Pushing the Color

Categories: 2022 November-December Issue, Figurative, Landscape, Oil, Okon, Mejo, and Wildlife.

“I do a couple of shows a year,” says New Mexico-based oil painter Mejo Okon. “The rest of the time, I’m just trying to do cool stuff.”

That statement is not a hollow boast. Okon has just wrapped up a courtroom sketching gig for a high-profile trial in Colorado and is now back home in Albuquerque painting. She recently dabbled in acting as well, playing a courtroom sketch artist in the upcoming “Coyote vs. Acme,” an animated/live action movie.

“Today I’m working on colorizing some of my seventy-plus drawings from the trial,” Okon says, going on to offer some background on how she stumbled onto this unusual career path. “I could always draw people really well. Somehow, right around when I got out of school, I heard that one of the TV stations was looking for a sketch artist so I went over there. They said, ‘Well, we haven’t even put it in the newspaper yet! But, as long as you’re here, the five o’ clock news is just about to start, so why don’t you go over there and sit by the cameras and start drawing?’ So I did—and I got the job!”

Read the full article in the November/December 2022 issue.

Rain on the Horizon

16″ by 20″

“This cowboy, Louis, is one of my favorite models. It was spring roundup at the ranch, and the sky became threatening. In the West, rain often evaporates before hitting the ground. One can see those tendrils on the horizon.”

Brahma in the Clouds

12″ by 24″

“San Angelo, Texas, is experiencing a severe drought. Many ranchers bring in their cattle to the feedlot just to be fed for a couple of months. One of the ranchers raised Brahmas. I was able to capture this dramatic bull, later adding an equally dramatic sky.”