08/01/13 Heartland Artists is proud to show the following artists work from Aug. 1st – Aug. 24th.  The Gallery will host an Open House the second Friday in August, August 9th from 5:30-8:30 where guests can meet the artist and see their works. The gallery also has regular gallery hours Tuesday – Saturday 10-4 in downtown Plymouth.


  Betty Jean Lawrence, also known as B.J., is the member of the month.  After a wonderful career as a social worker and psycho-therapist, B.J. returned to Indiana from her then home of Nashville, TN. Originally from Culver and a graduate of Culver High School, B.J. came back to Culver and decided to pursue her career in art. She opened her first studio there called Hobbit Shire Art and Crafts Studio.


Betty Jean Lawrence’s art experience started when she was in grade school.  As a young child she practiced using her favorite subjects: horses and people.  B.J. enjoyed her drawings so much that she was often scolded by her other teachers while contemplating her next project.  At Culver High School she enrolled in two years of art and fondly remembers Ms. Hall, her favorite teacher.


While living in Nashville, Tennessee, she became involved in the Brown County art community where she met and studied the work of many fine artists including Helaine Heart, a leading watercolorist.


After returning to Culver she made connections with Heartland Artist Gallery in Plymouth and MoonTree in Donaldson.  When she joined Heartland she studied the work being done by local artists.  B.J. feels “that the art has a story to tell and she hopes you will enjoy her story”.


Susan Russell is the artist of the month at the Gallery. Known for luminous oil and pastel paintings, award-winning artist Susan Russell works directly from life whenever possible, producing plein-air landscapes, still-lifes, and portraits.  Her studio is located in Milford, where she also completes commissioned paintings.  Her work isincluded in private and corporate collections throughout the U.S.


Through both formal and informal education, academic training and fieldwork, Susan has spent many years studying the history and craft of painting.  She has been selling her artwork for over twenty years and leads workshops in drawing and painting, as well as poetry.  While completing her Fine Arts degree through Indiana University South Bend, she was awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Award & Fine Art Scholarship.  Susan’s involvement in the Midwest academic/arts community has included a number of Best of Show & first place awards in local and regional competitions, exhibitions at the Midwest Museum, Century Center,  Minnetrista Cultural Center, Honeywell, Indiana Plein-air Painters, Hoosier Salon, and others, as well as recognition in the recently published “Hoosier Painters of the 21st Century.”


Susan Russell’s reflection on art:  “Painting is an external representation of an internal vision.  What I paint is not only the result of what I see, but how I see.  The art of the canvas, like the art of living, interprets a personal point of view.  Nothing is worth saying without investing in stillness … and in art I seek to honor that one clear voice that stills the competing noise.  From that place, painting is an encounter with the love & beauty of the Creator, which hopefully translates to the canvas!”



Photo Caption: One of Susan Russell’s painting – Some Rise Higher