Marilyn Weiss, an accomplished artist for more than 30 years, considers herself to be first and foremost a collagist.  The constant changing nature of this special medium always offers something new and allows her to work with an infinite variation of colors, textures and shapes.

A material world

While there is no specific material that is her favorite, Marilyn finds herself drawn to those that elicit history.  She uses “bits and pieces” from her life or the lives of family and friends.  Old papers, thread, strings, and buttons will often turn up in her work, as will fabric or yarn from a baby sweater or, possibly, a vintage dress.

The material is not used literally, rather it is melded into a piece so that it loses its original identity and takes on another.  But each collage piece chosen has to have meaning and be relevant to the specific work  – it is not just “stuck on”.

And yet, in the end, for Marilyn, collage is strictly an emotional process. She does not try to figure out why something works – she just feels it when it does.

Take “Cool Space” for example. The work is a hand-worked monotype, one of a series of three – this being the most colorful. It is a whimsical, bright and happy piece  inspired by children and one can easilyvisualize the play between the real and the artificial.

Cool Space

“Just Me,” is a sweet and sentimental mixed media, collage.  We witness a female figure sitting by herself, seemingly content and happy.

Just Me

A feminine touch

A self-proclaimed people person, Marilyn’s art usually includes human figures, and most often they are women.  Fascinated by relationships and the way forms and figures interact, there is a dominant feminine theme and form in much of her work.

“You can say that I’m a feminist,” she explains.  “Not in a beat- yourself-over-the-head kind of way, but in the fact that I always paint women.  I guess I’m saying that we’re here and we’re important.  It’s subtle, but it’s there.”

Some great examples of this genre of her work are “Studio View, Grays” and “Sister Act,” both intricate collages with a distinct feminine theme.

Studio Views, Grays

Sister Act

Weiss is quite clear that she loves what she does – creating art gives her great pleasure.  She believes that art is meant to be seen and enjoyed, and hopes that her work stirs sensibilities, provokes emotions and most importantly, brings joy to those who experience it.

After meeting her and studying the pieces offered in our upcoming December auction, we can say that her hopes have been achieved – we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know both Marilyn Weiss and her wonderful body of work.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of  Marilyn Weiss’ work, click here.

IN and OUT

Sunday Morning

Goblet Portraits 1977


The work of Zeke Berman demonstrates a truly unique eye in the world of photography. We are truly grateful to have such a talented artist on board, partaking in our upcoming auction.

Berman has honed his craft over the last 35 years, producing singular, studio-based photographs that reflect his long-standing interest in visual cognition and optics.

His work has evolved much over the years but always explores an intersection between sculpture, photography and drawing.

From the outset Berman received strong critical acclaim. His work has been collected, published and exhibited in galleries and museums such as MoMA, The Metropolitan, The Whitney, and Art Institute of Chicago. He has been featured in the first New Photography Exhibition at MoMA and has received multiple awards, including the Guggenheim, NEA and NYFA Arts Fellowships.

In the beginning

As a kid, Berman loved sculpture. He attended the High School of Music and Art and studied sculpture at the Philadelphia College of Art. He only backed into photography after graduating. To date he approaches photography as a studio based art and his sculptural training clearly plays an important part in his working process.

During his years in art school, conceptual art and minimalism were a fresh aspect of contemporary art. At that time, Berman began a developing fascination in perception theory –  a lifelong interest that involves questions of cognition, optical illusion and the evolution of the senses. The idea that an illusion can change in appearance,  right before our eyes, is equally fascinating and inspiring to him.

His study found its way into his working process when he began to experiment with a camera in the studio. Berman’s epiphany came when he discovered a deep mystery and possibility in the transformation of a three-dimensional construction into a two-dimensional photograph.

A cumulative process

The formal range of Berman’s work and his sculptural use of materials is varied, original and idiosyncratic. All his pieces are intricately designed and constructed in his studio.

Berman uses a 4X5 studio view camera  to create all his photography. The procedure is an old one that delivers extremely sharp, and clear prints, as well as images that are very realistic in the description of the materials used. The end result is often a photograph designed from a construction but with the appearance of a drawing.

His process is cumulative in nature – he makes photographic sketches constantly as he constructs and reconstructs, creating many, images as the work evolves. Intuition and spontaneity ensue throughout the process. We asked him how he knows when he has finally completed a piece.  His answer is that it simply feels complete.

