Instructors of Our Atelier

photo Kevin McEvoy

Kevin McEvoy is the Director of the Atelier at Flowerfield. Having grown up on Long Island, Kevin’s earliest schooling in art was in copying Rembrandt drawings from the encyclopedia Britannica, and in drawing copies of Roman busts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Having received his bachelor’s degree in fine art from Stony Brook University, Kevin went on to study for over two years at the world renowned Charles Cecil Studios of Florence, Italy. It was in this atelier that Kevin studied under several of the leading figures in European art and immersed himself in the drawing and painting techniques spanning centuries of European and American tradition. Charles Cecil’s teaching was of profound influence on Kevin, linking him to an ancestry beginning with Charles Cecil, on to R.H. Ives Gammell and Richard Lack, and ultimately rooted in the French Academy of the 19th Century.

Returning home to New York, Kevin began a successful career in painting, producing both independent and commissioned works for private and corporate collectors. His work has been exhibited and collected in the United States, South America, and Europe. Kevin is an exhibiting and active member of the Salmagundi Club of New York city. In addition, Kevin has also taught as a volunteer at the Riverhead Maximum Security Jail, where he instructed inmates in the classical tradition of drawing and painting. Kevin's art career has been publicized widely, from full page articles in Newsday, to primetime interviews on NBC's Nightly New York, and featured in NPR radio broadcast programming on WNYC.


Learn more about Kevin and see his artwork by visiting his website. 



photo Jason Arkles

Jason Arkles is an American sculptor working in the traditional methods and materials one would normally associate with a sculptor in Florence. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America, including on the façade of Saint Mark’s English Church, here in Florence. Trained locally in the studio of Charles H. Cecil (the human figure in clay), in Studio Sem in Pietrasanta (marble), and in a Pontifical Academy in Rome (sacred art), Jason himself now runs a small teaching studio in Florence, Studio Della Statua, in tandem with his professional career. Regarding himself as a practitioner of sculpture rather than an academic, Jason nevertheless has presumed to self-publish two small books on sculpture; Sculpting From Life, a manual for sculpting in clay using a living model , and the other, a translation and commentary on Leon Battista Alberti’s Della Statua. he is currently working on his third, which will detail the history of visually- oriented sculpture technique as practiced in the ateliers of 19th Century France.

Why the podcast? Jason has become a popular and sought-after lecturer on art history, bringing to the lecturer's podium the perspective of a practitioner rather than that of an art historian. Jason has given lectures on sculpture at the 'big three' ateliers in Florence - Charles H. Cecil studio, The Florence Academy of Art , and the Angel Academy. He is also on the History of Art Department at the British Institute of Florence, and has in the past given an entire season of lectures in conjunction with the St. Mark's Cultural Association in Florence, which spanned the whole of the Western European tradition of figurative sculpture. After receiving numerous requests to put his engaging lectures online for others to enjoy, the idea for the podcast was born.

photo Lana Ballot

Lana Ballot is a contemporary realist pastel painter. Born and raised in Russia, Lana discovered her passion for the art at an early age but it was only after she moved to the United States that she decided to pursue her dream and enrolled in the Studio Arts major at Stony Brook University, NY. Having received a good foundation in drawing and painting in college, Lana continued painting while working as a graphic designer. Lana is now a full-time artist and pastel painting instructor. She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. 

Long Island landscape has always been Lana's primary source of inspiration for both plein air and studio work. She credits the time she spent painting outdoors for developing a better understanding of the relationship between light, color and atmosphere, so important for a landscape painter. Working primarily in pastels, Lana is interested in painterly application of this medium.

Lana has exhibited her work in numerous juried local and national exhibitions. In 2015, her work received an Honorable Mention in the 17th Annual Pastel 100 Competition held by Pastel Journal.


Learn more about Lana and see her artwork by visiting her website



photo James Beihl

James Beihl has been illustrating professionally since 2011. In 2011 he graduated from Pratt Institute BFA program in Communications Design, and has been a regular guest at New York Comic Con one of the biggest comic conventions in North America and has seen several books published in both print and web. James is currently working on several projects that are both comic and concept art related one of which was in collaboration with Halo and Star Wars author Karen Traviss. James is also a member of the Glasshouse Graphics Talent Agency, whose stable includes many Marvel and DC creators. Before doing Illustration full time James worked for Victoria's Secret Pink as a graphic designer and cites this experience as helping inform the way he approaches designing pages. Since James was very young he fell in love with comics as a medium, because of the creative freedom that comics offered as well as the way they provoked the imagination. 


