Pat Branning recognizes the brilliance of the artists who reside in the south. Her partnership with galleries and artists are a key ingredient in creating her beautiful coffee table books. If you are an artist or gallery that would like to be considered for future book projects, please contact Pat.
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES BY BOOK
Shrimp, Collards & Grits Volume III
John Carroll Doyle – 1942-2014
He painted his passion for the Lowcountry into our very souls.“Although I had no formal education as a painter, Charleston, in its romantic light, was my first art teacher.” – John Carroll Doyle John Carroll Doyle Art Gallery is located at 125 Church Street, Charleston, South Carolina
“My passion for painting is rooted in my garden. I strive to translate my excitement about the experience of growth, light, and translucent colors from the earth to my canvas.” Anderson has received many top awards and is regularly invited to be a guest artist in prestigious national shows. Kathy is an elected Artist Member of the Salmagundi Club and the National Arts Club in New York City. In the Lowcountry, Kathy’s work is exhibited at Horton Hayes Fine Arts in Charleston. She resides in Connecticut with her husband, John Anderson.
Photographer and publisher of the Shrimp, Collards and Grits series of Southern lifestyle books, and publisher of the regional magazine SC&G Lifestyle. Andrew is a native of Beaufort, South Carolina and is well known for his large format black and white prints depicting the timeless beauty of the Lowcountry. He is a visionary in his efforts to preserve the wild and scenic areas of the Lowcountry for future generations. www.andrewbranning.com
Abandoned gas stations, old churches and boarded-up corner stores litter Georgia’s countryside and small towns. They tell the story of what once was. Brian Brown, a Georgia native, has made it his mission to photograph the “vanishing” buildings of Georgia – not just for the historical record but for the memories they evoke when we see them. vanishingsouthgeorgia.com
“I’m recording my Lowcountry. That’s what I feel that I’m doing. That’s what I want to do. I love its people, its places and animals.” His drawings are mostly pen and ink, sometimes splashed with watercolor revealing the simple sights we see in everyday life around Bluffton, Corkern’s hometown. A graduate of Clemson University who arrived in Bluffton in 1960, met Charles Fraser, and helped design the Hilton Head look before retiring 13 years ago to the banks of Huger Cove on Bluffton’s Lawrence Street.
Resides in Beaufort, S.C. where she shares her passion for the beauty and art of photography. Joan is a member of the Photography Club of Beaufort,
Sandy spent almost 20 years in architectural photography in Connecticut with her husband, Russ before retiring to Beaufort. She concentrates on Fine Art Photography with a slight edge towards impressionism. Her artwork is currently on exhibit at the Brick Wall Gallery, 913 Bay St. in Beaufort.
Ted is an American artist and former environmental chemist best known for his African-American themed art and style which blend elements of folk art, naturalism and impressionism. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Ted is known to capture the essence of his subjects in all the glory of its rich cultural heritage. He is represented by the Stellers Gallery, Jacksonville, Florida.
West Fraser paints with light – the radiance of early morning, the glare of high noon, and the glow of day’s end and the mystery of moonlight – to create brilliant works of color and form. West is a true son of the South, raised in Beaufort County, South Carolina.
Lindsay is at the forefront of the art industry with awards and accolades from all of the country’s leading art magazines, galleries and industry sources. She has a career most dare not dream. At the age of 33, she traveled throughout Europe studying architecture from the opulent opera houses down to the humblest of cobblestone cafes. She lives in California and is represented locally at Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina.
He is rarely far from water where he depicts real people in real environments close to the water’s edge with a depth of perception well beyond his years. From his native Florida panhandle to the Bahamas and up along the barrier islands of Georgia and South Carolina to Nantucket, Harrell moves quietly among the timeless moods of coastal living. Harrell is represented by The Red Piano Art Gallery, Bluffton, South Carolina.
Mark Kelvin Horton
Horton is especially interested in the effects of light and weather upon the landscape. He paints beyond a literal interpretation of a scene to portray nature in a way that reflects his own ideas and sensibilities while capturing the spirit, color and changing light of a place. His work may be viewed at Horton Hayes Fine Art, 30 State Street, Charleston, S.C.
