Stephanie Visser

Meet Stephanie Visser of Los Angeles, CA

Originally from a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan, Stephanie moved to Los Angeles to complete her studies at Pasadena Art Center.

She began in watercolor on paper and then gravitated to acrylic because of its opaque qualities on paper. Stephanie prefers water media since she can layer and glaze and the build up finishes perfectly. She also loves the immediacy of acrylic, as patience is not one of her virtues.

Painting is a means of communication for her; it is her way of working through thoughts and questions.

Ultimately she believes that life is the great equalizer for all people and, “[her] goal is to inspire or present thoughts and ideas that [she is] personally working through which are inherent to all of us even if the story is unique.” In this way, her paintings are healing compositions that explore life experiences through tone, pattern, light, space and color. She usually creates paintings in a series.

The process with a single gesture that gradually leads to color, shape and form through a multitude of layers.

A Snapshot View of Stephanie Visser.

Favorite Artist: Andrew Wyeth was the watercolorist that first sparked her interest but she has many artists that she looks to for inspiration. 
Spirit Animal: She’ll have to reach deep down into her native American roots to figure that out.
Secret Superpower: She doesn’t have one but she would love to always know who was telling the truth. Wouldn’t that make life easier all around?      



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MB Boissonnault

Meet MB Boissonnault of Los Angeles, CA

Originally from Bennington, Vermont, MB Boissonnault has been living and working as a painter in Venice, California for nineteen years.

She studied at the KunstAkademie Düsseldorf under Dutch artist Jan Dibbets. Traces from the different environments in which she’s lived are visible in her work. She’s inherited the precision and detail of the German painting tradition and mixed it in with the Californian optimism and predilection for light and freedom. Boissonnault works in oil and synthetic paints because “turning a two-dimensional space into an emotional landscape is the biggest challenge I [can] think of.” It is important for her that her work impacts viewers and that they are drawn in and feel an emotion.

Being an artist isn’t necessarily a matter of choice for Boissonnault. “If you’re a painter it’s not an existence that you choose. You just have to do it.”

She’s known that she is an artist since birth and has made it a professional pursuit for over 20 years. And she has received much recognition for her pursuit. Her work has been featured in interior design magazines such as LUXE and has been a popular choice for film and TV.

Collectors include Deutsche Bank, Tyssen, Siemens, the Tennessee State Museum, Chase Bank, the Matisse Family, and Roma Downey +Mark Burnett.

A Snapshot View of MB Boissonnault

Favorite Artist: Eugène Delacroix.
Spirit Animal: Daffy Duck. 
Secret Superpower: Sometimes she knows who is calling her before picking up the phone.        



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Brayden Bugazzi

Meet Brayden Bugazzi of Los Angeles, CA

It has not been a direct road to becoming a fine artist for Brayden, but he has always known that he was creative.

After studying at Herberger School of Fine Arts at Arizona University, he moved to Los Angeles to become an editorial photographer. This profession didn’t fit well and he soon found his true calling as a fine artist. Today he thinks of his old dreams with a smile and a hint of irony, “my dream was to be printed in Vogue in some capacity, but I ended up seeing my art on their site in the company of a famous NYC socialite who was the muse of the mythic fashion Icon from a bygone era, Halston.”

Today Brayden makes vibrant collages of pop icons out of old magazines, newspapers and books.

He begins by ordering books about his subject on eBay or Amazon and hunting down material in local used bookstores. Tearing pages up and cutting out fragments with his x-acto knife, Brayden meticulously builds the work up to get the final three-dimensional effect. From a distance, his art looks flat and representational – anyone passing by can easily identify the subject. But the real joy of his art occurs when you step closer and the famous face fades into a thrilling collection of tiny fragments of old printed material.

Humorous details sprinkle his work – such as the name of Frida Kahlo’s lover (Leon Trotsky) that appears on her lips.

A Snapshot View of Brayden Bugazzi

Favorite Artist: Shane Guffogg.
Spirit Animal: Bobcat.
Secret Superpower:  Patience and tenacity.       



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Javiera Estrada

Meet Javiera Estrada of Los Angeles, CA

Javiera Estrada was born in Acapulco, Mexico and moved to the US when she was 8. She and her family bounced around the country from Connecticut to Atlanta.

She has known that she would be an artist since age 6 when she would draw on the walls with nail polish, much to her mother’s dismay. Abstract things, such as the sound of breaking glass, captivated her attention and made her think of the sublime. She finds the instant gratification of photography satisfying, allowing her to join the real with the ethereal.

