This month’s cover art is by June Valentine-Ruppe, a self-taught artist who was born and raised in California, where she always had a passion for art. For more than 30 years, June illustrated over 120 children’s books for Disney, Scholastic, Golden Books and more. In the books, she illustrated beloved characters from Sesame Street to Disney and Lamb Chop to Barney the Dinosaur. She even created artwork at special backstage VIP events at Disneyland. When I asked if she still worked as an illustrator, June replied, “For many years now I have devoted myself to creating my own original artwork.”
Living in Ridgeland, SC, with her husband and five children, Kristin Griffis describes her art as “Pop/Folk with a touch of naïveté.” She’s lived in the Lowcountry most of her life, having been born and raised on Hilton Head Island. While Kristin’s been painting since preschool, the time she spent on the West Coast was a major influence on the subject matter and style of her work today.
The image on our cover this month is by prolific artist Kathy Womack. It is titled Women and Wine: Sixteenth Edition and is part of a series of more than 40 paintings. Kathy began her artistic career as a fashion illustrator, working at the Austin American-Statesman in the mid-nineties. She explains her move to canvas from print: “After working in advertising for a decade as a fashion illustrator, I craved freedom from the nine-to-five and looked to a different outlet. I picked up my brushes and never looked back.”
Our cover art for November is called “Kindred Spirits,” and it has us in a Halloween mood. Like most of Joshua Roman’s work, it transports you into another world. It takes the familiar (often drawing on popular culture) and turns it inside out. Through inventive use of color and line, Joshua takes you through the looking glass to the world within.
Joshua creates his spellbinding mixed-media artwork in a secluded home studio in the forested mountains of California, just far enough from the distractions of Los Angeles. He spent 15 years in the City of Angels, but found he is much more productive in the woods, where he moved seven years ago. During that time, Joshua’s work has evolved. He has to be productive to keep up with the demand for his other-worldly paintings.
Growing up in Qingdao, China, Rongrong DeVoe was inspired by both her parents. Her father was an entrepreneur, and she loved to hear him talk about his day over dinner. His big dream for his daughter was being a wife and mother, but she always knew she wanted to follow his example into business. Meanwhile, her mother sparked her interest in fashion illustration by giving her fashion magazines as a child.
Rongrong worked as a concept artist in the video game industry in Shanghai, but in 2009 she moved to New York City to “pursue the American Dream.” While in New York, she earned her master’s degree in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a fashion designer for major fashion companies. Rongrong always knew she wanted more than to work for someone else. Every morning before work, she would watch YouTube videos from business coaches.
Steve Henderson is an incredibly prolific artist, working in charcoal, oil and watercolor to depict landscapes, seascapes and the human experience in different environments. When discussing his process, Steve often uses words like “we” and “our.” He explains: “That is what Steve Henderson Fine Art is—a partnership with my wife, Carolyn. Marketing, writing, making contacts, social media, the books all require a lot of time. So does painting. So, I paint, Carolyn writes. A marriage made in heaven.”
Lori Mehta’s life changed in a high school classroom eight years ago. She and a class full of women were studying painting with artist Zhanna Cantor. Lori explained, “For many women, after their children have grown, they’re looking around for what to do now. What is the next act?” That class helped her discover that her next act was painting.
Having majored in printmaking in college and graduate school, Lori was no stranger to art and creativity. Painting was new, though. She started out with acrylics and transitioned to oils after studying with artist Catherine Kehoe. Lori lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with her husband, although she spent much of the pandemic at their second home in a small town on Cape Cod with their younger daughter. She escaped the stresses of the world outside by spending days on the beach, taking photos and making sketches, or in her studio, painting for hours.
Raised in Ashland, Oregon, Victoria Christian is an artist, author, sociologist, speaker and so much more. With degrees from Southern Oregon University, Northern Arizona University and Portland State University, she has compiled much of her educational research into the book, Feminine Mysticism in Art: Artists Envisioning the Divine. Victoria’s curiosity and adventurous spirit have taken her to many beautiful places in the Western United States, including Hawaii.
