making art work for you

From The Studio of Roberta Dyer

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Roberta Dyer

We are excited to welcome our newest artist Roberta Dyer to Third & Wall! Roberta grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Spending time at the High Museum of Art and going to the fledgling Piedmont Park Art Festival, she imagined her paintings would one day hang among the artists she so admired.

She attended Vanderbilt University, earned her BA in Art History and returned to Atlanta after graduation where she continued pursuing her passion for art, taking classes at the High Museum and Georgia State University. Moving to San Diego in 1971, Roberta took art classes as time would allow and has since enjoyed many forms of expression from sculpture to copper enameling, oil painting to mural assignments. Today, she focuses on non-representational paintings and figurative subjects.

Roberta’s art is best described as expressive, whether figurative or abstract. She uses a combination of bold color and mixed media techniques to present her subjects in unusual ways.

“I am constantly pulled by two loves–painting figures and painting abstracts. It makes me happy to work with the push and pull of these two disciplines. I want to explore how design and pattern interact to make a realistic subject more abstract and enhance the theme of the painting. For me, the process of painting involves adding and removing and editing as I go along. If something doesn’t work, I simply paint it out and go in a different direction. I don’t try to paint likeness, that is a task for portrait artists. I use figures and animals as shapes in a painting and my intent in these paintings is to portray animals and humans as survivors–vulnerable but strong. I also love pure abstraction using mixed media along with acrylic paint.”

What do you first do when you get to the studio?

Whether I am beginning to paint or just visiting my studio before going back to it later, I take this time to look at my works in progress and try to decide what my next creative steps should be. Then I might clean up a bit and organize my supplies.

How many paintings do you work on at a time?

I work quickly at the start of a painting so I like to work on two or three paintings at a time. While one is having some “drying time” I work on the others. I also find that working on several pieces at once keeps me from over-focusing on one and getting lost in the minutiae too early.

If you could paint with anyone, who would it be?

This is a hard one because there are so many masterful painters I would choose. I admire the work of Turner, Picasso, Lautrec, Diebenkorn, Manet, Modigliani, not to mention the wonderful men and women of the Abstract Expressionists. But if I had to pick one, it would be Matisse. His influence on modern art has been profound with his flattening and simplifying of his subject matter, his bright colors, his use of patterns and lines and his brilliant compositions. There is something that can be learned by every artist working today.

“There is something that can be learned by every artist working today.”

What is your favorite way of generating ideas and inspiration?

Two ways work best for me when I am casting about for ideas. Working toward a particular theme is one way, particularly when there is a deadline for a show, and the other is to decide on a project or subject or theme and then do a series based around that idea. Or I might find a new material that I like and experiment with that for several paintings. I am currently in love with ArtGraf water-soluble pastels.

How has your art evolved over time?

I’ve been painting for years and understand looking back that the best way to improve or evolve is to work really hard. I’ve taken many workshops and classes- some valuable and some not so much- and have learned from some brilliant artists and teachers. Taking that information and applying it to my style and vision has helped me grow. My confidence has grown over the years as has my skill and that has allowed my style to emerge.

What do you like most about your work?

I have always admired artists who are not afraid to have their “hand” evident in their work, and I believe that I have achieved that in my paintings. I like that the emotion of my subject matter, whether real or abstract, shows through. People say that my work is expressive and I appreciate that.

What is one word that best describes your style?


Is there an idea you would like to explore?

My life long goal as an artist is to merge realism with abstraction in a unique way. No matter the painting, that is always in my mind.

What is your favorite time of day to paint?

I find that I am the most focused in the afternoon. My mind is more settled after other commitments have been accomplished. I have more energy in the mornings but my mind is chaotic.

Do you ever get “stuck” on a piece?

I am an intuitive painter rather than a planner, so it is safe to say that I get stuck at some point on every single piece! There are several ways I can move forward–I can stop working and not look at the piece for a day or two, I can go over my “Finish” checklist that helps me evaluate values, compositions, line, shapes, etc. One of the most effective ways is one I learned by taking a workshop from Jeannie McGuire. She said that when she is stuck, she gives her painting a story and that then she will be able to move forward. I have found that to be a sure and fun way to get unstuck.

