2024 SIMS ARTIST BIOS
LINDA BEHAGE -
Fabricating metal just feels right as I am tactile. My first exposure to art on a large scale was with fiber, primarily weaving. I have many one-man shows in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, invited to invitationals, and juried into the Three Rivers Art Festival. My undergraduate degree from Carlow College was in Art and Art Therapy. A career in Social Work kept me from having time to pursue art for years until I took a silversmithing class while living in Michigan...I was hooked and have been exploring the medium ever since.
KELLY DEAL -
Kelly Deal was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1983. She has always loved creating, drawing, and imagining. As a young adult, this “talent” or “gift” became a handicap in her artistic education due largely to arrogance and ego. She was an unteachable art student. Feeling that because she could draw well meant that was all that was required to be successful. (Years later, she humbly admits there is MUCH more to it. “If you feel you know more than your teacher, you should go ahead and leave the room because you are wasting everyone’s time.- Kelly Deal) Kelly studied art at North Georgia College and State University (today, known as North Georgia University) from 2002-2005. As a member of the Toccoa Artists Guild, Kelly studied soft pastels. The bold marks and the way the colors could pack into the sanded paper intrigued her. All of the art created from 2013-2020 was completed in the Appalachian foothills in soft pastel, acrylic or graphite. In 2020, her family left northeast Georgia for Port Saint Joe, Florida. She is the first elementary art teacher to teach in Gulf county Florida in many years. Having been so inspired by St Joseph’s Bay and the colorful lifestyle of the panhandle, Kelly’s personal style has evolved. Her colors are ever brighter and lighter. The joy she sees daily around her has influenced a whimsical shift in her content. Kelly has experienced a fantastic renaissance of her own and is creating with childlike passion. “I have never met a color I didn’t like,”
- Kelly Deal
DIRTY GIRLS GARDENING - KENDRA JACOBY & SHARON GROSS
Both Kendra Jacoby & Sharon Gross are local women entrepreneurs that enjoy gardening and the environment. We love sharing our knowledge of plants and succulents. We also plant custom containers for your home, office or business and be sure to check out their Facebook page for more information.
For thirty years, mastering the art of teaching art was my life. My luxurious “old school” undergrad years were dedicated to acquiring skill in just about every kind of studio art, with emphasis on painting, photography/filmmaking, and ceramics. Later on, the introduction of technology and pursuit of a master’s degree provided opportunities to gain a working knowledge of digital arts and apply that to teaching as well.
Retiring in 2012 and moving from Ohio to Port St Joe (which my husband and I had planned since 1990) has once again afforded me the luxury of being able to relax and create art at my leisure. I love painting, photography, and digital imaging. And having my own dedicated studio now allows me space to work in a variety of media without having to put all my stuff away every dang time. I still teach a painting class and the Paint & Sip classes at The Joe.
To love what I do and share what I love! I love helping people realize their creativity and feeling of accomplishment while making something beautiful, meaningful and shareable!
I have always loved paper and ink. It all started with notebooks and office supplies. My passion eventually evolved into scrapbooking when my son was born. I felt it necessary to preserve memories for him, the places we went, and the family and friends we were with. It also fed my soul creatively. And then I met rubber stamps! I went to a workshop and loved making cards and other projects. Since then, I have been hooked! And come to find out, my friends enjoyed stamping as well!
Since 1994, I have taught many people the art of stampin' and held many different styles of stampin' events, from monthly stamp club nights with as many as 12 people at 3 different tables, to elementary students in an after-school club, and to other Stampin' Up! demonstrators. Stamping is for EVEYONE, no matter the skill level. It is easy to make something beautiful that you will be proud to share with your friends and family, and knowing that it was made by your hands, it's even more special!
“The voice of the sea, speaks to my soul.”
This quote could perfectly decide what has truly drove David to the beach so many times during his life. “There's a peace and tranquility that seems to wash the soul of all cares. Seeing its vastness puts life's issues in divine perspective.”
David is a self taught artist starting at age 5yrs old, he graduated from drawing to painting quickly. The beach and all that it encompasses gives him inspiration. His work captures the vivid colors and material aspects of beach life. Each unique piece reminds us of what we love about the beach. The ocean waves, trees, sea-life, surfboards, and bicycles tell the story of our experiences here. David loves to interact with the people and often customizes pieces to fit their unique story and desires. He has work in many private collections including the White House.
