Posts by Myrna Zanetell

It Starts With Color

Known for ethereal and evocative paintings and drawings, Zhiwei Tu is a textbook example of someone whose determination and hard work have raised him from a humble life in China to the status of award-winning artist. His paintings are inspired by his love for the people, history, and culture of his homeland and have earned him international recognition. Since 1990, when a gallery in Chicago, Illinois, became the first in the United States to carry Tu’s work, he has been honored with more than 25 one-man shows and dozens of exhibitions in the United States, China, Japan, Algeria, England, France,
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Portraits of the Past

Ranging in scope from mountain men and covered wagons to Native Americans and working cowboys, Steven Lang’s illuminating compositions provide highly personal insights into Western history. Tracing his Pawnee and Cherokee heritage back to his great- grandparents, the California-based artist has a special affinity for creating imagery that portrays the life of Native Americans. However, an oeuvre of work created during the past three decades also includes action-filled scenes of cattle drives, saloons, and Indian war parties. An inveterate storyteller, Lang finds it equally satisfying to depict the more intimate moments of everyday life. Although they might have lived a
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Toward a Greater Understanding

During the more than three decades Susan Kliewer has been sculpting, she has created a large body of work that ranges from the beauty and traditions of the Native American culture to images that celebrate the working cowboys and cowgirls of the Southwest. “All my life I have been fascinated by the ever-changing dynamics of our American West,” she says. “Through my work I strive to portray the many cultures that have come before us with dignity, respect and understanding. From the ancient cliff dwellers to the cowboys who rode the range, my subjects reflect the West that I’ve researched
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The Studio of Luke Frazier

For more than three decades, a working studio located in the serene Cache Valley of northern Utah has provided inspiration for Luke Frazier’s magnificent paintings. It’s a homey space filled with a plethora of items that he knows and loves and that gives visitors the opportunity to know him on a more personal level. “When my wife Angela and I built our home, its design included a great room, which was intended to serve as my studio,” Frazier says. The room’s footprint measures approximately 20’ by 30’, and its 18-foot high ceiling easily accommodates his sculptures as well as large
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The Studio of Mary Ann Cherry

Given the diverse range of her talents and commitments—oil and pastel painter, workshop instructor, novelist, and current President of the Women Artists of the West—it’s not surprising that Mary Ann Cherry loves the opportunities she enjoys by having two working studios. She does the majority of her creative work in a studio at the family home she shares with her husband Bob. Situated on two acres at the edge of the Snake River, just a few miles north of Idaho Falls, Idaho, that studio is informal, with a rural feel that is somewhat of an extension of the outdoors. “When
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A Sense of Peace

When Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution came to an end in 1976, China began to open its doors to the West. During the following four decades, several well-trained and highly talented artists journeyed across the ocean to America. Landscapist Calvin Liang was among the most gifted of those newcomers. From the time he was old enough to hold a pencil, Liang knew that he wanted to be an artist. Achieving that goal, however, would require patience and determination; it wasn’t until he was almost 40 that his dream became a reality. By the time he was 12, Liang’s career choice seemed
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Beyond Everyday Reality

Ethereal and omniscient, often steeped in clouds or fog, the imagery of Wyoming-based painter, Kathryn Mapes Turner, features a mystical blending of physical and spiritual. “My style is inspired by the Celtic word CAOL AIT – places separated by a thin veil, where spaces in the solid world and the realm of spirit come close together,” she says. Bringing that concept to her work, Turner employs brushes and paint as a means of sharing with others the joy and awe of nature that lie deep within her own soul. “My relationship to the natural world is spiritual and, ideally, I
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Aesthetic Visions

Stark rock outcrops towering over desert vistas, waves breaking on a coastal paradise, billowing clouds over serene mountain settings—for many years, those were the images that Glenn Dean most frequently chose to celebrate on canvas. Recently, however, he has expanded his subject matter to encompass the realm of figurative work, as well. “In my early landscapes I avoided painting figures as a way of purifying the landscape,” he says. “People were included on a small scale to show the enormity of a canyon wall, or the size of the clouds. However, beginning in 2012, I transitioned into painting a lot
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Wildlife Wonders

For years, wildlife artist William Alther had painted in his spare time, taking brush to canvas on a limited basis. Finally, in 2004, confident that he had refined his skills to a satisfactory level, he decided the time had come to make the transition from his day job with the zoology department of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and begin earning his living as a professional artist. It was a good decision. Within 15 years, galleries in Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming were carrying Alther’s evocative wildlife imagery, and his work was regularly juried into prestigious national exhibitions, including
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Living By the Brush

Arizona-based artist Gregory Stewart Hull is a highly regarded devotee of contemporary realism. His versatility is vividly apparent in a wide range of luminous compositions that underscore his ability to use his mastery of capturing light to its fullest potential. A Renaissance man by nature, Hull has been blessed with an inquisitive mind, a passion for perfection, and the ability to find beauty in a diverse range of subject matter, especially in mountains and coastal settings. From his earliest days, he says, his parents emphasized the importance of being well rounded, providing him with many opportunities to develop his talents.
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