Watercolor & Oil
My goal in painting is simple,i.e.,to tell a story, make a statement or evoke an emotion. My mediums are watercolor and oil.
I would prefer to paint from life, but that's not always possible. Many of my still life paintings are from my own design and composition. The landscape, seascape, figurative and portrait paintings are mostly from the reference photos that I have taken of various places that I have been blessed to visit.
I paint for the love of art and it's a passion that never goes away. Sometimes I paint the same thing over and over again to get it to the point that I think it's right, and when that doesn't happen, I cast it aside and try to forget about it. Later, if by chance, I run across it I think,hey, that wasn't so bad after all. Then I start a new painting.
My journey into the world of art started later in life, and I have had a lot to learn and catching up to do. However the passion and obsession is still there to paint the perfect painting.
I grew up in Bell County, KY but spent a great portion of my life in Tennessee and Florida. Life before art was in the banking industry starting as a teller and leaving as a Human Resource Officer. Currently, my husband and I are owners of a small perfume manufacturing company.
Recycled Glass Work
Nebraska born Barbara Murray spent her childhood and early adult years in Colorado, spending her college years at CSU in Fort Collins. Barbara came to Eastern Tennessee by way of Georgia. Her years in GA were filled with adventures in gift sales, food and beverage management, teaching, and studying nutrition and holistic health modalities. She and her husband enjoy their life in TN on what she refers to as their “sacred nob, Murray Hill” or “Heaven’s Gallery” as one dear friend so aptly named the beautiful hill overlooking Powell Valley TN.
Since arriving in Tennessee, Barbara has enjoyed pet therapy (visiting schools and nursing homes) with her husband and their Great Danes, volunteer work in Knoxville, TN and Middlesboro, KY, teaching Tai Chi, and creating. Her functional up-cycled glass works have brought joy to many gatherings, as cheese trays, snack bowls and soap dishes or spoon rests. Barbara is a strong proponent of recycling and reusing… to help the planet…so learning to use her kiln to turn used bottles and other glass into functional art seemed a natural step to her. In the past several years, she’s found her own style with the shapes and colors she finds most usable. Her glass art may come to you as a gift or you may spot a piece you just have to have for your counter, wall, deck or next party. Barbara has even created entire kitchen backsplashes with slumped bottles! Each time you use your tray or bowl from Murray Hill, may you be reminded that you’re honoring something we all love…this EARTH.
Barbara continues to learn, grow and experiment. She is planning to use recycled glass in wind chimes in the near future.
By the time I was 7 years old, my favorite pastime was drawing and painting pictures. My love for art, has led me to study art, collect art books, and visit some of the finest art museums in the world, such as The National Museum and The Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C., The Metropolitan Museum in New York City, and The Louvre Museum in Paris France, and others.
I paint people, animals, birds, buildings, seascapes and landscapes. My mediums are oil, acrylic, water color, India ink, pastels, pencils, and charcoal. Woodland sculptures are made from items that I find walking in the woods.
I teach after school art classes to area children from area schools that don't offer art in their curriculum; adult art classes on Saturday morning; offer workshops through the winter months of January and February; and also do painting parties at the Artists Co-op Gallery and at the local tearoom.
Creating art and teaching art enriches my life and brings me happiness. I highly recommend it as a great therapy to take your mind off your troubles. The Great Creator created us in His image and instills in artists and artisans the desire to create.
I am a charter member of The Cumberland Gap Artists Co-Op.
Photography and Wood Working
I grew up here in the mountains of VA, KY & TN and later moved away to Florida for work. After 25 years, my wife and I moved back and acquired the homestead that has been in my family since 1780. It was purchased from the famous Joseph Martin of Martin's Station by my 6th Grandfather in 1780. My 3rd Great Grandfather built the farmhouse we live in today back in 1896.
Five years prior to purchasing the homestead, my wife and I came up from Florida and got married on the front porch. At that time, we had no idea we would someday own and live in this home. My father, Grover Witt and 11 of his siblings were born and raised in this house.
I take local and historical photos, such as Hensley Settlement, the Hole in the Rock and Coal Mining. I also capture the local way of life that is disappearing like old barns, churches, general stores, train depots, hay baling, tobacco farming, plowing and more.
