My earliest connection to art began with matchbook covers that claimed, “If you can draw this you could be an artist!” At 7, I was obsessed and drew as many as I could find. The lumber Jack, the leprechaun. I wanted to be an artist! I could free hand early on. At 35 I discovered the book “The Artists Way” the journey of reconnecting the artist and the child who dreamed. It changed my life and re-connected me to the passion I had buried beneath my professional career of 20 plus years.
Through workshops, DVD’s and instructional books I plowed into a new world of discovery. I entered the Arkansas Arts Center and began a 3 year study program with Steven Cefalo for figure and portrait. I have completed advanced studies at Studio Imcammanati with Stephen Early (a direct student of Nelson Shanks). Intensive studies at Watts Atelier with Jefferey Watts.
I am currently represented by Pinnacle Fine Art in Little Rock, AR. Also by Myra’s Fine Art Gallery in Pine, AZ. I ‘ve recieved numerous awards for both painting and drawing with 2 solo exhibitions. The most recent, with over 60 pieces was held in Texas at the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Center in 2015.
Moving to Arizona in 2016 was next in order. Here I began studying at the Scottsdale Artists School where the best teachers and artists come from all over the world. There I began teaching beginning drawing and beginning painting in 2017. Later that year I was juried into an Oil Painters of America exhibition, my first national show. So much going on in 2018 I wouldn’t know where to start!
Arizona has been home since retiring and I very much enjoy the numerous southwest painting opportunities here. Colored pencil is my specialty and, to a lesser extent, pen & ink plus combinations of the two. Most of my art is based on personal photos and observation ranging from southwest landscapes, native plants, animals & birds to local architecture.
Though my education was in engineering (BS & MS) I have always been interested in art, in fact my passion for drawing began in elementary school. Recently I have taken many art classes &workshops plus joining several art organizations including the Colored Pencil Society of America, the Tucson Colored Pencil Artists Assoc, Cactus Wren Artisans and the Tucson Mountains Artists Collective. I was Newsletter Editor for TCPAA for several years. I have entered my art in numerous Tucson area galleries and exhibits (some juried) and am actively creating new art.
I have many artworks available and am a permanent exhibitor in the Cactus Wren Artisans Gallery on Kinney Rd just south of the Tucson Mountain Park.
I can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I was 17 years old, I was a passenger in a SUV accident. Surviving this event became a defining point in my life. When the doctors diagnosed me with permanent paralysis, I began a journey to health and healing. In 1996 a four legged companion joined me on my path; Tyler J Worthington, my black Labrador Retriever service dog. We were together for the next decade and his love has truly transformed my life and who I am.
Dogs have the incredible ability to teach us about love, acceptance, gratitude, and most of all, joy. As Tyler taught me these truths my world opened up in amazing ways. I was able to do things I never thought possible, including: playing on a national championship wheelchair basketball team, traveling the world, earning a couple of degrees, finding and marrying my soul mate, and giving birth to two children.
In 2005, while pregnant with my son, I was placed on prolonged bed rest. I did some sketches of Tyler who was my constant bedside companion. When my son was born perfect and healthy I took these sketches and made a gratitude painting of Tyler. When friends saw it they asked me to paint their dogs and it grew. In 2007 I started a website, muttbutt.com, to display the dog paintings mostly just for friends (at the time 2 1/2 year old Oskar helped pick out the name). Things grew again when I started getting emails with stories and photos about amazing dogs and other people’s health journeys through the muttbutt.com website, myspace and facebook. Then in July 2008 the AZ Daily Star ran a story which featured the paintings and things continued to transform, evolve, and expand.
The dog paintings which began 2005 were the beginning of an artistic part of my life I really didn’t know existed.
I had taken some art classes in high school and in my teens considered art school, but after my accident in 1991 I set painting aside to pursue a more “practical” career (and one that might include stability and health insurance). After an almost a 14 year hiatus, and no formal training, I began creating art again by painting dogs.
The dog paintings started something that has grown into a calling- to create art that cultivates joy, healing, hope.
