Posts by Sara Gilbert Frederick

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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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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