M T Molner

"Painting is giving me a sense of freedom, the light and the colour enchant my senses and with the palette knife, I manage to recreate a three-dimensional effect of the light playing on surfaces. Nature inspires me to try to recreate the natural movement of the wind."

Blazing Sun - Oil on canvas 64 x 59 cm

"I enjoyed drawing from an early age. I was the youngest person to enter the Academy of Fine Art in my home city of Barcelona in its history and obtained my degree there.

My first works were of academic character; figures, still lives, abstracts and portraits. As the years went by, I took on a more personal style mostly using a pallet knife, especially in landscapes, and I found my artistic fluency inspired by the Mediterranean light.

This method with palette knives, using oils and acrylics, tends to give the paintings a third dimension with the generously applied pigments creating a relief that plays with the light and the colours. Nature is copied and transported to the canvasses. I can also work in large dimensions, for example creating murals and I accept commissions for such work."

M T Molner is a an artist and restorer born in Barcelona and currently living between the UK and Spain.

English Summer Garden - Oil on canvas 50 x 70 cm
Sailing into the storm - Oil on canvas 30 x 40 cm
Save the planet from fire - Oil on canvas 50 x 70 cm
Cherry Blossom Time - Acrylic on canvas 58 x 68 cm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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Paul Hartel

"From New York, now living in Ireland, I paint and draw in abstract and neo-expressionist styles with mixed media, including oil, acrylic, oil stick and charcoal. I believe in art for art's sake with the veracity of spontaneity. Only with the viewer, we together capture the transcendent power of art."

Dreams of Hers - Acrylic on canvas board 24 x 18 in.

Hartel has exhibited and enjoyed representation by art galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Dublin, Milan, Barcelona, and Madrid, with works currently in residence at Green Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. His work has been sold and auctioned for private collectors, as well as gifted for charitable organisations, in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Hartel is featured in many art publications, magazines, cover art, and online galleries.

Blue Memories - Oil on board 14 x 18 in.
Temporal Executives - Mixed media on canvas 46 x 36 cm
Untitled U22 - Mixed media on canvas 30 x 24 in.
New Glasses - Mixed media on canvas 36 x 28 in.

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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Paula E Borsetti

"My paintings are a layered story of my life. I am inspired by nature, my immediate environment, family and friends. I am called to spill out on the canvas life's influence on my being and how we choose to stay alive. I am interested in the intersection of essence and media, making them sing."

In The Act of Living - Acrylic on Yupo 38 x 60 in.

Paula Borsetti's work reflects her love of color and the natural environment of New England. The artist borrows colors, patterns, textures, forms and movement to express herself. 

Her 'Coastal' series is influenced by the summer environments at the lakes where she is located, in Maine. Walks to the sunrise at a local beach inspire and inform her. Writing about lessons from the sunrise gets her creative juices flowing. Kayaking, hummingbirds and family chatter find a way into Borsetti's abstract compositions.  

The 'PALS' series is inspired by the words of a dear friend living with ALS. Since his diagnosis, Paula has been finding a way to understand, spread awareness, raise funds and heal through her art. Recent paintings in the series use Bobby's words as a point of exploration. Words he can no longer communicate without help. Words of family and caregivers. Paula works from the experience of watching family and friends navigate this beast of chronic diseases. She paints with a passion for knowing and expressing humanness and hopefulness.

While being an art educator for almost three decades fed her creativity, Paula is now dedicated to painting full-time. Teaching high school art was a path she is honored to have walked. She states, "I am pouring out the past 60 years of experience every day in my studio and loving every minute!"

Paula's work is exhibited locally, virtually and is in several private collections. A solo show online with Women Art United is scheduled for March 2023. Her work was included in the See/Me Gallery Booth at the Scope Art Show in Miami 2022. You can find her seasonally at the Salted Cod Arthouse in Rocky Neck, the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck and North Shore Art Association.

www.paulaborsetti.com or IG @locuststreetstudios

For a limited time, you can purchase custom Birkenstock sandals featuring Paula's work, a collaboration with Michael Grey (https://mgsandalfactory.com/collections/paula-borsetti). Designed to raise awareness for ALS, proceeds go to Bobby.