I have completed quite a few paintings now and expanded into painting other things besides dogs. I am privileged to live in this magical place called Tucson, AZ- with breathtaking mountains, sunsets, quirky man-made landmarks, and a diverse community of people and traditions. I started a series called “Pollos del Pueblo” when David Aguirre of Dinnerware Gallery put out a call for “Chicken Art” and I decided to answer with some silly hens running to Club Congress, and from there the paintings grew into a whole series of paintings of chickens visiting memorable Tucson locations. A painting made for a fundraiser for Tucson’s “All Souls Procession” grew into a series celebrating the unique multicultural way Tucson celebrates Dia de los Muertos (All Saints Day). More and more my love of this place I live has began to show itself in my art.
In September of 2009 I had my first solo show at Steven Derk’s Gallery 801. It has been a really fun journey the past 10 years making and showing art. I appreciate your role in the process. It’s much more interesting, difficult, exciting, terrifying, and rewarding to create art that I know someone will look at and interact with. The learning and growing continues with each piece. I look forward to what the future holds. I truly appreciate your taking the time to be part of my art and part of the journey. Leave a note and say “hi” on my guestbook or click over to my twitter or facebook page.
Bio: Gene Riggs, MA Art Education, is a retired art teacher of Tucson adults and children. Inspired by children’s art and folk art, Gene uses paper, paint, ink and natural materials to create framed works, assemblages, and hand made books. Gene has exhibited and presented repeatedly in southern Arizona, and is a member of Paperworks. You can see Gene’s work on Pinterest and Facebook.
There is a terrific gallery of works by Paperworks members at www.paperworks.info.
“At thirteen years old a blessing occurred for me when I discovered I could draw while in an art class at school. Fired with passion and dedication I drew every day. Art demonstrated to me, right from the beginning an emotional healing tool for my mind and a temporary refuge from the pain of living in an abusive household. If it were not for Art, I don’t believe I would not have survived . . .
My intention is that my painting, portals, codes and logos bless you as they have me.”
“I’ve painting in passion almost daily since 1986. Inspired in Nature, by visions and deep listening, I’ve lived, “Painted, Played and Prayed, at times 15 to 18 hours a day, living on Ancient Chumash ceremonial land in the mountains of Malibu, California. And Maui’s magical jungles of Hawaii, and in Glastonbury, England on the Holy Isle of Avalon… and presently residing studio with the powerful Red Rocks of Sedona, AZ.”
Self-taught, this visionary artist travels the physical world and paints the numinous found deep within the spirit world. She brings the essence of her journeys to life on the canvas with an intention to illuminate all who gaze upon them. “Her images invite you past the borders of her paintings and guide you through multidimensional worlds of mystical story myth, emotion and texture.” Four Corners Magazine 2002
While exhibiting in the International Agape Center of Los Angeles, California, their practitioners used Cher Lyn’s paintings as mediation tools for their teaching.
In honoring Mother Earth Her children, as a peaceful activist for the environment, various Indigenous cultures and transforming through creativity… *At least 10 % of original art sales are donated to indigenous cultures and ecological preservation.
I love to capture life, to use color to express the joy of living combined with the pleasure I get from the medium. As life brings new experiences to me as a person, there’s an exponential increase in confidence to my expression of life through color. I particularly enjoy the challenge of carefully working out a composition without losing spontaneity.
Most of my paints are Daniel Smith, but I also have some Winsor and Newton, and Holbein on my pallet. My preference is 300-pound hot press Fabriano Artistico paper, but for some paintings I’ve used cold press and 140 pound.
American Watercolor Society
National Watercolor Society
Transparent Watercolor Society of America
San Diego Watercolor Society
Western Federation of Watercolor Societies
Arizona Watercolor Association
Splash 13: Alternative Approaches
Splash 14: Light and Color
Splash 16: Exploring Texture
Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects
The Art of Watercolour Magazine (21st Issue)
Pratique des Arts Magazine (No 133)
Art Journey Animals: A Collection of Inspiring Contemporary Masterworks (North Light Books)