Monika Johnson is an award winning painter living in Incline Village, NV, who now brings many of the talents and skills learned in a 25-year career as a hairstylist to her art. As a master hair colorist for many years, her first canvas for her creative expression was painting hair. Now she uses her love of color and texture to craft bold and creative “en plein air” (outdoors) artwork.
A graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, Monika started out painting still life’s in acrylic before moving on to figures, and eventually oil painting en plein air. She has spent many years honing her craft with many masters, including Wendy Ulmann, with whom she painted every week for eight years. She has taken workshops with Gregory Kondos at Sierra Nevada College, Kit Night at the Sacramento Fine Art Center, Wanda Mumm in Glacier National Park, Andy Skaff, Leslie Saeta, Jean LeGassick and recently studied in France with Antonin Passemard. She has exhibited with M studio, the Markleeville Library, Wilbur May Museum, North Tahoe Arts, Liberty Fine Art, Reno Little Theater, Uncorked and St. Mary’s Art Center. Her work recently graced the cover of the Tahoe Weekly.
Monika’s plein air landscapes, done in oil and using her signature bold color and texture, are generating true excitement among her many admirers. “Being a plein air painter, I paint outside in the natural environment and that encourages me to capture the moment quickly. The light changes, the shadows move, the temperature changes, or the wind comes up, so I’m forced to carpe diem! If I try to go back another day to the same spot, it’s just never the same.”
A Boston native, Monika’s love of skiing brought her Lake Tahoe in the mid 1990’s. She also enjoys hiking, mountain biking and hanging out with her dogs doing ‘nose work’ (scent detection games). “I love the mountains and the outdoors,” she says, “which is why living in Lake Tahoe and painting outside in nature is perfect for me!”
Kim Snyder has been painting professionally since 2009. Since Kim’s professional debut, her distinctive abstract style has resulted in noteworthy exhibitions throughout California and has attracted a following of collectors in both the Western and Southern states. Paintings she donated raised funds for charities, including the Paso Robles Art Association and International Women’s Festival’s charities in Santa Barbara. In 2013, Kim was featured in the New Times in an article titled “That’s What the Water Gave Me.” Kim has shown her work at the reputable juried Beverly Hills artSHOW and has been featured in dozens of noteworthy private one-woman shows. Furthermore, Kim works closely with a handful of respected interior designers to stage and sell her large format works in homes in California and Nevada.
Kim’s abstract works portray a metaphoric perception of the natural world as she brings to life her own emotions and the interconnectedness of all things. Driven by her desire to seek peace and calm, Kim allows her canvas to be a vessel for her meditative and creative journey. She explores the dualities of knowing and not knowing, safety and risk, realism and abstraction. Her work ultimately emphasizes a letting go and a great sense of peace and calm that is felt by the observer.
Kim’s paintings are created entirely in the moment using a wet-on-wet, or alla prima, process in which she only works with wet paint, never allowing it to dry. Diving into her art both emotionally and physically, Kim initially pours the paint directly onto the canvas, which also acts as her palate, and physically mixes and texturizes the colors to express the movement and flow she feels when she creates. She explains this as a “high risk, high reward process.”
When she’s not painting, Kim is actively involved in the art communities within San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Laguna Beach, and Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village in Nevada. She is a member of the Laguna ART Group and Atelier708, a collaborative art studio she co-founded in downtown Paso Robles. She actively supports and participates in art programs for children throughout San Luis Obispo County including: Arts for Children, Arts Obispo’s Mentor Program, and Studios on the Park’s Arts Smart Program. In addition, Kim privately instructs art students with a current focus on realism including portraits and perspective using Kim’s first medium and love, charcoal.
Today, Kim’s paintings continue to advance and grow. She explores even deeper connections with herself as she works with more expansive surfaces that include large format diptych and triptych canvases.
Lisa’s paintings have been inspired by the natural beauty and light of the areas where she has lived including Colorado, Northern Minnesota on Lake Superior, and now North Lake Tahoe. Her art background has been in graphic design but she has always painted in watercolor. She is fascinated by the quality of transparency, both in the medium of watercolor and in the subject matter of her paintings. Lisa enjoys painting the clear waters and beautiful scenery near her and also exploring the translucent nature of crystal and glass and backlit flowers and foliage. Saturated color and strong values satisfy her affinity for a sense of depth in her paintings and
a representational style. Recently she has also been painting in acrylics and oils, which offer a different but exciting set of new challenges. Lisa has had paintings accepted into many national watercolor exhibitions, won several prestigious awards, and is a Signature Member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Rocky Mountain National Watercolor Society, and the National Watercolor Society.
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Eva S. Nichols is an award-winning watercolorist & instructor best described as an "impressionist colorist" inspired by nature.
In 2009-10 Danish born Nichols was an artist in residence at Mendocino Art Center, which started her career as an art instructor. She has a unique ability to inspire students to explore their creativity and grow artistically. She moved to the small mountain town of Truckee, CA in 2010 after spending over 20 years on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.
