This monthly blog from The Maker City features a look at some of the Knoxville area’s outstanding makers – artists, crafters and custom builders. This month’s blog introduces three area makers who excel at the art of painting.

Clover Fine Arts
Clover Fine Arts
Clover Fine Arts
Chloe Melton of Clover Fine Arts

Bio:
Originally from Crossville, TN, Chloe Melton is currently studying to be an art therapist at Maryville College. During her high school career, she placed 7th nationally among qualifying high school students in the acrylic competition at the National Beta Convention. Her art has been displayed in the Knoxville Museum of Art, the nation's Capitol, and various other galleries and competitions including the Blackberry Farms and Denso Galleries at Maryville College. "In a world where everyone is seeking change, I believe the pivotal role of the artist is to be a messenger of the many perspectives people have."  

How did you get started as a painter?
Basically I picked up a crayon when I was eight and just never put it down. I did charcoal drawings as a child, and then was introduced to painting and I loved to make a mess! It kind of came naturally. Since I’ve gotten older I’ve loved to experiment -- like only painting in primary colors, or fingerpainting. I love fingerpaint. And just whatever I can really get my hands into.

What do you make, and how?
I paint everything I see, and I make just about everything I can think of. A lot of times I’ll be in an art supply store and I’ll see some supplies and I’ll think, “what is this? I’ve never tried this before - I’ve gotta try it - it’s so cool.” I don’t always take that to a level where I do it regularly but I think that everything I try leads me to something new and gives me new inspiration. The things that I sell are primarily paintings, but my commissions are always open for pretty much anything; if I haven’t done it before I will try it and learn it and give it my best shot.

Where are your products offered for sale?
Find my work on instagram.com/cloverfinearts/ or email commissions.

Ink Flow Art
Ink Flow Art
Ink Flow Art
Susan Verekar of Ink Flow Art

Brief bio:
Artist. Designer. Ex data expert. Lover of color. Proud wife. Doting mama. Shower singer. Cat and dog spoiler. Piano player. Bracelet collector. Efficiency enforcer. Experimenter extraordinaire. 

How did you get started as a painter?
Art has always been important to me. My undergraduate degree was in music performance, and I owned a shop in Portland, Oregon. where I designed and made leather handbags and artisanal perfume. I started painting this last February as a way to rediscover some of my individuality and self-expression. The idea of painting always scared me; there's something about looking at a blank canvas that's really intimidating. Facing that fear has been so fulfilling and now I just see the possibilities.

What do you make, and how?
I work with alcohol inks on synthetic paper, canvas, and art boards. I use isopropyl alcohol to dilute the ink and let it flow around the surface with a low powered heat gun. The inks can have a mind of their own, so it's been a journey in teaching myself the best techniques to gain some control and purpose in my art. Watching those colors flow is mesmerizing and has really become my Zen time.  I love working with complementary colors and high contrast metallics. I love flowy, abstract pieces, but I've also started mixing inks with some structured acrylic and oil painting in portraits and animal eyes. 

Where are your products offered for sale?
I have a website, but I sell most of my work on Instagram before I'm able to post it to my site. It's been a great platform to connect with other creatives and art lovers.

Shannon Deana Johnson
Shannon Deana Johnson
Shannon Deana Johnson
Shannon Deana Johnson

Bio:
Originally from Santa Monica, California, Shannon Deana Johnson received her art degree from the University of Tennessee. As a child, she spent much time exploring the coastline and surrounding hills and mountains of southern California with her camera or sketchbook in hand, or in her room drawing and painting. “Not much has changed except now I have a studio and I traded the California coast and hills for the Smoky Mountains, a husband, three kids and two adorable granddaughters.”

How did you get started as a mixed media artist/painter?
Like most artists creativity has always been a big part of my life. I have explored several different media but in college I focused on painting and particularly watercolor. As a high school art teacher, I have had to develop skills in many art forms but painting is what I love best.

What do you make and how?
I work by building up layers. I usually work back and forth between very fluid media like watercolor, ink, and fluid acrylics and heavier-bodied acrylics. My process is intuitive, and I usually only have an idea of the color palette before I start. The painting evolves as I go.

Where are your products offered for sale?
My website, Instagram @shannondeanajohnson, Jacks of Knoxville, artfromthehills.com, and at local shows:
The Tomato Head, 12 Market Square, Sept. 6- Oct. 4, 2020
The Tomato Head, 7240 Kingston Pike, Oct. 6- Nov. 2, 2020
Artsclamation, 711 S. Northshore Dr., Oct. 23-24, 2020

Eugenia Almeida of A New Hue
A New Hue
A New Hue
Eugenia Almeida of A New Hue

Bio:
A native of Argentina, Eugenia Almeida came to the U.S. 40 years ago with her husband Raul, who was pursuing advanced degrees at UTVMC, and the first three of her five children. “My father and mother are artists, so I grew up in a house surrounded by art. I started A New Hue to make a difference in how people see walls, and because I wanted a family-run business. We are a very busy company - even in these hard times. We’re very blessed.”

How did you get started as a painter?
I started 20 years ago when my youngest one was in school. I decided to do what I love, and I love art! I started learning how to do plasters of many different kinds, using natural materials such as lime and concrete. My husband went to conferences around the world as a veterinary biologist; I went with him and studied plastering techniques in Italy, France, and Spain.

What do you make, and how?
Faux finishes, texture, concrete overlay, Venetian plaster, stenciling and more. We do houses and commercial spaces - we apply our materials to create something beautiful on the walls and countertops. Once I wanted to make a client’s door look like wood and I was told “you can’t - it’s impossible.” But that is a thing that you cannot tell me.

Right now we are working with a new material - Ja’décor - and we’re the only ones in the country who have it. It’s cotton and silk mixed together - very versatile. It also has excellent sound-proofing and thermal properties. We have also done over 60 new Altar’d State stores in the past two years.

Where are your products offered for sale?
Our products are available online, by phone at 865-936-3995, and our new studio at 1009 Tennessee Avenue. 

For more on The Maker City painting artists, please click here.
For more on where to find goods by artisans of The Maker City,
please click here.