Learn more about James and see his artwork by visiting his art station

photo Marc Dalessio

Marc Dalessio is a classically trained naturalistic painter who at a young age established himself as one of the foremost plein-air painters working today. Marc’s artistic training began at the University of California Santa Cruz where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Fine Art. He then moved to Florence, Italy and apprenticed as a portraitist for four years under Charles Cecil at his atelier. After receiving a full scholarship at Cecil studios, Marc taught portraiture and landscape painting at the school. He later taught landscape painting for the Florence Academy of Art. Currently an independent painting instructor with workshops in the US and Europe, Marc travels for much of the year. Recent painting expeditions have included North and South Carolina, Maine, France, Russia, Ireland, England and Wales. His works are in notable private collections worldwide.

Learn more about Marc and see his artwork by visiting his website

photo Megan Euell

Megan is a classically trained painter from Southampton, New York (B. 1988). She began her classical studies during high school, attending The Long Island Academy of Fine Art in Riverhead, under the tutelage of Robert Armetta and Caleb Nelson Carter. Megan received a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design (2010). Following graduation, Megan lived in Australia, working, traveling, and drawing and it was there that she decided to pursue fine art at a full time atelier. Megan lived and studied in Florence, Italy from 2012-2015, and graduated from The Florence Academy of Art Advanced painting program in June 2015. Returning to Long Island upon graduation, she set up a private studio space shared with her fiancé Francis, a master shoemaker. Megan has taught various courses in classical art both independently and through art organizations on the East End over the last few years.

Megan has received various awards and grants, including a prestigious scholarship from the National Cowboy Museum, and a grant from The Stobart Foundation. She has been honored to be a guest presenter at Savannah College of Art and Design in 2017, as well as Long Island
University’s CCR Program in 2017 and 2018.

She is a member of the Portrait Society of America, and The Salmagundi Club, New York. Her work can be found in private collections in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the permanent collections of Savannah College of Art and Design and The Stobart Foundation of Salem, MA. Megan is currently represented by Vanessa Rothe Fine Art and Grenning Gallery.

photo Ben Fenske
Artist Bio

Ben Fenske (b. 1978) although a native of Minnesota, and has been working and living in Sag Harbor, New York and Florence, Italy for the last 7 years.   An oil painter in the spirit of the 19th and 20th century impressionists, he often chooses informal and contemporary scenes with an implied narrative.  His work, which features brash and suggestive brushstrokes, delights in light and color and is regularly exhibited in shows across the US. Fenske has been the subject of countless national articles, notably the American Artist Magazine which included him as one of the Best 25 Living Artists in 2012.


Russian Academy of Art
Florence Academy of Art
Studio of Joseph Paquet, Minnesota
Bougie Studio, Minnesota.


BP Portrait Award 2016 Exhibited Artist

photo Bill Graf

Bill Graf’s art career started after finishing his art education from SUNY Farmingdale, having received an Associates Degree in Advertising Art & Design. He went on to study for one year at The School of Visual Arts, at which point he continued for an additional 4 years of intensive study in academic drawing & painting from life at the Art Students League. Bill received the Frank Reilly scholarship from ASL which afforded him one full year of study. He went on to study classical realist drawing & painting in Florence, Italy at Cecil/Graves Studio.

Upon returning to New York City, Bill embarked on a career as an Art Director. However, illustration was his passion, and so began his freelance career acquiring clients such as Doubleday Books, Harlequin Enterprises, Thomas Nelson, Penquin Books, Readers Digest, Bethany House, and Voice of the Martyrs. During the course of his career, Bill was asked to teach figure painting from life summer series at The Arts Students League in NYC teaching the Frank Reilly painting method.

His portraiture has won numerous Awards throughout his career. Bill has kept true to his fine art training by accepting several portrait commissions, and working on private & public mural projects, one of which is in the Museum of American history, and depicts historical scenes from Theodore Roosevelt’s time in the White House. His Awards have also included his book cover illustrations from the Art Directors Guild and he received the Christy Award for best Christian Fiction illustration.

Bill continues to illustrate & design children books as well as teach at the Art League of Long Island, and the Rockville Centre Art League. Bill also teaches privately to students who are passionate about drawing & painting in the time honored tradition.


Learn more about Bill and see his artwork by visiting his website

photo Wendy Jensen

Wendy has been a LI resident for 41 years. She is married with 8 children and 22 grandchildren.  Growing up in Wisconsin, she attended an elementary school whose visiting art teacher came only three times a year, providing fun, motivating art lessons. As a young girl, she had the unforgettable, exhilarating experience of attending a summer art program at Wustum Museum, in Racine,WI.  Upon moving to Long Island with her husband and children, she took an elementary and middle school art teaching position at North Shore Christian School, where she taught nearly 10 years.  Her children grew and she moved on to Smithtown Christian School, where she taught 1st-8th grade art. It was there that Wendy taught and made a deep, lasting impression upon a ten year old, aspiring artist, Kevin McEvoy. She went on to teach at West Sayville Christian school, the Mastic Public Library, HHEC, while also offering private instruction.  For the past several years, while teaching art courses to younger children, she has continued her study of classical drawing and painting, under Director Kevin McEvoy's instruction.

