New Artists Julia Morgan-Leamon and Faye Mylen

Julia Morgan-Leamon “Transitioning” oil 24″ x  36″

By Veronica Vale, Fine Art Consultant

Gallery MAR is proud to now represent the work of artist Julia Morgan-Leamon and of artist Faye Mylen. Allow us to introduce you to these two talented individuals:


Julia Morgan-Leamon‘s work aims to capture everyday movement and gesture with loose brush strokes and a lively palette. Her painterly approach exemplifies the sense of adventure and risk-taking which she aims to capture with her subject matter. Morgan-Leamon uses both painting and time-based media to study and beautifully preserve “aspects of the unanticipated choreography” of the human experience.

Julia Morgan-Leamon “Preparing for the Blue” oil 24″ x 36″

While based out of Massachusetts and New Mexico, Morgan-Leamon’s work has been exhibited at venues all across the globe, demonstrating her work’s universal appeal in its endeavor to capture the essence of “human vulnerability and resilience.”


Faye Mylen‘s work, meanwhile, focuses on nature, landscapes, and the connection therein using oil paint on metal.

“The language of art for me is more about connection than beauty, although beauty resides in that connection. The connection is with the subject that I paint, which is mainly nature. I study the view that I am painting and this develops within me an even greater reverence for the raw beauty and grace nature holds.”

Faye Mylen “Daisies” oil 36″ x 36″

In her studio in Connecticut, Faye Mylen not only explores the connection between herself and her natural subject, but also the connection between herself and her viewer. Mylen channels her reverence and deep appreciation for nature into her work, allowing the emotions that nature bestows upon her to reveal themselves on canvas. These emotions help her to bring abstract qualities to the natural landscape which she hopes enhances the viewer’s experience of the work by connecting them with “the raw beauty and grace that nature holds.”

Faye Mylen “Still Marsh” oil 24″ x 24″

We are thrilled to add the lively, adventurous work of Julia Morgan-Leamon and the tranquil, graceful work of Faye Mylen to our Gallery MAR team of artists, and we invite you to see for yourselves the beauty of their latest work.

Sarah Winkler’s Commission at New Scottsdale Resort

The sunken lounge at Hearth ’61, restaurant and lounge, at Mountain Shadows, Scottsdale, AZ.

Besides looking forward to her exhibition at Gallery MAR this summer (“Past/Present” opening June 30), Sarah Winkler has another big announcement — the installation of her commissioned painting in the restaurant and lounge, Hearth ’61, at the new resort, Mountain Shadows in Scottsdale, AZ. The hotel found her work through her Instagram artwork!

Sarah recently shared her thoughts about the process for this large-scale work:

“I was working on this art commission during a snowy January in Colorado. The earthy reds warmed my studio as I created the wow piece for the lounge area in the bar/restaurant at Scottsdale’s newest resort – Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

The large scale painting/triptych in Winkler’s studio

My large 60″ x 180″ desert art commission is installed on the right at the swanky Hearth ‘61 sunken lounge at Mountain Shadows. The painting echoes the view outside the windows of the impressive Camelback Mountain rising behind the resort.

It was a project I’d been selected for in 2016 by a New York art consulting firm for a resort hotel remodel in Paradise Valley near Scottsdale, Arizona. The approval process had taken several months, and I got the news in late December that I had been selected to produce a 5′ x 15′ painting for the main gathering area of the resort — the sunken lounge.

Large scale tools and brushes for a 60″ x 180″ painting

The hotel, Mountain Shadows, is a modernist era icon in the valley with breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain. The interior designer on the project chose a painting of mine from 2015, “Sedimentary Slice,” that resembled the geology and landscape of the area surrounding the resort.

Sarah Winkler’s “Sedimentary Slice” was the inspiration for the commissioned 60″ x 180″ painting in the Hearth ’61 lounge

As soon as I saw pictures of Camelback mountain range, I knew it would work too with some modifications on the ridge lines. The original inspiration painting was 30″ x 30″ which meant cropping the image and increasing the scale of everything 600%. Tools had to be specially fabricated like the carving teeth used to make the mountain shape and the width of brushes in order to recreate the effortless gestures and texture achieved at a small scale. It took 5 attempts at the mountain before I felt it was just right.”