What is up next on your easel?

I have been working on a series of 36×48 paintings of coyotes and told myself that I should do five. I have completed 3 1/2 so far and am trying to move ahead to finish number 4. I have also begun working on a series of large abstracts using the ArtGraf water-soluble pastels and am loving the process. I’ll always circle back to painting figures and animals too.

The images featured above are available in our Print-On-Demand collection.  Some areas of our website are password-protected. If you are a member of the trade but don’t have full access to our website,, please contact us at

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From The Studio of Patti Mann

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Get to know Third & Wall artist Patti Mann! Patti was born in Seattle, Washington but grew up in Los Angeles, California. She also lived in Colorado, Tennessee, and Ohio, and currently resides near Buffalo, New York.

Patti has been drawing on every available surface ever since she could hold a crayon, and has always known that she was first and foremost an artist. She majored in Fine Art at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA, and attended the Otis Parsons Institute of Art in Los Angeles, but family obligations drew her onto a different path for many years. She never stopped doing art while she raised a family and worked a variety of jobs, including (but not limited to!) data entry in a cancer research institute, a horse groom for a well-known Malibu riding stable, a racehorse hot walker at Hollywood Park Racetrack, receptionist, executive assistant, production artist and marketing manager. For the last 16 years Patti has been a Production & Creative Specialist with Third & Wall Art Group, of which she was a founding member.

Patti’s preferred media currently are watercolor, graphite, and pen & ink, but she loves to explore mixed media, acrylics, and occasionally oils. She has exhibited her work in group and solo exhibitions in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Commissions keep her busy, and her works appear in numerous private collections. She has illustrated the book “A Journey Worth Taking: A Collection of Animal Stories” by Norma Vermeer.

What do you first do when you get to the studio in the morning?

Since my studio is actually my front room, I make some coffee, get some atmospheric music going on Pandora (usually lo-fi, Celtic or Viking music), do a few warm-up stretches (not really), brush my cat, walk my dog, throw some peanuts outside for the squirrels, waste time on social media, and when all other procrastinatory options have been exhausted, I start making art, usually just minutes before I have to go to work…

How many paintings do you work on at a time?

I always have several paintings going at once, in addition to several that I started years ago sitting unfinished and lonely in a dark, forgotten corner. Some day, some day.

Do you have a dream project that you would like to work on?

I have far too many dream projects. I dream of illustrating children’s books, painting giant glorious murals, painting wondrous things on wood furniture, painting portraits, and creating rich, compelling horse, botanical, insect, closed world and animal paintings that exist somewhere between realism and invention.

If you could paint with anyone, who would it be?

I would love to paint with Third & Wall artist Liz Jardine so that I could wonder at and absorb some of her incredible techniques and skills, rich artistic vision and astounding prolificness. I’m also currently into Charles E. Burchfield (b. 1893 – d.1967), a Western New York watercolor painter, who painted amazing, interpretive watercolors of his beloved Nature, and of daily life. He didn’t aim for photographic realism, but strove instead to capture the emotion and feeling of his chosen scene. His style is unique and unmistakable.

What’s your favorite way of generating ideas and inspiration?

I love to get outside into Mother Nature and get really up close and personal with leaves, bugs, flowers, and all the mysterious macro-worlds that exist outside that no one ever notices. Sometimes I browse Instagram and Pinterest for ideas – there’s an incredible treasure trove of art out there that offers inspiration and motivation. If I’m feeling really stuck I will sometimes draw from one of the many drawing prompt lists available online to lubricate my imagination. I occasionally take online painting and creativity tutorials (but I never finish them).

“Art classes, museum and gallery visits, and meditation are other tools that help me access the great inspiration bank. The best way is to simply quiet one’s mind, engage in mindfulness and the wonder of Right Now, and open up to the vast source within and without.”

How has your art evolved over time?

I’ve evolved from tighter realism to a more flowing, intuitive painting style that still incorporates a good underdrawing and some representational aspects. About ⅔ representational and about ⅓ transitional!

