Meet our Teachers
Shawna Mayo Barnes
I found clay after my medical retirement from the US Army where I served as a combat medic. I have been a studio artist since 2011. From the moment my hands touched clay, I knew I’d found my calling. Clay is forgiving. It takes on a new form with each touch, moving from a lump of clay to an expression of various human emotions and experiences. It has given me a voice. My sculptures range vastly in subject matter. My inspiration comes from my experiences as a medic, my time in service, the struggles I have faced in my young 33 years, as well as my heritage and the natural beauty around me. My inspiration comes from the world around me, both real and surreal.
I live in Knox, Maine, with my husband, 15 year old son, Kane my German Shephard, and Piper the Cat. My sculpting studio is in our basement. I work primarily in white stoneware clay that matures at 2200*F. I find that this allows me to create what I imagine, including delicate portions of my sculpture, while providing the structural strength that is required. I utilize a wide variety of cold finish techniques that include acrylic paint, pan pastel, glass enamels, etc.
Susan Beardsley is a nationally juried artist and former member of the Montana Watercolor Society. She holds degrees in fine arts and teaching, and is the recipient of several awards.. Most recently water media for landscape and still life painting is her primary focus, as well as further developing the montage form of presentation.
“The enjoyment from teaching and sharing my knowledge is very rewarding. There is great pleasure in seeing students develop skills and gain confidence in creating their art."
Sandi has been a fiber/mixed media artist for over 25 years specializing in creating artwork which pleases the eye and craves to be touched. The inspiration for her work focuses on the textural qualities of manmade and natural fibers which she incorporates into her artwork. Her work reflects her love of traveling throughout Maine where she lives and her appreciation of the natural environment around her. Cirillo is a retired art educator who gives many different fiber workshops as well as drawing and painting workshops in the Northeast and North Carolina. Sandy has taught intro to drawing at the Lighthouse
I am a Maine artist. The beautiful landscape and unique culture inspire and motivate me in my artwork. I studied art in Pensacola, Florida where I developed my skill and knowledge in realism. Pen and ink is my forte' and my favorite medium. In addition to ink, I also enjoy working in pencil, colored pencil, watercolor, oils, and mixed media.
Rebecca Emery is a Rhode Island native. She is a self-taught artist, and has lived throughout the United States and Europe before moving to Belfast Maine. She currently lives and works in mid coast Maine with her husband Mark and new family member Jessie, a mixed breed puppy rescued from a high kill shelter in Georgia. She is a handcrafted jewelry artist who strives to use natural and reclaimed resources such as sea glass in much of her work. Her work is featured in galleries in Maine and Florida and over nine countries. She is a member of numerous art groups, active in her church and several volunteer organizations.
Faye Ivers is a Maine native who has painted as a hobby for most of her life. Now that she is retired from her day job she has more time to spend with her art.
Although she has traveled to many countries and states her primary subjects for painting are Landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes from her home state. She teaches art classes at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor Maine as well at The Lighthouse Arts Center.
I began drawing and painting before I could speak. It would be nice to say my art is inspired by lofty ideals, but really it is more of a compulsion built into my nature.
The mandalas are free-form energy transmissions. The translation is unconscious on my part. I started painting them during a period of convalescence in 2006. They fall somewhere between intense doodling and my professional experience restoring Tibetan thangkas which include mandalas and other intricate, delicate patterning.
The figurative oil paintings are a space and practice which allow me to express experiences I could not otherwise articulate. I have been engaged in this work throughout my entire career as an artist. Demanding to create and sometimes demanding to take in, my oil paintings are closest to my heart.
After practicing these very different kinds of painting concurrently but separately from one another for many years, my current work is beginning to reflect a merging of the two. I have always painted because words do not suffice. I continue painting to honor the memory of my mentor and late husband, the great artist, Magnus Johnstone. Visit
An introduction to the craft and art of bead embroidery, with a Native American style influence. Students will learn how to make beaded medallions similar to those used by many Native American tribes, but with a modern and more freestyle theme approach. Patience and a keen eye, and a moderate degree of manual dexterity are all a must.
