top of page

Plein Air Artists

Thank you to the many artists who spent time on the Mather Homestead Property during June, 2020-23. Artwork below is currently on display in the Elizabeth W. Chilton Education Center, a.k.a., the Barn. 
Ashley Aymonier

I enjoy oil painting for its ability to capture a multitude of colors, highlights and textures in single brush strokes. I like to start color mixing with just the primary colors until I see the right tones to bring the subject to life. Over the past 30 years in Darien and New York City I have appreciated the opportunity to study and practice painting at the Art Students League, Woodstock School of Art, 92nd Street Y, Silvermine Art School and more recently, after leaving the world of finance, in sunlight with the Fairfield County Plein Air Painters.

Betsy Higgins

Elizabeth Higgins was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1960. As a Helena Rubenstein Award recipient, Higgins earned her MFA from Parsons School of Design, where she studied with Leland Bell, Paul Resika, Albert Kresch and Robert deNiro, Sr. Prior to coming to New York in 1983, Higgins received her BFA from Queen’s University, Canada, where she studied painting and printmaking with JC Heywood, Ralph Allen and David Andrew.

Higgins’ solo shows include the Prince Street Gallery, New York, The Argazzi Gallery, Lakeville, CT and the Nancy Poole Studio, Toronto, Canada. She has also exhibited in group shows at the Ingber Gallery, New York, the Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, the Addison/Ripley Fine Art gallery, Washington, DC, the ART/PLACE gallery, Fairfield CT, and the Carriage Barn Arts Center, New Canaan, CT.

Catherine Leitao

I have always loved art. The beautiful and the sublime captured my interest at a young age and still motivate me. Over the past fifteen years, I have been immersed in art both as a studio art student and as a museum educator. I struggle to balance these two interests but am grateful to have that challenge. As an independent museum educator, I have developed and led a wide-range of programs working with fine art in museum galleries and classrooms. I have especially enjoyed the opportunity to interact with underserved museum audiences. I am looking for opportunities to continue working in museum galleries and classrooms in the Mountain West. In the studio, I have focused primarily on the human figure. I have enjoyed learning to draw and paint in classical realist tradition in programs in Florence and New York. I am expecting to work more on landscapes now that I live in the foothills of Utah’s Wasatch Front. Working in university museums, I have also had the opportunity to incorporate art history into my museum education and studio art work. My interest in art history and my travels to many of the finest museums, churches and cities in the history of Western art have also led me to study how Christian art reflects the theology and traditions of the Catholic Church. I have enjoyed developing and presenting a series of lectures on Encountering Mary in Art.

Christina Tugeau

Artist Statement:
I love to paint - the delightful surprise each time as ‘something’ comes from nothing - pushing and pulling paint on paper, panel, or canvas - an image that has never existed before! I paint scenes, large and small, that capture my attention with their subject, shapes, light play, color, or story. I have an intention for the piece when I start but I am an intuitive painter and ‘listen’ to the moment and the paint itself once I begin. Often it has other intentions for me… thus the surprise!

Connie van Rhyn

As a child Connie loved to draw and went on to receive a BFA in Commercial Interior Design from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. She then received her MS from Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and is a licensed designer and a LEED AP (leadership in energy and environmental design).

After decades of designing, developing workplace strategies and leading significant projects, and raising 3 sons, Connie is exploring her love of painting and drawing again.

She has had the opportunity to study with many great faculty from Silvermine, beginning with Charles Sovek at age 16, and later with Churchill Davenport, and most recently with Dean Fisher and Justin Wiest.

In her paintings, Connie looks to bring moments of joy to others and to continue to grow and explore the world around her.

Dave Miller

Dave Miller has enjoyed photography as a means to connect with, and chronicle, our community and our heritage.

Diana Mikkidou Galik

Darien resident. Architect/Interior Designer. Enjoys gardening and taking classes at Silvermine Arts Center.

Domenick Maldari

Domenick Maldari was born in Giovinazzo, Province of Bari, Italy in 1948. He emigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina and then lived in New York City from 1961 until until 2017 when he moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. Maldari is mostly self taught. He works predominantly in the medium of painting, however, he has also created works in ceramics, and enjoys carving bone, wood and low relief on slate. While he focuses principally on watercolor, he also enjoys painting in oil, as well as drawing in pencil and pen/ink. Maldari is foremost a craftsman interested in the uniquely human ability to use one's physical and intellectual capacity for artistic expression using inspiration from nature and our surroundings. He learned how to draw and paint at an early age under the direction and guidance of his father. He graduated from the High School of Art and Design in New York City, and later matriculated to Bronx Community College.

