Thursday, June 13, 2019

Gail McDaniel to Return to Nashville in November To Lead 'White On White Watercolor' Workshop

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (2019) -- Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel will return to Nashville this fall to introduce a creative technique that allows artists to layer white subject matter to create breathtaking watercolor paintings.

            The "White On White Watercolor" workshop will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists from Nov. 15-17, 2019 at Plaza Artist Materials, 633 Middleton St. in downtown Nashville. Sessions will occur from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.

            The artist/instructor will show artists how to preserve the energy and sparkle of the white in watercolor paper to achieve more glowing paintings. The process involves using transparent pigments to create white subject matter against a white background, producing layers of white on white. The course is structured to serve artists at all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.

"Who Mooed" by artist/instructor Gail McDaniel

            "Even the toned whites of one's watercolor paper can glow with a new energy," said McDaniel, who now teaches and paints near Griffin, Georgia, south of Atlanta. "Artists will learn how to paint beautiful shadows that glow with a special energy all their own. They will design folds and wrinkles in white fabrics without using white paint and gauche. Whites will become a new and fun adventure for them."

            Because space is limited to 20 participants, reservations are required. Tuition is $195 for all three days of training. Attendees are eligible to receive a 30 percent discount on the purchase of art supplies from Plaza Artist Materials. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to Website visitors can see examples of white on white paintings by clicking on McDaniel's gallery page. 

            McDaniel is an acclaimed watercolorist who, by invitation, has served as an associate member and demonstrating artist/instructor for the prestigious Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network of London. She was commissioned to create four program covers for Griffin (Ga.) Choral Arts' 10th anniversary concert season. Before moving to Georgia, McDaniel spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tennessee. During that time, she taught more than 1,500 students in classes and workshops around the world. A number of her former students have developed into professional artists with exhibitions and commissions of their own.

            "Like me, others love the look of watercolor paintings and want to learn the medium," said the artist, who painted the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music" starring country superstar LeAnn Rimes. "Many come for a change of pace and the new, wonderful, relaxing challenge it brings. The intermediate and advanced students come to me to grow in the medium."

Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel

            McDaniel will demonstrate the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that she has developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. She plans to show her students everything she knows, holding nothing back. Her goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed.

            During her career, McDaniel has trained artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where the late Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. She also served as a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art.

            "Gail can get more color out of watercolor than you can imagine," said Bev Silsby, an artist/student in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who helped host McDaniel for a similar workshop in 2005. "She is literal, impressionist and abstract."

            In 2002, she and her husband, Ken, launched the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards", raising almost $90,000 for Middle Tennessee public schools. The fundraising effort earned Gail and Ken a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. In 2012, the artist was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year."

            Before leaving Tennessee, she received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" in 2010 from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame in 2011 and named to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels in 1970 as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."

            In 2001, she was invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France. She also has taught in Central America, South America and Canada. She studied under 38 noted art instructors to help build her reputation as one of the South's top artists/instructors. -- even accepting a commission to paint a family landmark for former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

            Gail McDaniel's artwork was featured on the program covers of four major concerts in 2016-17 performed by The Griffin (Georgia) Choral Arts group. The choir, which is led by Artistic Director Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, is celebrating its 12th anniversary season. 

            Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at and follow her at and

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Appalachian Storyteller Richard Rouse Pens Book of Short Stories 'The Welcome Home Door'

By Chuck Whiting
          MCAU Editor          

             INDEPENDENCE, Va. (June 2019) –A book of original short stories by Appalachian storyteller Richard Rouse is receiving praise from leading authors, poets and everyday folks for its down-to-earth snapshots and slices of real life.

             "The Welcome Home Door and Other Stories" features nine lighthearted and humorous tales and one poem from a seasoned traveler, carpenter and beekeeper who has made his home on a mountainside in Independence, Virginia. For Rouse, who is now 89 years old, it was the right time to create a collection of original short stories for his wife, older brother and three sons. But the 10-year-long project has grown into something much more, generating thousands of book and e-book sales from readers around the world.

            The paperback, which retails for $9.95, is available through Rouse House Media at Readers can download an e-book version for $2.99 through Amazon, Book Baby, Good Reads, and other digital booksellers.

