor for about five years. He was most influenced by the teaching of Alvaro Castagnet. He tries to follow the philosophy of painting every day.

Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald is a professional artist. He works out of a studio located in the Hudson Valley where he paints full time as well as teaching traditional drawing and painting techniques. Matthew began his artistic training in the Hudson Valley where he studied landscape and still life painting. In further pursuit of traditional painting techniques, he spent years studying drawing and painting at The Florence Academy of Art in Italy, where he returned as a resident artist and teacher. Matthew values the traditions of painting and is always trying to learn from the legacy of the art that came before him. The representational works he creates span the classical genres (still life, portraiture, interiors etc.) However, Matthew’s real passion and focus is landscape.

Sheridan McDonald

Sheridan McDonald is an Australian artist living and working in the Hudson Valley. She trained in academic painting at The Florence Academy of Art in Italy and is passionate about the craft of painting. She aspires to create paintings that are not only images, but beautiful handmade objects. Sheridan creates her work by directly observing nature. She believes the experience of creating an artwork directly and importantly affects the result. She values and enjoys the process of painting from life. Originally trained as a set and costume designer, theatrical methods have a strong influence on the way she creates her work. Approaching each canvas as if it were a stage, dressing and lighting the space and the subject to create dramatic tone and experience. Sheridan embraces and pursues classical techniques of the past. Her work aims to combine classic quality with contemporary context.

John McNally

John McNally has been plein air painting for over 20 years. With a minor in Studio Art from Penn State, and an MFA from LSU, he studied with Buck’s County artist Robert Beck along the Delaware River in the 90’s, then began traveling and painting in the Northeast and Southwest. He has received numerous awards from various painting events, including two 1st place awards from Morristown NY (2014,2016); 2nd place Adirondack Plein Air Festival (2015); 2nd Place Morristown NY (2018); 3rd place Easton Riverside Festival of Arts (2015); and Honorable Mentions from Hudson Valley Plein Air (2016), Highbridge Paint Out (2017), and The Dutot Museum En Plein Air (2019). He continues to travel and paint, and will be participating in multiple plein air events in the Northeast from Spring through Autumn.

Chrissy Pahucki

Chrissy Pahucki was born in Goshen, NY. She is a painter living in the Hudson River Valley. She loves the outdoors and spends much of her summer painting en plein air. Using acrylics, she captures the natural essence of her subjects. Chrissy is especially interested in the relationship between land and water and how water affects the colors, shapes and dynamics of landscapes. Her plein air awards include: 2016 Honorable Mention at the Easton, MD Quick Draw preview, 2015 Chrissy won The Best Depiction of Nature award at Paint It! Ellicott City, MD 2015 Honorable Mention in the Camp Hill, PA Plein Air festival’s Quick Draw Competition, 2014, 3rd Place – Adirondack Harvest Plein Air Festival, 2014 Honorable Mention – Castine Plein Air Festival, ME, 2014 People’s Choice & Honorable Mention – Morristown Plein Air Festival, NY, 2014, Will Roger’s Award – Adirondack Plein Air Festival, NY. Chrissy has been a Represented Artist of the Wallkill River School Gallery and has had an annual show at the gallery from 2009 to 2015. Her paintings hang in many homes across the United States.

Olya Powzaniuk

She was born in NYC and raised in Philadelphia in a bi-cultural setting. Her artistic adventures began at the Ukrainian Art Institute which was the central space for Ukrainian artists in diaspora, after the War. Here she had her first workshops in drawing, wood-carving, watercolor, lithography and making Pysanky. She continued with her passion, taking college art classes and also discovered sculpture at Temple’s Tyler School of Art and PAFA-PA Academy of Fine Arts. After teaching and getting Her MBA, she came to NJ to work for AT&T. And She dove into pastels a couple years ago…”I wanted to explore dense color down to my fingertips”. She devotes studio time to pastels, but does both pastel and oil painting en plein air. She is the chief “outdoor cheerleader and location seeker” for the NJPAP- a group of local plein air artists in central NJ, and she also is the ADMIN for the FaceBook page -nj pleinair painters- Active member of several pastel societies, national art organizations, & just returned from ADK19.

Susan Roth

Susan Roth began painting en plein air after discovering the Wallkill River School of Art, and the Plein Air Workshops. She organizes and participates in many regional Plein Air events.