What do you like most about your work?

I like that my work evokes not just a visual object, be it an animal or a person or a flower, but the essence and life of that object. Simple, yet it speaks.

What is one word that best describes your style?

My style varies depending on the type of art I’m making, but generally I’m a stickler for a good underdrawing, which is the framework for the painting that fleshes it out. If the drawing isn’t good, the painting isn’t going to look right. Currently with my watercolors I’m combining realism with a more loose and painterly flair, and I’ve been experimenting with adding metallic foils to my watercolors.

Is there an idea you would like to explore?

Something I’ve been thinking about is how miraculous urban wildlife is – the everyday animals we ignore daily that live and survive around us in abundance. If you slow down and simply observe, you will see the beauty, struggle and fight for life in each creature – the glorious iridescent neck feathers of the common city pigeon, the agility and grace of the squirrel, the cleverness and intelligence of the raccoon, the affability of the adorable opossum, the industriousness of the tiny vole…I want to find a way to paint and honor those urban animals that many of us consider pests, ignore, or even hate. I have some ideas. Now to find the time!

What is your favorite time of day to paint?

I’m definitely an early-morning person, that is my most productive and creative time. I work a full-time job during the day so an hour or two in the morning is my most precious time I can set aside to create, experiment, and dream.

Do you ever get “stuck” on a piece? If so, what do you do?

I usually just put it away and forget about it for a while, and work on other projects. I can usually come back to it days or weeks later with a pair of sparkling fresh eyes. Watercolors are especially touchy – you have to be much more careful with them, unlike the freedom of painting with acrylics – if you go too far with applying watercolor pigment it’s harder to reverse and alter it like you can with malleable and quick-drying acrylics. If this happens, I usually just end up cutting up the paper for scraps or recycling it.

What is up next on your easel?

I’m pondering creating some fish, bird and other animal paintings and incorporating gold, copper and silver metallic leafing. I’m also experimenting with some  yoga figuratives, and more contemporary nude figures. Also, I’m percolating some fun juvenile art.

I’m open to more ideas – what do you want to see me paint for your projects or markets? Let me know in the comments!

What to read next…

The images featured above are available in our Print-On-Demand collection.  Some areas of our website are password-protected. If you are a member of the trade but don’t have full access to our website,, please contact us at

Less Is More: Embracing Minimalist Design

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After spending extra time in our homes, we have become acutely aware of the impact of the design of our spaces.  From function to style, people are changing up their spaces to fit their needs (like a home office) and design preferences.  It is no surprise, then, that minimalist design styles have been on the rise, as people are becoming even more intentional when it comes to designing and decorating.  At the root of minimalist styles are function, simplicity, intention, and beauty.  With minimalism, less truly can be more.

The versatility of a minimalist aesthetic allows it to be easily adapted to any personal style.  From clean and unadorned Scandinavian design to California-cool bohemian styles, minimalism can be warmed up, kept rustic and homey, or create a classic and understated elegance.  With an emphasis on neutrals, earthy tones, and muted palettes, minimalist interiors can be cozy and inviting while drawing your eyes to the architectural details of a space, a beautiful view, or work of art.  One minimalist design trend that is rising fast is Japandi style.  A cross between Japanese and Scandinavian design, it takes the best of comfort, functionality, and natural elements from each style.  Japandi focuses on a connection to nature, clean lines, and bright spaces to create a zen paradise.

featuring “Femme III” by Patti Mann

Decorating in a minimalist style is all about being intentional with the furniture, color palette, and décor you use to create a soothing, uncluttered space.  A key element in minimalistic décor is the use of clean lines, which is why line and sketch art is perfect for a Scandinavian, Boho, or Japandi design.  Classic black and white line art can be a great addition to your wall, keeping it simple while still adding personality.  From figuratives to subtle abstracts, finding the right artwork to fit your minimalist design can help create a bright, relaxing, and modern space.