Optical illusion

In the late 1970’s Berman had a direct interest in creating different kinds of illusion. His work from this period clearly demonstrates optical illusion and the transformation of three-dimension into two-dimension.

“Cup with Objects” from 1979 is a great example of 3D/2D play. All the objects fill up the frame up to the edge, however, one slight shift of the camera and the pieces wouldn’t work together.

Cup with Objects

“Web,” a piece from the late 80’s contains an actual spider web. It is a very linear, abstract work, and one that clearly depicts the flow from drawing to sculpture to photography. In fact, much of his work from this time period was very linear in nature.


Later pieces demonstrate the evolution and progression in his photography.

Take for example “Shoe and Tire,” a 1993 commission piece for Progressive Corporation, an auto insurance company. The company CEO is an avid art collector and commissioned Berman to create a suite of still life’s around which the company’s Annual Report was designed. He won several design awards for this work.

Shoe and Tire

“Heart,” created in 1995 was commissioned by graphic designer Mark Schwartz for his daughter who was born on Valentine’s day.


Although Berman rarely photographs people, “Standing Stack” from 1997 was made at a time when he wished to bring more human presence into his work.

Standing Stack

Berman lives and works in NYC. He now works mostly in color, a new turn in his evolving body of work.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of  Zeke Berman’s work, click here.

Plant Slice 1999

Fat Lamp and Cherry Blossoms 2008


We were thrilled to see such a great turnout of art aficionados at our preauction reception last Thursday in lower Manhattan.

More than 100 guests attended the event to see the works of several of our NewYork based artists, including Tom Smith, Mike Lindwasser, Dulcie Dee, Sean Parrott, EGSilberman, Robin Antar, Alex White-Mazzarella, Zeke Berman, Marilyn Weiss and Joni Diskint.  A great time was had by all as many of our talented artists were also in attendance to answer questions and share in conversation and cocktails.

All of their wonderful and varied pieces are available for sale, as are those by our many other talented artists across the country – and all at extremely affordable prices! We are currently featuring a wide array of media – photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media,  so there is truly something for everyone irrespective of taste.

Our auction date is soon approaching and it’s still not too late to bid on work that you love. Or perhaps purchase a piece for someone else – art makes for a  fabulous gift idea!

Please visit to view our complete roster of artists and browse through our catalog to see the entire collection of artwork we are offering for sale.

Untitled (magician) by Tom Smith

Floral #2 by EGSilberman

Picnic by R. Gene Barbera


"Her " by Monika Agic


"Competition of Forms 2" by Robin Antar


"Blue" by Roshan Houshmand

swimmer 23 30x42

"The Swimmer #23" by Paul Sierra

In and OUT

"IN and OUT" by Marilyn Weiss


"Green House" by Darrell Jones

after dark my sweet

"After Dark My Sweet" by J. Kieran McGonnell


"Untitled" by John Phillip Davis


Art  Addict:

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Controversy over New Museum’s plans to show trustee’s collection…

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Art is truly for everyone – and everyone can appreciate art.


If you love color and abstraction, you won’t want to miss the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit currently on display at the Whitney Museum in NY.  By now you’ve read multiple reviews, but it can honestly be said that this is one show you have to see in order to “experience”.

While it is true that Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers and landscapes made her one of the most celebrated figures of twentieth-century art, the radical abstractions she created throughout her career are much less well known. Yet they are equally spectacular. In fact, it is her abstract work that ultimately led to her creation of landscapes and florals, and not the other way around.

For O’Keefe, abstraction offered a medium in which she could portray the “unknown” – the many intense thoughts and ideas she could not express in words. Her work conveys emotional response to people and places, as well as the rhythms of nature and the experience of being enveloped by its mystery and beauty.

The exhibit also chronicles the life saga of an extremely prolific artist, allowing us to feel her emotions as she went through different stages of elation and agony. At times her pieces explode with color, at other more distressful times, color becomes somewhat subdued.


In 1916, O’Keefe burst onto the New York scene with her charcoal abstracts –  some of the most radical works ever produced in the US in the twentieth century. Renowned photographer Alfred Steiglitz, who would shortly become her personal and professional partner, gave her a show in 1917, exhibiting her work for the first time at his “291” gallery.