            Rouse's 132-page book opens with the inspiring short story, "The Welcome Home Door." In this easy-to-read tale, an old, hand-made door plays a touching role in a family's life.

            "It's maybe the best story I have ever written," said Rouse, who credits friend and songwriting legend Rodney Crowell for the idea. "Actually it was inspired by a song Rodney wrote called 'That Ole Door.' As I read this story, I see it moving people."

            Another favorite is "The Indian and the Prof," a 25-page novelette about a teacher (hunter's brother) who reluctantly accepts a beautiful gift after being shot while delivering Christmas gifts to students in a snowstorm.

            "I went fairly deep into the sub-consciousness of the main character, allowing him the privilege to become whatever he needed to be," Rouse added.

            What would "The Welcome Home Door and Other Stories" be without a few yarns involving pigs? The oinky, pink mammals provide hilarious moments in his tales "An Unlikely Flying Companion," "Lightning Strikes a Pig," and "Dewey's Pig Goes North."

Storyteller Richard Rouse (Photo by Joyce Rouse)

            "When I write these stories, I have fun -- like being a pig's totem or a pig's whisper," Rouse laughed.

            Although his stories are mostly make-believe, Rouse said the project would not have been possible without the encouragement of family members and friends, as well as a local group of peers known as Ridgeline Writers.

            "Welcome Home Door" is dedicated to his 92-year-old brother, Dr. John Rouse, who has given up writing after penning books and short stories of his own.

            "I hope my little book will encourage him to write again," the author said.

            Rouse's son, Steve, wrote an inspiring foreword for the book, recalling how the father and son, only 20 years apart, would one day "be two old men sitting on a porch together grumbling about the world situation."

            "When he sent it to me, I didn't change one word, and I cried," continued Rouse, who also appreciates his wife, Joyce, and two other sons for encouraging him to write.

            The cover of the book features a "Welcome Home" door carving given to Rouse on his 85th birthday by friend and artist Scott Rickets.

            "The Welcome Home Door" book of short stores has received rave reviews from noted authors, journalists, musicians and poets.

            "Richard Rouse's stories sparkle with thoughtful descriptions and homespun charm," writes New York Times bestselling author Kabir Sehgal. "His writing is clear and lucid, and you will be immensely entertained as each story unfolds with drama and intrigue. A great read!"

            Author Daniel Mallock lauds Rouse as "a master of people and place," encouraging readers to "savor these stories as you would superior wine -- rare, complex yet uncomplicated, a real joy."

            According to poet Karen Johnson, "His stories are told with wry wit and good humor while exposing an unabashed reverence for life."

            Born in Syracuse, Rouse spent his formative years playing with his siblings in the cabbage barns and truck farm fields of peas and potatoes near Preble, New York. He was an industrious high school student, building a boat, sculpting with iron and wood, and flying planes at the local airport -- even constructing an astronomy observatory at his home. He followed his father into the field of industrial construction and structural steel fabrication, eventually leading the company to record achievements. After adventures exploring the West, rockhounding, living on the sea, and New Orleans, he dreamed of settling in a location where he could renew his childhood interests in honeybees, natural food systems, and self-sufficiency. He chose Independence, Virginia, in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

            "I love to write," Rouse concluded. "While writing, I am very emotional. I will chuckle or outright laugh. I might sob a little, or tear up, and even get angry a bit."

            Rouse will read stories from his book at Oracle Books in Wytheville, Virginia (June 14) and Grayson LandCare in Independence, Virginia (Nov. 11), with public and private readings pending in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.

            For more information about "The Welcome Home Door" or booking Richard Rouse for an upcoming event, visit

Monday, June 3, 2019

Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator and Author Andy Hill to Lead Two-Day Score-Com Seminar June 15-16 in Nashville

By Chuck Whiting
MCAU Editor

          NASHVILLE -- Internationally known film composer, arranger, orchestrator, author and educator Andy Hill will provide insights on composing music for film during the Nashville Composers Association's annual Score-Com Seminar from June 15-16 (Saturday-Sunday) in Nashville.
         "Goodbye, Hollywood... Hello World: The Expanding Sphere of Media Music," which will occur from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., is expected to draw up to 50 emerging and professional composers to The Steel Mill in north Nashville for two full days of training.

