Archives for 2021 March-April Issue

A Dream Realized

Mikel Donahue has only been painting full time since 2010, but he’s already racked up an impressive list of honors and awards. The highlight of his career as a fine artist, he says, came in 2016, when he was voted into membership in the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). It was the second time he had been considered for that honor, the first having been a few years earlier, when Paul Moore, a friend and CAA member, had recommended Donahue for membership. “If a member sees work by someone, and they like it, they put the artist’s name up
Read More

Endless Inspiration

Denise LaRue Mahlke doesn’t have to go far to find inspiration for her paintings. She simply has to step outside and look up—or out. “I find great inspiration in the beauty of big, cloud-filled skies and wide-open places, but I am also drawn to quiet, intimate scenes that require a closer look,” she says. “Subtleties in nature excite me, particularly the exquisite light and atmosphere found early or late in the day.” Mahlke paints the beauty she sees in and around her home in Whitehouse, Texas, as well as other places in the West, using pastels as she does so.
Read More

A New Direction

During the past decade, R. Tom Gilleon’s career has skyrocketed, earning him tremendous recognition and rewards. But now, at age 79, he’s most excited about projects that are taking him in a new direction—what he calls his “2020 Vision”—and that might well be the most daunting challenge he’s ever undertaken. It’s a new phase of his artistic life from which paintings that he describes as “MMXX Masterworks” are emerging. Gilleon is best known for his iconic paintings of tipis and Native American images. His background in illustration, his sensitivity to nature, and his respect for the Old West unite in
Read More

An Open Road

Doyle Hostetler rests his hand on the wheel of his rented SUV, radio turned down low, and a stack of paintings in the back of the vehicle as he cruises from Cortez to a gallery in Durango, Colorado. Although he could have shipped those paintings, he enjoys driving and finds these trips a nice break from his artwork and his construction business. Hostetler’s wife Charla and his family are back home near New River, Arizona, and he’s enjoying his time alone. He also knows that he’s now on the right road professionally, one that is leading to a successful career
Read More

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
Read More

Untold Stories

If you look for dogs in most traditional Western art, you tend to find them in the lower left-hand quadrant. They’re sitting at the feet of a cowboy in front of a roaring campfire, or they’re poised just out of kicking range of a horse at the center of the canvas. Their eyes tend to be looking at the focal point of the painting—a human being, a larger animal, an important event they’re witnessing. Their eyes tell the viewer where to look. They’re serving in their traditional role as man’s best friend. Man remains at the center. Not so with
Read More

The Studio of Eric Bowman

Situated next to his home on a half-acre lot in Tigard, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, Eric Bowman’s studio is as unique and imaginative as the art he creates. It’s actually a Quonset hut style structure that was favored by the U.S. government, which ordered thousands of the semi-circular structures during and after World War II because of their mobility and ease of construction. The property’s original owner built the structure in 1952 and used it as a garage to house his antique cars. “This was an ideal structure for that purpose because the roof supports the walls, so there
Read More