Posts by Mary Nelson

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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Beautiful Moments

For nearly 20 years, Utah artist Nicholas Coleman has created realistic paintings, with impressionistic overtones, as he preserves the history of the American West. His Western history and art education began at his father’s side. “[My dad] was always buying me sketchbooks, or we’d go to the art store and get colored pencils or clay,” Coleman says. His father also bought him history books and told stories of cowboys, Native Americans, and mountain men to expand his son’s knowledge of the country’s heritage. As early as age 3, Coleman worked alongside his father, renowned artist Michael Coleman. The younger Coleman
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The Studio of Giuliana Aubert

Giuliana Aubert loves her new studio at her home in Manhattan Beach, California. It’s one of two; the other is at her home in Lake Como, in northern Italy, where she spends four months each year. Two studios? It’s what artists do, she says, adding, “We try to figure out how to have our working space where we live.” Initially, Aubert painted in a bedroom, then graduated to the dining room, and eventually to the great room—where people passing by on the street could watch her at work, which she hated. Later, she work in a public studio that, she
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The Hemingway Version

Today, the name Sandy Scott is synonymous with sculpture. But there is much more to this versatile artist than meets the eye. Her experience and expertise spans decades—and abilities. No matter what Scott does, she charges full bore into it and excels at it, leading the kind of life many of us can only dream of. Born in rural Oklahoma, near Tulsa, Scott knew early on that art was her destiny. The path she took, however, didn’t follow a particularly natural progression. She’s the first to tell you that her journey has been propelled by good fortune, but it’s clear
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A Universal Language

Utah artist Robert Duncan’s motto could be this: Explore the depth of your surroundings to mine the beauty at hand. Meanwhile, his catalyst seems to be Andrew Wyeth’s artistic philosophy. “[Wyeth] never wanted to travel much, he just wanted to dig deeper into the things close around him,” Duncan says. “He’d talk about how just a footprint in the snow, as he walked across a field, would trigger a feeling that he could dig into for days and weeks. I think that digging deeper into the things we care most about, and to appreciate the things that we pass by,
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Bridging Cultures

For California artist Mian Situ, 2016 and 2017 were banner years. In 2016, he met, courted, and married Gloria. Their romance began on the Internet and Gloria, a resident of the Yunnan Province in China, was a little reticent, when Situ made his first long-distance overture. Situ, who was familiar with the Yunnan Province from many trips he had taken to the province to garner resource material for his art, felt a kinship with her. Eventually, his knowledge of the area, combined with how much they had in common and proof of who he was as an artist won her
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‘Art Must Have Soul’

As an accomplished artist with more than 30 years under his belt, Jove Wang has a theory that presides over his art. Roughly translated, it’s to know what you’re doing so well that you don’t need to be a slave to technique. It’s no understatement to say that Wang knows what he’s doing. Rather than offer up a painting that is merely a rendering, his intention is to involve viewers; he wants to elicit a response with his paintings. “I do not intend to paint extreme realism,” he explains. “I like the myriad variety of edges, as well as the
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