The late Clark Hulings was an American realist painter born in Florida and raised in New Jersey. Clark is revered for his technique and venerated for capturing the essence of ancestral homelands. His subjects and composition are widely emulated, and he is recognized for his enormous impact on American realists, and especially Western artists.
For over 20 years Mayes has been the artist in residence at Airy Hall Plantation, deep in the ACE Basin, on the banks of the Ashepoo River. Step inside his white, circa-1920s clapboard house and you become immersed in his world of found and created objects. He shoots portraits, elements of farm life, landscape light and color and the two sports that take place at Airy Hall, fox hunting and polo.
Jim was born in Columbia, South Carolina and moved to Hilton Head Island in 1966, only the second artist to do so in the island’s early years. Walter Greer had been the first. His paintings turned a Chamber of Commerce newsletter into a magazine called the Islander. Charles Fraser asked him to paint the Harbour Town Lighthouse – before there was a lighthouse. His many Lowcountry scenes now grace homes and businesses throughout the country. He is represented by The Red Piano Art Gallery, Bluffton, South Carolina.
Nancy Ricker Rhett
A genuine daughter of the South, Nancy is a native of Beaufort, South Carolina and an original in the very best sense of the word. Completely true to herself, she is a self-taught artist, historian and world traveler. She is equally at home with a shotgun in her hand quail hunting or in her studio painting Lowcountry scenes. See Nancy’s work at the Rhett Gallery, Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina.
William Means Rhett III, and William Means Rhett, Jr.
They represent five generations of artists and many family connections. Nancy Rhett’s relatives, who have been in Beaufort since the late 1600’s, as land grant colonists, have names well known in the Lowcountry such as Elliott, Heyward, and Pinckney. Both Rhetts are descended from talented artists and interestingly, none of the Rhetts have had any formal artistic training.
“You don’t simply look at a James Richards painting, you look into it.” So says Laurie Meyer, artist and co-owner of Meyer-Vogl Gallery, an art gallery in Charleston where James shows his work. “His paintings overflow with passion and energy and his subject matter evokes emotion. With layer upon layer of thick and thin paint, his intention is to create a spark and entertain the senses,” says Meyer. James is a true son of the South, born and raised in rural Georgia.
Sandra grew up in South Carolina where she developed an appreciation for the history, architectural features, and beauty of Charleston. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina in Studio Art. She is a member/owner of Lowcountry Artists Gallery, 148 East Bay Street in Charleston.
A painter at the forefront of Bluffton’s burgeoning art scene. In just 10 short years, Murray Sease has gone from picking up a paintbrush to showcasing her paintings at La Petite Galleria and in local art festivals. She started with painting homes for real estate clients, and her passion for painting blossomed from there. Bluffton inspires much of her art, the natural settings, the rich culture and the history of the Lowcountry are all themes for her paintngs.
Marilyn has always known that she would become an artist. Learning from her mother, a musician and painter, Marilyn started painting at the age of six. She received a B.A. Arts Degree from San Jose State University and went on to share her inspiration with the world. She believes the artist’s role is to make the ordinary extraordinary and in the words of Robert Henri, “Perfection is the enemy of great art.”
The Smith triplets, Shannon, Jennifer, and Tripp, all artists, are the children of renowned painter Betty Anglin Smith. Her oils are known for color, painterly brushwork, and capturing light in simple everyday scenes. It is her use of light that becomes the common thread in her work. Anglin Smith Fine Arts, 9 Queen Street, Charleston.
Sue is a graduate of the University of Georgia now living in Charleston. “Early in youth, I concluded that my surrounding environment was the most fascinating dimension that I might possibly control.” Stewart Fine Art, 12 State Street, Charleston, South Carolina.
