Posts by Sara Gilbert Frederick

‘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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Transcending the Image

When John Coleman was 43 years old, he received a phone call that changed his life. That call was from a client, who had asked Coleman to do a construction project for him. Just as work was about to begin, however, the client received a lower bid and was going to use a different vendor. Suddenly, Coleman had three full months with nothing to do. “It was a sign,” he says now. “I knew exactly what I had to do. It was what I had always wanted to do, but I never had time to do it. Now I had
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‘I’m Living the Life I Paint’

Tim Cox has gone fishing twice already this year. That might not seem like much to most avid fishermen, but Cox isn’t complaining. It’s more fishing that he’s done for the better part of a decade. In 2010, Cox became the vice president of the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). The next year, when he was president, the organization officially moved from its long-time headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That transition consumed most of Cox’s time for much of his two-year term as president. “I think I averaged about four hours of sleep a day for those
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Heading in the Right Direction

On a recent trip to Glacier National Park, Dustin Van Wechel came upon a rugged old tree that stopped him in his tracks. Something about its trunk, which had folded over itself and the mist hanging in its branches, reminded him of a scene from a horror movie—which gave him an idea for a painting. “I looked at it and I thought that it would make a great setting for a group of ravens feeding on an animal carcass,” Van Wechel says. “But I wasn’t interested in actually painting the carcass, I just wanted to paint it so that anyone
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The Secret Sauce

It was a rainy day in Wisconsin that opened Dan Gerhartz’s eyes to his future career. Gerhartz, who grew up 40 miles north of Milwaukee, loved to be outdoors. As a teenager, he did a lot of hunting and fishing with friends and family in nearby woods. But one rainy day, a friend suggested that they do some drawing instead. “We had some Walker Foster how-to-draw books,” Gerhartz remembers. “That’s how it got started. I found out that I enjoyed it and that I had an aptitude for it.” He entered a few high school competitions, won a couple of
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