A specially fabricated tool Winkler calls “the carving teeth” to achieve her beautiful linear textures resembling geology

We congratulate Sarah and look forward to her new collection soon arriving at Gallery MAR. Sarah will be in attendance at her opening in Park City on June 30, so please plan to join us.

Studio Series: James Penfield

Artist James Penfield is a Minnesota native currently living in Minneapolis. His painting combines ideas of photography, design, and nature in a way that analyzes our rapidly changing environment – both technologically and physically. Some of his noted collaborations include Vice Magazine, Converse, MN Vikings LLC, and the Denver Children’s Hospital. He’s also represented by Gallery Mar in Park City, UT.


Hey James, great to catch up. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your art.

I was that kid that made art since he was born (before birth I’ve heard) and the art guy in high school we all knew. I’m predominantly a painter, but over the past 3 years I’ve been focusing  on mixing photography, design, and painting  in order to touch on the environment and change.

We’re living in a time where discussing technologies to colonize a new planet is commonplace while simultaneously dealing with methods for saving this planet when it’s rapidly changing. These realities have greatly influenced how I interpret landscape. I used to approach landscape from a smaller, almost ad based character, now I see larger patterns and a structure system that’s bigger than us individually.


Penfield’s most recent landscape


You can see that progression in your work. Do you have any specific influences that drive your art practice?

I garner a lot of inspiration from art, design, literature, and music. Artists and designers I’ve looked to – Doze Green, Cody Hudson, Kim Cogan, Brett Armory, Herbert Baglione, Delta, Russian Constructivists, Charles Burchfield, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Dean Gray, Nasreen Mohamedi, Zhaoming Wu, John Singer Sargent, Robert Rauschenberg, Blue Note and Warp Records album covers, Hurvin Anderson, Antony Cairns, Sohei Nishino, Dave Santillanes, Sandra Pratt, Ed Freeman, Mariella Bisson, Danny Lyons, Kansuke Yamamoto – to name a few … 🙂

I really love the experience of getting to know and living in a new city. There’s a book called “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino that explains that better than I can.

Music is also huge for me. Sometimes I’ll hear a sound in a song or something from a band like Polica, (which really happened and turned into an album cover for another musician) that puts an image into my head and I take it from there.

Those moments are important. I advise young artists to not always question or guess their direction. Things tend to “pop out” to you when you should pay attention to them. Or, equally valid, you can smash that compass and create a new one, all the same in process.

Penfield’s album cover for Jeremy Ylvisaker mentioned in the previous answer


That’s a good way to look at the creative process. Do you have any other thoughts for emerging creatives?

To anyone starting out, don’t stop. Number 1 rule all time, work hard, and see the direct effect unfold. It’s like a science. Things are a lot more simple than they seem. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received from a teacher and fellow artist, was to incorporate your art practice into your daily routine and to not make it a separate event.

For me it’s about reaching that place, but also knowing that it’s just one of many. Like the idea of reaching a plateau, just to see another plateau, etc. etc. I think it was Braque who said that “limitation of means determines style, engenders new forms, and gives impulse to creation… extension, on the contrary, leads the arts to decadence.”


That idea of having limits, but understanding that they change also seems applicable to our globalized world.

Yeah, the internet allows for more reach and mobility. I started out showing work by finding flyers with calls for art, or through real concrete connections, like a friend knows a gallery owner, and you just went there because you were invited to show. Very different ballgame now.

Proximity is almost erased and it’s an open field, but in a mutually beneficial way, which I support always. I like to travel around, shoot photos of things that stand out to me, and now I can place work based off these trips in local galleries, as well as galleries in states I often travel to. It’s sort of a full circle system, or a cycle that can be repeated wherever you like. It’s the idea of following what you love, and everything follows which I think applies to everyone.


Album Cover by Penfield


Your creativity extends beyond just painting. Do you have other pursuits?

Outside of my fine artwork, I work as a designer and I’ve been able to play illustrator which allowed me to create a “How to Draw” published book series. I love to explore the angles of art and see where it can take me, geographically and personally.

Music branding remains one of the highest regarded project types for me. I love playing music myself and have found a lot of community through that as well. There is a great community of artists and musicians in the Twin Cities that is unrivaled. It’s a true diamond in the rough and after living around the country here and there since I was 18, I find myself with a new appreciation and awareness of how that works here.

I also have a few favorite art sites that never cease to shake my creativity: DIA: Beacon, Tate Modern, MIA in Minneapolis and all the galleries in San Francisco in the early 2000’s.


