The Best Contemporary Realist Artists Alive Today

Artist Friends

Thank you to the artists listed below for sharing in this journey of being an American artist-entrepreneur. Over the last 10 years, it’s been great developing an online friendship.

Ultimate Paper Mache – This is my mom. She’s a sculptor working in paper mache clay. Check out her wonderful art and tutorials

Robin Weiss – Robin is a great impressionist plein air painter working in the pacific northwest.

Carol Marine – Carol was one of the first artists to exchange links with me. It’s been fun watching her grow into an online powerhouse.

Lisa Daria Kennedy – is a daily painter with a beautiful colorful abstracted style that I just love.

Laurel Daniel

Kit Hevron Mahoney


Contemporary American Artists that I Admire

All images are by written permission from the artist.


I hope some of these artists are new to you, and bring you joy! They have been so inspiring to me.

Gave permission to share with students

Carolyn Anderson is a loose impressionist master painter. She is bold and minimalist in her brush strokes. Her paintings take very enjoyable work on the part of the viewer, as she leaves a lot un-described.

Style:  Impressionist
Subject Matter: Figurative
Location: Montana

Richard Schmid (family, email)

Lori Putnam – master at capturing light (ig)

Anne Blair Brown (ig)

Crista Pisano – wonderful small plein air paintings (ig)

Charlie Hunter (ig)

Ann Larsen (ig)

Other favorites

Douglas Fryer is an amazing modern realist painter. His landscape paintings make heavy use of the pallet knife. He has a mesmerizing combination of photo realism and complete abstraction.

Style: Abstract Realism
Subject Matter: Landscapes, figurative
Location: Utah

Quang Ho is a modern realist painter, but works in other styles as well. His work is complex, strong and compelling. I have his painting DVD, and his genius is inspiring.

Style: Realism, but is willing to work in different styles

Subject Matter: Figurative, still life
Location: Colorado

Stan Miller is a great realist watercolor painter. I was able to take a workshop from him several years ago and loved it. He has a unique way of using composition and abstraction that is lovely.

 Style: Realism
Subject Matter: Figurative, landscapes
Location: Washington State

Robin Weiss is a fantastic plein air painter. I love his use of value and color, and especially how he captures beautiful subtle temperature changes in his shadows.

 Style: Modern Realist / Impressionist
Subject Matter:  Landscapes, still life objects, animals and people.
Location: Washington State

Qiang Huang is an impressionist painter with a very painterly style. His main focus is light, and as a physicist he really understands how it works. He is also a delightful person.

Style: Modern Realist / Impressionist
Subject Matter: Still Lifes, landscapes and people.
Location: Texas

Michael Workman
Style: contemporary traditionalism

Tibor Nagy
I love everything about his work. He is succinct in his use of color and mark.

his influences are Richard Schmid, Joaquin Sorolla, Nikolai Fetchin, Anders Zorn, and I. J. Repin.

Ken Knight
Location: Austrailia

James Richards – wonderful painterly figurative work

Lisa Noonis has a lovely abstracted style that includes a lot of lines and color fields.

Lisa Breslow has a wonderful use of color and a unique style that I really enjoy.

Aimee Erickson OPA, saw her talk on the OPA lunch talk

Zoey Frank, beautiful fruit tree in indirect light

Zufar Bikboy, beautiful subtle colors

Charles Movalli, great compositions and colors

Kim English, plein air figurative busy environments

wyllis heaton, oils that look like guache

Jill Tascherbasham, gorgeous landscapes

Josh Elliot has beautiful romantic landscape paintings

Tina Garrette makes thought provoking, conceptual and realistic portraits

Daniel Keys is a great young painter that painted with Richard Schmidt and the other Putney Painters. His floral paintings are breathtaking.

davidshevlino – wonderful watercolor paintings

Great Artists from the Past

John Singer Sargent – one of the greatest portrait painters

Claude Monet – first artist to really move me