Witness “Early Abstraction” from 1915 – a linear work that takes on the form of a piece of sculpture.


"Early Abstraction," 1915

Vibrant Oils

She first introduced oils at the Anderson Galleries in 1923, marking the public’s first view of her work since 1917 at “291.” It was a jubilant time for O’Keefe, both artistically and personally, and the vibrant colors she uses – fiery reds, lush greens, erotic greens and yellow – convey her exhilaration. Favorites of ours include “Pink and Green,” 1922, “Corn Dark,” 1924, “Red Canna,” 1925-1928, and “White Sweet Peas,” 1926 (you’ll have to see these for yourself in person).


"Abstraction," 1926


"Grey, Blue & Black-Pink Circle," 1929


"Flower Abstraction," 1924


"Abstraction White Rose," 1927

There is one particularly darker piece from this time period, a work that portrays her experience of undergoing anesthesia before an operation to remove a benign breast cyst – “Black Abstraction,” 1927.

O’Keefe married Steiglitz in 1924 and they spent winters in NYC and summers at his home on Lake George. Many of the colorful lake series were produced during the peaceful times spent there.

Darker times

O’Keefe first started to travel to New Mexico in 1929. Steiglitz was having an affair with a younger woman and she felt the need to escape. In 1932 she suffered a nervous breakdown and stopped painting altogether until 1934. For the next ten years abstraction figured very little into her work until the Black Place Series, which were based on an area in New Mexico 150 miles west of her home at Ghost Ranch.

Paving the way

After Steiglitz’s death in 1946, O’Keefe moved permanently to New Mexico, at which time she began to introduce flat geometric planes of color, a factor that would play a central role in the art of the 1960’s. A great example is “Black Door with Red” from 1954.

A personal favorite is the opening work to the exhibit – “Above the Clouds” – an absolute masterpiece, which was created in the early 1960’s.

Although the exhibit stops around this time period, O’Keefe would go on to expand and evolve through her painting. She died in 1986 – at the ripe old age of 98 – having left an indelible mark on the world of abstract art.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.


"Black Door with Red," 1954

blueflower1918nonamered and orange streakmusicpinkandblueno2jackinthepulpitno1V


"Above the Clouds," 1962-63


Untitled (magician and cape)


The collages of Tom Smith are optically stimulating and complex – viewers are often hypnotized by his mesmerizing work. So, we were eager to learn more about our featured artist’s creativity and the ways in which he developed his unique craft.

It turns out that Smith has art in his blood – his mother is an accomplished decorative artist and his father has a deep appreciation of the arts. So it was no wonder that he followed in the same footsteps. In fact, never once did he entertain the notion of doing anything in life that was non-creative.

Smith studied art in Baltimore, close to his hometown in Maryland, and majored in illustration due to his strong interest in narrative work and storytelling. He went on to graduate school to further pursue his metier. Half-way through his studies a light bulb went off in his head as he realized he had something definitive he wanted and needed to share with others.

The turning point

Fine artist and printmaker, Carroll Dunham, whom Smith assisted when he first moved to New York, was the most influential person in his early career. Carroll stripped down all of Tom’s work and forced him to focus strictly on drawing (he spent an entire year devoted to this particular craft).

As a result, Smith became more introspective and was able to move into the subconscious, channeling human interest into his pieces versus the other way around. After that significant one year period, he finally understood his creative sensibilities.

To date, all of Smith’s work is drawing based, whether he is painting, sculpting, photographing or making collages. He expects that his drawing will evolve to other forms of new media in the not too distant future.


Superhero meditation

Smith’s collages emerged directly from his massive collection of superheroes – comic books, figurines, etc. The idea was to meld character images and witness the optical illusions he was able to produce. In fact, he discovered that a character could be completely transformed through the introduction of another image.

His process is equally transformative. The meticulous skill involved, although highly technical, is extremely repetitive and, therefore, exceedingly meditative. At first he is in control, but soon control flies out the window as he begins to manipulate images. A discovery element is always present as he never is quite sure what will emerge.

Color theory and the work of Josef Albers also play a large part in Smith’s collage work. All the pieces are based on the intermeshing of colors and the appearance of images as a consequence of color selection and interaction.