Coupling together a love for children and a love for art, Wendy has established a career on Long Island as an exciting, energizing teacher.  She continues to inspire young children with warmth and encouragement.

photo Leo Mancini

Leo Mancini studied art at the Florence Academy of Art, and, after graduating in 2005, stayed on for six years as an instructor of plein air landscape painting and later became the director of the school's drawing program for sculptors. Today, Leo works and teaches from his studio in Waltham, MA. After classical training, he chose to explore a more personal impressionistic style employing evident brushwork and layering to create resplendent tonal effects of color and light. Leo’s work can be found in private collections worldwide and his work was recently acquired by the New Britain Museum of American Art.


"The most important element in painting is the creation of imagery. A beautiful image must be considered in composition, color, drawing and execution; it is not enough, however, to just make an image including all four elements. Already that is well difficult. A painting should be painted, you must see the process, the brushstrokes, creation of the ground, glazes and impastos. No two inches of any picture should be treated the same. What always drew me to painting was the contrast between rough and smooth, harsh and subtle. That is where beauty is. I hope to draw the viewer in, to see the world a moment in the way I do." 

photo Tim McGuire

Born in 1971, Tim McGuire was raised in Buffalo, NY. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Elementary Education, and his career includes more than 10 years teaching kindergarten in Los Angeles, CA.​​​ However, with an inclination towards drawing and painting that became increasingly pronounced, McGuire enrolled full time in the painting program at the Florence Academy of Art where he received a full scholarship in his first year, a teaching scholarship in his second year, and graduated in 2010. Since then, while developing his personal style as a painter, Tim has taught many art workshops in Italy and The United States, focusing on interiors, the clothed figure out doors, portraiture, the clothed figure in the interior, and the landscape en plein air.

McGuire’s work is most influenced by European and American post-impressionist painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most notably “Les Nabis” in Paris and “The Camden Town Group” in London.

​​McGuire has exhibited his work The United States, Canada, Italy, The UK, and Russia.

He lives in Buffalo, NY and Nova Scotia, Canada.

To see his work, or to learn more, please visit www.timothyandrewmcguire.com.

photo David Shevlino

David Shevlino studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (certificate ’84) and the University of Pennsylvania (BFA ’92).  His work has been featured in national publications and he has exhibited his work and taught workshops throughout the U.S.  He has also produced a series of videos and DVDs about his artwork and painting methods.


photo Alexander Soukas
Alexander’s formal education began in high school where he trained under Jason Polins, director of the Boston School of Painting for four years where he now visits as a guest instructor. Upon graduating high school, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with scholarship in a coordinated program with the University of Pennsylvania for a year. 

Unsatisfied with his studies, he pursued his classical training at Studio Incamminati, in Philadelphia where he graduated from their 4 year advanced fine art program. While there he worked for and studied under world renowned painter Nelson Shanks as his last apprentice and studio assistant. Alexander also studied briefly at Grand Central Atelier in their intensive drawing program where he studied and found mentorship under Colleen Barry. 

After his formal training in Philadelphia, Alexander moved to Boulder Colorado where he became faculty at the Art Student’s League of Denver, and taught extensively throughout the state.

He has exhibited throughout the country including Abend Gallery, Stanek Gallery, Manitou Gallery in Santa Fe, the Union League of Philadelphia, and the Comcast Center.
photo John Traynor

John C. Traynor spent his early years in New Jersey. His art studies began at Delbarton School in Morristown New Jersey; from there he went to Paier College of Art in New Haven Connecticut, starting at the age of 16. He studied figure painting at the Art Students League of New York, as a merit scholar, with Frank Mason, as well as landscape painting with Mason in Vermont. John followed his studies with Mason by spending a year studying sculpture in Italy.

Having completed his studies by the time he was 20 years old, John was determined to become a professional artist. As an unknown artist John started selling his paintings at outdoor art shows, in the Northeast where he was able to meet collectors in person. This exposure opened opportunities with galleries. Traynor has won numerous awards including the Frank DuMond award from the Hudson Valley Art Association and the Medal of Honor from the Salmagundi Club of which he is an honorary member. In addition, John is also an inductee into the Delbarton School Hall of Honors and attained the level of Copley Master from the Copley Society of Boston.

John has made numerous painting expeditions to Ireland as well as trips to Holland, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Austria, Israel and many locations across the United States including Hawaii. John currently resides in southern New Hampshire in a quaint New England village with his wife Liz. 

Learn more about John and see his artwork by visiting his website