In addition to photography, I make frames and other woodworking items, like tables, quilt racks, swings and wood art, etc. utilizing local wood from downed trees, old barns and houses. Wood like oak, walnut, wormy chestnut, cherry, cedar and more. In my spare time I'm one of Santa's helpers.
Kathy Jo Matthews
My world is a gift given me by God.
From a young age, I learned to view my surroundings through unique, grateful glasses. Whether pressing my eye to a Kodak Brownie Camera viewfinder or hanging upside down with a book in an old catalpa tree, I observed my parents create life for my brother and I.
Mom wrote and recreated her world with her sewing machine, my father believed that if something were already broken, it couldn’t hurt to try to reassemble it some other way. I learned to live in a world without boundaries, in which reality could be cleverly captured and rewritten by a creative muse. From these roots, I view life through a camera lens.
After my late husband passed, I traveled the world alone with my camera as my companion. I dropped this friend in San Diego and while pondering the fact that it may be broken, realized how much the camera had become part of who I was.
I also recreate things around me, much like my father did. I never quite feel as talented in my work as those who have a specific genre but do leave a part of myself in every piece or photo I create. By viewing my work, one can see the inside of me….
Mary Margaret LeBoeuf
Artist - Watercolor, Oil, Acrylic, alcholol markers, pen and pencil
Mary Margaret LeBoeuf, who is currently 16, resides in Harrogate, Tennessee, and has been pursuing her artistic abilities her whole life. Her mediums include watercolor, oil, and acrylic paint as well as alcohol markers, pen, and pencil. She's been working at the Co-op since the summer of 2019 and continues to work consistently throughout the months. Mary also dances competitively and does commissions in her free time.
Tony Gamble is a native of Bell County, Kentucky. He is a graduate from Bell County Highschool in 1974. He spent 6-years in the Army in Germany and Korea. After the service, he attended LMU to study art and art history He retired from the construction industry as a Field Supervisor after 35 years.
Tony never quit painting or drawing always finding the time to do something here and there. After retiring he resumed painting full time. He was always interested in abstract and surrealist pictures. His biggest influence was Salvador Dali, Picasso. He likes to create pictures where each viewer will see something different than the other in other words one may see one bird as the next may see something entirely different. Tony has paintings in Japan, Germany, Wales, Ireland as well as New York and California. He also does traditional landscapes and has done many commissioned pieces for locals, as well as overseas. He gives lessons as well.
Artist - Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor, & Various other Mediums
Claiborne County native, Frances Hensley spent her early childhood exploring the beautiful landscapes of East Tennessee. At an early age, she began believing in the value of the healing power of art. As a self-taught artist, she loves painting the beautiful landscapes and farms of East Tennessee.
In addition to painting, she also restores furniture and makes many different crafts. She loves to create and make everything beautiful. Making art for others became her ministry. It is how she connects with others by selling her paintings and giving many away.
A graduate of nearby Lincoln Memorial University, Hensley, her husband, two sons and dog, Echo reside in nearby New Tazewell. She calls Cumberland Gap and her painting her happy place.
Ronald Presnell, a native of Bell Kentucky, began wood caring in 2000 after retiring from 23 years of work as a coal miner. Ron began working part-time for the tax assessor and started looking for a hobby to fill some of his leisure time. He began carving walking sticks, and as his skills grew he began to carve wood spirits and Santa’s as well. Ron and some fellow carvers formed a carving club, the Pine Mountain Carvers, that meets weekly at Ron’s home, where the carvers share ideas, friendship, carving tips, and coffee. Ron has demonstrated wood carving at the Berea Crafts Fair at the Indian Fort Theater, the Cumberland Fall Festival in Middlesboro, Kentucky, and the Appalachian Crafts Fair in Pineville, Kentucky.
Susan Grana learned to crochet when she was 16 years old and has been doing it ever since. She even taught her Grandma to crochet!
She specializes in vintage patterns, and custom made pets and animals, as well as hats, scarves, shawls, doilies, and afghans.
