Meet Our Featured Artists
Chris Knopp started painting in watercolors in the mid-1980s. He was enthralled by the fluid style of other watercolorists and the sparkling colors they used. Chris learned the basics by reading dozens of books on the subject. Although his first attempts were “dismal failures,” he kept at it, painting part-time in irregular stretches of productivity, while principally focused on a career as a hydrologist.
Chris retired as a hydrologist in 2014 and has been painting steadily ever since. He says that he owes his most recent progress to several excellent instructors, including Beverly Fields, Carol Carter, and Tom Francesoni.
I can't remember not being exposed to wood and woodworking. Once of my first memories is of my grandfather milling a pile of logs into lumber for a local farmer. I remember being excited when my father brought home a brand new Craftsman wood lathe and let me use it.
I have also always had an interest in how things work. Taking them apart and putting them back together, or creating new things based on the old. That led me to my first career, as an electrical design engineer and computer architect. In that vocation, I always sought out the most complicated parts of the project and enjoyed coming up with creative ways to design them.
Over the years, I continued to make things from wood in my spare time, including furniture and several wooden boats. Now that I am retired from engineering, I enjoy traveling with my lovely wife but also continue to seek out new complicated projects (building a new 15-foot wooden sailboat, wooden clocks with wooden gears…)
The opportunity to acquire a very nice used wood lathe last year reignited my interest in woodturning. Then when I discovered the area of segmented woodturning, I was hooked. It satisfies my desire to work with wood and also my need to tackle complex projects. The process of taking apart pieces of wood and gluing them together in a transformed way to create a unique and (hopefully) beautiful object is very rewarding.
Born and raised in Southern California, Beverly Austin has spent a lifetime in the arts with an appreciation for all that California has to offer to an artist. She is an accomplished designer in a variety of mediums and has worked professionally as an interior and web designer for a number of individual, corporate and non-profit clients.
In 1994, Beverly moved to the Sierra Foothills in Northern California and began to focus on her first love of design, acrylic and oil painting. She works primarily from drawings, sketches, plein air, and photographs.
Using oils and acrylics as her principal mediums, she typically paints landscapes, portraits, still lifes and animals with the same attention to detail in each medium. Her paintings often reflect a unique fusion of traditional, contemporary and an ethereal view of our world both real and imaginary, and a single-minded determination to bring each subject of a blank canvas to life.