William A. Schneider and Cindy Baron have been elected Master Signature Members by Oil Painters of America. They join a select group of OPA Masters that includes Harley Brown, Daniel Gerhartz, Quang Ho, and Kevin Macpherson.
Cindy Baron (art featured at top) is nationally recognized in both watercolors and oils, painting the grand landscapes of the western mountains and coastal shorelines.
She was raised in South Bend, Indiana, and has had the experience of living all over the country. Her art career started early when her first grade teacher noticed her drawings, which led to weekends assisting teachers through high school at the art center in town. A full-time artist, Baron conducts workshops across the country and internationally, and she has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design in their Continuing Ed Department.
Her passion in the arts began with pastels, which then led to watercolors, and in 2000 she was awarded Signature status of the American Watercolor Society. In 2012, she became a Signature member of Oil Painters of America and is among a select group of artists, having received acknowledgment from her peers in both mediums. A plein-air painter enthusiast, her extensive travels have given Baron an abundance of information and knowledge, which she shares with her students. She has become a highly sought-after instructor, teaching her skills around the country and in continuing education classes to teachers. She has had the privilege of judging many award shows and has been featured in numerous publications.
Baron’s paintings reflect the beauty that is found in nature if you take the time to study the colors around you. She can capture beauty in a blustering storm or the tranquil air of everyday places. Her portraits relay a story of human life as though they were family or friend. The versatility of mediums and subjects keeps her energized, excited, and creative.
William A. Schneider’s work has evolved since he finished his studies at the American Academy of Art. Workshops with Carolyn Anderson, Dan Gerhartz, Harley Brown, Scott Christensen, Huihan Liu, and Richard Schmid, among others, solidified his understanding of the basics. But he credits the many hours he spent studying and copying masterworks by Nicolai Fechin with loosening up his brushwork and approach to edges.
He also describes four days of intense study and analysis at an exhibit of the works of J. W. Waterhouse in Montreal as an “epiphany” in his understanding of composition. Schneider comments, “The wonderful thing about art is that you can always get better. I view myself as a perpetual student!”
Schneider has also been named Master Signature Member by the Pastel Society of America and the American Impressionist Society (AIS). He has been named to the Masters Circle by the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS).
“I am deeply honored, and consider OPA to be one of the premier organizations responsible for the current renaissance in representational art in America,” said Schneider.
The mission of OPA is to advance the cause of traditional, representational fine art by providing a forum in which artists can display their art in regional and national competitions. In addition, the organization is committed to providing educational opportunities to its members through its newsletter, critique program, scholarships, workshops, seminars, and demonstrations by today’s masters.