Posts by Sara Gilbert Frederick

Full Steam Ahead

During the past six months, J.R. Hess has been living his dream life. He moved to Colorado with his wife Molly and their two teenage sons, Cass and River, he’s got studio space in his new home in Loveland, and his photorealistic wildlife drawings hang in galleries in Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to get to this point,” Hess says. “I am so thankful, so happy to be doing what I’m doing. I’m still new at this but I know that I’m so fortunate to be able to do what I love to do.”
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On the Road

On some level, Linda Lillegraven has been drawn to the wide-open spaces of the Western landscape for most of her life. She remembers visiting national parks with her family when she was a child. When they’d stop at an overlook and get out of the car to take in the view, she’d see her dad’s face light up. “He’d say, ‘This is God’s country,’” Lillegraven says. “The enthusiasm he had, the love and reverence—he really loved the big open spaces, and I think I caught that from him.” The idea of painting those spaces didn’t occur to her, however, until
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Peaceful, Spiritual Paintings

In November, Jane Hunt expects to move into her “dream studio” in her family’s home outside of Boulder, Colorado. Building it has been a three-year process, and she’s more than excited to leave behind the small, temporary space she’s been using. It isn’t just the open floor plan and the additional space for new, larger easels that Hunt is anticipating. “The thing I’m most excited about is the view,” she says. “The studio is on the very top of my house, which is on the very top of a mountain so the view is just amazing. It’s a vista as
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The Studio of Mary Ross Buchholz

From the windows of her studio, Mary Ross Buchholz can see a row of apricot trees and a stand of towering oaks. She can see the set of beehives that she tends and the barbecue pits where family meals are often prepared. And just past a slight hill, she can see the fence that separates her house from the pasture where the family’s livestock grazes. That’s been her view since 2002, when she and her husband Bob added the 13-foot-by-20-foot studio onto their home near Eldorado, Texas. Before then, they had three young boys running around the house and little
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The Adventure Continues

Last fall, Lee Alban took a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Although he and his family had traveled through the Tetons back in the 1970s and had explored some of the National Parks out West in the early 1990s, he hadn’t yet been to Jackson Hole. The purpose of the trip was to participate in the National Oil and Acrylics Painters Society’s Best of America exhibition. It was Alban’s first trip to Jackson Hole, and he was eager to see the city and gather photographic reference materials he could use in future works. But it wasn’t just the quintessential beauty
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The Beauty of Batik

Echo Ukrainetz starts each new batik piece with a black and white vintage photo, usually a portrait of a person with an expressive, interesting but not necessarily attractive, face. She sketches the photo, then traces her sketch onto high-grade cotton stretched on a frame and draws in the details of the face. Then Ukrainetz works, sometimes for more than a month, dying and waxing each section—the shirt, the pants, the boots, then the face, and finally the background—until her stretched cotton is as stiff as a piece of cardboard. She freezes it and breaks specific segments of wax before rubbing
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The Studio of Mark Maggiori

During the past two years, Mark Maggiori has found himself setting up his studio in two different garages. One is the studio of his dreams, located in Taos, New Mexico, and renovated to meet his exact specifications. The other is a more temporary arrangement, with his workspace nestled into a garage in Los Angeles, California. While both have been productive places for Maggiori to work on paintings for his upcoming one-man show at Legacy Gallery, it’s the Taos studio he wants to talk about. He, his wife Petecia, and his daughter Wilderness moved to Taos in 2020. They had found
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Inspired by Nature

After more than 40 years as an artist, Margery Torrey has sculpted a myriad of subjects. She’s done pigs, puffins, and people. She’s created eagles and antelope. She’s designed a full-on steeplechase scene with multiple horses racing for the prize. Until last summer, however, she had never sculpted a sailboat. Even so, she didn’t hesitate to accept the commission when it came. It was a request from the children of a dear friend and was intended to be a gift for their father’s 85th birthday. “When she asked me about it, his daughter said, ‘We know it’s not what you
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‘I Paint What Excites Me’

Getting to the Prix de West International Art Exhibition last June wasn’t easy for Ron Kingswood. His home near Sparta, Ontario, is almost 1,150 miles from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma—and travel between Canada and the United States had become more challenging since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. But it was worth the trip for Kingswood and his wife Linda. His painting, A Morning Walk, earned the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award for exceptional artistic merit for a wildlife painting or sculpture at the show. “I was
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Beauty Abounds

Three years ago, artist Howard Friedland and his wife Susan Blackwood—also an artist—moved from Bozeman, Montana to Bella Vista, Arkansas. The couple had lived in Bozeman since getting married in 1998 and loved everything about it—especially the spacious studio they shared in their home there. But they had grown weary of the heavy snowfalls that often extended into April and May and of the smoke from Western forest fires that made plein air painting a challenge during the summer months. When they visited Jeff Legg, an artist friend, at his home in the Ozarks, they realized that relocating to Arkansas
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