Take Untitled (red, yellow, blue), one of the first pieces he designed. Smith decided to create a collage based on the primary colors of red, yellow and blue – the three opposite sides of the color spectrum. Poring through the hundreds of images in his possession, he had to uncover three images that not only bore the requisite colors but were also standing upright. Combining them, he was able to create a figurative piece with the characters in the middle, successfully intersecting Minimalist art with Contemporary art.


Untitled (red, yellow, blue)

Untitled (magenta) is equally illusionary. In this work, we witness a woman with minimal clothing represented in a very special way as her image is placed among a field of pinks and magentas.


Untitled (magenta)

In Untitled (bird and gun) we see two women, one holding a bird, the other, a gun, both with identical background colors. The resulting image is the appearance of two individuals in one space, despite the fragmentation. The piece has been pushed into a very simplistic direction, yet can be very disorienting to the viewer.


Untitled (gun and bird)

Smith’s collage work has been very influential to his other work. For example, collage, which is two-dimensional, naturally transcended into sculpture, which is three-dimensional. He tells us that he is getting ready to produce an entirely new body of work, utilizing figurative aspects, yet in the realm of the landscape.

Tom currently lives and works in New York City and has the unique opportunity to be working full-time in a studio assisting a number of established artists. He admits his good fortune and loves that he is always learning new techniques and staying “au courant,” not to mention extremely motivated. Plus, he gets to feed on the creative energy when he uses the studio for his own work at night and on weekends.


We invite you to peer into the hypnotic and magnetic work of a very talented artist.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Tom Smith’s work, click here.


Untitled (double vision)




ArtistsinAuction, the premiere online auction company, wants to invite you to our Preauction Launch party!

Come and meet several local, talented artists, view their work and share in conversation and cocktails.

Thursday, November 19


95 Morton Street

(between Greenwich and Washington Streets)

7th Floor

New York, NY 10014


To RSVP to this event, please contact

If you know someone who may be interested in attending, you may pass along this invitation.

For more information on our business, featured artists and online auctions visit


Interview by R. Gene Barbera


Heart by Zeke Berman


Navigation Arf by Alex White-Mazzarella

DSCN0004_01Peking Princess

Peking Princess by Dulcie Dee


Untitled (magician) by Tom Smith

In and OUT

IN and OUT by Marilyn Weiss

Floral #2

Floral #3 by EGSilberman


Competition of Forms 2 by Robin Antar

City of lights

City of Lights by Mike Lindwasser

oil lamp 1.

Oil Lamp 1 by Joni Diskint

Recyclo F Aug 19, 2009 9-49 AM 1475x2309

Recyclo by Sean Parrott



ArtistsinAuction is proud to announce that our December 5th online auction catalog is now Live!!

Browse through a wide array of media – photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media – and place bids on pieces of interest. It’s a fantastic way to start or expand a collection of great art.

You can view our catalog directly or go to our website and connect through the “Bid in Auction” button at the top of every page. Remember, you will need to register in order to become an active bidder. Once you have done so, you may place preauction bids at any time. On December 5th, the live online auction will take place, at which time all bids will become final.

We encourage you to take advantage of the many affordable pieces of fabulous artwork we have on offer by our select group of talented artists from across the US.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.


"Her " by Monika Agic


"Competition of Forms 2" by Robin Antar


"Blue" by Roshan Houshmand

swimmer 23 30x42

"The Swimmer #23" by Paul Sierra

In and OUT

"IN and OUT" by Marilyn Weiss


"Green House" by Darrell Jones

after dark my sweet

"After Dark My Sweet" by J. Kieran McGonnell


"Untitled" by John Phillip Davis


"Picnic" by R. Gene Barbera

In the studio


Monika Agic was born in Bosnia, part of the old Yugoslavia, and witnessed first hand the acute struggles of war. As a 22 year-old refugee in her homeland, she decided she had no choice but to flee to the US with her husband and five month old son. How did she muster up the courage? Survival is the only answer.

To this day, Agic cannot understand the logic to war and especially the hatred that ensued in her country. Her art, however, shows none of this demoralizing pessimism. In fact, her art could not be more optimistic in nature. Her past behind her, Agic only looked to the future.

Optimistic interiors

Agic (“Magic” to her growing fan base) concedes that she always had a certain talent for painting, even as a child. And while Bosnia was very supportive of the arts, a life as an artist was not viewed as appropriate.

