Posts by Mary Nelson

Patterns of Light

On a hot July day in Livingston, Montana, landscape artist Aaron Schuerr took a much needed break. Work during the past month and a half—well, really the past year—had found him scrambling to keep up with his projects. A major one was a painting for the grand opening of the Illume Gallery West in Phillipsburg, Montana. Schuerr did, however, make time to join other grand opening artists in painting at the ranch that gallery owners, Jane Lundgren and her husband Mark, own. Schuerr does what he loves and loves what he does. But there’s more to the man than creating
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An Artist on a Mission

As a young child, Joe Kronenberg drew voraciously. Today, as an adult, he is an artist on a mission. “As an artist in the 21st century, I strive to create paintings that embody the aesthetic and objective standards of the 19th century European academic art world,” he says. It’s a style he believes has been lost in an instant-gratification world. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Kronenberg filled his room—as well as the rest of the house—with realistic artwork of the area’s grandeur. In his mind, it was just a matter of time before he would become an artist. That
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Sharing the Magic

In mid-August, David Yorke had just returned from his annual pilgrimage to the Shearer Ranch outside Wall, South Dakota, where he had spent three days sketching and photographing local cowboys and Native Americans as they reenacted scenes from the past. He has participated in the event for the past 20 years, normally joining 49 other artists for the retreat that ranch owners Grant and JoDee Shearer have hosted since 1987. This year, thanks to COVID-19, only about a dozen artists participated in the event. In an effort to avoid the risks of getting the virus while flying, Yorke opted to
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Living His Dream

At the hand of Pennsylvania artist Robert Griffing, Eastern cities and roads of today morph into scenes of 18th century Eastern Woodland Indian villages and pristine forests. Where most people see buildings, cars, crowds, and concrete, he sees the area as it once was and renders portraits of how these Native Americans lived, dressed, and worked. Griffing’s love for Eastern Woodland Indians began when he was a young lad growing up in Linesville, Pennsylvania, which is rife with lore and artifacts of the Seneca and Erie Indians. One day, while exploring the shores of nearby Lake Erie, he discovered a
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Making Art Sing

No matter what Cyrus Afsary paints, he makes his subjects sing. The Arizona artist infuses his landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and anything else he paints with head turning beauty that stops you in your tracks. That is his goal with each painting. “My primary objective is to have a viewer stop and wonder how I managed to express the light, color, or composition in the paintings,” he says. “I want them to look at the work in wonder, not pass it by too quickly.” How does he do it? “I don’t know,” Afsary says thoughtfully, going on to compare art
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The Studio of Kyle Ma

Kyle Ma is an art prodigy who began drawing nature scenes at age 4 in Taiwan, where he was born in 2000. Ten years later, he and his family immigrated to the United States, settling in Austin, Texas, where he began his art career in earnest. He astonished the art world by raking in multiple awards and gaining the attention of galleries and museums by the time he was 18. It’s been said he has the ability to create magic from street scenes, still lifes, landscapes—nearly anything he chooses to paint. Where does Ma work his magic? He does so
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Western Nouveau

To understand Thomas Blackshear II’s segue into Western art, you need to understand his storied career. It seems that the Colorado artist never does anything halfheartedly, nor does he redo the tried and true. In fact, he likes to take what other artists are rendering and tweak it to show viewers something they recognize, but he does so from an innovative perspective. Blackshear likens his work to rappers who take old music and give it a new slant. Relatively new to the Western art genre, Blackshear hit the scene about three years ago. “I’ve had a long and varied career,”
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Mixing It Up

As has often been said, timing is everything. This was especially true in the case of Utah artist Jason Rich. As he’ll tell you, the stars aligned, and his time as a career artist came quickly—before he had even finished his college education. But let’s step back and follow the route that took Rich to his art career. His father, an elementary school teacher, owned a small horse farm in southern Idaho, where he raised and trained horses to sell. One of five siblings, Rich was the only one who worked alongside his father, growing not only to love—but to
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A Celebration of Nature

Tucker Smith was born to be an artist. He always knew it—he just didn’t know how he’d make a living at it. So it was that he took a more practical route. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1940, Smith and his family moved to Wyoming in 1952. There, in the wilds near his new home, his yearning for art took shape, as he developed a love affair with the land and the wildlife in the mountainous region. Nature became his muse, and it was just a matter of time before he would take up a paintbrush in earnest. Smith
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COWBOY ARTISTS OF AMERICA: New Beginnings

The Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) has taken a bold step—right into the cultural heart of Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time in its history, its annual art show will not be tethered to a museum, and members couldn’t be more enthusiastic. Utah artist and current CAA president, Jason Rich, has been a member for eight years. He says, “Fort Worth is a mecca of art institutions and Western culture museums—the Amon Carter Museum, the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the Cattle Museum, Sid Richardson Museum, etc.—that all focus on the West and Western art, and we just really fit
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