Sulkowski was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and knew from the age of five that he would be an artist. His early skills in drawing and painting enabled him to begin a path toward fulfilling his passion. His colors and shadows remind one of Rembrandt, his complex reds evoke Eugene Delacroix, and his viscous glowing surfaces suggest the great Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer. He calls his style “poetic realism” because his canvases tell an immediate story and imply an entire world of sport beyond. Sulkowski’s works clearly follow in the footsteps of the old masters of the 17th century such as Rembrandt, and Velazquez.
Angela Trotta Thomas
Angela is the only artist ever to be licensed by famed toy train manufacturer Lionel Trains Inc. and has held that honor for many years. Her work has been featured on the cover of numerous national magazines and catalog covers. Her toy train art has been exhibited in the Smithsonian and Everhart museums as well as others. Jennifer Heyd Wharton
Jennifer is originally from Strafford, Pa. but lived for many years in Annapolis, Md. In 1997 she opened the highly acclaimed Troika Gallery in Easton, Md. and relocated to Beaufort, S.C. in 2014. “Making art, for me, is an expression of thanks and praise to God for the talent He has given me. My hope is to glorify Him through it.”
Shrimp, Collards & Grits Volume II
Michael B. Karas
The paintings of Michael B. Karas transcend both time and place with a sincerity of execution that lock the images into our minds forever. His southern works have catapulted him into the ranks of the most renowned artists of the Lowcountry and beyond.
This region, perhaps as much as his native New England, has unleashed a creative force within him that has led to the creation of many highly acclaimed landscape paintings expressing his passion for nature and the natural world around him. He loves the low light of early morning and late afternoon for painting the serpentine creeks that wind through endless Lowcountry marshes. He is drawn to dramatic cloud formations, the sea and the majesty of our sunrises and sunsets across the water.
Paintings may be viewed at the Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art Gallery in Charleston. Born in 1965 in The Hague, Netherlands, Simon grew up in an artistic environment and developed a passion or painting at an early age. His love and devotion for nature is evident in his work whether painting in his studio or plein air, his compositions reflect the beauty of nature.
Has lived and worked in Charleston on and off since 1976. Jennifer’s work has won numerous awards such as the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the prestigious Mayor’s Award. She calls her work “impressionistic realism” and is inspired by the unique Lowcountry subjects that surround her. Jennifer’s paintings come to life in her studio on the Ashley River marsh.
Raised in Hopkins, South Carolina, he studied painting at San Francisco Art Institute, then worked as a filmmaker and screenwriter. Today, more than 20 of his murals grace spaces throughout the Lowcountry.
Publisher and photographer, Andrew’s images of oystermen and clammers on the rivers of South Carolina are aesthetic tributes to a vanishing Southern tradition. His photographs are the vision of one who set out to preserve the cultural history of the Lowcountry through the photographs of her people. Andrew’s work may be viewed at Kelly Caron Design on the Promenade in Bluffton, S.C.
An award-winning artist who lives and paints in Charleston. She studied art at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and has studied with esteemed artist, Elizabeth Bronson, for several years.
Lives on Edisto Island, South Carolina with his wife, Debbie, where he has painted the joy and beauty of the wetlands since 1975. Doug is totally self-taught and is represented in a network of selected galleries along the coastal regions of the Southeast.
Michael J. Harrell
One of the great masters of the coastal regions of the Eastern Seaboard. A native of Florida, Michael received his BGA in graphic design from from the University of Georgia. Following graduation, he was a freelance illustrator for MasterCard, American Express and Paramount Pictures and exhibited with the Society of Illustrators at the Museum of American Illustration in New York. Harrell moves quietly among the timeless moods of coastal living, recording real people in real environments with a depth of perception well beyond his years.
American expressionist painter born and raised in Montana. A solid foundation of design, color and value distinguishes McCaw’s expressive paintings and provides a starting point for an exciting exploration of new ways to look at familiar objects. “I believe that everyone has an inherent desire for original thought, and as an artist I find a passion to visually express something within myself that cannot be defined but have faith that it exists.”
Lives with her husband in a rural area of South Carolina on the shore of a small secluded cove of Lake Marion. The abundant wildlife and gorgeous scenery provide her with endless inspiration. Dianne paints the things she loves– nature and wildlife.