Her work originates from her inner terrain, as a “physical expression of that inner nameless world [that her] soul inhabits.”

As a result, each work is a kind of self-portrait, a small reflection of her inner self for others to see. The beauty and intensity of these segmented portraits are palpable and addicting. Javiera has a wide body of work but the pieces here at WhyNotArt are part of recent experiments with the behaviour of ink in water.

Working in black and white as well as exploding color, she captures velvety, ephemeral forms that are tactile yet strictly visual.

A Snapshot View of Javiera Estrada

Favorite Artist: She has so many favorite artists and it’s hard to limit it to one: Frida Kahlo, Sally Mann, Tim Walker, Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Diane Arbus.
Spirit Animal: Her spirit animals are the hawk, lion, and butterfly.
Secret Superpower: She can read people fairly quickly and accurately. She has been known to break down people’s personalities and characteristics by “reading” their faces.        



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Karen Hochman Brown

Meet Karen Hochman Brown of Los Angeles, CA

A native of Southern California, Karen Hochman Brown grew up in Santa Barbara. She then headed south to Pitzer College for a BA in Art and currently lives in Altadena.

Her artistic output fuses her love of art with her long time passion for mathematics. She finds geometry with its interconnectedness, beauty and logic captivating. In 1984 she discovered the graphic nature of computer art and has never looked back from this world that marries the flexibility of art with the precision of mathematics. Working on her art offers her a combination of meditation and brain teasing.

The repeating patterns of computer-generated shapes are mesmerizing and the challenges of working with constantly expanding software tools push her to learn new skills and methods.

Karen begins each piece with a photograph that she imports into a modular graphics-synthesizer program. She then alters different functions and formulas to create a series of images that she stacks into multiple layers, gradually building and developing the work.

She strives to make the technology that she uses seem magical with the result that her artworks convey a unique energy.

A Snapshot View of Karen Hochman Brown

Favorite Artist: Vincent van Gogh.
Spirit Animal: The horse.
Secret Superpower: She is the Princess of Parking. She has an uncanny knack for finding good parking places. She also can be counted on to pick the best time to leave for a trip to avoid traffic.      



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Nurit Avesar

Meet Nurit Avesar of Los Angeles, CA.

Originally from Israel, Nurit moved to the US when she was 21 and completed her studies in Studio Art at Cal State University Northridge.

She is a mixed media artist and painter whose work is focused on the process of production. Beginning with a large painting on paper pasted onto canvas, she then sands the surface of the painting, tearing and removing bits in the process. These steps create a new image filled with distressed fragments of the original painting. She continues to manipulate the images to create new ones, often collaging rust, graphite, fabric and paper to create the final works. Nurit delights in the unpredictability of the surfaces, the texture, and the concept behind the processes of sanding and multi layering.

The results are faded, ghostly images of the initial surfaces that merge with the bolder layers added on top.

Cultural legacies as well as the interactions between history and the present are important themes in Nurit’s work. Exploring how these ideas can be materially realized is built into her process as she manipulates and destroys finished paintings to create new ones. Recent major exhibitions of her work have been at the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, at Cal State University Dominguez Hills, the Brand Library Art Gallery and a solo show at the Neutra Institute Museum in Silver Lake.

She is the 2010 recipient of the Dean Purchase Award.

A Snapshot View of Nurit Avesar.

Favorite Artist: Anselm Kiefer and Mark Bradford
Spirit Animal: Not sure about it but she loves birds.
Secret Superpower:She doesn’t think that she has a super power…She is an optimist…       



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David Dory

Meet David Dory of Los Angeles.

Originally from Carson City, Nevada, David grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

His childhood memories include the occasional bear roaming around Lake Tahoe and the wild mustang filled hills of Lyon country. He works in all media and will choose the materials that best suit the piece that he is creating. For him, “the medium is just the means to get there, and in some way has the same impact on my work as whether I drove a car, flew or took the train.” His style, by contrast, is the more essential element of his work. Sharing many qualities with the surrealist movement, his style is also referred to as “omnistic” in so far as it combines nudes, landscapes, and abstract elements to create a cubist/ surrealist work.

After years of refining his signature style, David has achieved a unique body of work that stands out and is easily recognizable as his creation.

His favorite show was a benefit for the Reno Philharmonic where he showed a painting called Nevada Ghosts. The work called attention to an incident where someone was shooting the wild mustangs around Virginia City, NV for sport. Lance Gilman, the owner of the famous Mustang Ranch Brothel, bought the painting.