Creativity knows no bounds. Any final thoughts or fun studio moments to share?

Sometimes I’m unaware that I’m holding onto things, like brushes, paper towels, erasers, while creating. To me it’s  a sign that i’m “in the right place.” Side note (this is weird) but when I find myself  dropping my brush while painting, it seems to be a sign of a good painting! Also, explore what you are, make a lot of mistakes and wrong turns to know your landscape and travel often!

Essential Questions: Artist Fatigue

Shawna Moore, Gallery MAR

Shawna Moore, Gallery MAR

Edited by Jane Guthridge, courtesy of Pro Wax Journal. The full article is excerpted below.

Thanks to Shawna Moore for directing us to this piece, which we thought would be helpful for many artists looking to make connections with galleries. And for the record… we have a very low gallery desk!

Those high gallery desks can feel  intimidating. That’s by design. They’re a form of protection for the gallerists who wish to be in the gallery without engaging with each person who comes through the door.

At the 10th International Encaustic Conference, Miles Conrad described a situation he calls “artist fatigue”—the exhaustion art dealers and editors feel after meeting so many artists eager, even desperate, to get their attention. We asked ProWax members to respond. Brian Goslow, managing editor of the New England-based Artscope magazine, gave the most cogent response, which we share here.

“Responding from the standpoint of being the managing editor of Artscope magazine, I can certainly sympathize with those overcome with the feeling of “fatigue” that comes from what seems like an endless parade of requests for coverage. As we head towards our 11th anniversary, there can be up to 100 emails a day to review and consider along with the writing, editing, story planning and social media postings for any given day.

“Much as a gallery has only so many exhibition slots in a given period (or, if they’re in the early stages of business, are looking for a set number of artists for their roster), we have approximately 25 story spots for each issue, covering a two month period and the six New England states. We try to spread the coverage over as many different genres as possible and as many different venues as possible. I suspect the answer of the question how to get our attention is much the same as it would be for a gallery: Take your best shot but don’t overdo it because the more material you “throw” at someone, the more they might be inclined to ‘get to it when I have the time.’

“So you’ve got our attention (or a gallery’s initial attention). How do you hold it? If you’ve got a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page, try to post something on a regular basis that allows those interested in your work to follow its progression, growth, shifts, and your new projects. Going on a residency or having your works shown at a major exhibition or fair? Tell us! Tell everyone! There are times I haven’t had the opportunity to cover an artist I was fond of because they hadn’t had a show, but did get that opportunity as part of a larger overview article. It also shows those galleries you’re trying to attract that you’re serious about your work, career and always striving to grow and find new opportunities.

“On Instagram, it’s important to test which hashtags grab people’s attention; one would expect #encaustic would grab the crowd here but it might also capture the fine-tuned collector for a specific genre that you’ve never heard of; similarly, gallery owners or directors looking to fill roster holes or who are interested or looking for specific kinds of works may also see your work. Much like the buyer who’ll know what he or she wants when they see it, you can’t reach that person if they can’t see your work.”

So Many Artists, So Little Time

Shana Dumont Garr, director, Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, Massachusetts also gives a few ideas:

  • Stay up to date on social media, especially Instagram
  • Be easy to find, with an up-to-date website
  • Be really thoughtful and even sparing about whom you reach out to, and personalize emails and letters
  • I have heard from some artists who get pretty good coverage that sending a paper press packet to journalists gets more responses than a digital press packet.

Dan Addington, artist and owner of Addington Gallery, Chicago says: “know when it’s cool to talk about your work and when it’s not. Talk to me about painting—not your painting—but the work in the gallery, or art history. I might then ask you, “Are you an artist? What kind of art do you make?” By all means respond when the gallerist opens that door. And know how to talk about your work. My conversational firewall is moveable, because I’m also trying to approach collectors on behalf of my artists, and I don’t know initially who’s an artist and who’s a collector.”

Wendy Haas, private dealer, Chicago says: “Be respectful. Don’t corner me and monopolize my attention. You cannot hound your way into a successful dealer relationship. Definitely keep your website current, keep me up to date on your work (press releases, show cards, emails).  In particular, I enjoy seeing exhibition/installation shots—context is very informative. But accept that “no” could easily have nothing at all to do with how much I like your art. Even if we are not formally working together, I value being considered your colleague and want to feel like I can engage with you without pointed expectations. That is far more likely to make me comfortable reaching out to you in the future regarding opportunities with me or anywhere else that might interest you.”

