Artists Sketches

Jeff Downing - Ceramic Artist

Jeff Downing is known for his ceramic sculptures and large-scale public art projects. His work is highly articulated with textures, patterns and colors that help abstract their figuration, imparting the sculptures with a sense of the emblematic. His work conveys emotional states both uplifting and solemn all while exuding a sense of humor. Downing has exhibited in Brazil, Europe and the United States in museum collections, public art venues and private collections. He teaches all aspect of ceramics with specialized knowledge in kiln theory/design and glaze firing processes

Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Stephanie grew up in South Florida. With an art teacher mother and a Waldorf School education, Stephanie was always interested in art and creative exploration. When she went to Yale University, she majored in Fine Arts, with a concentration in graphic design and photography. She continued her studies with art classes in Switzerland before becoming a professional graphic designer. After a 20-year career as a creative director and brand manager in Connecticut, Stephanie returned to her fine arts background full time in 2009. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014, where she has studied with several well-known local artists and immersed herself in the local art community. Stephanie has received numerous awards and has shown her work through solo shows as well as in many national and local juried shows and galleries. Her work is included in private collections around the United States and internationally.

Bill Russell - Painter, Illustrator & Designer

Bill Russell is a multi-disciplinary artist. For 30+ years, Bill’s creative life has included fine art, illustration, visual journalism, teaching and web design. He earned his degree from Parsons School of Design in 1976. Bill stays creative working in a variety of media and skill sets, including web site designer, illustrator and visual journalist. Bill has shown his work in a variety of settings including The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, Sofie Contemporary Art in Calistoga, the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and the Reactor Gallery in Toronto, Canada. His paintings can be found in private collections throughout the Bay area and in Canada.

M. Louise Stanley - No Regrets

My work follows in the tradition of history and narrative painting documenting current and fictitious events using myth and allegory. The human condition, modern-day romance and political issues are often explored. Voyeurism, a longing to ‘be someplace else’ and a sense of places and events remembered are recurring themes. Humor is the catalyst and a bridge to darker, more troubling issues. In my youth I wanted to make paintings people would gag and cry in front of until I saw two women doubled-up laughing in front of my painting. At an opening years ago a woman came up to me, drink in hand, and said, “these are not funny paintings, they remind me of junior high when I was miserable.” She then dropped her glass at my feet and ran out of the gallery. At an opening at PS1 in New York, years ago, Joyce Kosloff commented, “God, lulu, your work is so American!” I strive for that precarious line between the colloquial and the sublime, perhaps in order to sabotage both extremes, but more often just to see if I can pull it off. 

Recent paintings are based on research gathered during European travels and the ‘Art Lover’s Tours’ I organized and lead for 14 years.  An interest in the transformation myths of Ovid, sainthood, the ills of organized religion and current events are ongoing compulsions. Often the subject becomes a vehicle for experimentation (what can I learn from the painting of it) and an excuse for making an objet that refers back in time, ie faux painted Renaissance and Baroque frames with attached predelle. In the fourth grade I made an assessment: ” there is no magic in my mark.” I knew then that the subject would dictate how it would be painted. The magic probably lies more in the drawing, my first love.

Janey Fritsche - Fine Artist

Janey was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, where she spent considerable time with her mom’s extended family on the beaches of the Gulf coast  –  a source of inspiration to this day.

Upon graduation from high school, Janey was offered an art scholarship.  Given her fear of being a starving artist, she turned to earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with minors in Art and Sociology from Lamar University.  She combined these seemingly disparate subjects into a career of interactive design work for clients like Apple, George Lucas Educational Foundation, Stanford University, Paramount Pictures, the Smithsonian, and the Grateful Dead.  At the same time, Janey’s art education continued at San Francisco Art Institute, UC Berkeley, and College of Marin.

Her painting practice is woven together with her long-standing meditation practice and her abiding love of the ocean.  Her memories carry a utopian vision that she explores in her search for “how can I use art as a force for good”?  While living on Oahu for six months a few years back, Janey realized first hand the devastation to the coral reefs and other sea life.  This inspired her to focus her artwork on the natural world related to the seas.  

Janey’s paintings are collected nationally and internationally.  In recent years, she completed an Artist in Residency at Kriti Gallery in Varanasi, India, and had a solo exhibition of her work at the Maturango Museum in southern California and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art.   Her commission work includes paintings for Kaiser Permanente Technology Center, Kaiser Permanente Chemical Dependency Treatment Center, Sutter Cathedral Hills Hospital, and Bodega Bay Lodge.

Janey has lived in the San Francisco bay area since 1981; her studio is in San Rafael, California.