Nonetheless, when she arrived in Iowa, bought a house and realized she had more space, she started to seriously focus on her true calling. Her real love was interior design and she always envisions a home when she paints, with the ultimate aim to create something beautiful and interesting. That is when she started exploring texture and the use of interference paint, which gives a different perspective based on the angle viewed from.



All her pieces have a certain cheerfulness to them, often a result of the inviting textures and warm colors she uses.

Yin and Yang

“Her” came out of the desire to create something “hot.” The piece is extremely textured, starting with a background of pinks and oranges, gaining shape with the use of a palette knife.

Agic likes painting in pairs as she believes a solo painting often doesn’t hold up well in an interior. Hence, the creation of “Him,” the opposing side to “Her.”





“Strawberry Quilt,” which also has an opposing side called “Old Denim,” currently hanging in her own home, clearly conveys Agic’s signature texture. In fact, she created a YouTube video that describes the step-by-step process of this piece.

Strawberry Quilt

Strawberry Quilt

Essentially, she works with a palette knife at a 45 degree angle, building the texture. Then she works on highlighting through use of lots of glimmering paint. Finally, she finishes the piece with high gloss polymer.



Agic has a website, but she admits she has not been successful selling through this avenue. Rather her site acts as a starting point to invite people to come over and view the work in her studio.

She has also started a coop with a partner, in which she brings in many local artists at varying stages of their career to participate in group showings. She explains that while her aim is to grow as an artist and expand her reach, she also wants to help others to succeed. No doubt this highly altruistic nature stems from the memories of her past and the optimism she received upon coming to the US.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Monika Agic’s work, click here.



We are happy to announce that one of our affiliations, Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), will be hosting it’s 5th annual art auction on Thursday, October 22.

Now is your chance to witness and participate first hand in a live auction that features a fabulous array of art, including works by more than 40 artists, such as Andy Warhol, Peter Max, Yoko Ono, as well as John Bisbee, Carole Feuerman, among many others.

The auction is curated by Helene Miller and run by Phillips de Pury & Company. All proceeds will benefit CMA’s outreach programs that are geared towards underserved children and “celebrating the artist in every child”.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

live at the green mill-radio days


James Kieran McGonnell was born in Ireland, speaks with a lovely Irish lilt and has a keen affinity for most things Irish. And American.

He is highly influenced by artists hailing from his homeland, most notably Francis Bacon and Louis Lebroquay, both of whom emerged out of the post WWII art movement – the period known as Existentialism. He is also greatly persuaded by notable writers such as Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Jim Thompson and Virginia Woolfe, to name a handful.

So it’s not surprising that literature, history and art history all have an immeasurable effect on what he does. In fact, every one of McGonnell’s paintings is embedded with a rich history that is clearly evident.

History in the Making

Take “Red Herring” for example, in which circles reside within a square, a theme popularized in 50’s pop art and the work of American Color field painters, such as Kenneth Noland. The concept is a play on the idea of searching for something undefined. All the fish are in a regimented order depicting the routine and safety of everyday life. What will happen to them?

Red Herring

Red Herring

In “Once Upon a Spinning Time”  two dancers are  doing the jitterbug. The piece represents the first dance of Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the inauguration and evokes a snapshot out of the continuum in which you expect the future to have a certain and predictable outcome.

Once Upon a Spinning Time

Once Upon a Spinning Time

“After Dark My Sweet” is based on a Jim Thompson novel and a Yeats poem. The idea of moths drawn to a light conveys a sense of danger and the piece demonstrates the unpredictability of the future.

After Dark My Sweet

After Dark My Sweet

“Ghost Bike” is also based on a Yeats poem, conveying all the beauty in the world thus far, but that which cannot be experienced because it has passed. The bike is a symbol of the life of a person, the tragedy and beauty in history.

“A Pair of American Glasses” and “Live at the Green Mill – Radio Days” both symbolize American history– that which has long passed but stays with us forever.

A Pair of American Glasses

A Pair of American Glas

The Method to the Motive

McGonnell has spent the past 15 years transferring images onto canvas. His technique is intense and intricate. First, he designs the images in his head, instilled by the inspiration of poems, literature, a muse of history or a reaction to daily life and living.

The ideas are then transferred to the computer, and through graphic imaging and photography the piece begins to take on a very conceptual shape. Next, McGonnell hand draws the entire piece on canvas with a pencil.

