Each week throughout the summer we will focus on an artist in this new series.  Enjoy getting to know our wonderful artists and what inspires them to create!


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I’m thrilled to be living the life that I’ve always dreamed. Prior to COVID, I traveled with my husband multiple months out of the year painting on location and gathering inspiration in my favorite cities around the world. I’ve been the resident artist for Cunard and Oceania cruise lines for the past 15 years giving me great access to traveling, lecturing and teaching.

The world has changed these past many months, with COVID-19 in every corner of the globe. I am now spending all of my time painting in my studio in Charlotte North Carolina drawing inspiration from my Plein Air studies and my tons of photos. I am a colorist, so I have always taken a bit of artistic liberty, pushing my color palette. I am best known for Rainy Day City scenes. But I’m also a Landscape Artist, Pet Artist and a Live Event Wedding Artist. My primary medium is oil.

“Champs Elysee” 30″ x 30″ Oil on Canvas

I just adore Paris, who doesn’t. right?! Prior to COVID, my husband and I visited Paris almost every year. Champs Elysees is a favorite location and subject. I have painted Plein Air on many Paris street corners. There is inspiration in every view. I am so thankful for my Plein air studies, photos and memories to now draw upon.

Another Paris scene, inspired from a visit. I remember seeing this couple strolling in the warm summer rain. Were they lovers, had they just met, what was their story?.. It could be your story.

“By Your Side” 48″ x 36″ Oil on Canvas

I’ve always had a love affair with New York City. My husband’s from the city and our daughter lived there after college. The city is fabulous in every season. This painting, “City Streets” is from a trip, where I was walking the streets in the rain, the reflections were magical.

“City Streets” 60″ x 48″ Oil on Canvas
“Dreamy City Nights” 48″ x 48″ Oil on Canvas

Another NYC inspired painting, “Dreamy City Nights”, after a dinner stroll. Evening lights reflecting in a light rain caught my imagination. And of course I had to capture it in a painting. Again, so thankful for my tons of photos and memories. Until traveling becomes second nature once again, thankful a painting can transport you.

Gina knew from an early age she wanted to be an artist.  Her pens and pencils were her constant companions.  Having an opportunity to be mentored with nationally acclaimed Artist Josette Gourley in high school had a strong impact on her.  She received two scholarships to prestigious Art schools, on her way to becoming a Fashion Illustrator.  Fashion was a passion but instead of the drawing board, it took her to the “catwalk” where she worked as a professional runway and print model for 12 years.  After marriage and raising a family and a very successful career in Real Estate it was finally time to get back to her first love.  And like an old friend… Art was there waiting.  Her brushes haven’t left her hands for many years now.  With lots of time to make up, Gina is devoted to learning and improving daily.  Gina has mentored with nationally acclaimed Artist Kevin Macpherson along with studies and workshops with several other acclaimed Artists in Canada, Southern France and Tuscany.  Gina has honed her skills in record time, a prolific painter with natural talent and a quick study.  She is completing her life long dream and her true calling.

Gina’s paintings have been shown in numerous juried regional and national shows as well as Solo Shows.  She is a featured artist in numerous galleries throughout the Southeast and has many private and corporate collectors throughout the USA and Europe.  With many of her collectors owning multiple works!  Well versed in multiple mediums and varied subject matter, Gina’s paintings are rich in color, mood and spirit.  There is an inherent warmth and quality to her work that pulls the viewer in and won’t let them go.

As an Artist, she would like her paintings to represent the passion she feels in her subject matter.  Gina is recognized by her distinctive style in her popular “Red Umbrella” European and New York City-scapes.  She loves painting En Plein Air and traveling whenever possible to new and exciting locations.  She works in her studio in Charlotte, NC, and her door is always open!

“As far back as I remember I’ve had a pencil in my hand and a vision in my mind. I’m happiest when I stand before a canvas. It’s never too late to be what you were born to be.”~Gina


Being a native Charlottean I’ve spent yearly vacations at both the mountains and the beach but my heart truly belongs to the coast. I have become fairly obsessed with the color viridian mixed with a little violet for my favorite water color.

“Flowing My Way”

If I didn’t realize it at the time I was painting this waterscape I definitely saw it when I finished. The images of many boat trips up and down the waterway from Holden Beach just bubbled up from my memory and ended up on my canvas as “Flowing My Way”.