David's body of work includes canvas art, reclaimed-wood beach art, Christmas ornaments, tie-dye, driftwood art, murals, and furniture. He has painted guitars, surfboards and many unique “canvases,” David also teaches art classes in various mediums including acrylics and tie-dye.
Born and raised in New Orleans, LA where I got my love of color, creativity & originality. Lived in Houston, TX, where I was a 20+ year member of “The Houston Gem, Fossil and Mineral Society” both attending & teaching classes. Taught jewelry classes at many Community Centers as well as at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Presently retired and reside in St. Joe Beach, Florida.
Cyndi Lanier is a Nature Printer and Artist based out of Wewahitchka, Florida. She views art, as she does life, as an exploration and a never ending journey of learning. She has explored various media including pastels, watercolors, photography and more recently oil painting. No matter the media, Cyndi has always been drawn to the nature as a subject. For the past 12 years she has included nature printing in her exploration of art, feeling drawn to capture the patterns and shapes created by “The Great Creator”. She views her work as a culmination of all the artistic endeavors she has learned on her path and enjoys sharing her knowledge through small classes in order to give her students the tools to encourage them on their own artistic journeys.
Cyndi has loved to fish since she was a young girl and that has sparked the passion for her most recognized nature printing works - Gyotaku or fish prints. For her original works, Cyndi’s process starts with careful set up and preparation of the fish and applying oil based inks by hand in a precise method to capture the most intricate details on thin sheets of Japanese paper. Next, another layer of paper is dyed to create watery organic and abstract backgrounds. The papers are then wet mounted to cradled wood panels or canvas, dried and then finished using a combination of watercolor, inks and pastels to bring each piece to life. Once completed, each original is sealed with several layers of UV protective varnish. The finished pieces are a beautiful combination of both art and science!
Linda loves watercolors. She has a passion for life and all things in art. Linda and her husband Rick have lived in St. Joe Beach since 2007. She enjoys spending time with her family, her church and The Joe Center for the Arts where she has served as a board member since 2017. Linda shares her watercolor experiences with all who express an interest and also through classes at the art center. Her philosophy is that art is something that should be enjoyed. Linda and her paintings always leave you with a smile.
Cheryl Ploegstra is a watercolor artist who primarily paints en Plein air (outdoors from life). She enjoys working outdoors to document the people, places, landscapes and stories of the Forgotten Coast. She also teaches watercolor classes and is affiliated with both The Joe Center for the Arts and the Forgotten Coast en Plein Air festival. She coordinates the Gulf Plein Air painters’ group. With this class, she hopes to encourage more artists to paint outdoors!
In her youth, Claire Ratliff was weaned on Bewitched and grew intent on becoming an advertising executive like Darrin Stephens. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree with a concentration in Commercial Design and launched a meandering career in marketing and communications, eventually founding a PR firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. Claire rediscovered a love for the visual arts after attending a watercolor workshop on the island of Paros, Greece in 2019. With a focus on watercolors, she decided to make room in an old drawer filled with acrylic paints by using up the medium, but soon found herself buying more of the versatile and vibrant paint. Her style is best described as eccentric. One day, tiny acrylic folk art and another day, light and airy watercolors or giant pallete knife paintings. She takes pride in always being a student and explorer. “I enjoy teaching because it offers so many opportunities for me to learn as well.”
I learned the art of mosaic tiling from my sister many years ago, before ever considering trying my hand at stained glass. Once I realized how extensive the color selection was with art glass, the switch was easy. I love the way glass colors and textures can make art come alive. Mosaic glass designs can be used to refurbish old furniture, or add splashes of color to any garden, in the form of different shaped garden stones. I have even used stained glass mosaic designs to create one of a kind house address signs, many of which can be seen around our community.
Marcy Trahan has always had an artistic bent in her life. She loves to explore color, texture and detail in the mediums of watercolor, acrylics, and photography. The creative process of bringing life to a blank white sheet of paper is magic. The magic of photography allows one to capture those fleeting moments in time that connect us to the natural world and each other. Her photography also provides the source material for her paintings.
She is a member of the Florida Watercolor Society and a Signature Member of the Colorado Watercolor Society.