Archives for Oil

The Studio of Luke Frazier

For more than three decades, a working studio located in the serene Cache Valley of northern Utah has provided inspiration for Luke Frazier’s magnificent paintings. It’s a homey space filled with a plethora of items that he knows and loves and that gives visitors the opportunity to know him on a more personal level. “When my wife Angela and I built our home, its design included a great room, which was intended to serve as my studio,” Frazier says. The room’s footprint measures approximately 20’ by 30’, and its 18-foot high ceiling easily accommodates his sculptures as well as large
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Hitting Their Stride

Maybe it’s using complementary colors. Perhaps it’s painting in black and white or sepia tones. Maybe it’s diving deeply into one subject matter to capture it perfectly. Artists go through phases of work, improving their techniques and finding their places in the art world. Whether it’s at the beginning, middle, or later in their careers, something just ‘clicks’ when artists find the subject matter, medium, or technique that allows their creativity to shine. Meet three artists who are hitting their stride, and who are being featured in Art of the West for the first time. They are worthy of your
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The Power of the West

“I was born a storyteller.” So writes Mark Kohler in his book titled “Going West.” And he tells those stories brilliantly through his paintings of everything from working cowboys, bronc riders, and ropers to remudas, escaramuzas, and still lifes. “My art mirrors my life and experiences,” he writes. “We paint what we are.” Kohler loves what he paints and goes to great lengths to capture scenes—and people—that captivate and inspire him. He visits ranches in several states and takes a myriad of photographs of the people who work them and the animals that inhabit them. It took awhile for Kohler
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Western Nouveau

To understand Thomas Blackshear II’s segue into Western art, you need to understand his storied career. It seems that the Colorado artist never does anything halfheartedly, nor does he redo the tried and true. In fact, he likes to take what other artists are rendering and tweak it to show viewers something they recognize, but he does so from an innovative perspective. Blackshear likens his work to rappers who take old music and give it a new slant. Relatively new to the Western art genre, Blackshear hit the scene about three years ago. “I’ve had a long and varied career,”
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It’s A Beautiful Life

Shanna Kunz’s landscape paintings tend toward the complex and moody: winding rivers lit by an unseen sun, autumn foliage beneath overcast skies, dark forest-scapes emerging from banks of thick mist. But Kunz herself is pure sunlight, a self-described and unapologetic glass-half-full personality who loves every minute of her creative life and overflows with enthusiasm for the things she loves best: the artist’s life, relationships with family and friends, and the beauty of nature. “I’ve been painting for 26 years now, a long time,” Kunz says. “And I still put a brush in my hand and feel like it’s new. I
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Winter Wonderland

Something magical, almost mystical occurs with a snowfall. It brings with it great joy, which is readily apparent when you watch a young child seeing snow for the first time, or attempting to swallow the flakes as they fall. They also seem compelled to lay down in it, swinging their arms and legs to and fro as they create snow angels. Snow evokes a myriad of emotions. It can carry with it a sense of peace and wellbeing that for some involves sitting inside by a fire and watching the snow gently falling outside. On the other hand, it can
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‘My Art is About Messages’

Oreland C. Joe is committed to three things in life: his family, his art, and encouraging young Native Americans to preserve their culture. “The most valuable lesson one could ever learn in any field,” he says, “is to give your success back to the children and the community.” That is exactly what Joe is doing through a foundation he started in 2018, but more about that later. Joe has earned great acclaim for the artwork he creates, which includes paintings, stone carvings, bronze sculptures, and jewelry. He has won more awards than we have space to list here, and his
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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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Mixing It Up

As has often been said, timing is everything. This was especially true in the case of Utah artist Jason Rich. As he’ll tell you, the stars aligned, and his time as a career artist came quickly—before he had even finished his college education. But let’s step back and follow the route that took Rich to his art career. His father, an elementary school teacher, owned a small horse farm in southern Idaho, where he raised and trained horses to sell. One of five siblings, Rich was the only one who worked alongside his father, growing not only to love—but to
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Joseph Alleman Perfectly Imperfect

There’s only so much time you can spend driving, trying to find that perfect barn,” says Joseph Alleman, whose very livelihood depends on the quality of barns he’s able to locate and depict. Sometimes he renders them in dense, saturated watercolor; more often, he uses oils to achieve the opaque surfaces and clean lines for which he’s known. Driving in search of those barns, Alleman recites the inner monologue that kicks in as the mile markers pass: “I’ve got to get out of the car. I’m wasting too much time. Let’s just stop here and make the best of it.”
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