“Rainy Day in the City”

With a background in graphics I sometimes have the urge to paint hard edges and when that happens I go straight to my favorite,  New York.  I do love that misty NY city feel at dusk. It gives me the opportunity to gray down my palette and paint those city streets and buildings. Add a few taxis and and umbrella or two and you’ve got “Rainy Day in the City”.

“Stepping It Up”

Almost all of my landscapes have some element of water and “Stepping it Up” is one example.  We live near a small creek beside a greenway where everyone walks their dogs so I frequent it often.  There are elements along the creek that I will sometimes use in my paintings. The way the trees lean in towards the water, the colors of the bark  or the overgrowth along the bank.  Since the creek is always a muddy mess I use liberal artistic license and paint it the way I want it to be.

“Sandy Path”

I try to make a conscious effort to paint some landscapes without water or the color blue and it’s a challenge cause that blue will find its way in sometimes.  I do love old barns so I wanted to try and capture that rural, rustic unkept feel.  I think I saw this barn near Fancy Gap on the way to Floyd Va to visit my cousin.  I used lots of palette knife to give the foreground that shifting, winding feel.  With a title like “Sandy Path” you can tell I never get too far from that beach vibe.

I started this painting with a toned canvas in a muted crimson.  Once  I decided on my horizon and a water element in my favorite viridian, the rest just fell into place.  Another element I

“In The Moment”

wanted to add was showing the sky through the tree canopy like in my own yard.  Anchoring the trees with tall colorful grass in the foreground gave me the brightness and sunlit feeling I was looking for “In the Moment”.



What is your favorite item in your home?

Tough question, there are many! I have several pieces of art I have collected and of course family memorabilia  , but I would have to say my favorite is an antique wooden box I have had for 30 plus years. I throw special things in it such as notes, tickets, and other special keepsakes. Its getting really full!!

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Here at home it is Sullivans Island, my happy place, where I get a lot of inspiration for my art. But I also have to include Provence , France. I have had the privilege of teaching there for several years and can’t wait for travel to resume to where I can go again!

If you could pick one artist to meet, who would it be and why?

I wish I could go back in time and meet Joaquin Sorolla, the Spanish impressionist. His work is so beautiful and his use of light so inspiring.   Seeing as I seem to always have 2 answers … in current time I would love to meet Brian Ruttenburg. He is an amazing New York artist  (originally from Charleston) and so very funny. I love listening to his podcasts while I paint!

What is your favorite pastime at home (besides painting of course!)?

Truthfully, I love just hanging out with my family or these days it’s just my husband, sitting on the back porch, enjoying a glass of wine together and talking. 

What museum would you feel most honored to be a part of their collection?

Back to my favorite artist, it would be the Sorolla Museum in Madrid, Spain, but that would be very tricky because it’s only for the Sorolla family, but we’re dreaming right?

Artist Statement:

I paint because I have to! Creating art is my therapy, breathing joy into my soul. I love to paint the places, experiences, and moments that stir my heart, and I hope my viewers feel that passion and energy when interacting with my work. 

I create color and texture-driven paintings on a medium to large scale with impasto style. With an appreciation for beautiful brushstrokes and liberal use of a palette knife, my distinct aesthetic allows me to combine all of these elements in any series. I find it exciting to experiment with color and although my primary medium is oil, I enjoy mixed media as well. By bringing my passion and experiences to the canvas between colors, textures, and bold strokes, my work blends reality with imagination.

My advice to aspiring artists is paint often and put ”miles on the canvas”. Be true to yourself and your style will find you. I view everyday as a blessing to be able to do what I love and am called to do…paint!


I was born in Wilmington, NC but have lived in Charlotte, NC much of my life. For 20 years, I had a successful career painting faux finishes and murals before returning to the canvas after a series of life changes. In 2007, a major change occurred when I married my husband Jay and went from a Mom of 2 to a Mom of 6 (5 girls!). In 2008, I began studying oil painting and discovered my true passion. I became an artist in residence at Braitman Studio in Charlotte, NC and since have been painting full time in oils, building a home studio, teaching oil painting and art business workshops around the southeast, and even leading painting workshops in the south of France!