Finally, he paints. Through a combination of air brush spray paint and hand painting, utilizing high quality products containing silicones and resins, the work evolves into the finished masterpiece.

kieran in studio1

There is no question that Kieran McGonnell is a prolific and disciplined artist. He has been painting constantly for many years, currently in his upstairs studio, and works with galleries and dealers both in New York and Chicago, where he currently resides. He also shows once a year in Ireland. He says this has been the toughest year to date –no small statement from a talented artist such as he.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of J. Kieran McGonnell’s work, click here.

kieran studio2

Pink Sofa

Pink Sofa


As the middle child in a family of eight kids growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, you would not expect that Darrell Jones would have had the chance to pursue a career in art. But he did, thanks to a mom who encouraged him to proceed. Jones recalls drawing and sketching as early as kindergarten and remembers getting into trouble when he fashioned gestures of his teachers.

Jones went on to Jackson State in Mississippi where he took his first painting class.  Because he was really into comic books, he later moved to Los Angeles and attended the Art Institute of California, studying animation and cartooning. He started working on numerous storyboards and got some coloring gigs to help pay the bills.

Abstract and Animation

Darrell moved to Atlanta to get a “real” job, but ironically that was the turning point in his art. He passed a homeless shelter that had an art gallery and he immediately got inspired to paint again. First he began painting pure abstracts, but soon moved on to scenes and backgrounds. It was then that he created his true style, fusing the abstract with animation. He says his style is kind of like when you look through the camera lens and see awkward angles. In the same way, his work tends to evoke a sense of distortion.


Darrell likes strong color, lots of action and never draws lines. He is inspired by every day life and simple experiences. He carries a sketchbook with him everywhere he goes and constantly gets new ideas. All of Jones’ paintings are acrylic on wood.

Series Painting

Many a time Darrell Jones paints in series – houses, fruit, jazz – to help him to avoid creativity blockage.

“Green House” was created during a routine walk to work. He used to leave his apartment and would always pass this old house in someone’s backyard. Was it an outhouse? It didn’t matter that the paint was peeling and that the structure was old and a little run down.  Soon after he passed by another house – White House – on his way to the train station, and a series was hatched.

Green House

Green House

The “Going Green” series are all of inner city buildings that were inspired by watching the news on TV and hearing all this information about saving the planet. All these paintings have some sort of green in them. They also used recycled paint – when the paint dries up on his palette, instead of throwing it away Jones reuses it, piling it up on the canvas and painting over it.

building 2

“Shoes” are part of another series that depict everyday people in different circumstances. The old adage “you can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear” helped to kick off  this series. Jones says that he went to some thrift stores and started making sketches of old shoes.



Tough Times

Darrell has been working diligently. He has been painting a lot since he hasn’t been working and has been averaging five pieces per month. He just recently finished another series of raised fists, all motivated by the recent campaign rallies.

Darrell is a closet artist and is slowly emerging to the public. It’s been real tough getting into galleries, but he has been making some money on pastel and oil portrait sketches. He was successful in our last auction and we hope the momentum continues this time around as well.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Darrell Jone’s work, click here.

Evening Light

Evening Light


“Until you apply things with love you cannot start living,” says artist, Mary Sonya Conti. And there is no question that she thoroughly loves what she does. You can just hear it in her voice as she explains her unique techniques. But even more so, you can see the love she puts into every single piece of her art.

“Sonya” is a self taught artist that learned her craft at a very young age – long ago when her mom started craft night for she and her six siblings. Each kid had to create a different project from things collected outside the house. It was a great form of entertainment and a great way to expand the imagination, something she fears has gotten lost these days. Sonya clearly remembers collecting river rocks and tiling the bathroom floor at seven years old – a technique that has, ironically, become really popular today.

Much of Sonya’s work is based on tactile objects found in her garden – hosta and maple leaves, gravel, moss, and even dirt. She explains that the idea is to stay connected to what is around her so as to elicit a feeling and a mood- a defined focus from the many textured elements she uses. She admits she can even produce a fragrance from certain textures. If she does her job well the viewer will connect with the piece and further spark the imagination.