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Broadcast - Acrylic on linen 36 x 48 in.
Cracking Open at Dawn - Acrylic on linen 36 x 36 x 5 in.
Today The Possibilities are Endless - Acrylic on panel 30 x 30 in.
Press Play - Acrylic on linen 36 x 48 in.

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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Hiromi Watanabe

Poet and painter, Hiromi Watanabe creates work that is about healing and fantasy.

Elegy of Love - Watercolor 333 x 242 mm

Poet and painter, Hiromi Watanabe creates work that is about healing and fantasy. From Tokyo, Japan, Hiromi is a contemporary artist and graduate of the KWANSEI GAKUIN University. She has received the 6th Star Birth Grand Prix for "Hiro Yamagata Process" and was a Finalist in the 2021 CFA Contest for Exhibition at Spectrum Art Fair, Brooklyn with World Wide Art.  In 2021, Hiromi also received a Finalist Award at the 47th International Artavita online Art Contest. She has shown work internationally, including fourteen solo shows and four shows overseas. 

Also a published poet, Hiromi is the author of the poetry collection "Songs spelled out in feelings for that person" including the poem "Thank you for being born," available at ePhoenix.co.  In 2022, Hiromi her art book titled "Watercolor Croquis Draw with Free Colors," was published by NextPublishing Authors Press. Hiromi has published fourteen books.

A recurring theme in her paintings is the "smile," which, for her, represents painful experiences of the past.  The artist has suffered from Myasthenia Gravis (MG) and has faced death. It also has to do with the bitter memories of school days when she was not allowed to express her feelings. It was a very painful experience and she seems to have been desperate to live in the future. 

After treatment and rehabilitation, Hiromi has been able to think positively and create art that provides healing: "If it helps someone who has a hard time like me."

The END of Love - Ranunculus - You are full of charm - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Watercolor Croquis - JAZZ MAN 2 - Watercolor 380 x 270 mm
Bodhisttva 2 - Watercolor 728 x 515 mm
Joy of Live - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Angel - Digital media 2269 x 2000 px
Beloved - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Bodhisttva - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Peaceful Prayer Angel - Watercolor 267 x 193 mm
Forgiveness - Watercolor 728 x 515 mm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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Mozhdeh Zandieh-Grayson

Born in: Tehran, Iran

Lives in: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Describe your art in three words: present, poetical, noiseless

Education: Postgraduate MFA, UCA (University for Creative Arts), UK (2020)
BA in Graphic Design, Sooreh Art University of Tehran, Iran (2001)
BA in Visual Arts and Architecture at the School of Arts, Tehran, Iran, (1995)

See More Work:  https://www.mozhdeh.art/

The Matter of If (Green) - Mixed media relief sculpture 80 x 80 x 17 cm

Art is my shortcut for the closeness of thinking by making. When I make art, I don't think about art but think about us—humans. 'We' are the foundation of my making in the notion of outside and inside. From that perspective, my works reflect on our human existence concerning problematic social and individual subjects in a confrontation of existential dichotomies—exploring actuality versus reality.