How did you know that art was the career choice for you?
I always liked to draw and paint. This is the real answer.
Which museum would you be most honored to have your work and why?
 I have many favorite museums and it’s impossible to pick just one. It would have to be an american museum.
What is your favorite item in your home?
Ceramic pots by Bill Lennox.
What artists do you gain inspiration from?
Lately, Redfield and Rembrandt. 
Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
The Blue Ridge Mountains as I no longer live there. I miss the lay of the land and interaction with the sky. 
Exhibiting oils over 25 years, James P. Kerr has developed a broad colorist approach to his canvases.  He works in a direct manner, utilizing properties of light and pigment to establish form, create space and effect color vibration.  Private collectors have sought his oils since 1966.  Kerr’s oil paintings are represented in hundreds of private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada, the West Indies and Europe.  Kerr has taught painting and drawing privately and in workshops since 1970.  Born in Buffalo, New York, Kerr has lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Tarpon Springs, Florida and in North Carolina.

The Albright Knox Summer Art School, Buffalo, NY, 1960
Joan Harasty (private instruction, drawing & painting), Buffalo, NY, 1963
Laslo Szabo (drawing, oil painting & portraiture), Buffalo, NY, 1964-1970
Carl Illig (landscape painting), East Aurora, NY, 1971

Selected Collections
Glaxo Wellcome
Wachovia Bank & Trust
Edwards & Kirby
Crisp, Davis, et al
Lowe’s Company
Nations Bank
Smith Helms Mullis & Moore
Tharrington Smith
Nicholls & Crampton
SAS Institute
Rex Hospital
IBM Corporation
Central Carolina Bank
RJR Nabisco
Kaiser Permanente
The Official Price Guide to Fine Art, by Susan Theran, 1986
“Art in America” Annual Guide to Galleries & Artists, August, 1986
“Update” Charlotte, NC, August, 1986
“Corporate Art News” Several Listings, 1988-1990


What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a medical doctor when I grew up, however, I could not get into the program, so I decided to study landscape architecture. I always loved plants, nature, and art. 

What artists inspire your work?

I love all the Impressionist and Post Impressionist artists, especially Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh. Throughout  my career as an artist I tried different techniques, colors combining abstract painters ideas with my own. George Inness was another landscape painter which inspired me and it is visible in many of my paintings.  Kathleen Hardy is another one.

What is your favorite relaxing activity besides painting?

My favorite activities are gardening, reading history books, historical novels and travel.

Where do you gather inspiration for your artwork?

I take my inspiration from traveling and from observing landscapes and the nature around me.

What do you consider to be the most challenging medium to work with?

The most challenging medium for me would be watercolor.


Margaret Balcerek- art pseudonym Margo 

Margaret Balcerek earned her degree in landscape architecture at Washington State University.  Born in Poland, North Carolina has been her home for the last fifteen years.  An art enthusiast of a collector can easily appreciate Margo’s paintings because of their diversity, spectacular color palette, uniqueness, emotional depth, their various moods and pleasing composition. 

Her paintings express deep passion and love of the garden and landscape.  Her favorite media is oils.  Margo enjoys impressionists as well as abstract painters and was able to develop her own unique style.  Equally at ease with spectacular bright colors of the southern skies as well as spectacular grays of the northern lands she is able to find her way to the “soul” of the land she paints.  Sometimes, however, Margo is looking for inspiration on the “inside”.  This is when her abstract pieces are created.  Margo’s subjects include places around the world which she visited personally or “in spirit”.



What artist inspires you work? Ann Watcher. I love her play with texture and color. Everything she does is worthy of going on a wall to me. When I did a show with her a few years back, I was so excited to be featured with her. She also sells at Artsource of course, but when I first saw her work, I just thought it was beautiful. So she is the one that makes me want to push my boundaries…especially her work with a palette knife which I am know learning to play with more. I think shes got it down pat.

What is your favorite Raleigh Landmark? I love the State Capital. Its outside my window at the Lawfirm. When I first came to Raleigh as a young kiddo from Columbus County I thought it was a magnificent building. Now I work in the same block and I’m still in awe of what it stands for and its beauty.