Nichols has won numerous awards, and she was recently awarded Community Education Instructor of the Year 2013-14 by Truckee Meadows Community College. She is a member of the ARTisan Shop at North Tahoe Arts in Tahoe City, CA and several galleries in California and Nevada represent her. Nichols spent the Month of March 2015 as an Artist In Residence at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City, NV which is evident in her latest work.
“My paintings are meant to be a joyful place for your eyes to linger.
Watercolors are a fluid and expressive medium and I love to let the colors flow and mix on the paper. Juxtaposing abstracted shapes with realistic details.
Unveiling more than what meets the eye, sharing the underlying joy and beauty of my subject matter and leaving something for the imagination.”
Drawing is always the starting point for my work. I draw from nature, still life and photos. I’m always looking for things that speak to me. The printmaking process allows me to combine literal objects and experiment with layering techniques to create imagery that integrates new meaning. Elements that are essential in my work are line and balance. I’m concerned with the way one line interacts with another and how the juxtaposition of weight and space creates balance.
As the world around me is constantly changing so is my need to explore new ideas, emotions and techniques. All of my work begins with a direction and a purpose, but once I’m fully engaged in the printmaking process the work takes on a life of its own. My intent is not to portray literal interpretations but have the work speak for itself. Art making is my passion. It empowers and vitalizes my life. The creative process is what brings me into the studio day after day.
Elizabeth Paganelli has lived and worked in the Lake Tahoe area for the past eighteen years. She received a BFA from California College of the Arts, and an MA from John F. Kennedy University. She has also studied printmaking at Kala Institute in Berkley, Ca. and Santa Reparata Graphic Center in Florence, Italy. Paganelli has taught drawing and printmaking at Sierra Nevada College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Yosemite National Park. Her work is included in many collections.
McClelland has been drawing and painting most of her life. She studied illustration at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. In 1979 she moved to the north shore of Lake Tahoe and never left. Lake Tahoe’s beautiful surroundings are a constant inspiration, bringing her close to the heart of nature. The mountains, forests, animals, streams, lakes, moon and stars feed her creative spirit.
While living at Tahoe she has freelanced as an illustrator, graphic artist, art director, muralist and painter. Her art interests have gone in many different directions from handmade paper creations, watercolor/dye illustrations, printmaking, paintings, tapestries and murals. Painting has remained her main focus. While painting murals she developed her own technique of combining acrylic paint, using both airbrush and hand layering method to enhance and detail her paintings, giving the artwork a feeling of depth and the soft magical beauty of nature.
Her work encompasses many themes, from the whimsical, to the wildlife and environment of Lake Tahoe and sacred places. Whether it be a mural or painting, her artwork reflects her love for nature and mythical subjects weaving a magical quality through each piece. Her murals and paintings have graced the walls of business’ and private homes nationally.
McClelland has been featured in many publications including the We’Moon datebooks and calendars. She is working with Schiffer Publishing and her Star Tarot deck and book will be released July 2017. You can view more of her work on her web site at
“Nature and the mystery of the universe play a big part with my inspiration. I like to weave the two together in my creations, hoping to inspire others to enjoy the beauty of nature and the wonderful creatures around us. Our world is full of miracles and magic. We just need to recognize the beauty and truth of this, and bring it into our lives and into our hearts. I hope that my artwork can be a
Art has been a part of my life since birth. My Grandmother was an oil painter and from the age of 7 or 8, I remember spending weekends with her where she set me up with an easel and brushes and showed me how to create magic.
I loved the smell and feel of the paints. However, the magic was put on hold while I married and raised a family. In 1979 we moved to North Tahoe, but it wasn’t until 1992 that I took my first watercolor class. I was totally hooked!
I have been blessed to have attended workshops taught by some of the leading watercolorists in America. I love painting everything from landscapes to portraits and started teaching watercolor classes in 2001 in Tahoe, Reno and Grass Valley. In 2003 I had a one woman show at North Tahoe Art Center, participated in a European Show in 2005 and a Small Painting Show in 2006 at Pogan Gallery.
More recently my art medium has shifted to pastels and it is opening up a new awareness of color and textures. I have participated in the international shows of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and in 2010 had the honor of becoming a signature member of this organization.
My love for art is truly a gift from God and when anyone sees my work and is touched emotionally through one of my paintings, I feel like I’m giving that gift back to Him. Living in Tahoe for 35 years has only increased my awe of God’s creation and love and I hope that I can capture a small part of that beauty on paper!
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Carolyn Guerra received her B. A. degree in Artand English at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Carolyn continued her studies touring European museums and galleries and as a student of the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied drawing, painting, and printmaking.
Carolyn is a multi-media artist who is continuously discovering and creating. Currently her sculptural preoccupation is both in bronze and concrete sculptures enhanced with her own ceramic creations or found glass objects. The paradoxical themes of togetherness and opposition reoccur as in her earlier work. The contrasts manifest themselves both in the subject matter of the works and in her choices of materials; the juxtaposition of both smooth and excessive detailed textures in her bronze sculptures and the rough, matte finish of the concrete and the smooth, glossy surface of glass or glazed ceramic creations in her concrete sculptures.