Catherine Durrett was born in Atlanta to artist parents Barbara McFadyen and Joe Durrett. She and her brother spent their childhood traveling and living across America. Through these adventures, Catherine was exposed to an inspirational and complex cross-section of people and their everyday joys and struggles. Together with her parents’ bold, colorful serigraphs and detailed etchings, her experiences have shaped her ever-evolving style. Catherine says, “If you’re a true artist, you grow and change.”
Other influences include Alphonse Mucha, Peter Max, Maxfield Parrish, Georgia O’Keefe and Kathe Kollwitz. Catherine honed her artistic skills at Portland Art Museum School, Atlanta College of Art, Art Institute of Atlanta, NYC School of Visual Arts, NYC Pratt Phoenix, and through private tutoring. She has enjoyed group and solo shows in New York City, been published in Jezebel magazine and painted four panels for the original AIDS Quilt, which hangs in the White House.
This is the first time Beaufort native and US Army veteran Sonja Griffin Evans’ work has appeared on our cover, but we doubt it will be the last. The self-taught artist started painting as a form of therapy and hopes her work will “continue to help encourage and inspire others.” Sonja often incorporates found objects into her art, which allows her to “see the figures embedded in the material—to unlock the beauty and the story that lies within.”
This month’s cover, “Long Road Home II,” was commissioned by a collector who inquired about purchasing a painting they loved. Unfortunately, the original had already sold, so they asked for something similar. Sonja discussed size, materials, colors and other details with them. Throughout the process of creation, Sonja “sent images of the painting at different stages to the collector so they could see the progress of their piece—the birth of their baby.”
We're excited to bring Erisha Rubingh's fabulous artwork to the cover of Pink Magazine for the fourth time. A fashion, lifestyle illustrator and watercolorist, Erisha is inspired by style in every form—food, fashion and décor, her illustrations reflect her naturally effervescent and colorful personality. If Erisha had to describe her illustrations in one word, it would be, “Exuberant! Or Vivacious! It’s hard to pick just one!” she said.
In 2012, her vision feverishly flourished when she launched a creativity blog. “That was when I realized illustration was what I loved to do.” Since then, she has developed a career as a freelance illustrator, as well as curating a paper product business called “A Thing Created Illustration.”
“I feel incredibly lucky that I am allowed to be an artist,” said Maggy-Pierre Pelissier. Born in Algeria and raised in France, Maggy found her niche and love for art, as she learned how to draw before she knew how to write “As a little girl, I would stare at boxes of paint, and couldn’t even touch them, they were so beautiful,” she explained.
Advised by her parents to study business, Maggy followed directions, but eventually entered an art program in Grenoble. “Growing up, wanting to be an artist was like a bad word. Art was supposed to be a hobby, not a career, but I believe I am lucky it is my life.” Maggy added, “I have been given my license. You get a driver’s license to drive. I believe I was blessed with a license to paint.”
Artist Ali Leja of Johns Creek, Georgia, wants her audience to smile. Carefully weaving her personal story into modern, upbeat paintings, Ali is creating positivity and happiness. The many happy subjects in her art reflect hopefulness and laughter.
Our January cover is titled “Island Life”. “I love painting women and figures who look elegant and fun. I do a lot of women paintings in summery clothes or bathing suits with really big hats. I like that they don’t have faces so people can imagine them to be whoever they want,” Ali explained.
This month’s cover artist, Jimmy Lawlor, was born in Wexford, Ireland, in December 1967. He now lives in Westport, in the magnificent West of Ireland. Jimmy has been exhibiting for more than 20 years.
Like many artists, Jimmy has been drawing since he was a kid. When he was a teenager, he realized he wanted to become a full-time artist. It was a dream that seemed impossible. Ireland was in the middle of an economic depression, and art was the last thing on people’s minds.
Native Mississippian Kathryn Morris Trotter claims painting is her greatest passion. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in textiles and apparel design, Kathryn had an innate curiosity about life, travel and the world of creative art. All this propelled her into the corporate world of fashion, interiors and textile design, which highly influenced her choice of subjects and painting style.
After enduring her artistic struggle to express her true self, Kathryn has settled into her love for the palette knife. The layering effect of brush strokes and the palette knife bring an “impasto” style to her paintings.