Posts by Sara Gilbert Frederick

A Lifetime of Experimentation

If you spend enough time looking at Stan Davis’ art, you will understand who he is. You will understand how he’s evolved as an artist, how his experiences have led him to exactly where he is now, how his artistic influences have converged in his body of work. You will understand why he feels more creatively alive than he has ever felt before. “This is the most creative thing I’ve ever done,” Davis says from his home in Perry, Florida. “It absolutely draws every ounce of creativity out of me.” “This” is the mixed-media collage that is part of the
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‘I’m Just A Vessel’

Nathan Solano took the long way to becoming an artist. He spent years working in restaurants, shooting photos, and working in graphic design before finally settling down as an artist when he was 40. And, for the past 30 years, that’s what he’s been. From his studio on the second floor of an historic building in downtown Pueblo, Colorado, Solano paints Western landscapes, cowboys, and Native Americans—and sometimes the simple scenes that unfold on the streets below his windows. He recently took a break from painting to talk about the path he took to get to where he is now—and
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Peaceful Feelings

When Paul Dykman steps outside his rural Montana home, his first instinct is to look up. “I look up, and I see the mountains; I see the amazing sky,” he says. “And I think, ‘Lord, how did you do that? Will you please show me how to do that?’ “It’s so beautiful. I look around and wonder how to get that certain color in the sky or the hue of the mountain. It’s not easy to emulate what God finds so easy to do.” Dykman has spent the past 20-plus years trying to do just that. Read the full article
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Chasing Perfection

There are things you have to give up if you’re going to run a ranch, raise a family, and pursue a career as a wildlife artist all at the same time. Chad Poppleton, who took over the operations of his dad’s ranch in northern Utah’s Cache Valley a year ago, is doing all three—and doing them well. Most days, he’s up early to do chores and get work done around the ranch. Once those jobs are done, he heads to his studio and paints for several hours. Then he loops back to the ranch for more chores and to wrap
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A Double Dose of Magic

For four and a half years, Bonnie Conrad had to take a break from painting. She was recovering from an illness that sapped her of her strength and then, as she felt better, she and her husband were building a new home in Mendon, Utah. She painted whenever she could and whenever she was preparing for a show. By January 2020, Conrad was feeling more like herself again, so she started painting more often. And that’s when something magical happened. Read the full article in the July/August 2021 issue. Son Kissed Oil 24” by 30” “This work is about the
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‘I Can’t Turn it Off’

For a long time, Bruce Cheever was best known as a landscape painter. His atmospheric, often nostalgic scenes had earned awards, recognition, and a solid following of collectors. Those landscapes are still his recognizable pieces—and landscapes are still his favorite subject to paint. During the past several years, however, he’s been steadfastly broadening his universe to include still lifes, figures, wildlife, and more. “My goal is to be able to sit down and paint any subject with equal confidence,” Cheever says. “I’ve tried to push my boundaries out further so that I feel comfortable tackling any subject. I wanted to
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Looking For Attitudes

The two weeks that Trish Stevenson spent at her grandparent’s log cabin in western North Dakota each summer as a child were the best part of her year. She and her five siblings loved how different it was from their home outside Denver, Colorado. They even loved the outhouse. “It was like camping for two weeks,” she says. “It was the highlight of the year for us.” But what Stevenson remembers most is her grandfather. She remembers how tall and lanky he was, how he sat with his legs crossed in a certain way, how he rolled cigarettes with Bull
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A New Chapter

TD Kelsey wants to be a painter. He’s been sculpting for more than 40 years, and his award-winning works are in the permanent collections of museums that include the C.M. Russell Museum and the National Museum of Wildlife Art. He has monuments placed at the Saint Louis Zoo and the historic Stock Yards in San Antonio, Texas, among dozens of other locations. Kelsey loves sculpting. It’s a medium that has allowed him to capture the essence of the animals he loves so much, especially horses. It has helped him to create a career, make lifelong friendships, and travel the world.
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Human Symbolism

There’s often a moment during Mark Kelso’s design process when he discovers something familiar in what he is painting. For example, while working out the design of a piece that showed two bison in rut, violently going after each other, Kelso recognized the same intensity he experiences while practicing martial arts. Seeing that helped him to reframe the design. Instead of painting full bodies of both bison, he zoomed in to focus on their huge, colliding heads. “You can see the slobber flying, their tongues lolling, their eyes rolling back,” Kelso says. “It captures the intensity that I saw in
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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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