To the best of David’s knowledge, the painting still hangs over the door leading to the “Girls” rooms.

A Snapshot View of David Dory.

Favorite Artist: Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, and M.C. Escher
Spirit Animal: A Mustang.
Secret Superpower:  Empathy. Art offers a respite or sanctuary for the people that take the time to see deeper into the work, and this quality comes from being able to take on the hope, feelings, dreams, and fantasies of those around him and to translate those into his art.   



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David Leapman

Meet David Leapman of Los Angeles, CA and London, UK.

David Leapman is a British painter from London who has fallen in love with the desert landscape of the southwestern United States.

He currently lives and works in Riverside, CA. Despite Paul Delaroche’s 1839 verdict that painting is dead, Leapman continues to paint because painting is one way to be human and because it will outlive its critics. He uses a long list of pigments and products to make his paints but stays away from oils. Some of his paintings contain unusual materials such as diamond dust, cristalina, duco chrome, luster pigment, glassmehl (ground colored glass) or mirror flake.

The initial impact of viewing his art is particularly important to him. His use of bold color and materials catch the attention of viewers. It then takes more time to disentangle and associate various meanings in the work while penetrating the different layers. 

Leapman doesn’t believe in the sudden moment of inspiration. Instead his creations are about a lifelong engagement with creativity. His studio needs to be fit for the purpose of creating but his mind and body must also be sharp. To keep body and mind in stable form David practices martial arts, plays competitive soccer and frequently returns to the deserts of California.

In 1995 he won the John Moores Painting Prize and he has work hanging in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Government Art Collection, and the Walker Art Gallery.

A Snapshot View of David Leapman

Favorite Artist: James Rielly or Piero della Francesca
Spirit Animal: The Roadrunner, genus Geococcyx.
Secret Superpower:  He has created 27 Petal Thinkers, his own set of super heroes (images that reoccur in his work) such as, Doctor Cunning and Miracle Munger.



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Christina Twomey

Meet Christina Twomey of Los Angeles, CA.

After creating her first work of art using materials from her local art store on the corner of Pico and La Cienaga in LA, Christina knew she’d found her calling.

What initially began as an attempt to decorate her new home quickly turned into a successful Etsy store and then into an invitation to show her work at RAW Natural Born Artists. And all of this happened just five years ago. Since then, Christina has watched with a joyful mixture of astonishment and delight as demand for her work grows and the requests for commissions roll in.

Today she works primarily in resin, experimenting with the medium’s different viscosities and pigment loads to achieve a wide range of vivid effects.

In addition to uncovering her raw talent for working with color and her keen eye for composition, Christina explains that kick-starting her artistic career has taken a lot of work. As Malcolm Gladwell says in Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of investment to become an expert in anything. Love for her artistic process propels her forward, as does the passion for creating something for someone.

Ultimately it is the constant challenge that she sets for herself to find her recognizable style and to be unique and original that keeps her focused on those 10,000 hours.

A Snapshot View of Christina Twomey

Favorite Artist: Cy Twombly.
Spirit Animal: A bird so she may soar high and take in the view. And of course, her beloved rescue dog, Kazan.  
Secret Superpower: Her intuition. Being able to connect with her clients on a deeper level provides her the passion, energy & intuition she enjoys experiencing in order to deliver something they love.

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Katherine Kean

Meet Katherine Kean of Los Angeles, CA.

Katherine Kean’s deep respect for natural landscapes and the weather is evidenced in her work. Cloud formations, rain, and storm patterns are common themes that she masterfully represents in oil.

Her chosen medium brings deep color to her canvases while the longer drying time gives her greater flexibility during the painting process. By working in layers, she slowly builds up the surface of the canvas and creates various textures that enhance the two dimensional representation of three-dimensional phenomena.

With her painting she seeks, “to stir wonder and excitement for the transformative impacts of weather, wildlife, and natural phenomena, all the while revealing the serene center that can sit in the midst of Nature’s turbulence.”

It comes as no surprise then that she was particularly excited to have two of her paintings shown at the National Weather Center Biennial in 2015.

As part of the exhibit, she got a tour of the Center, learned some more about the science, and met other artists who focus on climate themes.

A Snapshot View of Katherine Kean

Favorite Artist: If she has to narrow it down to just one, she’ll go with J.M.W. Turner, but she has dozens of favorites.
Spirit Animal: She has several. Among them, a large red horse, a raven, a bear.
Secret Superpower: She’s been known to make it rain.

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