Donna Atkins

"I have been painting for more than 30 years, working mainly in watercolor and photography, but have become increasingly fond of pastels, pencils and acrylics for their flexibility and diversity. My time is spent in and around Wilton, CT in the summer, painting with the Fairfield County Plein Air painters, but live in Venice, FL in the winter where I paint and spent time with my husband at the beaches and playing golf.

Elizabeth Agresta

Elizabeth is a third generation artist, carrying on a family legacy in the creative arts, which includes: kimono design, Japanese ceramics, culinary arts, photography, writing, and poetry. Elizabeth studied painting, print-making, and exploratory mixed media at Silvermine Art. She currently works out of her studio in Cos Cob and is the leading member of the Fairfield County Plein Air Painters, an active member of the New York Society of Women Artists, the Federation of Canadian Artists, and has served on the board of the Loft Artists Association.

Eunice Roy

Born and educated in Scotland, Eunice Roy found her way to Rowayton some thirty-eight years ago after many years of residence in Europe. A lifelong interest in the arts has taken her to galleries and museums throughout Europe, North America and the Middle East. A long break from the easel to focus on writing and handicrafts, not to mention family and business commitments, followed early training with the Scottish painter, William B Taylor. Over fifteen years ago with the encouragement of noted pastelist, Margaret Dyer, and the support of many friends in the arts community, Eunice returned to painting and drawing. In search of new opportunities for learning, she spent many years and many happy hours in the studio of the Pastel Society of America in New York under the guidance of former PSA President, Barbara Fishman, and more recently, PSA Education Director, Maceo Mitchell.

Ginger Morgan


Ginger Morgan has lived in Darien for over a quarter of a century and enjoyed the many beautiful gardens and parks in town. She finds photography enables her to take a deep look into the flowers and fauna around Darien. Additionally Ginger enjoys expressing her art in floral design and gardening.

Ginny Awn

"I have a lifelong experience in art and design, including sculpture, drawing and interior design. I began painting about three years ago when I realized how much I missed color. And plein air painting is my favorite when the weather cooperates. Although it can be challenging, I love being out in nature as much as possible, and painting outdoors can be very meditative as well."

Jan Raymond

Jan Raymond is a Connecticut artist who’s primary interest is in how color can be used to delineate objects. She has exhibited in various juried shows including; Art of the Northeast, Washington & Jefferson University’s American Artists Show, New Haven Paint and Clay and The Faber Birren Color show where she won the color award. She has exhibited in group shows at the Stamford Museum, The State University of New York, Purchase, and The Connecticut Gallery. She has had solo shows at the Pindar Gallery (NYC), Portfolio Gallery (Stamford, CT) and Merkin Hall (NYC). She is an exhibiting member of The Rowayton Art Center.
Her work is in numerous corporate and private collections. Jan studied and Syracuse University, Parsons Institute and was a student of the late Abstract Expressionist Theodore Stamos.

Jill Nichols

Jill Nichols’ painting explores both the earthbound and outer expanses of our divine cosmos. Her sense of color and composition has developed over the course of 30+ years as a commercial artist. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2000, she set her focus on painting, at first training at the Art Students League in NYC, and in 2015 earned her MFA in painting at Western Connecticut State University.

Her commissioned painting of Washington D.C. appeared as a backdrop for James Comey’s interview on “Face the Nation” while another made its appearance on Showtime’s “The Comey Rule” mini-series. Her artwork “Phi,” celebrating the divine feminine was a part of the “Nasty Woman” art social movement in New Haven and then went on to be installed in the Vatican Observatory Museum.

She has received awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and Connecticut Office of the Arts. An active participant in the art communities throughout Connecticut, she has served as vice-president for the Connecticut Plein Air Painters Society and Valley Arts Council and exhibited at the Lyme Art Association, Carriage Barn, Greenwich Art Society, and Lyman Allen Museum.

Jill is an instructor at the Silvermine Art School, in New Canaan, Connecticut, and conducts painting workshops locally and abroad. Jill now offers videos on YouTube and holds real-time online painting critiques.
Artist Statement
My painting is poetry, a lyrical composition of color and light. When painting, I am in the moment, thoroughly present and enraptured. I experience a sense of peace, as well as an urgency to capture and share the moment. It is a privilege to paint. Taking in the invisible birdsong, whispering winds, fragrant mist, and luminous clouds, often gone before the brush touches the paint. Inadvertently documenting the vanishing in a slipknot along the infinite.

