Battle of the Brushes 2024 Artist Coaches

Battle of the Brushes Artist Coach Beverly Yankwitt

Beverly Yankwitt

-VAC instructor

Beverly moved to Southwest Florida from West Virginia with her husband, Ralph, and two children in 1985. Upon retirement from Merrill Lynch in 2012, she has been pursuing her true love . . . ART. Beverly is a member of Sea Grape Gallery, the current president of Florida Watercolor Society, a signature member of the International Society of Experimental Artists, a member of the Visual Arts Center Board of Directors and a past president of the Board of Directors for the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County. Her art has been accepted in many juried shows including the 2014 National Art Exhibition held at the Visual Arts Center. She works in oils and mixed media and especially enjoys abstract art in mixed media.



-VAC Artist

Birgit Tode was born and raised in Germany, she lived and worked in many countries over her life.

Her artist journey began six years ago, first steps with watercolor, clay and acrylic painting are only the beginnings and soon she found her medium – resin.

Today she is a free spirit artist, with no art rules, she is working on very different bases like glass, wood, plexiglass, mirrors, burnt wood or canvas.  Experimenting all time with new techniques and way’s to create new patterns and structures.

By adding textures and structure to her resin artwork she creates very unique styles and pieces. Some of her pieces have natural fibers, feathers, sea glass, stones or dried plants inside.

She lives in North Port, Fl.


Battle of the Brushes Artist Coach Susan Fraley


Susan began her artful journey studying fine arts for two years before deciding to lay her paint brushes aside and obtain a bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing. She went on to earn a Real Estate Brokers License and she eventually became the Principal Broker for a Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate company in Ohio. Her love for the arts was rekindled when she was asked to work in the art department for Castle Rock Entertainment during the filming of The Shawshank Redemption. As the Set Estimator, one of her responsibilities was to gathering samples of materials to be used for building sets. The Construction Coordinator and the Art Director would make decisions based on the various samples she obtained. Business opportunities continued to come her way when she and her husband purchased a national franchise in the pet industry. Once again Susan’s passion for art was put on hold. Fast forward 25 years, Susan knew in her heart she had to get those brushes out and smell the linseed oil again. Today, Susan paints full time from her studio in Florida. She is proud to be an accomplished self-taught artist with inspirations from studying in Austria and Italy. Her passion is creating large scale oil paintings focusing on impressionism with a slight nudge toward realism. She produces unusual paint strokes using large brushes, brayers, wedges, and palette knives. Living in Florida, she has found a niche painting dramatic, provocative Mermaids. However, an occasional dog, bird, cat or gecko is never out of the question. Susan exhibits her work at her home studio as well as throughout Charlotte County, Florida.


Battle of the Brushes Artist Coach Laura Pommier


-VAC Instructor

Laura Pommier is a contemporary artist residing in Port Charlotte, Florida. Originally from the Midwest her formal art education comprises a Master of Arts from Indiana State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Murray State University. Before relocating to Florida, Laura lived in Jasper, Indiana, where she worked as a graphic artist for The Herald newspaper. At the same time, she produced studio art and exhibited in juried, group and solo shows nationwide, winning many awards. She also worked as an artist in residence for several years at the grand hotels in French Lick and West Baden, Indiana, producing portraits and scenery. Now in Florida, Laura continues to work in her studio and teaches painting, drawing and pastel at local art venues. Her latest work has been featured in publications such as, The Herald Tribune, The Sun, Harbor Style, and Sarasota Magazine and soon to appear in Healthy Living Magazine. Lately her artwork is popping up at new venues across the region in the form of murals. From over 1,000 submissions she was chosen to paint the First Thousand Days Mural in North Port, followed by the Blooms Mural at the Wellen Park Welcome Center. A Nostalgic Florida Mural was commissioned by the condominium where she lives in Port Charlotte. Recently, one of Laura’s designs graced the rotating mural site at UTC Mall in Sarasota during the months of May and June. New projects are on the horizon! Also, on her repertoire, Laura has begun entertaining people at events and receptions, producing a themed painting within a couple hours or less. You can find Laura on her website; FaceBook, Pommier Paintings and Drawings; Instagram, @lauraannpommier; and Twitter @Pommier.


Battle of the Brushes Artist Coach

Mairin Wilson

-VAC instuctor


Mairin Wilson was born and raised in California. She is an iconographer and artist with a certification in Byzantine art. Mairin creates in a variety of media including watercolor, charcoal drawing, and cyanotypes. She moved to Florida in 2020 with her husband and two daughters. Mairin’s work has been shown in many exhibits and in private collections across the U.S.



Battle of the Brushes Artist Coach Rosalie Mack

Rosalie Mack

-VAC instructor

A true Florida “native,” Rosalie was born and raised in Bradenton, FL. She worked as a fashion illustrator while she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She began teaching art in Charlotte County in 1982 and recently retired from Charlotte High School where she taught Advanced Placement Drawing, Drawing and Painting, and Art History & Appreciation. As an artist, Rosalie loves drawing in all mediums and has a passion for art history!