Archives for Acrylic

Drive and Determination

Crouched behind a wooden fence, tail down, ears perked, heart racing, he watches. His auburn fur blends into the fall grass and vines, a perfect camouflage from the danger galloping across the field, as horses, dogs, and riders in red coats are leaping, yelping, scrambling—all searching for him. A seasoned adversary, he knows not to move a muscle. He stays perfectly still, his eyes watching for clues to his next move—his chance to change his fate. Outfoxed is a spellbinding story of being hunted told by Ezra Tucker with acrylics on a three-foot board. He paints animals with so much
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Beauty Past and Present

“I’m 76, and I’m going to paint what I damn well please.” So says Rock Newcomb, laughing heartily as he does so. In fact, he laughs freely and often during the interview for this article. With a successful teaching career behind him and more than 30 years as a successful artist, he’s earned the right to say what he wants—and to paint what he wants. There is no niche for Newcomb’s art, and that’s exactly how he—and his collectors—like it. He’s earned national and international acclaim for his paintings of subjects that range from wildlife, landscapes and ruins, to cowboys,
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The Studio of Adam Smith

Adam Smith has an innate talent for drawing and painting cougars, pumas, and mountain lions. There was a time, however, when the only big cats he wanted to draw came with a 428/335 horsepower Super Cobra Jet engine designed by Ford for its Mustang and Cougar cars. “In high school I was drawing cars,” Smith says. “I thought about car design [as a career], so in 2006 I enrolled full-time at Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie to become a technician.” Read the full article in the March/April 2022 issue. Thunderhead Acrylic 25” by 35” The Stalker Acrylic 19” by 35”
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Capturing the Human Experience

An elderly woman in her Sunday-best hat, a father carrying his son on his shoulder, a man waiting at a bus stop, another asleep in his favorite chair. These evocative images of humble, hard-working people who are often overlooked by the world at large are so powerful in their simplicity that they motivated one New York art critic to describe their creator, Dean Mitchell, as a “modern-day Vermeer.” “My work is primarily about the human experience,” Mitchell says. “I want it to be a commentary on the reality of life as lived by the ordinary people in this country.” Read
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A Promise Kept

During his 16 years of formal art training, Valeriy Kagounkin has studied everything from painting and sculpture to Italian fresco, mosaic, and stained glass. While he now focuses on capturing the American West on canvas, he also feels a duty to serve the community with his other skills. One of Kagounkin’s most recent projects—painting a mural on an eight-story building—has seen him perched atop a lift in 90-degree temperatures, breathing in smoke-filled air from the wildfires raging near his home in Sacramento, California. “It is what it is,” he says. “This is real artwork.” Except for a few difficult times,
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A Clear and Unique Vision

If you ask Phil Epp how he developed the style that has come to define his sky-filled Southwestern landscapes, he’ll shrug and admit that it’s not something he can easily explain—nor something he fully understands himself. It started with his childhood love of cowboy art, horses, and the view from his bedroom window in his childhood home in Nebraska. Then it merged with painters he was introduced to in college—from Picasso to Jackson Pollock—and to the work of color field painters, like Mark Rothko, who used large areas of unbroken, flat colors on their canvases. Read the full article in
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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
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Faith and Perseverance

Kevin Red Star has been painting scenes of Native American life for more than 50 years. Described as a master artist, visual historian, and an ambassador for his native Crow culture, his paintings have earned spots in several prestigious collections that include the Smithsonian, the Denver Art Museum, and the Heard Museum. Red Star’s works extend far beyond the United States, however, and are included in the collections of museums in China, Belgium, Japan, and Germany. His paintings also have earned a myriad of awards, including the 2018 Montana Governor’s Art Award for lifetime achievement and the 2018 James R.
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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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The Wonder of Wildlife

Hailed as one of the nation’s premier wildlife artists, the path Montana-based painter Daniel Smith traveled in reaching this position of renown has been one of dedication and evolution. Born in Mankato, Minnesota, in 1954, he says he was genetically infused with a love of art and nature thanks to his father, an inveterate outdoorsman, who used his own wood-burning skills to give visual testimony to his inherent love for wildlife. He goes a step further, saying that same gene seems to have been passed on to his son, Adam. “After dabbling with art a bit in high school, at
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