Archives for Figurative

‘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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A 40-Year Journey

Last October, two weeks after giving a talk to a sold-out crowd at the Nicolai Fechin House at the Taos Art Museum, Jerry Jordan was flying high. He had given a presentation on his life and his work to a sold-out crowd. “The theme was ‘what does it look like to paint for 60 years and try to make a living at it?’” he says. “About 75 people attended; we had to turn people away,” he says, adding that it was the highlight of his career. During his presentation, Jordan says, he showed his very first painting—a paint-by-numbers piece he
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The Studio of Don Weller

Little did Utah-based watercolorist Don Weller realize that, when he and his wife chose to relocate from Southern California to northern Utah in the early 1980s, that decision would become the impetus for him to begin a career as a fine artist. It was a move that would set the stage for the rest of his life—and his career. In 1960, after earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in fine art from the University of Washington in his hometown of Pullman, Weller headed to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in commercial art Don Weller (Utah) Don Weller Painting
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The Power of Two

When we find someone with whom to share our lives, we are fortunate. When artists do so, they are especially blessed. At least that’s the case with the four artist couples we interviewed for this article. For most of us, we were attracted to our spouses, or significant others, for a variety of reasons: their physical appearance—which might simply be a great smile—their sincerity, sense of humor, intelligence, talent, or kindness. For the artists we talked with, there are other, equally important attributes, including respect for each other’s work and a shared passion for art. Couples Featured: – Sherrie McGraw
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‘Art Must Have Soul’

As an accomplished artist with more than 30 years under his belt, Jove Wang has a theory that presides over his art. Roughly translated, it’s to know what you’re doing so well that you don’t need to be a slave to technique. It’s no understatement to say that Wang knows what he’s doing. Rather than offer up a painting that is merely a rendering, his intention is to involve viewers; he wants to elicit a response with his paintings. “I do not intend to paint extreme realism,” he explains. “I like the myriad variety of edges, as well as the
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‘I’m Living the Life I Paint’

Tim Cox has gone fishing twice already this year. That might not seem like much to most avid fishermen, but Cox isn’t complaining. It’s more fishing that he’s done for the better part of a decade. In 2010, Cox became the vice president of the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). The next year, when he was president, the organization officially moved from its long-time headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That transition consumed most of Cox’s time for much of his two-year term as president. “I think I averaged about four hours of sleep a day for those
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The Studio of Paul Moore

Oklahoma-based sculptor Paul Moore describes his working studio as a rather unassuming building situated in an older section of his hometown of Norman. Despite being a bit run down when he purchased it nearly two decades ago, he knew it was perfect in size and location. “It is actually two, side-by-side segments of 2,000 square feet each, with another 1,000 square-foot extension at the rear of the right section,” he says. “When we started renovating the building, we kept the beautiful tin ceilings over what became the front room gallery, but otherwise we gutted the entire remaining sections.” Eschewing the
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Reaching New Heights

Martin Grelle was a very nervous young man when, in 1974, just a year after he graduated from high school, he had his first art show at a gallery and frame shop in Clifton, Texas. “I had no idea what to expect,” he says. “It’s hard to remember, but I probably had, at most, eight or 10 pieces for the show, and we sold almost all of them the first evening. I had a combination of oils, charcoals, and pastels in the show, and the largest piece was probably an oil painting about 24” by 36”. It probably sold for
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Three-Dimensional Delights

I made my first—and, as I recall, my last—attempts at sculpting when I was in elementary school. Those “works of art” consisted of an ashtray—why, I don’t know; neither of my parents smoked—and an elephant with several holes on its back, strategically placed to hold pencils. I quickly learned that art was not my calling and turned to other endeavors. Fortunately for us, the five artists we feature here did not give up so easily. Of course, they had the talent—and the fortitude—to pursue their dreams of becoming artists and, in the process, have brought immeasurable joy to countless art
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Realism with a Painterly Slant

Shawn Cameron can’t remember when she first began drawing horses. “I never decided I would be a Western artist,” she says. “It was just a natural outcome of my life. I painted or drew horses from—I can’t remember when I started! But from my earliest memory, I drew what I saw, and what I saw was horses and cattle.” A fourth-generation cattle rancher, Cameron grew up among horses, cattle, and working cowboys. She also grew up immersed in the arts. “My mother encouraged it, always,” she says. “She studied art and music herself, and my brother and I had professional
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