Brian Mahieu has been a plein air landscape painter since 1987. That year, he traveled to Paris, France and lived in the Latin Quarter for one month. Seeing the Impressionist masterpieces, Monet's gardens at Giverny and the French countryside, which reminded him of Missouri, created the impetus to paint en plein air exclusively. The primary motif of his work has been the Missouri River Valley at dusk with an emphasis on capturing the mood and atmosphere of the landscape. While he was studying at Columbia College, Mahieu's painting professor, the late Sidney Larson, encouraged him to paint outside directly from nature and to develop his painterly technique.
Mahieu has exhibited nationally, including the cities of New York, Carmel and Santa Cruz. Brian's paintings are in public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe the United Kingdom and Australia, including the contemporary artist collection of the State Historical Society of Missouri. The largest public collection of Mahieu's work is at the World Aquarium in St Louis.
In addition to painting full time, from 1992—2009 he operated one of the largest daylily breeding programs in the world creating and introducing 144 new daylily varieties into commerce. Brian and his husband Tom Harris live in Fulton with their two retired racing greyhounds and various foster greyhounds.
Former journalist Rick Skwiot is the author of three previous novels—the Hemingway First Novel Award winner Death in Mexico, the Willa Cather Fiction Prize finalist Sleeping With Pancho Villa, and Key West Story — as well as two memoirs: the critically-acclaimed Christmas at Long Lake: A Childhood Memory and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Memoir of a Sensual Quest for Spiritual Healing. He also works as a feature writer, book doctor and editor. From St. Louis, he currently resides in Key West.
About Skwiot's novel, Fail
Disgraced African American St. Louis Police Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel wants fiercely to return to the headquarters hierarchy from which he has been exiled to the city’s tough North Side. All he needs do is track down the missing husband of the mayor’s vivacious press secretary. Instead he unwittingly and unwillingly unearths a morass of corruption, educational malpractice and greed that consigns thousands of at-risk youths to the mean streets of America’s erstwhile murder capital. Worse, it’s the kind of information that could get a cop killed.
Fighting for life and his honor, Gabriel makes chilling discoveries that ultimately lead to a life-threatening and life-changing decision—a choice that could affect not only his own future but also that of the city and its top leaders.