Unique techniques

One popular technique Sonya uses is with gauze. Concentrated watercolors are poured over the material, which is then draped to bring texture and lines. Once the piece has dried and the material is peeled back (sometimes she leaves the material in the work), the piece conveys the feel and texture of linen, and the colors are all blended naturally. Images are built slowly in this way. She then finishes the entire work by sealing the gauze with a glaze so it won’t deteriorate. As you can imagine, it’s a very time consuming process.

selfportraitgrey4 copy

gallerywork 004

Five years ago, Sonya started teaching workshops in which she teaches her “laying” techniques, specifically, the laying of elements into color and certain pouring methods.

Her Work

“Through a Child’s Eye,” was created by highlighting the veining of hosta leaves. Acrylic inks were poured over and the “bones” were revealed once the leaves were peeled off. Then detailing began – pen and ink, as well as diluted watercolors were used to build up a glazing effect. Originally Sonya set out to create a peacock, but an excited child changed her mind in mid-creation and she just let the piece be what it was.

Through A Child's Eyes

Through A Child's Eyes

“Giving Tree” is part of a series in the Artists are selected and invited to create based on a chosen theme. This one was based on the story about the giving tree, a tree that had supported a man all throughout his life. The group showcases their work in two monthly local galleries.

Giving Tree

Giving Tree

“Riviera” was a commission for the Dayton Philharmonic Opera House. It was actually housed in the ladies bathroom – greatly admired by all the women who saw it. “You have to start somewhere,” says Conti.

Home Comfort on the Riviera

Home Comfort on the Riviera

Mary Sonya Conti has two upcoming local shows in September, and she is up for selection as a mural artist for the city of Dayton, Ohio. We wish her much success.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Mary Sonya Conti’s work, click here.

close up of American Kente

close up of American Kente


To speak to Clairan Ferrono about her artwork is to receive a compelling and informational lesson on Fiber Art. Fiber Art was a medium of visual arts that we were not entirely familiar with until we brought Clairan on board and had a chance to speak with her about her craft. Prior to devoting her life to creating, exhibiting and selling her art, Clairan had been a Literature teacher for twenty years. You don’t have to be a genius to recognize that the art created by a former Literature professor will be nothing shy of smart, layered and textured.



The Early Years
In the mid 80’s when Clairan realized that traditional quilting could be made more exciting by simply fooling around with miscellaneous materials other than just patterns, she was unaware that it would change the direction of her entire life. Clairan taught herself how to machine quilt in 1989. She then attended the Q.S.D.S. (Quilt Surface Design Symposium) in 1997 in Columbus, Ohio and she says that it changed her life forever. She then returned home and began taking classes at the Studio Art Quilters Association with renowned art quilter Nancy Crow. Clairan will be the first to tell you that she has learned her skills from the best in the industry and her work supports that.

It was in 2001 that Clairan was ready to start exhibiting her Fiber work. Straight out of the gate, she received nothing but positive feedback and acceptance, which encouraged her to continue.  The first two shows to which she submitted slides accepted her art. Since then she has been in lots of exhibitions and genuinely loves what she does.

Figure Study III

Figure Study III

A True Craft

One thing became clear during our interview with Clairan; the general population should be more aware of Fiber Art. The artist offered us a crash course lesson on the genesis of her work. Creating a piece of art for Clairan takes “huge amounts of time.” One piece can take up to a week to create. The labor-intensive process requires dying, painting, cutting and sewing. She uses prepared-for-dying fabrics (PFD) that she dies and paints. She also gets into screen-printing and block printing. Finally, she sometimes uses a collage technique called appliqué/reverse appliqué to achieve a dense visual surface. Clairan’s “work for the wall” is rich in layers, textures and technique. “Every random piece becomes harmonious” in her art.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

Clairan finds inner peace while she works. Design and sewing are a form of meditation for her. In fact, creating her art has helped her heal emotionally during several difficult times in her adult life. She has extreme connection to certain pieces that she will never sell or let go of. A few pieces in particular: Last Conversation, Mother and Through a Daughter’s eyes are all autobiographical.

Right now, the prices of Fiber Art are extremely modest in the artist’s opinion. She does however foresee a boom in Fiber Art over the next five years. Clairan is constantly evolving in her work and we are honored to have her as one of our featured artists. Check out pieces in our Gallery like Runs Through It, Fields Web and Paintbox and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about. You’ll see a real mature artist who is also a master of her craft.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Clairan Ferrono’s work, click here.