Minimalist spaces don’t have to be boring! Designing with natural materials, clean lines, and organic finishes can create a sophisticated and sleek space. Warm it up with lots of texture and hang the perfect pieces of art to add a personal touch and harmonize your space.  Decorate with things that you love, bonus points if they’re functional too, and create a beautiful, warm, and inviting minimalist space!

What to read next…

The images featured above are available in our Print-On-Demand collection.  Some areas of our website are password-protected. If you are a member of the trade but don’t have full access to our website,, please contact us at

Show Your Walls Some Love: Why Art Matters

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featuring “Red Path” by Laura Van Horne alt v 1

Have you ever looked around your furnished room and thought, “something just seems to be missing”, then your eye catches the empty spot on your wall?  Chances are you saved your wall decor for last and now need to fill that blank space for your room to feel complete.  It is easy to brush off the art selection process as an afterthought or the finishing touch, sometimes not thinking about it until everything else in your design has been artfully executed.  But wall art can be an integral part of your design and can transform the look and feel of your room.  Choosing wall art is an opportunity for self-expression that, we would argue, should be considered in the earlier stages of the design process.  We want to share a few ways thinking about wall art can change the way you approach interior design and styling!

Make It Pop

Artwork is a great way to bring color and texture into your space!  Finding wall art that you love can help you nail down your color scheme, which can be one of the hardest parts of the design process.  Art can tie in accent colors, bring in a pop of color, or help blend your palette to ensure that your room has a cohesive feel.  Wall decor can also add more texture and depth to your space.  Mixed media artwork, chunky paintings, or artwork on a textured substrate can bring creative interest and make your space pop!

Make It Yours

With many different styles and mediums, wall art can be a wonderful way to add your own style and character to your room.  Incorporating your own personality is key to making a space feel like home (even when you are not at home), and artwork can help create a unique design that sets your room apart.  Hanging fine art that encapsulates the style of your space can help set the mood, whether you want to reenergize or relax.  Artwork has the power to define or enhance your design style and reinvigorate your room!

Find Your Center

Hanging artwork can also provide a focal point that centers and balances your space, and makes a statement.  It can complete your design and give your space that finished look that you may have been missing.  The right artwork can transform your room, make it feel uniquely your own, and bring beauty into your space.

featuring “Momentum Synergy” by Jeff Iorillo

So don’t wait until the very end to choose artwork for your walls!  Finding the right fine art pieces can shape the way you design your space, from the colors you use to your design style.  Incorporating the perfect art piece can help you create the energy and ambiance you want your room to have!

The images featured above are available in our Print-On-Demand collection.  Some areas of our website are password-protected. If you are a member of the trade but don’t have full access to our website,, please contact us at

Finding Tranquility With Soft Pastels

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featuring “Life In Balance” by Dina D’Argo

We could all use spaces that bring some calm and comforting energy, and decorating with tranquil pastel tones is an easy way to keep your interiors feeling effortlessly serene!  Forecasted color trends and multiple paint companies’ ‘Color of the Year’ announcements for 2021 also reflect the growing popularity of this soothing color scheme. The predicted palettes for this year are full of light and fresh pastels, cool blue hues, and muted earth tones.  These soothing shades are perfect for any design style, whether you use them to paint your wall or add accent pieces in these soft and dreamy hues.

These calm and inviting colors are great for a rustic-inspired kitchen, a modern bathroom, and, especially, a relaxing bedroom. They can create comfortable & sophisticated spaces while still adding color and showcasing your unique style.  As our world becomes more technologically focused, it’s no surprise that connection and places of comfort are becoming priorities.  Incorporating tranquil tones like dusty pinks, botanically inspired greens, soft blues, and light, warm neutrals in your color palettes will brighten and balance any residential or commercial space.  Add some woven and natural textures for extra depth, accent your tranquil space with darker hues for more drama, or pair your subdued pastels with soft curved edges for maximum comfort.  Decorating with artwork in these soft and relaxing hues is an easy way to bring those serene vibes to your space!

The images featured above are available in our Print-On-Demand collection.  Some areas of our website are password-protected. If you are a member of the trade but don’t have full access to our website,, please contact us at