         Attendees will attend morning sessions hosted by The Sync Center with insights from leading music industry professionals on the modern sync world, including prices, processes, practices and studies. Sunday's session will conclude with a Netflix Pitch Session.

          Composers will re-assemble for afternoon sessions with Hill to learn about national and regional opportunities and hear examples from breakout composers such as Keefus Ciancia ("Killing Eve"), Daniel Hart ("Strange Angel"), and Keegan DeWitt ("Gemini"). Former Disney and Dreamworks Music Executive Todd Homme will join Hill for a special discussion and presentation on Sunday. 

         All Score-Com Symposium attendees will receive a complimentary Film-Com laminate with the opportunity to attend film industry business seminars, a VIP kick-off reception, and a special networking event on Sunday night.

         "We are thrilled to have the legendary Andy Hill as our workshop leader for the annual Score-Com' Symposium," said Geoff Koch, president of the Nashville Composers Association. "Attendees will gain access to his decades of professional scoring experience, including his time as vice president for music production at Walt Disney Studios."

         Tuition for Score-Com's two-day symposium is $55 for NCA members and $85 for non-members. Individuals must register by June 7 to receive a free Film-Com conference laminate. The Steel Mill is located at 10 Quality Way in Nashville.

         To register, visit To learn more about the Nashville Composers Association, visit

         Participants for The Sync Center's morning sessions will include North American Publishing Supervisor Ted Goldthorpe, Sony Sync Executive Bill Goff, Sync Center Head John Pisciotta, and Bulletproof Sync Licensing Executive Geoff Sanderson.

Andy Hill

         Andy Hill was born in Chicago and educated at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. From 1987-1996, during the period now referred to as the Disney Renaissance, he served as vice-president of music production for The Walt Disney Studios (division), overseeing music production on a roster of films which included "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Sister Act," and working closely with composers and songwriters such as Alan Menken and Hans Zimmer. Films for which Hill supervised music under the aegis of the Disney music department and its music chief, Chris Montan, earned nine Academy Awards in the categories of Best Original Score and Best Original Song for a Motion Picture. Subsequent to his term at Disney, Hill opened Andy Hill Film + Music under the auspices of Modern Music and supervised projects which included "Message In A Bottle," "Ed Wood," "James and the Giant Peach" and "Happy Feet," winning a Grammy Award in 2000 as producer of the Best Musical Album for "Children for Elmo In Grouchland."

         From 2006-2011, Hill directed the graduate program in Music Composition for the Screen at Columbia College Chicago. His students have earned music credit on films such as "Life of Pi," "How To Train Your Dragon," and "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" and found work with such notable composers as John PowellMychael DannaJeff DannaJohnny Klimek, and Javier Navarrete. In the fall of 2011, Hill was engaged to prepare and oversee the launch of graduate composition programs, including film scoring and electronic music production, at Berklee Valencia, the international extension of the Berklee College of Music, with classes commencing in September 2012. The campus is located in the Palau de les Arts, part of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciencies designed by visionary architect Santiago Calatrava in Valencia, Spain. Following matriculation of the first class of Berklee degree candidates and a pilot semester, he spent an additional six months in Spain and Morocco working on a portfolio of songs with an enigmatic producer known only as The Old Guitarist. In September 2013, Hill relocated to Belgium to take a post as executive soundtrack producer and director of international business development for Galaxy Studios and the Scoring Flanders initiative, with the goal of bringing more high-level film scoring to the Flanders region and the musical stewardship of the Brussels Philharmonic. Concurrently, he launched Cinemuse VOF as a company under Belgian law, for music supervision and scoring services within the EU. In late 2015, Cinemuse, and Hill, relocated to Nashville, Tennessee.

         Hill is a member of the adjunct faculty and an industry advisor to the Masters Program in Scoring for Film and Visual Media at Pulse College Dublin, a division of Windmill Lane Studios, and a member of the advisory board for Pingtrax (Musimap), a Belgian music search engine utilized by scholars, archivists, media producers and music supervisors. His comprehensive study of landmark film scores, Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music, has been acquired for a Spring 2017 print publication by the Hal Leonard Corporation. About the book, Conrad Pope, celebrated orchestrator for John WilliamsAlexandre Desplat, and Howard Shore, among others said, “If you have any interest in what music means in film, you must read this book.”