Nancy Ricker Rhett, Williams Means Rhett and their son William Rhett III are all self-taught artists. Their gallery is located on Bay Street in Beaufort, S.C. They represent five generations of artists and many local family connections with names like Elliott, Heyward and Pinckney.
Is a native of South Carolina whose work is displayed at Charleston’s Lowcountry Artists’ Gallery, located at 148 East Bay Street. Sandra is a member of the S.C. Watercolor Society and her work is displayed in numerous other galleries and corporate locations throughout the Southeast.
While they have traveled the world to paint, it’s their home — Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry, that inspires most of their work. Betty Anglin Smith, Jennifer Smith Rogers and Shannon Smith Hughes have been capturing the Lowcountry’s coastal wetlands, historic architecture and energetic spirit on canvas, each in their own distinctive way, for many years. Each work has a uniqueness that lets you know right away that it’s a “Smith.”
Angela Trotta Thomas
The only artist ever to be licensed by famed toy train manufacturer Lionel Trains, and has held that honor for many years. Her work has been featured on the cover of numerous national magazines and exhibited in the Smithsonian and Everhart museums, as well as the Sardoni Gallery in Kings College. Her Rockwell like paintings have earned her the title of “The Train Lady.” Angela’s paintings of Charleston take us on a journey through the Holy City, capturing the interplay of light and color so indicative of her work.
Shrimp, Collards & Grits Volume I
From the time he was a young boy, Ray Ellis knew he wanted to be an artist. Painting became as essential to his life as drawing his next breath. Growing up in Philadelphia, Sunday afternoons were frequently spent visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Mr. Ellis describes himself as a painter on all seven continents and attributes his prolific nature to a dedicated work ethic. He attended the famed Philadelphia Museum School of Art, served four years in the Coast Guard during WWII, founded his own advertising agency in New Jersey and New York, but continued to paint in his spare time. It was not until 1969 that he was able to devote all his time to painting. Over more than 70 years that he’s been painting, he estimates that he has completed more than 6,000 works, including many that have been published in his 15 books.
The Ray Ellis Foundation
The Ray Ellis Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1999. The mission of the foundation is to foster, encourage, aid and promote the visual arts and their appreciation by the public. Since its inception the foundation has provided scholarships to determined and talented high school students that intend to pursue a career in painting. It was important to Mr. Ellis to carry on the tradition of encouraging young people as he had been encouraged by teachers, mentors, and collectors. The Ray Ellis Foundation, Inc. is a 501(3)(c) not-for-profit corporation. Donations are tax deductible. Visit www.rayellis.com for more information on the foundation and artwork.
As an illustrator, the pictures by Joe Bowler have graced the covers of major magazines and national ad campaigns. As a fine artist, Joe Bowler is widely recognized for his premier portraits. He enjoys rock starlike success in both the commercial and fine art arenas. Portraits have become the prime focus of his career, which began when he was seventeen. Born in Forest Hills, New York in 1928, he began to draw when he was three. His first illustration for a national magazine was published by Cosmopolitan when he was nineteen working as an apprentice at the prestigious Charles E. Cooper Studios, Inc. There he had the opportunity to learn the craft from the finest artists in the profession who were generous in sharing their knowledge.
Photographer and publisher of the best selling book, “Magnolias, Porches and Sweet Tea,” Andrew is a native of Beaufort, S.C. In the Ray Ellis Edition of “Shrimp, Collards and Grits,” he presents photographs of timeless beauty. He is a visionary in his efforts to preserve the wild and scenic areas of the Lowcountry for future generations.
John Carroll Doyle
American Impressionist whose artwork depicts the Lowcountry life around Charleston, S.C. with passion and understanding. He is nationally known for his energetic, light filled paintings of subjects as diverse as blues musicians, to blue marlins.
As a child Peggy Ellis would sit on the tailgate of the family station wagon and watch her father, Ray Ellis, paint beautiful watercolors on location. Ray went on to become an internationally renowned artist who painted on all seven continents, published 17 books, and created three official White House Christmas cards. In Hilton Head, Savannah and Martha’s Vineyard, where he made his home during his later years, Ray became a local legend.
