Archives for Figurative

‘This is My Life’

Sculptor Chris Hunt has dislocated each of his shoulders at least four times and broken both clavicles, both scapulae, and a couple of ribs. The Texas-born artist and former Air Force senior airman has always jumped feet first into new things, be it riding in rodeos or introducing a new medium to his repertoire. “‘No fear’ was my mantra, and still is to this day,” he says. Hunt grew up in Damon, Texas, on a ranch on the Brazos River, where he was raised by his father Maurice and had no problem amusing himself by drawing, fishing, hunting, and riding
Read More

Sweet Connections

It was a compliment of the highest order and one that Julie Nighswonger treasures. While exhibiting her paintings at an art show, she watched as a little girl walked up to a painting of a small horse, which was hanging low in Nighswonger’s booth—and kissed it. Sure, awards are appreciated and are validation of work well done, says the Wyoming artist, but a kiss—wow! Nighswonger has won her share of awards. Her first was the Artists’ Choice Award at the Wyoming State Fair in 2003; her most recent was the People’s Choice Award at Cowgirl Up! last year. A member
Read More

A Sense of Joy

Terry Cooke Hall is a bit of an enigma in that she doesn’t check any of the traditional art boxes you might have in mind for a master artist. For instance, she chose to study art at Palomar College in San Marcos, California, rather than at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. That decision had more to do with fear than fundamentals. “Not enough strength of character,” she says lightly. “If I think back to that time, it was fear of moving to the big city by myself.” Read the full article in the January/February 2022
Read More

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
Read More

The Studio of Doug Monson

If you happen to find yourself wandering through the galleries in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, do yourself a favor and venture an hour and change down US 89-S to Afton. Thanks to the hard work and bold, generous vision of wildlife artist and Afton resident Doug Monson, the little town—population 2,000—is finding a place on the map for artists and collectors alike. Monson and his wife Donna have been enamored with Afton since they visited it four years ago while searching for studio space. “It’s in a beautiful valley, a high mountain valley,” Monson says. “It’s just a really good area,
Read More

A Master In His Prime

George Carlson has never subscribed to any “ism.” As the only person in history to be honored with the Prix de West Purchase Award—the top prize in Western Art—in two different media, he also has never seen himself as a “Western artist,” at least not in the way it has celebrated iconic landscapes, cowboys, and indigenous people. But Carlson does believe in a way of seeing that is articulated by many, going back to the ancient Greeks. It is embraced by American master realist Andrew Wyeth and by Carlson’s friend, painter Robert Lougheed. Their maxim is this: Nature provides all
Read More

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,
Read More

Chasing Perfection

There are things you have to give up if you’re going to run a ranch, raise a family, and pursue a career as a wildlife artist all at the same time. Chad Poppleton, who took over the operations of his dad’s ranch in northern Utah’s Cache Valley a year ago, is doing all three—and doing them well. Most days, he’s up early to do chores and get work done around the ranch. Once those jobs are done, he heads to his studio and paints for several hours. Then he loops back to the ranch for more chores and to wrap
Read More

The Studio of Quang Ho

While the United States has been blessed with a multitude of native-born painters, its art heritage has also been greatly enriched by the work of many foreign-born artists, from Nicolai Fechin and John Singer Sargent to Zhiwei Tu and Mian Situ. Another name on the list of foreignborn artists who are sharing their cultural heritage with American art collectors is Quang Ho, who was born in Vietnam and is creating some of the most sought-after works in today’s market. Born in 1963, in Hue, Vietnam, Ho was 12 when he came to the United States with his mother and seven
Read More

Silver Linings

“I always thought when you went blind, it was black. It wasn’t,” says watercolor artist Marlin Rotach, who noticed changes in his vision in the spring of 2018. “It was flesh-toned, and it was just like a curtain going across my eye until I had no sight at all.” After visiting a specialist, Rotach learned that he was suffering from a detached retina, a condition that required two surgeries and left him blind in his right eye for five months. Unable to paint, but still able to use a computer, Rotach decided to try writing biographical vignettes about historical artists
Read More