Archives for Oil

Making Art Sing

No matter what Cyrus Afsary paints, he makes his subjects sing. The Arizona artist infuses his landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and anything else he paints with head turning beauty that stops you in your tracks. That is his goal with each painting. “My primary objective is to have a viewer stop and wonder how I managed to express the light, color, or composition in the paintings,” he says. “I want them to look at the work in wonder, not pass it by too quickly.” How does he do it? “I don’t know,” Afsary says thoughtfully, going on to compare art
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The Studio of Kyle Ma

Kyle Ma is an art prodigy who began drawing nature scenes at age 4 in Taiwan, where he was born in 2000. Ten years later, he and his family immigrated to the United States, settling in Austin, Texas, where he began his art career in earnest. He astonished the art world by raking in multiple awards and gaining the attention of galleries and museums by the time he was 18. It’s been said he has the ability to create magic from street scenes, still lifes, landscapes—nearly anything he chooses to paint. Where does Ma work his magic? He does so
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A Dream Come True

David Fink considers himself one of the luckiest men on earth. That’s especially true at night when he turns off the overhead lights and turns small spotlights on low to highlight his 13-piece collection of wildlife portraits painted by Ken Carlson. “They just come alive,” he says. “It’s a grand collection.” It is indeed. The result of a commission that took two years to complete, it consists of 12 10” by 13” paintings and one 16” by 13” of a wolf that serves as a centerpiece to the others. Those paintings are a source of amazement and joy for Fink.
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A Lifelong Journey

“Landscapes taught me how to paint.” That is how Dave Santillanes describes his fine art training. The Colorado artist had earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in graphic design from Colorado State University, but had no formal training in painting until he began painting landscapes near his home after work and on weekends. Today he has several awards under his belt, including first-place honors in the Signature Division of the Oil Painters of America’s recent online showcase. He also has earned awards at several plein air events, including Best of Show at the 2011 Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational
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Storybook Lives

Once upon a time, two lovely, talented, and hard-working artists met in a studio in New York City. They fell in love, he proposed to her at the Brandywine Museum, and they married. He paints portraits, she paints still-lifes, and their 9-year-old daughter Sadie makes elaborate structures out of cardboard boxes. That, in a very small nutshell, is the story of Sarah Lamb and David Larned. It’s not always rainbows and puppies, however. Today, it’s lobsters and crabs—four-day-old lobsters and crabs, in fact, and they do not smell good. “It’s starting to smell really bad in here,” Lamb says with
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No Regrets

At 17, S.C. (Chris) Mummert knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life: He was going to be an artist. He envisioned himself spending long days alone in his studio, illustrating magazine covers and living the solitary life of an artist. It didn’t exactly work out that way. And maybe, Mummert says, that’s for the best. “I wanted to be a hermit and just paint all day,” he says. “But then I got thrust into business, where I had to deal with people all day. That experience really rounded my corners out. It helped me realize that I
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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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