Artist - Acrylic, Watercolor, Oil Pastel, Ink & Clay
Sam was always into creative paths in life, but he didn't pick up art until he was in college at Pfeiffer University. He enjoyed being able to paint and draw during his study breaks and over holidays. His passion for creative art led him to try and learn many different styles and to continually challenge himself.
He is currently a medical student at LMU-DCOM where he continues to create art during any free time he can find. His mediums include acrylic, watercolor, oil pastel, ink and clay.
Sam hopes to continue learning how to use more mediums and develop better technique in the medium he currently uses.
"In Memory of"
I started my adventure into the arts/crafts world at an early age. When I was eight years old my grandmother fell and broke her hip and my parents moved her into our home for care and recovery. She herself loved crocheting so one day she led me in ripping up rags for the purpose of making a rug. I began by sitting on her hospital bed there beside her with a lap full of rag strips, crocheting these rags into a rug. When the rug got too big for the bed, I moved it to the floor and sitting on it, worked around and around the rug until it was a fairly large size. I used that rug for most of my lifetime, losing it six years ago in a house fire.
After completion of the rug, my dad brought my grandmother’s Singer treadle sewing machine from her home to her room where I began my sewing career by making an apron. The making of that apron led to my lifetime of sewing. During my high school years, I made my own clothes, then clothes from my children and grandchildren and over the years clothing for others to.
During my children’s growing up years, in addition to the arts/crafts industry, I delved into the world of coaching my kid’s baseball and softball teams and 10 years of umpiring, mostly behind the plate. At this period, I became active in ceramic arts industry, both as a hobby, an employee and later my husband and I operated our own business, Old Barn Ceramics.
I was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas and spent my early years of marriage in Auburn, Kansas, a small community outside of Topeka with a population of around 900. Following a trip to South Carolina and Kentucky, my husband and I made the decision to move to Middlesboro, KY, getting back to my husband’s roots as this is his dad’s home place. Once putting down roots in Middlesboro I picked up the art of quilting and over the last 26 years have made many, many quilts ranging in size from baby to king size. Making quilts for others became my ministry…selling some and giving away many.
In addition to sewing and quilting I have also ventured into the world of upholstery, furniture restoration and woodworking. As my biography my indicate, I am not a person to sit idle. My hands are constantly busy, even while watching TV. Today I do a little of each of these arts/crafts, moving from one project to the next. I joined the Artists Co-op in 2019 with my quilting but due to my husband’s death I quit for a period. Once life settled down and became normal to me, I realized I missed the comradery of the members and connecting with the public so I am happy to again be a member of the Co-op, bring with me a variety of arts/crafts including sign making and woodworking.
"In Memory Of"
Rebecca Monhollon lives in Harlan , Kentucky where she writes books and raises Rocky Mountain Horses. Mischief on the Mountain was inspired by her life growing up in the mountains of Harlan, Kentucky and stories of adventures passed down to her through her family.
Rebecca's father’s family is from Tennessee and lived in Turkey’s Roost in Gatlinburg and some of the family lived in Cades Cove. This novel is about two girls growing up in the 1800’s in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The stories are about the mischief that these girls encounter. These stories are all based in truth.
The idea for the book came to Rebecca from stories told to her by her 80 year old grandmother, Lucy, the main character in the book. She told Rebecca these adventures she had as a child that made everyone in the family laugh. Lucy's family is from Tennessee where she lived as a child in the Smoky Mountains. She then moved to Harlan, Kentucky when she married Louis Boggs and raised her family there. Rebecca grew up in mountains of Kentucky. The stories in this book are Lucy’s and some adventures Rebecca experienced herself and are about inventing your own games before the invention of modern technology. These stories are Rebecca's imagination, but each story has something in it that is true.
Rebecca's roots go back to her great grandfather, William Creech, donated the land for what is now the Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Rebecca is currently working on Mischief Returns to the Mountain which should be published summer 2017.
Charisse Hooker is an artist at the Cumberland Gap Artists' Co-op.
Pat Stanley is an artist at the Cumberland Gap Artists' Co-op.
Linda Peevley is an artist at the Cumberland Gap Artists' Co-op.
Laurie Dillion is an artist at the Cumberland Gap Artists' Co-op.