What themes does your work involve?
The heart of my concept and primary point of reference is the human mind. I am preoccupied with the philosophy of today's life and the phenomenon of the world of lingual-ism in vital and critical states. Through art, I've always tried to understand and expose the inside, the feeling, perception, forces and struggles (with self and surrounding) that we do not necessarily see yet think otherwise. One of the biggest problems from this century, which in some means we all might confront, is the prevalence of noises over voices (in missing the tactility and quietness). My works institute a fine line between these two and try to portray the human being within this exploration and narration. ​
Describe your creative process.
In the making process, I'm intrigued by the invention of forms and the material's manifestation and imagery which click with my concepts and directly reflect on my visual language. I choose how to execute my ideas based on what do the best for what I want to convey. Therefore I have never limited myself to mediums or materials. Hence, my research and study encompass two-aspect conception (in response to what) and formation (in answer to how) often overlapping conventional artistic mediums; mixed media, sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography and digital art. Within that sense, my works are partly exploratory and partially experimental. So many tests and trials are involved at the studio to find the most satisfactory material and the best medium to run my ideas and feelings.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
The shortest answer is the people. My inspiration comes from today's life and gaps, things which only art can define, modify or preserve. One day I was reading a book about Marcel Duchamp and the term Infra-thin that he coined, the notion of infra-thin inspired me. When he asked for the term's definition, he replied that the notion is impossible to define "one can only give examples of it: the warmth of a seat (which has just been left)" is infra-thin. Art is a gap that represents the difference between intention and realisation. What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. I grew up during the war. As a child, my life shaped between red and white alerts in the gap between bunkers and classrooms. Infra-thin is somehow rooted in me and finds its way into my art.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I firmly believe there is no such thing as good art or bad art. Art is art. Art is the only thing that makes life better than art on all levels. Art is a must, a definite need for our improvement, connection, and communication in both individual and collective aspects. But I'm sure there is a level in art, not in the meaning of bad or good but about having and being for different audiences, viewers, observers or in general for a distinct purpose. And I think what makes a piece of art 'great' is if it touch, embraces and or changes one's heart or mind, then we have a definition for 'a great art' in its (own) narration.
What is the role of the artist today?
That is a good question. In generalisation, I think the role of today's artists is related to multiple factors, such as artist possibilities, intention, personalities, perception and many other elements that can be complex to line a circle around a solid description of the artist's role. Personally speaking, I think it's essential that artists don't leave themselves behind. I feel being an artist means being aware in all means in its contemporary sense. Artists should be present, live the today with the knowledge of the past and an eye for the future, be representative and project a world to the world. Being an artist doesn't mean just producing art but thinking artistically, and thinking that way means live above and beyond, somewhere between the lines.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

Victor Montague

Born in: Washington D.C.

Lives in: Washington D.C.

Describe your art in three words: Distinct, timeless, progressive

Education: H.S Diploma

See More Work:  www.VictorMontague.com

The Haitian Migration of 2021 - Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in.

Victor Montague is a self-taught artist, born and raised in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Specializing in realism and figurative painting, he uses oil paint to convey his message. Growing up rooted in a community filled with the riches of black culture came with both its benefits and challenges while simultaneously trying to cope with growing into manhood being black in America.

What themes does your work involve?
My themes involve many subject matters driven from my current mood or feelings derived from the unique black experience.
Describe your creative process.
As an art teacher and parent of two, I tend to look at my creative process as very versatile. During the day I fully take advantage of off days and synchronized nap times to get some painting done. However, my true creativity comes alive during the Late night hours between (9pm-3am) and I try to devote this art and meditation time at least 5 days a week.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
To me art has remained a reflection time continuously throughout my life. It’s a time when the world’s chaos doesn’t matter and the only thing that can penetrate my mind is my own thoughts. I can’t tell you the amount of things I have taught myself (art and non-art related) just by being deeply in tuned with my work, but the lessons continue to come. As cliche as it sounds, Art is a lifestyle and honestly I feel the more you genuinely indulge in it while remaining open to constant learning, it will continue to inspire you. I make art because we as humans are natural creators and destroyers and it gives me the opportunity to make my natural instincts as a creator to better this world In my short time here.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Im not too sure as an honest answer. I think the most important part of painting is a) how it makes the creator feel (before/during/upon completion) b) what conversations and feelings it conveys upon its viewers. To me the degree or caliber of the work is a non-factor.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist today remains what I think it always has. We are just constantly evolving as society does. I think that the role of the artist is to convey ideas to and for others that may not be able to in the way that your artistic expression can. The same way musicians give voices to those that are not able to melodically describe those same shared feelings Art can visually do the same thing and bring new ideas/ contradictions/ concurring opinions and so much more. So as an artist I think it is very important to be socially aware and constantly questioning your environment.
A Peace of Mind, with My Piece in Mind - Oil on canvas 16 x 20 in.
Chaotic Needs To An Organized Mind - Oil on canvas 16 x 20 in.
COVID: Party of Ten - Oil on canvas 36 x 48 in.
The Starting 5 - Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

Jill Krasner

Born Brooklyn, New York, USA

Lives in: Sarasota, Florida, USA

Describe your art in three words: Whimsical. Colorful. Eccentric.

