kristine byars art

Art Focus: What’s hanging above your mantel: Contemporary Artists

At Old World Stoneworks, we love to support artists from all over the country. And we hope you do, too. Our clients live all over the world. And so do contemporary artists whose works are worthy of hanging over your mantel.

This week, we’re going to celebrate contemporary artists – a few from Texas, and some from other states. And we’ll recommend how to find and support artists in your area. Whether you’re hanging an original work of art or a quality print, your art choices personalize your home and help support the arts. What could be better?

Here are a few artists that you might like to welcome into your home.

Kristine Byars

Kristine Byars describes herself as a “colorful expressionist.” We love the way this oil painter captures fun, retro Texas moments. A Midwest transplant, Kristine now proudly makes Texas home. Her paintings capture our great state’s personalities, landscapes, traditions and humor. From couples dancing in honky tonks to riders being bucked off during rodeos, Kristine celebrates life’s exhilarating moments. See more of her work at her Wildwood Studio website.

kristine byars art

Heide Davis

Portland, Oregon resident Heide Davis draws her inspiration from people and nature. One of her specialties is abstract landscapes. Heide’s tempera and oil paintings use layering, muted colors and a stipple effect, which add depth to what at first glance may seem a simple image. The longer you look, the more you see. Heide’s career as a specialty finisher and muralist also influences her mixed media, fine art work.

heide davis art

David Forks

San Antonio native David Forks uses oil and acrylic paints to express his way of looking at the Texas landscape. We love the softness in his painting and especially his clouds. If you want something beautiful and restful over your mantel, these are paintings you’ll never tire of looking at. Check out David’s work at David Forks Fine Art.

david forks art

James Dunbar

Some of James’ favorite things to paint are cityscapes throughout the US, Paris, vineyards and coastal sunsets of the Pacific Northwest. He and his wife Robyn, who is also an artist, live in Vancouver, Washington. Together they run a company selling their art both in a recently opened storefront and online. James is known for his use of bright colors and the sculpting technique he uses with thick layers of oil paint. We love the happy look of red poppies in this Tuscany landscape.

james dunbar art

Laurie Justus Pace

Laurie is an extremely busy artist, with her dedication to her own art matched only by her dedication to promoting the larger art community. She’s cofounded four working groups of artists and runs Visual Language Magazine. Laurie’s vibrant, energetic oil paintings employ wide brushes and palette knives to capture Texas scenes. Learn more at her website.

laurie justus pace art

Anna Magruder

anna magruder art

Oil painter Anna Magruder makes her home in Taos, New Mexico. She drifts between realism and surrealism in her paintings of people and animals. She’s loved history and vintage trinkets ever since she was a little girl, when her grandparents took her along to explore flea markets and antique shops. This appreciation of history often comes out in her work. Her paintings appear in private collections, publications and on her website. Much of her work is in custom portraiture.

We think you’ll agree with us that Texas – and every state — is chock-full of talented artists! If you get inspired to purchase a piece of fine art, and then need to upgrade your mantel to match your new treasure, give us a call today. And if you want to send us a photo of your art hanging over an OWS mantel, we’d love to see it. Maybe we’ll feature it in a future post!

Here are a few resources for finding local art in various regions around the USA. These are just a smattering of the hundreds of regional art groups. With the slightest amount of digging, you’ll turn up a promising one in your area.


Artists of Texas

New Orleans artists, Where Y’Art

Oregon artists, Urban Art Network

Portland, Maine, First Friday Art Walk

South Carolina Artists

Kansas City Artists

Tennessee Craft