My painting goal is to keep things fresh and contemporary. I want to use color as my vocabulary to create a feeling, a mood and to engage the onlooker to form an opinion, have a reaction. My representational paintings and contemporary color together with my skills will help me reach that goal. Vincent Van Gogh said it best.."Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life."
In my paintings I portray the natural beauty of my Maine environment, mindful of the unique atmospheric conditions that make a painting read visually Northern New England. I paint both plein air and in my studio, capturing the essence of the place to share with all who see my work, whether landscape paintings, seascape paintings, boats and marine, still life, or portrait.
As a studio artist I am trained in all media, but work mostly in oil, watercolors, charcoal, and graphite. I use professional grade materials and paint in traditional techniques to achieve surfaces rich in color, contrast, and texture for a realism that enables the viewer to visually participate in the painting.
Paul Trowbridge has painted in watercolors since the early 1970’s. He studied fine arts at Principia College, the Museum School of Boston, University of Maine at Orono, and he received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Memphis. He settled in Maine because of his exposure to the area growing up, the strong visual appeal of the area, a love for the outdoors, and the down east way of life. He built his own home in Sedgwick where he and his wife, Jennifer, maintain a dance and art studio, and from which he takes painting excursions in the area. He worked in Animation at the Neworld Studios in South Blue Hill, participates in a figure drawing group, is a member of the Deer Isle Artist Association, has participated in plein air events in Blue Hill and Castine, and has shown about 30 works annually at Bucks Restaurant. He teaches watercolor at the Deer Isle Art Association and at Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, Maine.
Deb Vendetti is a visual artist and educator, living in the mid-coast and active in the local arts community since 1981. She has taught mixed media drawing for both adults and children, and also film and animation workshops in both privateand public venues, including a number of public school residencies in animation and filmmaking. Deb is the librarian at the Appleton Village School where she is a member of the kindergarden teaching team for early language skills. She holds a BFA in Painting, SMU, Dartmouth, MA; Graduate Studies Creative Photography, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI., with 40+ years of teaching experience in the Visual Arts.
Michael E. Vermette double majored in Painting and Printmaking at the Maine College of Art, receiving his B.F.A Painting degree in 1980. He received his Certification in K-12 Art Education in 1986 through the University of Maine at Orono. A full-time artist and part-time teacher, Michael has been painting in oil, watercolor, and pastel for over forty years and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Laura Coleman and the Beverly Awards at the 12th and 13th Biennial North American Open Shows of the New England Watercolor Society. Most recently, Michael was the 2011 Baxter State Park Artist-in-Residence. Michael leads several plein air painting workshops in Maine and New Hampshire in watercolor and oil painting throughout the year.
He is a Monhegan Artists' Residency Fellow and was twice an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park. His watercolors, oils, and pastels are in private collections throughout the country and internationally. In Maine, his works have been shown in various galleries, including the North Light Gallery in Millinocket, the Lupine Gallery on Monhegan Island, the Elizabeth Moss Gallery in Falmouth, The Lupin Gallery on Monhegan Island, and The Courthouse Gallery in Ellsworth.
Prior to 2007 I was teaching in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and living in Worcester, MA. During my twelve years there, I had the good fortune to attend classes at the Worcester Art Museum. This was a rich and rewarding experience where I saw my pastel style take shape and my work make strides.
Since retirement in 2007 and moving home to Maine, I have worked at developing an art career, primarily painting with pastels. To date my artwork has been accepted into juried shows and I have won a number of awards for my pastels. My pastels can be seen online and in Art Space Gallery in Rockland, Maine. My hand made books have been exhibited in juried shows in Maine. I have also shown my work at the Betts Gallery in Belfast and at Harmon’s and Barton’s Gallery in Portland.