Joni Diskint is fortunate to be a full-time artist – not a luxury afforded by many. She has set up her home in Chatham, New Jersey as a gallery – Joni Diskint Fine Art – specifically designed to showcase her work.

Her history probably dictated that she would set out on an artistic path. As a child, she was extremely creative, writing stories and making illustrations at a very young age. In fact, she nearly published a book when she was in the fifth grade.

The early years

But she only fully entertained the idea of being an artist when she was in college. She flourished in color and painting classes, received great feedback from professors, and decided to spend a year in London pursing her craft.

Things started to happen for her rather quickly. While living and painting in Colorado she began to show her work at local shows. At 25, she had her first show in Soho, NY, which marked the beginning of a yearly occurrence – she would show at a different gallery in Soho every year. At the time, she lived in the Berkshires, where she owned a gallery and would exhibit her work as well as that of other emerging artists.

At 30, she moved to the east side of NYC. “There was too much going on in the city not to be here”, she says.  Soon her work started selling in earnest, especially once she started offering prints of her pieces.

Seeing the light

The landscape is her inspiration – the colors and the light, as well as its never ending, constantly changing nature.  In most of her pieces the sky plays an important role because it is forever moving and always conveying a unique type of light.

Take “Lonesome Valley,” a very evocative and challenging piece that conveys a dramatic, dark sky contrasting against the white snow. The piece is very deep and intense and is made from a very dark color palette.  The ominous sky takes the viewer into a depth, to a different place.

Lonesome Valley

The “Oil Lamps” are equally evocative in their portrayal of light. She bought the lamps in India and uses them for meditation, mostly at night when they cast a very solemn glow. Her idea was to capture the dark, that is to paint the light within the dark, and her aim was to go as dark as possible.  She had studied Vermeer and other masters who so artfully conveyed light, and so she felt the need to do so as well.

Oil Lamp 1

“Reflected Light” is another play on light, this time using the reflection of the sun against the trees at sunset. These trees are actually in her backyard and she worked endlessly to evoke the light to come through to the canvas.

Reflected Light I

Joni sells through her home as well as through a variety of charity shows. She also has a separate studio attached to the house where she teaches painting classes.  We invite you to view the work of our featured artist and to “see the light” in her varied works.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of  Joni Diskint’s work, click here.


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

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"Above the Clouds," 1962-63


Unpredictable, quirky, innovative and quite varied – some of the adjectives to describe the latest Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya exhibition at NYU’s Grey gallery. I would also add dreamy, hypnotic and spiritual to the list

In 1971, schoolteacher Geoffrey Bardon provided a select group of men in Papunya, a community 160 miles west of Alice Springs in Australia, with acrylics and boards. Before these boards were made available, most artistic renderings had been in the fleeting form of body decoration, ceremonial objects and temporary ground paintings.

The new pieces established an artistic permanence as well as a striking new visual language, featuring dream motifs, ceremony, storytelling, song and the ancient tradition of mark making that dates back more than 10,000 years.

These Papunya boards, of which fewer than 600 remain, formed the genesis of the Western Desert Art Movement. Approximately fifty of these exhilarating pieces are on exhibit by notables such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi, Johnny Warangkula, and Mick Namararri Tjapaltjarri.

I urge you to go and experience the sweat, tears and love that has been poured into each individual piece. The intensity is real, the vitality is powerful. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind exhibit which runs through December 5th.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

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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.

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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.


ArtistsinAuction recently caught up with one of our newest contributors, nature photographer, Billy Newman, while he was hanging out at home with his wife in Newnan, Georgia. Billy works in both black & white and color, and he produces some of the most gorgeous images of nature and florals we have ever seen.

Unlike photographers who create a scene around a concept, Billy goes out and explores with his camera. Nothing is set up beforehand, and there is no preconceived plan of what he will be shooting.  This makes a big difference because his work becomes a true form of self-expression.  As Billy says, “When we create art we try and show a mirror of ourselves.”

While he definitely prefers color, his black & white images are equally stunning. We discovered that his black & white’s are actually tritonal – similar to the process of adding a duotone in Photoshop, he adds a tritone in order to add a little mystique to the image. It’s kind of like a painter using dark green, dark red and dark blue to create black instead of actually using black, which often flattens the work.

Billy has always been a fan of Monet’s Water Lilies, which is evident when you look at his color images. Witness pieces like Around, and Arise (in our gallery of images) and you’ll see what we mean.

AstraA by Billy Newman

AstraA by Billy Newman

Up until 6 months ago, Billy used conventional lenses and film, which he later scanned into digital images. He switched to digital, and now prefers it because he gains greater control over tone and color. His images are then printed through an archival inkjet process.

Billy, a prolific photographer, has previously sold his work through dealers into private corporation art collections. We are thrilled to have him participate in our upcoming auction, giving our buyers and collectors the chance to purchase exquisite works of nature photography at auction prices.  Make sure to check out his collection of work offered at the Gallery section of!

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 Billy Newman’s work, click here.

DawnA by Billy Newman

DawnA by Billy Newman