Posts by Sara Gilbert Frederick

Genuine Moments

Deborah Copenhaver Fellows had two major projects underway late last spring: a monumental sculpture of the 19 firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, who died battling a wildfire in 2013 and a statue of rancher John Palmer Parker for the town of Waimea in Hawaii. Both were nearly complete and ready to roll when the coronavirus pandemic hit. “COVID stopped both,” Fellows says. Fellows hasn’t taken many breaks in her 45-year career as an artist. She comes from a long line of workaholics, she explains, and she’s happiest when she’s busy working. Plus, she loves her job—and she knows that she’s lucky
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The Studio of William Matthews

During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in the spring, William Matthews was spending a lot of time in his studio, and he didn’t mind it a bit. His custom-built studio, which sits behind his home in Denver, Colorado, has always been his sanctuary. It’s his personal space, a place where he can be completely alone and paint in peace. Usually, however, Matthews has appointments to keep at his gallery and office in Denver’s RiNo Art District. That 12,000-foot space includes a woodshop, a frame shop, meeting areas, a public gallery, and his office space. He almost always has projects
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No Regrets

At 17, S.C. (Chris) Mummert knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life: He was going to be an artist. He envisioned himself spending long days alone in his studio, illustrating magazine covers and living the solitary life of an artist. It didn’t exactly work out that way. And maybe, Mummert says, that’s for the best. “I wanted to be a hermit and just paint all day,” he says. “But then I got thrust into business, where I had to deal with people all day. That experience really rounded my corners out. It helped me realize that I
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Monumentally Magnificent

On the night in 1987 that Bill Nebeker announced an edition of 25 castings of his sculpture If Horses Could Talk, he sold all 25 of them—and had another 75 collectors wanting to buy it as well. “It was the most popular piece I ever made; people just loved it,” he says. “You’ve got the cowboy looking for the deer, the deer sneaking away behind him, and the horse looking at the deer. It’s happened to every hunter out there. And people who don’t care for hunting love it, too, because the deer is getting away.” During the following years,
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‘How I Got Here’

During a visit last October, Susan Lyon made three admissions. The first is that she never considered herself a natural artist. She hadn’t impressed anyone with her drawings as a child. She wasn’t the student who was always chosen to illustrate the school yearbook cover or design the hallway mural. Later, while studying at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, Lyon noticed that some of her classmates seemed to be able to see spatial relationships and copy them perfectly. For her, it was a struggle. “I wasn’t someone who had ever been very confident in drawing,” she says.
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Unique Expressions

Summers are hot in Texas—and this past summer was one of the worst that Nancy Bush can remember. She was born and raised in the Lone Star State and has lived there almost all of her adult life, so for the most part she’s used to the heat. But this summer, she says, was harder than usual. “It was a brutal summer this year—warmer than past summers,” she says. “But hot is hot, and that’s what we have down here now. Of course, most everyone has air conditioning here, or there would for sure be a massive migration to the
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A Personal Passion

When Ralph Oberg was 23, his brother invited him to go to Alaska on a mountain climbing adventure. Oberg was doing architectural renderings and basic graphic design at the time and was completely unsatisfied with the work. The trip to Alaska provided the perfect opportunity to make a change. “When I got the opportunity to quit my job and go climb ice-covered mountains in Alaska, I took it,” Oberg says. “That decision cemented the adventurer in me.” It also gave him a closer glimpse of the glaciers that now have become a hallmark of his work. Since that trip 46
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Releasing the Spirit

When Doug Hyde was commissioned to create a sculpture for the town of Joseph, Oregon, one of the first things he did was to go there. He knew the story of what had happened in Joseph. Hyde knew that it took its name from Chief Joseph, who led the Nez Perce people, when the government relocated them from their home in the lovely Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon, to a reservation in Idaho. He knew that it had been a sad time in Nez Perce history, and that even now, as the tribe continues to return to the area, feelings
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Luminescent Landscapes

As a young mother looking to launch a professional art career in the late 1990s, D. Eleinne Basa did what most people would do: She sought advice from the Internet. “A lot of the advice on the web was the same: Join a local painting group,” she says. “So I looked for a group.” Basa, who was born and raised in the Philippines, had moved to New Jersey with her husband in 1994, so he could pursue a job opportunity. She had studied art since she was a child and always knew that someday she would become an artist. But,
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‘I’ll Never Retire; I’ll Always Paint’

For most of the past decade, C. Michael Dudash has been ramping up his annual schedule of shows. In the coming year, he’ll participate in at least half a dozen major art events, from Quest for the West at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana, to the Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That means that Dudash paints between 40 and 50 pieces a year. Some are small, and some are larger, but each one requires dedicated time at the easel in his Rathdrum, Idaho, studio. “It is a lot
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