September Featured Artists

Our show this month features Gayle Pedemonte’s travel inspired oil painting, Janis Childs’ colorful paintings on wood surfaces and Sue Swain’s abstract alcohol ink paintings.

Gayle Pedemonte

After spending a couple of weeks in France this spring, Gayle says she returned to her studio invigorated. Visiting Giverny, the home of Claude Monet, Provence, and the museums of Paris was a lifelong dream for her as a painter. Gayle paints in oils in the impressionistic style. Her Featured Artist paintings were all done from photos that she took. Gayle feels they are a small survey from her trip, capturing the light, the villages, the flowers and the feel of France.

Gayle has been a member of Sequioa Gallery for several years, and this last year moved into one of the onsite studio spaces. She has been painting in oils for about 10 years, calling on a variety of experiences, classes and workshops that have formulated her impressionistic style.  She has a varied artistic background and jokingly says she is probably a better gardener than a painter.  Gayle’s large garden in Gaston is like a canvas that changes with the seasons providing year- round inspiration.

Picnic at Janice's
Rhododendron, Sunflower and Lemon Bowls, Janis Childs

Janis Childs

Starting at an early age, Janis has always had a love of drawing, using crayons, pastels, pencils, paintbrush or whatever was at hand. She obtained a degree in fine arts and started as a fabric designer in NYC, but soon moved to Key West. There Janis started painting one of a kind designs on clothing and selling at local boutiques, eventually starting an artist’s cooperative.

After many years of creating art and participating in multiple galleries, Janis’ work has evolved into painting on many different surfaces. Wood has now become her surface of choice. She paints directly on unfinished wood using pure pigments and acrylic mediums that soak into the surface and act as a vibrant stain. Janis says each piece is coated with a food safe finish, making for practical art creations.

As a September featured artist, Janis will be displaying hand painted wooden bowls, trays, lazy susans, salt & pepper mills and linens.

Sue Swain

Sue has been painting with alcohol ink since 2013 when she began studying with pioneers Karen Walker and June Rollins.  She continues to participate in several online groups where artists from all over the world participate, share, and encourage each other.  Sue also teaches beginning workshops from her home.

Sue feels painting with ink is very much like dancing with the colors.  Once she places a few drops of alcohol or blending solution on a smooth sub-straight, immediately followed by color, the ink takes on a life of its own.  A sense of awe and wonder happens for her as she watches the ink begin to transform into hills, valleys, trees, ocean or some other abstract painting.  Sue finds that dancing with the ink is freeing and relaxing and forces her to lose the need to “control” the process.  She says if one doesn’t like it, you can wash it off and start over.

Sue’s Featured Artist show is appropriately entitled “The Dance of Color”.

Heaven's Song, Sue Swain

August Featured Artists

Leo Brew’s oil paintings of wildlife and Jane Vanderzanden’s Western-themed scratchboards are on display in the gallery this month.

Sheep, Scratchboard, Jane Vanderzanden

Jane Vanderzanden

Sequoia Gallery artist Jane Vanderzanden’s focus for her August show is on her scratchboard drawings. Starting with a sheet of black scratchboard, she uses various instruments to scratch out fine details of light from beneath the black surface. Jane says this medium lends itself well to creating the form and textures of wildlife and nature.


Jane combines her two interests of nature and art into wildlife and Western themed acrylic paintings and scratchboard drawings. The details of her work present many transparent layers of color, small brush strokes or fine scratchboard lines. Her inspiration comes from her first-hand observations while hiking and trail riding through the wilderness. Jane shows her artwork at various venues throughout the Northwest.

Leopoldine Brew

Leo’s devotion to capturing the grandeur of wildlife in her paintings was first nurtured with trips to the zoo as a child with her father. She continues to visit zoos and wildlife sanctuaries regularly, where she observes, gains reference materials, bonds with precious wildlife families, and joins in the solace of these sanctuaries. Many new works presented in her featured artist exhibition, Majesty of the Cat, are a result of a full year of study and concentrated effort.

“In my communion with wild animals, I have long felt their equality with humans, and abhor the notion that humans are inherently superior to these grand living beings. They feel every emotion that humans do: pleasure and pain, hardship and joy, parenting and family bonds, stress and repose,” Leo states.

“I try to capture the personality and dignity of these creatures, much as a portrait painter attempts to capture not just a likeness, but the essence of the individual. Once I achieve a distinctive gleam in their eyes I feel a rush of accomplishment and I know I’ve turned another corner in my painting process,” she adds. Leo is committed to supporting conservation and preservation of wild animals in their native habitats.

Lion Cub, Oil on Canvas, Leo Brew