It was not until Peggy grew up, got married, and was raising three children, that she signed up for her first art class. Peggy attended the DeCordova Museum School in Boston. For many years thereafter she was closely mentored by her father, and his influence clearly shows in her work.
Today Peggy lives in Charleston, S.C. where she paints from her studio overlooking the Cooper River Harbor.
He makes his home in New England capturing rugged coastlines, historic villages and picturesque landscapes from Main to the Lowcountry of South Carolina. “I continue to be intrigued by the urban landscapes of inner cities, their active streets, time worn building and multiple layers of decay, renewal and adaptation that proudly display the effects of age and use.” Dan is the recipient of multiple awards and is a member of the American Impressionist Society among other affiliations.
He is rarely far from water where he depicts real people in real environments close to the ocean’s edge with a depth of perception well beyond his years. From his native Florida panhandle to the Bahamas and up along the barrier islands of Georgia and South Carolina to Nantucket, Harrell moves quietly among the timeless moods of coastal living.
He is a Master Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America. He has won both regional and national awards for works that continue to strike a resonant chord with collectors who have snapped up his paintings for more than 30 years.
Mark kelvin Horton
Horton is particularly fascinated with the effects of light and weather upon the landscape. He paints beyond a literal interpretation of a scene to portray nature in a way that reflects his own ideas and sensibilities while capturing the spirit, color and changing light of a place.
Shannon Smith Hughes
Daughter of renowned painter Betty Anglin Smith of Charleston. Her varied subject matter is united by her emphasis on light. Her eye is looking and constantly aware and in tune with the light, painting whatever strikes her.
An artist for over 40 years, Ed’s versatile style is successful in many genres including portraits, historical work, figurative paintings and landscapes. Noteworthy among his clients are professional golfers such as Greg Norman and the family of Jack Nicklaus.
Karin is a self taught artist whose work is held in private collections all over the country. She attributes her talent and exposure to different mediums to her mother, Lee, an artist who sold her works at traveling art shows in the Northeast. As a child, Karin’s family traveled to many countries, living in Thailand, Philadelphia, and Chicago, before settling in Atlanta in 1979. There her parents opened a picture framing shop and art gallery. It was Karin’s intention to pursue a career as an illustrator, but the unexpected deaths of her parents led her to continue running the family business. Not until several years ago did she begin painting with oils observing works done by such artists as Wayne Thiebaud, Lucian Freud, and Ken Auster as a starting point for her pursuit to paint with courage and skill.
Watercolor artist well known for his figurative works, landscapes and still lifes. In addition to watercolors, he is accomplished in other mediums including egg temperas, oils and pastels. His art can be found in corporate and museum collections across the country. He is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.
He paints landscapes capturing the essence and tranquility of the scene. Using light and shadow to convey mood and flavor of an ethereal moment, his paintings are works of art centered on scenes of solitude.
Nancy Ricker Rhett
She is an original in every sense of the word. Completely true to herself, she is a self-taught artist, historian, world traveler and consummate Southern lady. She is equally at home with a shotgun in hand hunting quail, or in her home studio painting Lowcountry scenes, birds, trees, flowers and indigenous birds.
William Means Rhett, Jr & William Rhett III
They represent five generations of artists and many important family connections. Nancy Rhett’s relatives, who have been in Beaufort since the late 1600s as land grant colonists, have names such as Elliott, Heyward and Pinckney. Both Rhetts are descended from talented artists and interestingly, none of the talented Rhetts have had any formal artistic training.
Shannon is a Realist Painter born in Savannah, Georgia who has spent most of her life in the coastal and rural South. She finds inspiration in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and the elements and history that define it.
Steve Weeks of Beaufort, SC has spent a lifetime around tidal waters and is quick to say he is invigorated by the Lowcountry. For 25 years he studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Nature’s breathing in and breathing out in the form of the ebb and flow of tides is somehow comforting and a necessary thing for Steve to experience. Steve’s work may be viewed at the I.