Kathleen Weinstock

Kathleen came to painting after a career in finance and retail management in New York City. She rediscovered her creative passion as she raised her three children in Darien. While working in decorating, she squeezes in time for painting. Kathleen’s award-winning oil painting depict subjects ranging from landscapes, still life, portraits and abstractions.

Lisa Thoren

Lisa Thorén is an award-winning mixed-media artist. She began her career studying printmaking in Florence, Italy, and earned her BFA from Parsons School of Design. Lisa was an art director at Travel + Leisure Magazine, a creative director in advertising, and board president of the Darien Arts Center in Darien, Connecticut. Lisa was accepted into the Silvermine Guild after being juried into the 65th Annual Art of the Northeast Show at Silvermine Arts Center in 2015. She has participated in the Parsons School of Design alumni shows and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Fabir Birren Color Award. Lisa has exhibited as a solo artist in galleries in Connecticut. Her art hangs in the permanent collections of the Greenwich Library, the Darien Nature Center, and the Stanford University Medical Center in California. Lisa Thorén's work has been featured in Darien/New Canaan Magazine, Brooks Brothers stores, and historical societies in Greenwich and Darien. She resides in Darien, CT with her husband Peter.

Mary Wade

Mary Wade offers family and landscape photography based in Darien, CT, and Nantucket, MA. While her versatile photography skills range from headshots to beachscapes. One of her favorite subjects to capture is the family unit and she loves working with children.

Nancy Cannon

A long-time interest in sketch and drawing has lead me to pick up painting in recent years. I am fascinated with all aspects of color, light, and 2-dimensional art. My goal is to represent and re-create a beautiful and memorable scene. I experiment with paint, including oil, acrylic and watercolor. Having worked with talented artists/instructors in Fairfield County area, I am grateful and hope to further develop my own skill and style. Painting with Fairfield County Plein Air Painters has given me added inspiration and opportunity to paint from life and nature.

Pamela Abear

coming soon

Patricia Shean

Many moons ago Patricia worked as the student photographer for her undergraduate college. Following several career changes, Patricia moved to Darien with her husband, David, and two wonderful daughters. She returned to the visual arts to study digital photography, then pursued drawing, watercolor and oil painting at The Silvermine School of Art, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and The Florence Academy of Art. She is grateful for the opportunities to have studied with many talented instructor artists, especially Justin Weist, Dean Fisher, Josephine Robinson, Jesus Villarreal and Igor Naskalov.

Peter Kinseley

coming soon

Rob Lokody

ARTIST STATEMENT: “I prefer discovery over manipulation. To me, this way-of-seeing is especially expressive in Photography. While my other artistic pursuits often require measured constructs and conceits, the spontaneity of Photography lightens and liberates.” BIOGRAPHY: ReBeL remembers rambling around Mather Homestead as a boy, when Four Seasons Farm grew crops in the surrounding fields and horses grazed in the tall grass. ReBeL received his first photographic assignment in 1982, when an architectural firm hired him to capture iconic buildings such as New York’s Chrysler Building, World Trade Center, Morgan Library and Boston’s Prudential Center. As an international Creative Director, ReBeL produced work for such global icons as British Airways, Canon Cameras, Nokia, De Beers, Toyota and Dove Chocolates, among many others. ReBeL also directed several noteworthy commercials in Europe. As a Photographer, ReBeL has exhibited in both regional and national exhibitions. A one-man-show (postponed due to the pandemic) will be rescheduled in Budapest at the former Moroccan Embassy. Beyond Photography, ReBeL is an Author, Traveler (two dozen countries on six continents) and ardent nature lover. ReBeL rebels by respectfully serving the community and peacefully cultivating God’s garden.

Trudie Larrabee

Trudie graduated from Williams College with a degree in Art History, preparing her for a lifetime appreciation of the artistic experience. As the muse, wife and business partner of the acclaimed photographer Ben Larrabee for over 30 years, she’s honed her creative abilities and developed a point of view that she expresses thru the iPhone.

Werner Liepolt

My career as a painter is short. So is my statement. I respond to what’s happening and how it affects me. Both of my submissions reflect my mood and my relationship to Long Island Sound. My interests are grow from travel and staying put… the soil, trees, the sea and our relation to them… so whether I, painting a still life or a plein air landscape, whether I’m working oil water color, pastels, or oil, my goal is to capture fleeting beauty and communicate it. In addition to a life devoted to teaching, I have written several Off-Broadway play and scripts for movies, developed computer software, rescued numerous dogs, and enjoyed to exploits of the members of my family.

bottom of page