Generations: Dennis Nolan, Lauren Ainsworth Mills, Genevieve May

Lauren Mills, my partner in life and art, has always been an inspiration to me.  Her combination of tenderness and strength, fancy and solid grounding, have affected the way I paint, from subject matter to coloring to finish.  Having raised my sensitivity, my personal paintings display more of a feminine side than work I produced before we met. Much to the betterment of my art and life.  Genevieve, our daughter, is also an inspiration.  Seeing how far she has taken her skills and what beautiful work she has created is most gratifying as a father, teacher, and fellow artist.  Her work is an exciting blend of realism and abstraction, a combination quite different from my own, adding a new direction to the artistic life of our family.

– Dennis Nolan

Dennis Nolan

Dennis Nolan was born in San Francisco, CA, in 1945. His father was an operatic tenor and his early childhood memories of backstage, makeup, costume and performances helped to create a lifelong interest in dramatic and colorful storytelling. After attending Bay Area schools, he earned a BA degree in Art History and an MA degree in Painting from San Jose State University. A variety of jobs followed, including painting for galleries, illustrating biological textbooks and animating films. Mr. Nolan also taught illustration at San Jose State University and the University of Hartford in Connecticut.

Dennis Nolan’s first book was published in 1976. Since then, he has been captivated by the telling of stories in words and pictures. Several of the books that he has written and illustrated have been singled out for recognition.

Lauren Ainsworth Mills

The paintings and sculptures of Lauren Ainsworth Mills are the result of an amalgamation of past years illustrating books, mainly fairy tales of her own telling; classical training at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Connecticut, the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York City and private workshops in the U.S. and abroad. Mills’ work is also influenced by 19th century European artists of figurative realism, with a particular focus on the symbolists and those working in the narrative tradition. Lauren Ainsworth Mills’ fine art, created under her full name, focuses on the relationship of nature and the divine feminine, often employing gold or silver leaf with her oils or egg tempera paintings to achieve an otherworldly quality and a feeling of timelessness.

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See more of Lauren’s work here.

Genevieve May

Genevieve May is the daughter of accomplished artists and authors, Dennis Nolan and Lauren Mills. Genevieve remembers many formative trips to museums, art classes, and gallery openings, but did not fully appreciate and embrace her art enriched background until she was in her early twenties.

As a child she studied classical drawing and painting with her parents and later studied at Lyme Academy with classical painter Hollis Dunlap. In addition, she studied watercolor and fresco painting with Jeremiah Patterson and Fred Wessel in both France and Italy. In 2015, Genevieve graduated from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford having studied with her father, as well as Doug Andersen, and Bill Thomson, and then moved to NYC to work as a painter for Jeff Koons. Genevieve’s technique displays a wide range of styles. She enjoys combining abstract atmospheric scenes with realistic portraiture. She considers herself an allegorical painter, striving to paint matters of political, social, and environmental concerns in her work, while aiming to achieve a dream-like hypnosis over her viewers. As well as being a painter, she is also a professional belly dancer, performing with her three snakes.