Education: BA, Douglas College

See More Work:  www.jillkrasnergallery.com

Pink Hotel - Mixed media on canvas 60 x 60 in.

"The process of making art is my anchor. Creating keeps me grounded in the moment. There is no past in my studio, no future. There is just now — and now is where I belong, where I do my best work. My studio is just minutes from my home. Sunlight streams in through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and bounces off several work tables filled with works in various stages of completion."

What themes does your work involve?
Whimsy is the underlying theme of most of my work. I tend to view the world around me through a lens tinted with humor, which helps me process even the most stressful events. I like to see my viewers smile as they explore the details of my painting. I hope they enjoy the art as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Describe your creative process.
I like to work in a series, often working on three, four or five canvases at once. There are many ways to tell a story and I want to try expressing them all. Each painting consists of many layers. Often, the first layer is collage. Then, a layer of paint. Next, sanding, scraping back, adding more paint and collage. Eventually, details start to emerge. Although I usually know what I am planning to paint — a floral, a landscape, a tropical — the details, the composition, the story! — doesn’t reveal itself until later in the process.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Color and texture and the way they interact inspires me. For me, a successful painting combines many different, often conflicting, elements, layer upon layer; revealing when completed, a tale well told.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art, in my opinion, engages the viewer completely, allowing them to interpret a narrative uniquely their own.
What is the role of the artist today?
I am an artist because that is what I am, what I have always been. Making art is my way of communicating.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

Michele Benzamin-Miki

Born 1955

Lives in: Warner Springs, California, USA

Describe your art in three words: Elevating Provocative Catalyzing

Education: Self-taught artist

See More Work:  https://michelebenzaminmiki.com/

Elevation - Sumi ink and Graphite pencil on paper 39 x 63 in.

There is power in being seen, not just by others, but in seeing oneself. My art is inspired by a life time of work as a teacher, of Zen meditation, non-violent martial arts of Aikido, Japanese sword forms of Iaido, Hypnosis and other skills and healing modalities: this spiritually integrative work informs and becomes a strong part of my art. My art integrates Abstract and Realism.

What themes does your work involve?
There is a spiritually uplifting theme that runs through my art, as in my process. That isn’t to say I bypass themes of suffering, they are just elevated. I draw on my own experience of the feminine and portray woman in their strength and vulnerability (which are non-opposing). I draw on my dreams, nighttime are the most inspiring, as they bring what is unconscious to light. Many series of work have come from my dream work.
Describe your creative process.
The brush work comes out of a ‘point zero’ inner stillness, or expansive awareness in meditating before or while producing a piece. Regardless if I paint one stroke or many, the strokes are connected in one continuous energetic movement using a large brush on paper or canvas with Japanese ink. I want to make visible the inner world. The intention is to evoke and invite the viewer to access a whole body state of being present, in the presence of the art. The principle of 'Ma' in Japanese calligraphy and brushwork, considers the space around the brush strokes as important as the brush strokes, creating ‘space’ inside your audience. Sometimes I come back into a piece, adding details, drawing in pencil or other media. I integrate figurative work into these energetic strokes.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
You could say I am an animist; I choose to believe everything is alive and has a consciousness, therefore everything is connected, and everything matters. My life is about making connections, especially with the brush, ink, pencil, and.paper, and my practices and disciplines polish the inner lenses in which I perceive the world, and translate this onto paper or canvas. The very act of creating inspires me, because it engages my senses, and awareness. I make art because I can. I make art because it is an effective method to spread inner peace and resources, countering the effects of focusing only on ‘negative messages’ in these times, to a more well rounded view of, what is possible now, and for the times ahead.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art evokes strong feelings, provokes thinking, opens the senses. What makes a piece of art great is the ability of the artist to transmit what they see and feel about their subject, effecting the viewer to look straight into the world of the artist, Great art is a transmutation, transcending conventional communication.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist today is to make good art, great art. The role of the artist today Is to bring art back to the raw intensity of the sacred. The role of the artist today is to catalyze renewal in the individuals and for the society as a whole, by remaining faithful to their spirit.
Light Force
Illuminated Woman


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist