Archives for Oil

Spirit and Splendor

A couple of Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes really speak to oil painter Ron Rencher. One of his favorites is this: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Rencher currently is in hot pursuit of the beautiful; he’s in the middle of a move to Taos, New Mexico, a place he once lived and still considers his artistic home. During a visit with him in early May, Rencher said he and his wife Carlene were in the thick of moving-related business: renting the U-Haul, closing on the
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Beautiful Moments

For nearly 20 years, Utah artist Nicholas Coleman has created realistic paintings, with impressionistic overtones, as he preserves the history of the American West. His Western history and art education began at his father’s side. “[My dad] was always buying me sketchbooks, or we’d go to the art store and get colored pencils or clay,” Coleman says. His father also bought him history books and told stories of cowboys, Native Americans, and mountain men to expand his son’s knowledge of the country’s heritage. As early as age 3, Coleman worked alongside his father, renowned artist Michael Coleman. The younger Coleman
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Passion and Paint

Churches and cemeteries hold a special fascination—and offer a special inspiration—for Walt Gonske, so much so that he has traveled to several states and foreign countries to capture their beauty and, in essence, to tell their stories. That fascination took hold almost immediately, when Gonske moved from New York City to Taos, New Mexico, 47 years ago. Having spent the first 30 years of his life on the East Coast, he was so taken with New Mexico that, when he visited his sister there in 1971, he went home, saved his money for a year, and made a permanent move
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Aesthetic Visions

Stark rock outcrops towering over desert vistas, waves breaking on a coastal paradise, billowing clouds over serene mountain settings—for many years, those were the images that Glenn Dean most frequently chose to celebrate on canvas. Recently, however, he has expanded his subject matter to encompass the realm of figurative work, as well. “In my early landscapes I avoided painting figures as a way of purifying the landscape,” he says. “People were included on a small scale to show the enormity of a canyon wall, or the size of the clouds. However, beginning in 2012, I transitioned into painting a lot
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The Studio of Giuliana Aubert

Giuliana Aubert loves her new studio at her home in Manhattan Beach, California. It’s one of two; the other is at her home in Lake Como, in northern Italy, where she spends four months each year. Two studios? It’s what artists do, she says, adding, “We try to figure out how to have our working space where we live.” Initially, Aubert painted in a bedroom, then graduated to the dining room, and eventually to the great room—where people passing by on the street could watch her at work, which she hated. Later, she work in a public studio that, she
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Beauty in the Imperfect

“Imperfect vessels making imperfect vessels,” muses oil painter Jeff Legg, reflecting on his penchant for painting the crooked piece of fruit, the frayed and stained bit of cloth, the weather-beaten copper urn. “The wabi-sabi philosophy, perhaps?” If you talk art with Legg for any length of time, it’s likely that the concept of wabi-sabi will come up in conversation. A Japanese aesthetic that celebrates the flawed, the ephemeral, and the incomplete, wabi-sabi is an ideal framework for contemplating Legg’s subtle, exquisite, still-life oil paintings. In addition to portraying objects that are intriguingly imperfect, each painting depicts something fleeting: the petal
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Wildlife Wonders

For years, wildlife artist William Alther had painted in his spare time, taking brush to canvas on a limited basis. Finally, in 2004, confident that he had refined his skills to a satisfactory level, he decided the time had come to make the transition from his day job with the zoology department of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and begin earning his living as a professional artist. It was a good decision. Within 15 years, galleries in Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming were carrying Alther’s evocative wildlife imagery, and his work was regularly juried into prestigious national exhibitions, including
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Luminescent Landscapes

As a young mother looking to launch a professional art career in the late 1990s, D. Eleinne Basa did what most people would do: She sought advice from the Internet. “A lot of the advice on the web was the same: Join a local painting group,” she says. “So I looked for a group.” Basa, who was born and raised in the Philippines, had moved to New Jersey with her husband in 1994, so he could pursue a job opportunity. She had studied art since she was a child and always knew that someday she would become an artist. But,
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The Joy of Storytelling

Nothing gets Morgan Weistling’s adrenalin going like telling a story. And, oh, the stories he tells. Focusing on pioneer life in the late 1800s, Weistling’s epic scenes depict the men, women, and children in everyday situations, as they settled the West. Much like a movie director, he carefully stages his characters in scenes that transport time. Through his skillful use of color and light, he leads viewers from one face to another, from one object to another, encouraging them to stop along the way and savor the story. “I’ve always loved storytellers; I liked art that told stories,” Weistling says,
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Mother Nature’s Majesty

California artist Nancy Davidson says she can describe what inspires her in just one word: light. “It can transform even the most mundane scene into something magical and evocative,” she says. “The potential for beauty is all around us; we just need to recognize it, when it appears.” A self-described nature lover, who is surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Southern California, Davidson says that, “beyond an appreciation of natural beauty, I try to convey a sense of timelessness and wonder. When I am at the beach, watching the waves roll in just as they have since time immemorial, I
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