What is your favorite piece of art that you own?  A piece of pottery from Charleston that is actually pretty hideous but its fabulous in my eyes….a lovely clay bowl with a pig hanging off the side of it..its a serving piece that I actually have people asking me to leave it in my will to them if I leave this earth before them. Not pretty! But unique.

How do you determine your color choices? My choices are determined by my love of blue…even if the object should not have any blue hue, I will find a way to use blue!

How did you get started painting? I was dining in Café Luna one evening and fell in love with Nicoles artwork. Her artwork inspired me to want to learn to paint. I then found Cathy Martin, began taking lessons from her and both of those women, Nicole White and Cathy Martin, and their art, inspired me to want to use color  and great brushstrokes to achieve a painting. That’s how simple it was for me to begin…They were my inspirations. And I just started…

Scott is a former Investigator with the  District Attorney’s Office where she was employed for twenty years. She worked almost exclusively in homicide cases, but sometimes took cases that needed special attention such as child sexual abuse or assaults.  Scott worked these cases from the investigative stage all the way through trial preparation and courtroom trials.  She has a very good reputation among the legal community and was named “Tarheel of the Week” in August 2004 for her work in the District Attorney’s Office.  Scott teaches trial preparation at the statewide Conferences of District Attorneys.  

She loves her job, but the stress of this daytime job is actually what led her to painting.  Scott finds painting to be therapeutic to her everyday life in the crime scene world.  She says jokingly, “In lieu of therapy, I found an art teacher.  In lieu of Prozac, I picked up paints.  After a day in court, and viewing crime scene photos, creating bright canvases of teal, periwinkle blue, and hot pink seem to be a wonderful counterbalance that keeps me grounded.”

Scott work has been widely collected within the Southeast.  She paints with acrylics, and enjoys creating still-life and beach scenes.



How do you determine your color palettes? 

I get color palette inspiration from all over — a magazine spread, the way light reflects off a surface, even the music I listen to while painting sometimes affects my color choices. Many times, I’ve just been excited to use a new paint color and allowed a palette to evolve from that one color. 

What is your favorite item in your home?

Other than family photos and the art I’ve personally collected, I’d have to go with my guitar. I used to write music and have been in a couple of bands, so it reminds me of some really fun and sentimental times. It also gives me another creative outlet when I get the chance to play every now and then.

What type or art would you suggest mixing in with your own?

Minimalist abstracts and black and white photography. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Raleigh?

My husband and I used to live in Five Points and we walked to NoFo all the time for dinner and for brunch on the weekends — the wait staff basically knows our cocktail order as soon as we walk in the door. I love it for the quirky atmosphere, the good food and the memories made there. 

Top tip for hunting for the perfect piece?

Think about what’s most important to you — the colors, the size, the subject matter, etc. — and save up for when you come across the piece that speaks to you and hits all t

Anna Vaughn Kincheloe is a North Carolina-based artist and designer, whose aesthetic is inspired by adventure and travel to foreign coastlines as much as it is influenced by art history. A free spirit at heart, Anna Vaughn has spent time living by the Pacific Ocean in Australia — two years full of camping on beaches and absorbing Aussie surf culture — before migrating back to her home state of North Carolina to relive her childhood memories of swimming, fishing and boating in the Atlantic Ocean.

Drawing from her undiluted appreciation for wide-open life near the coast, her series work is a free exploration of the wildness of land and sea, often with a transportive quality. With these expansive spaces and endless horizon lines as her subject, she expresses feelings of uninhibitedness by creating connections between sky, land and sea, encouraging the viewer to wander as well. Expression, energy, color and movement are important aspects to her work and while she has primarily worked in acrylic paint, she has begun to incorporate other mediums such as oil pastel, conte, graphite and charcoal to allow for a greater range of subtlety and nuance.

She has a background in both design and fine art (BFA in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and an Art History Minor from East Carolina University and career moves ranging from magazine publishing to stationery design) and currently lives in Raleigh with her husband Hatcher — they both venture down to the Carolina coast any chance they get.

Ann Watcher Artist Spotlight


What did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child, I loved art and the theater and dreamed about moving to New York City to pursue both of them. I loved music too, but I could not carry a tune. I attended the New York Studio School in the Village and took art classes there while taking private acting lessons. The height of my “acting” career was an off-Broadway role as a teenage runaway in David Rabe’s “Hurly Burly” and as an extra in a Whitney Houston music video. I soon grew tired of the cut throat nature of acting and turned back to my first love, art! New York City was a great place for art! Soho galleries and my favorite museum of all time, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

What is the most difficult challenge about approaching a blank canvas? 

