"For as long as I can remember back through my childhood, I have always been a partially aquatic / partially arboreal creature.  If not swimming or wading through streams, falls, or surf, I could be found climbing up high through the trees.   In many ways, my heart will always reside in such places, and when not there in reality, I explore these wonders in my art." - William Hobbs

William Hobbs describes himself as a member of a modern Hudson River school, seeking a return to nature for inspiration. Like those like-minded artists of the mid-19th century that preceded him, Hobbs taps into themes of exploration and discovery, viewing the world through a lens of awe at Nature's power. He takes his inspiration from his regular plein air sketch sessions and his regular hikes and walks through nature across the country.

"Dawn Surf" 12x36

With a background in biology, Hobbs approaches his art with a scientific attention to detail and a clear love and enthusiasm for the myriad wonders of the natural world. His deep understanding of the "whys" of the natural world shines through clearly in his pieces; the optical effect of light refracting through water, or the exact way a branch grows crooked due to years of high winds. Indeed, Hobbs writes that painting is, for him, a way of continuing his scientific study of the natural world, a process that allows for more depth of understanding than study alone.

"Within the Wave" 36x60

In the beginning of his career, Hobbs experimented with many different media before finally settling on the traditional process of oil on canvas. His works often start with several sketches done from life. He then uses a camera to capture texture and color in a more in-depth way. Preferring to paint quite large, and due to the exacting nature of his works, he then takes these preliminary sketches and photographs with him to the studio. In the studio the sketches and photographs are transposed into a finished composition which is then painstakingly developed, layer by layer, into a final work.

"Early Clearing" 30x30

The majority of Hobbs' work is focused around moving water; the ebb and flow of the tide almost allegorical to the ebb and flow of life. The intense detail of his works and the powerful energy of his composition makes Hobbs' work a treasured part of many private and corporate collections.

"I hope you find a feeling of peacefulness, calm and tranquility in my painting, as that is what I seek to achieve." - Leslie Berenson

Growing up, Leslie Berenson always knew she would be an artist. In fact, she exhibited in her first art show at the age of 7. Inspired by childhood, much of her work is intimately tied to her memories of growing up. She writes:

"I often reflect on those days as a young girl when I would go fishing in the early mornings and watch the sun rise and mystically flicker on the water. I loved those times when my dad and I would sit in the stillness and tranquility of day break."

It is this exact sense of stillness colored by the mysticism of childhood memory which permeates her paintings.

"Standing Out" 30x60

Before becoming a full time professional artist, Berenson worked for twenty years as a creative director. This role offered her the chance to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world and the memories of that time spent traveling influences Berenson to this day. She writes:

"I’ve directed photo shoots in some of the most beautifully inspiring and quaint places in the world. From little fishing villages all along the New England coast, to the blue waters of the Caribbean and the exotic places on the Hawaiian Islands-I have such vivid and wonderful memories."

Indeed, though impressionistic and hazy, Berenson's works exhibit a very real sense of place - that is, a place remembered, or perhaps an imagined locale made up of composites which lives only in the mind.

"Wisps of Clouds" 20x24 "Unspoiled" 36x36

Her love of the sea is at the forefront of her work, with the peace she finds out on the water shared intimately with the viewer through her typically smoky color palette and dreamy attention to line and form.Berenson's work is regularly compared to that of the Impressionist masters with a touch of magical realism thrown in. This signature style and heightened emotional connection is valued by collectors all over and has won her numerous awards throughout her career. Berenson's works are featured in many well respected private and corporate collections.

"Day Break" 24x36

Never far from the sea, Berenson paints out of two studios: one overlooking the islands of Boston Harbor, the other in Vero Beach with a clear view of the beautiful coastline of South Florida.

Born in the coastal city of Aarhus, Denmark, the sea and the process of painting it has always been a factor in Ken Zier's life. The grandson of legendary Scandinavian maritime painter Wolmer Zier and one of a family of keen yachtsmen, Ken mentions always taking a pad of paper with him to sketch during summer boating holidays. These early experiences out on the boat, the exposure to the temperamental nature of the sea, and the unique beauty of the Danish coastline continue to inspire Zier to this day.

Though he started out using pen and ink, Ken's discovery of the oil on canvas medium lead him to pursue a career as a boat portraitist. As his skill with the new medium developed, the boats themselves began to feature less and less prominently in his work, with the focus turning towards the sea itself.

Returning Summer Sailors (39.5x67)

Ken's subject matter hinges around the relationship between the water and the sky and the mirror currents in both which he renders visible through his expressive and textured application of paint. Zier regularly follows regattas and paints not the event itself as much as the feeling left behind. this nontraditional approach makes him a sought after artist in residence for sailing events worldwide. In fact , the Danish brewery Harboe, (the main sponsors of Royal Yacht ‘Nanoq’) comissioned Ken to follow the event and document it. Ken followed the race over four days making various sketches that were worked to full oils. One of these was gifted to the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and another is in the collection of the Harboe brewery.

September Sunset (33x66)

One of his most critically intriguing projects was the 2012-13 “One Man One Beach” project funded by the National Trust in Denmark. Over a period of one Year Ken Zier did one painting a week from the same spot on a beach in the National Park of Mols Bjerge. During this year Ken painted a single stretch of beach to the exclusion of all else; paying close attention to the evolving tidal landscape and the seasonal idiosyncrasies of the sky and weather. The purpose of this project was to create a space for meditation on the importance of place, a celebration of the beauty of the familiar coastline just outside his front door.

Exploding Clouds (66.5x45) A Night Walk (45x45)

Ken Zier's work is proudly featured in private collections worldwide and awarded at many international art shows. His works has been showcased at the highly acclaimed annual exhibition of maritime art in the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London, as well as the 33rd edition of the International Maritime Exhibition which is held annually at Mystic Seaport.

Today Zier lives and works in Ebeltoft Denmark, an old port town on Denmarks east coast.

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