William Rothfuss

Will studied realism at the Art Student’s League with Frank Mason and Robert Beverly Hale and has taken plein air workshops from Dave Dewey and Adriano Farinella. Although principally an abstract and assemblage artist, he loves plein air painting for the challenge and camaraderie and is still developing his plein air practice and voice. He counts many plein air painters among his best and oldest friends. He has entered seven plein air competitions in the last few years in Easton (PA) and Delaware Water Gap (PA) and has been fortunate enough to win a 1st place, two 2nd places, and 3 honorable mentions. He lives and works near Delaware Water Gap in northeast Pennsylvania.

Mitchell Saler

Mitchell Saler is a fine artist who primarily paints realistic landscapes in oil. In his works, he enjoys conveying vastness, dramatic lighting, and atmospheric effects. He has been exhibiting in a number of venues and is a represented artist at the Wallkill River School where he is a board member. He is also a member of the Salmagundi Club, the Goshen Art League, the Orange County Arts Council and the Middletown Art Group. He graduated with an Associate Degree in Visual Arts from Orange County Community College in Middletown, NY, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at New Paltz. The university awarded him the Alex Martin Scholarship, and he has received awards in various art exhibits. He lives in Middletown, NY, and teaches an art class at the Mulberry House Senior Center as well as private lessons.

Mary Mugele Sealfon

After receiving a BA in painting and an MA in printmaking, she pursued a career as Art Director and designer for various publications and companies in New York City. Her paintings and prints have been exhibited nationally and internationally and won numerous awards. She taught art at SUNY Orange and The Wallkill River School and is a member of the Lower Hudson Valley Plein Air Painters, The Garrison Art Center and other local groups.

Vaune Sherin

Vaune Sherin resides in Maybrook, New York. She studied art at SUNY Orange, and received a BA in art from SUNY Binghamton with a concentration in painting. Her early work experience was in the art department of a silk screener for the garment industry. She is now a pastel painter focusing on still life and plein air landscapes. Vaune studied pastel with Shawn Dell Joyce for several years. A represented artist with the Wallkill River School of Art, she also belongs to the Goshen Art League, and exhibits frequently with both groups. Her love of nature and the beauty of the Hudson Valley inspire her artwork.

John Slivjak

John Slivjak is an artist who lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned a BFA from The Philadelphia College of Art and an MFA from Indiana University. John maintained a dual career as a fine artist and an art teacher in Philadelphia and Upper Merion public schools. Upon retiring he has devoted himself to studio and plein air painting. His work includes landscape, figure, portrait, and still life paintings. Slivjak is a member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Association and the Outdoor Painter’s Society and he participates regularly in plein air events across the country. John has been invited to many competitions as both artist and juror, and his art has been featured in publications including PleinAir Magazine. His work is held in numerous private collections.  To view more of John’s work, visit www.johnslivjak.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Marylyn Vanderpool

From an early age, Marylyn has had a passion for art and dreamed of being an artist. In fulfillment of that dream she studied art at the Traphagen School of Fashion Illustration and Design in New York City. Although she loved illustration, in her heart, she really wanted to be a painter. She was introduced to watercolor painting by the late artist Don Selchow.  After many years of studying watercolor painting she began experimenting with oil paint which is currently her medium of choice.  Early on, she began to visit Rockport, MA and Kennebunkport, ME. The quaintness of these New England coastal towns and her love of the ocean spoke to her creative spirit and inspired her love of painting. She is an elected Fellow of The American Artists Professional League, NYC, NY; a member of The Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, NJ; The Wallkill River School, Montgomery, NY; Artists in the Parks, Bear Mtn., NY; The Orange County Art Federation; The Lower Hudson Valley Plein Air Painters; and Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY. An award winning artist, she is represented by The Wallkill River School and Gallery in Montgomery, NY and The Gallery in the Bear Mountain Inn at Bear Mountain State Park. Her work is included in many private and corporate collections.  Marylyn has studied with Master Artists, Andrew Lattimore of Cornwall, NY and John P. Osborne at the Ridgewood Art Institute.  Marylyn spends as much time as possible living her passion, painting in her studio, or “En Plein Air.”  marylynvanderpool.com


View List of 2018 Artists

View List of 2017 Artists

View List of 2016 Artists

Wallkill River School’s Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival
Organizing Committee includes:
Janet Campbell, Shawn Dell Joyce, Janet Howard-Fatta, Chrissy Pahucki, Susan Roth,
Mitchell Saler, Vaune Sherin

Thank You to Our Generous 2019 Sponsors!