Posts by Brandon Rosas

Nature and the Human Soul

In some ways, personally and professionally, Sally Vannoy’s life might seem like a fairytale. She married the man of her dreams in a beautiful setting in Glacier National Park, was accepted into the Society of Animal Artists as a Signature Member on her first attempt, and has seen her works hang beside original Charles M. Russell paintings at the famous Triple Creek Ranch. As in many classic stories, however, the heroine had to leave her comfort zone in order to reach her potential. “I had the most amazing childhood and family life growing up,” says Vannoy, who grew up with
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Anything is Possible

“It’s incredible how magical the desert is when you go with the intention of self-reflection,” says Colorado artist Anna Rose Bain, who began a tradition of taking solo trips to the California desert when she was struggling with severe adrenal fatigue just before the start of COVID. “I found that I was getting burnt out at least twice a year, to a point where it was affecting my health and my relationships,” says Bain, who balances painting with raising two young children and practicing CrossFit, a high-intensity fitness program. “I started going to the desert to recharge and meditate and
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Quality Over Quantity

It is no surprise that some people might wonder if R. S. Riddick has retired. He has not. In fact, the nearly 70-year-old artist has been very busy making some of his most meaningful work ever. He has also acquired a new ranch studio and a clear perspective on the messages he wants to pass on through both his art and his life. For more than 40 years, Riddick had made his home and studio in southern Arizona, though he has always had a genuine longing for mountains. “Your faith becomes alive there, nature becomes a profound teacher, and people
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Walking With Grace

Walking with grace has become a way of life for landscape artist Jennifer Moses. “I have always had an affinity for the word,” she says. “For me, grace encapsulates so many other words. It exists in all things that are in their purest, natural state.” Moses’ fascination with things in their natural state might have begun in Virginia. She and her family moved there from Kansas when she was 3 years old. Her father Mike was in the Army Reserve and was assigned to Fort Eustace Army Base for advanced training. There, Moses and her sister Krista enjoyed spending summers
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‘This is My Life’

Sculptor Chris Hunt has dislocated each of his shoulders at least four times and broken both clavicles, both scapulae, and a couple of ribs. The Texas-born artist and former Air Force senior airman has always jumped feet first into new things, be it riding in rodeos or introducing a new medium to his repertoire. “‘No fear’ was my mantra, and still is to this day,” he says. Hunt grew up in Damon, Texas, on a ranch on the Brazos River, where he was raised by his father Maurice and had no problem amusing himself by drawing, fishing, hunting, and riding
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A Promise Kept

During his 16 years of formal art training, Valeriy Kagounkin has studied everything from painting and sculpture to Italian fresco, mosaic, and stained glass. While he now focuses on capturing the American West on canvas, he also feels a duty to serve the community with his other skills. One of Kagounkin’s most recent projects—painting a mural on an eight-story building—has seen him perched atop a lift in 90-degree temperatures, breathing in smoke-filled air from the wildfires raging near his home in Sacramento, California. “It is what it is,” he says. “This is real artwork.” Except for a few difficult times,
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Silver Linings

“I always thought when you went blind, it was black. It wasn’t,” says watercolor artist Marlin Rotach, who noticed changes in his vision in the spring of 2018. “It was flesh-toned, and it was just like a curtain going across my eye until I had no sight at all.” After visiting a specialist, Rotach learned that he was suffering from a detached retina, a condition that required two surgeries and left him blind in his right eye for five months. Unable to paint, but still able to use a computer, Rotach decided to try writing biographical vignettes about historical artists
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In Search of a Vanishing America

“I paint, and I ride my bike,” says watercolorist Robert McFarland. “That’s pretty much my life.” Those two pursuits might sound like opposites, but McFarland has found that they complement each other nicely. “If I’m on a bike ride, I’m always looking around for a subject,” he says. “If I go by something, it sounds weird but the subject will kind of speak to me.” During his thirty-plus year career, the subjects that have most often caught McFarland’s eye are what he calls “scenes of vanishing America.” His luminous depictions of forgotten landscapes, decaying buildings, and abandoned houses have been
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Firsthand Experiences

Kelly Dangerfield was 13 years old when he asked his grandmother to give him his first oil painting lesson. While some grandmothers’ houses are filled with the scent of cookies and pictures of cats, his grandmother Arlene’s house was filled with artwork. A hobby painter, she always had her easel set up and landscape paintings on display when her grandson visited. Dangerfield was intrigued. “She bought me a little tabletop easel and told me to look through these old magazines for a picture I thought was cool,” Dangerfield says, adding that he chose a photo of a high mountain lake.
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An Open Road

Doyle Hostetler rests his hand on the wheel of his rented SUV, radio turned down low, and a stack of paintings in the back of the vehicle as he cruises from Cortez to a gallery in Durango, Colorado. Although he could have shipped those paintings, he enjoys driving and finds these trips a nice break from his artwork and his construction business. Hostetler’s wife Charla and his family are back home near New River, Arizona, and he’s enjoying his time alone. He also knows that he’s now on the right road professionally, one that is leading to a successful career
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