When I see a blank canvas, I try to imagine a 3D version of what I want to create in color and in form and to commit to the intention. 

What comes first, the composition or the palette?

The composition comes first because it involves movement across space and how to develop it in an active manner to engage the eye.  I may want the eye to rest or to dance around the canvas. 

What is your favorite item in your home? 

My mother’s violin is my favorite item in my home as it has obviously sentimental value and also because it survived a house fire. My home was struck by lightning in 2007 and burned to the ground. When the firemen came to our house, they saved all of our photographs and my mother’s violin, which was by the front door. I felt that there was something very special about my mother’s violin being right there by the front door, ready to stay in the world and create more music.

“When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality.  Be active, energetic and faithful and you will accomplish your object.”                                                 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As an oil painter, Ann explores a wide range of subject matter, from marshes and beaches to boats and figures, believing that it is not the subject matter that defines her art but the expression of it, the play of light, active compositions, textures and bold color choices.  Ann combines an Impressionistic sensibility with touches of abstraction.  She develops the image through several stages, starting with a gestural, wet on wet approach, adding layers through techniques such as scumbling and glazing.  Composition and mood inform her art with the goal of creating a visual experience for the viewer.  Ann is curious about the endless possibilities of art that can be created from experiencing such things as the soft light at the end of the day or the way the light reflects off of a piece of silver.  
Ann received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Carolina. While there, she earned an internship at the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, DC and also studied at the New York Studio School. Most recently, she has studied with nationally recognized artist, Andrew Braitman in Charlotte, NC.  

Over the last seven years, Ann’s paintings have been included in numerous juried shows including American Impressionist Society, American Women Artists, and Art in Embassies, a division of the U.S. State Department. Ann’s paintings were included in an exhibit on southern women artists at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain and Ann will be taking more paintings there in April 2017 and teaching workshops. Her paintings have been featured in the media including a commercial for the Levine Cancer Center and season three of the Showtime series, “Homeland.”  Duke University Medical Pavilion commissioned Ann to paint a scene for its cancer center. Ann’s art hangs in numerous private collections around the country.

Ann’s professional memberships include the American Impressionist Society and American Women Artists.
Ann believes that her art is a journey and that anything can be made magical by the addition of brush strokes, color and light!

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be an artist… I thrive on creating and making things and searching for beauty and trying to capture it and  make it last…  getting messy is a delight and I adore color and paint !

If you could paint like any of the Masters, who would it be and why?

Claude Monet.  I love the way he saw and captured broken light..his passion for flowers, nature and his big canvases.

In what museum would you be most proud to have your work included in their collection?

Well, if I’m dreaming I’ll choose Musee de l’Orangerie, in Paris… because thats the home of Monet’s big Water Lily pieces that I admire and its also in Paris.. whats not to love !

What artists inspire your work?

Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Wolf Kahn, Gerhard Richter, Kevin MacPherson, Chihuly, Ansel Adams… and more… 

What other types of art do you think mix best with your own?

I often hang my trees and flowers next to a large abstract and let the colors reverberate between them.

The large scale canvases of local painter Ginny Chenet reflect the artist’s love of nature and fascination with light and flowers. Chenet works primarily in oils and acrylics, choosing to render floral subjects in dramatic, richly colored detail and to create haunting, impressionistic landscapes which seem to resonate with the changing light of day.

Chenet draws her subject matter from personal experience.  The mountains, lakes, and wooded lanes in her landscapes reflect Ginny’s Michigan roots and new-found Carolina home. The vivid irises for which she is well known grow out of childhood memories of her father’s well-tended garden.

Ginny Chenet received her BFA from Michigan State University in 1971.  She is a member of the Creative Council of Michigan and a winner of the Traub Art Award.  She has exhibited widely in juried art shows and galleries and has earned numerous awards.  Her work is included in private and corporate collections. She has exhibited at the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill and created the cover art and illustrations for the newly published Chapel Hill Service League Cookbook, Nothin’ Finer. Featured at three shows at Magnolia Grill and at Duke Hospital.