Archives for Genre

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
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The Guy Who Loves Horses

Mehl Lawson’s lack of the financial resources necessary to purchase a sculpture proved to be a blessing not only to him but to the Western art world, as well. If he couldn’t buy one, he decided, he’d create one. Lawson turned to a friend who was doing some sculpting, asked what he would need to do a sculpture, and went out and bought the basic tools his friend recommended. “I did a little one, and it started selling immediately,” he says. “Within about a year, I had sold the whole edition.” Read the full article in the September/October 2021 issue.
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A Never-Quit Mentality

It was a long Sunday afternoon for Todd Connor early this summer as he was filling packing boxes for a move from McAllister to Fort Benton, Montana, just northeast of Great Falls. But the day was filled with pleasant surprises. While cleaning out his studio, he discovered hundreds of small canvases, all plein air paintings. “I don’t get to do plein air much anymore,” he says wistfully. Don’t think for a minute that Connor sees his sun-swept portraits of pioneers, landscapes, and First Nation warriors as uninspired, 9-to- 5 studio work, however. Art is his challenge, second only to the
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Capturing the Cowboy Culture

Tyler Crow was a high school senior when the trajectory of his life was forever changed. His plan following his graduation was to go on to college, earn a degree in agricultural or ranch management, and “run my own cows.” Those plans changed when he entered a pencil drawing in a competition sponsored by the Oklahoma Youth Expo and won a scholarship for a workshop conducted by award-winning Western artists Bruce Greene and Martin Grelle, who also happened to be members of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). Within a couple months, Crow was studying with the two artists
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A Clear and Unique Vision

If you ask Phil Epp how he developed the style that has come to define his sky-filled Southwestern landscapes, he’ll shrug and admit that it’s not something he can easily explain—nor something he fully understands himself. It started with his childhood love of cowboy art, horses, and the view from his bedroom window in his childhood home in Nebraska. Then it merged with painters he was introduced to in college—from Picasso to Jackson Pollock—and to the work of color field painters, like Mark Rothko, who used large areas of unbroken, flat colors on their canvases. Read the full article in
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Living Her Dream

If you are considering taking up painting, Dallas-based oil painter Susan Temple Neumann has three words for you, delivered in a soft Texas drawl: “Go for it.” Maybe you think you’re too old, too established in your current career, too untrained, or lacking in the necessary workspace and supplies. In that case, Neumann has two more words for you: “No excuses.” She considers her own story proof that anyone with some talent and drive can at least have a go at being an artist. “I was in my fifties before I even thought about going down this path,” says Neumann,
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‘I’m Super Excited’

Arizona oil painter Chauncey Homer entered the arena as a professional artist less than two decades ago, but his work has already garnered a strong collector base. His paintings are eagerly sought after and hang in prestigious galleries alongside compositions by masters of the Western genre such as Howard Terpning, Roy Anderson, Robert Shufelt, and R. S. Riddick. The popularity of Homer’s work is due to a combination of his artistic skill and his broad repertoire of subject matter. “I have tried to limit what I paint to five things that I personally love to look at: kids; beautiful women
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A Double Dose of Magic

For four and a half years, Bonnie Conrad had to take a break from painting. She was recovering from an illness that sapped her of her strength and then, as she felt better, she and her husband were building a new home in Mendon, Utah. She painted whenever she could and whenever she was preparing for a show. By January 2020, Conrad was feeling more like herself again, so she started painting more often. And that’s when something magical happened. Read the full article in the July/August 2021 issue. Son Kissed Oil 24” by 30” “This work is about the
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A Dream Realized

Mikel Donahue has only been painting full time since 2010, but he’s already racked up an impressive list of honors and awards. The highlight of his career as a fine artist, he says, came in 2016, when he was voted into membership in the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). It was the second time he had been considered for that honor, the first having been a few years earlier, when Paul Moore, a friend and CAA member, had recommended Donahue for membership. “If a member sees work by someone, and they like it, they put the artist’s name up
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A New Direction

During the past decade, R. Tom Gilleon’s career has skyrocketed, earning him tremendous recognition and rewards. But now, at age 79, he’s most excited about projects that are taking him in a new direction—what he calls his “2020 Vision”—and that might well be the most daunting challenge he’s ever undertaken. It’s a new phase of his artistic life from which paintings that he describes as “MMXX Masterworks” are emerging. Gilleon is best known for his iconic paintings of tipis and Native American images. His background in illustration, his sensitivity to nature, and his respect for the Old West unite in
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