About the Artists

Mike Flynn

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Watercolor has been described as a difficult painting medium because “mistakes” on paper are there forever. But as you paint, you discover a “mistake” can be a perfect compliment and foil for another area of your painting! 

I paint in watercolor primarily because it was the first media I learned in 1997. You often hear from people how difficult watercolor is to handle, or, they just never could not work with it.

My view of the world of watercolor painting is simple: some pigment + water + paper + brushstrokes…the result can develop just as you imagined…or they can react like nothing you had planned…. It’s an adventure and journey waiting to happen. And once in a awhile, a mistake becomes a pleasing result!

Two years ago, Flynn became a member of a Manassas, VA area “en plein air” (outdoor) painter group called “p-ART-ners.”  In recent years, from 2007 to 2012, he was a juried member of the Workhouse Artists Associates, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA.

Awards and Juried Exhibits:
• Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, Charlottesville, VA, 
• LibertyTown Art Center, Fredericksburg, VA, 
• Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, Manassas, VA 
• The Mitchell Gallery, St. Johns College, Annapolis, MD

A transplanted Californian, Michele Frantz began her artistic career after receiving a degree in graphic design. At first she divided her time between desktop publishing and painting, but after placing third in her first fine art show, she decided to concentrate on painting. 

Her first love is watercolor, but she has since gone on to be accomplished in several other media, especially acrylics and pastel. Her favorite subject is the Virginia landscape. "I think of my art as an act of sharing," she says, "a desire to let others see as I see, and feel what I feel." 

Michele is also a popular teacher of adult artists at the Center for the Arts in Mansassas, and in workshops around the region.

Michele Frantz

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Steven Morales

Steven, at the present time, considers himself to be more of a learning hobbyist of the arts.  He has grown up loving art and as always pursued a greater understanding and advancement in his skills as an artist. Although he works full-time now has a tractor-trailer driver for UPS, he has hopes in the very near future for retirement from UPS and then to go into a full time career with his art.

Most of Stevens art work has been centered around black-and-white graphite the medium. Within the last five years Steven has taken on oil painting through classes taught by Mary Reilly at Creative Brush Studio. 

Mary started oil painting in 1974.  In 1986 she moved to Virginia, where, in 1991 she opened Creative Brush Studio, and in 1996 moved the studio to Historic Downtown Manassas.  

Mary has proven herself to be an accomplished artist with many subjects, but she is best known for her life-like portrayals of people and animals. Paintings by Mary are in public and private collections including such prestigious locations as the United States Court of Veterans Appeals in Washington D.C., the University of Virginia in Charlottesville VA, and Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C.

She has also been featured in the magazines Northern Virginia, The Piedmont Virginian, Prince William Living and the Piedmont Business Journal where she was highlighted as one of the "25 Women to Watch" in the feature article on Women in Business.

The sense of mood and emotion that Mary brings into her art sets her apart from other artists. Her style of "soft-focused realism" encompasses a range suitable for the realism of her portraiture to the looseness of her more impressionistic paintings.  Capturing the essence of the subject being painted, and transcending the ordinary, a painting 

Mary Reilly

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Patrick Small

Patrick Small, City of Manassas Economic Development Director, believes in the arts and that the arts spur economic growth in a community.  His bench, found on Center Street in front of Cutrate Barbershop, is pure Americana.  Michele Frantz, see above, helped him in painting this piece.
Maria Briganti grew up in Austria with many artistic venues available.  After raising a family, she returned to painting and has exhibited mostly in the Northern VA area.  Her art is in several private collections. About 10 years ago, Maria helped develop the Art Beat co-op in Historic Downtown Manassas and has been a board member ever since.  She paints mostly in oils and pastel, and even though she has been taught the Old master techniques, she has strayed considerable from that technique. Maria loves to paint outdoors and is also in the plein air group located in Manassas, called P-Art-ners.

She is a current member of the Prince William Art Society and has served on the board since 1985 and joined the Clifton Art Guild about 2 years ago. Past memberships include the Fairfax Art League between 1995- 2010 and Manassas Art Guild. She has also exhibited at the Torpedo factory in 1985-2000, Lorton Art Group, for about two years, but cut back on involvements to focus more on our local groups.