We close with Goslow’s “little secret” and some advice from other colleagues. “I’ve found that posting towards the end of the day, the period when a gallery’s work may be done for the day but it will be open for another hour or two — especially on Sundays — they’ll be browsing Instagram to see what’s new. Where some social media “superstars” can get thousands of “likes” and “hearts,” I’ve come to find galleries and museums will only click that button if they truly like a work. For me, from an editor’s standpoint, it’s a great tool to get professional response to an artist and their work, especially if I feel my positive response might be due to knowing that person or having a familiarity with that work. And if you see a gallery or museum “likes” or “hearts” your work, it can’t hurt to send them a follow up email or note letting them know you noticed . . .  and ask them if you could send them a link to or package of your work as a larger introduction.”

Art Makes the Difference — Even for John Mellencamp

By Eileen Treasure, Fine Art Consultant

There is something very personal and special about these interior spaces, and what is that difference? It’s the art—the pieces themselves, the groupings and the unique installations. This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Architectural Digest.


Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp at his retreat on South Carolina’s Daufuskie Island; he stenciled the wall with lyrics from one of his songs. [Gallery MAR can coordinate custom wall murals and commissions along this line.] The home was designed by Neil Gordon Architect and decorated by Monique Gibson Interior Design.

Text by Julia Reed, Photography by   William Abranowicz

Some 30 years ago John Mellencamp discovered Daufuskie Island, a relatively unspoiled spot in South Carolina, just across the border from Savannah, Georgia.

Fascinated by the island’s history (until the 1980s it had been inhabited largely by the Gullah, descendants of freed slaves) and enamored of its privacy (it can only be reached by boat), the singer-songwriter purchased several acres on the Atlantic Ocean. But the land sat empty for more than a decade. “I had every intention of building a house—I just never got around to it,” says Mellencamp.


Occupying the center of the house is a double-height living hall inspired by a church nave. The custom-made dining table is topped with a whale-rib sculpture from Balsamo Antiques, and the wing chairs and armchairs are by Lucca Antiques.

Then one day he snapped a photograph of a church in Myrtle Beach, and the structure’s shape inspired him to finally hire an architect. The finished residence—the work of Neil Gordon, whose office is on neighboring Hilton Head Island—bears ample evidence of that church’s influence, with pointed-arch windows and doors and a navelike central living hall that is ringed by a gallery reminiscent of a choir loft. Mellencamp filled the rooms with odds and ends from storage, but the home, like the property before it, “just kind of sat fallow,” he says.

It took some persuading by his girlfriend, Meg Ryan, to make the home something special. Energized by her enthusiasm, he called New York City interior designer Monique Gibson, with whom he’d collaborated on three previous dwellings.


The dining table displays an assortment of glass vessels from Balsamo Antiques; RG Ironworks made the French doors.


Artworks by Walt Kuhn, Marvin Cherney, and Jack Levine are displayed everywhere—from the shelves in the kitchen to the wall above the headboard in the master bedroom—the expressive social-realist portraits evoking the characters in Mellencamp’s gritty songbook. (The musician is currently working on his first solo album in four years, with producer T Bone Burnett.) Mixed among that boldface art are cherished bits of ephemera, such as vintage signs from a now-demolished mental hospital; the gilt letters of one spell out the institute for wayward young women.

In the kitchen, pendant lights by RH hang near portraits by Marvin Cherney and Walt Kuhn.


Drawings by Walt Kuhn and Marvin Cherney grace the living hall, which is painted in a Benjamin Moore white; the cocktail table is by RH, and the windows here and throughout the house are by Marvin Windows and Doors


In the master bedroom, a large Marvin Cherney work is propped on a Monique Gibson–designed bed dressed with Sferra linens; the lamps are by the Urban Electric Co., and the British Colonial armchair is from Anglo-Raj Antiques.

While Daufuskie is Mellencamp’s refuge, he readily throws open the five guest rooms to friends and family, proof that a once forlorn and overgrown piece of real estate has become absolutely essential. “John really uses this place now,” Gibson notes. “I take that as a huge compliment.”

Gallery MAR welcomes you to stroll through our collection and find pieces that will make your home something truly special. Celebrity status not required.