Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Artist/Instructor Gail McDaniel to Teacher Watercolor Painting Course Near Atlanta

            ATLANTA (July 2019) -- Gail McDaniel, 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, will lead a watercolor painting course this summer near Atlanta.

            The course will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists on selected Wednesday afternoons starting Aug. 7 at Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Drive. Sessions will occur from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 7 and 14; Sept. 4, 11, 18 and 25; and Oct. 2 and 9).  The class will not meet on Aug. 21 and 28.     

            The artist/instructor will provide insights on composition, value, color theory and application. She also will demonstrate some of the techniques that have helped make her an award-winning artist, including abstract under paintings, disappearing purples, painting on Masa Paper, white on white, monotype paintings, let it flow, texturize your paintings, portraits, reflective surfaces, and wax-resist Batik. The course is structured to serve artists of all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.

            Because space is limited for the classes, reservations are required. Tuition is $165 for eight class sessions. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at and follow her at and

Gail McDaniel teaches a watercolor painting course. (Photo by Chuck Whiting)

            McDaniel recently learned that Emilie Tingle, one of her Griffin students, has been juried into the July 2019 "Peachtree City Library Art Initiative." Tingle's selection was especially remarkable because her painting was judged against two-dimensional artworks in all mediums.

            "This is all the more outstanding when you remember watercolor being the most challenging and specialized medium," McDaniel noted.

            McDaniel was commissioned to create four program covers for Griffin Choral Arts' 10th anniversary concert season. Before moving to Georgia, she spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tenn. 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.

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

"Antique Teacups," a watercolor painting by Gail McDaniel

            Over the years, McDaniel has seen the positive change that comes over many people when they spend three hours with her, creatively thinking from the right side of their brain.

            "It's truly a night-and-day change, not to mention the fun they have," McDaniel added. "Many who come to me with no art background find they really have a true talent for painting. Some of them never had the slightest notion they had any talent. It's such an outstanding reward for them and a source of real pleasure for me."

            A good example is Phyllis Tatum, a watercolorist who studied with McDaniel for 14 years in Middle Tennessee. She and her fellow students were thrilled when she won four blue ribbons and a red ribbon at the Tennessee State Fair. Her crowning achievement came later when she won the fair's "Best of Show", a rare occurrence in watercolor circles.

            McDaniel fondly remembers receiving a thank you note from former student Suzy Foy of Boulder, Colo., who wrote, "My whole life I have dreamt about being an artist... I never believed I could live that dream, one painting at a time. Because of my nine workshops, mentoring and support (from McDaniel), it is happening."

            "One of the obvious results of classes is the togetherness that comes upon the group," McDaniel noted. "Friendships develop, and with that interest in each other's lives and the happenings and events in their world. The group watches children grow up, grandchildren being born, and members die. The group celebrates the joys together, as well as the sad times, giving special support. Sometimes, our paintings reflect those experiences."

            The classes near Atlanta should be no exception. 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.

            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 Choral Arts group. The choir, which is led by Artistic Director Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, is celebrating its 12th anniversary season.

            For more information about Gail McDaniel or to see her work, visit

Monday, July 8, 2019

L.A. Party Dolls to Bring Multi-Media Retro Tribute Show 'GIRLPOWER!' to Nashville

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 2019) -- The L.A. Party Dolls will bring their multi-media retro tribute show "GIRLPOWER!" to Nashville for the first time with a matinee show and an evening show on Aug. 17 (Saturday) at World Music Nashville. 

            The trio, which includes award-winning Nashville singer-songwriter Laura Powers, will present the hit songs and fun culture of Motown-era '60s girl-groups with big hair, sequined costumes, classic choreography, three-part harmony, and comedic interplay. Audiences can sing along as the Dolls perform classics by legendary acts such as the Crystals, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Supremes, Ronettes, and Aretha Franklin. 

The L.A. Party Dolls (Photo provided by Laura Powers)

            "We've wanted to bring our show to Nashville for many years, and now our dream has finally come true," said Powers, who has received several awards for the use of her music in film and television, including Nashville Public Television. 

            Show times are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission is $25 for VIP seating (first three rows with chilled water) and $20 for general seating. Matinee discounts are available for groups of six or more and children age 16 and under. World Music Nashville is located in the Bellevue Valley Plaza at 7069 U.S. 70 S. in Bellevue. Parking is free. Individuals can learn more or buy tickets by visiting 

            Powers started the L.A. Party Dolls when she lived in Los Angeles. The group has performed extensively on the West Coast and in major casinos in Las Vegas and Reno. The trio features Michelle Giacopuzzi, a bashful blonde seeking more confidence; Rosanne Limeres, a redheaded, feisty Jersey girl; and Laura Powers, a smart-allecky companion who dons a black beehive hairdo. 

Video of the L.A. Party Dolls (Provided by Laura Powers)

            The trio's Nashville performance will include the classic hits “My Boyfriend’s Back," “These Boots Are Made For Walking," "Da Do Ron Ron," “To Sir With Love" “He’s a Rebel,” “It’s My Party," “Dancing in the Street," "Respect," and "Stop in the Name of Love." 

            Music fans can follow the group on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheLAPartyDolls. 

Five Professional Songwriting Acts to Take Stage at Tunesmithing on July 20 in Nashville

     NASHVILLE -- Five professional songwriting acts will take the stage on July 20 (Saturday) at "Tunesmithing," a monthly songwriters show at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville West End Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. 

     Attendees will enjoy original songs and instrumentals by Sarah Baker, Leslie Bowe, Nancy Moran & Fett, Kim Person & Lana Puckett, and Doug Robertson. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Nashville composer-educator-publicist Chuck Whiting will emcee the show. Engineer-songwriter-performer AJ Bigler will handle sound. 
     "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase is sponsored by Music City Arts Network, Striking Moon Music, and Shine Time Music. The monthly show was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters, as well as artists of all kinds. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for artists at all levels.  

     For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write, or visit