Archives for Genre

The Studio of Jim Rey

Jim Rey has painted in a variety of studio spaces: a bedroom, an alcove, a family room, a garage, even a rented room in a country motel. And he happily did so, as he pursued his dream of becoming an artist, after working in commercial art for several years and later in the computer industry. In 2012, Rey finally was able to claim for himself an actual studio at the home he shares with his wife Sharon in Durango, Colorado. It was a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait. Rey had started painting in the early
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What is Art?

It’s a question that has been asked for hundreds of years: What is art? While there are several definitions of the word, what one person perceives as art might not be perceived or accepted as art by another person. One of many definitions of art is “an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” Using that definition certainly leaves the door wide open for labeling many different types of creations as a “work of art.” In most
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The Fire Continues to Burn

For Tom Browning, there was never a doubt that he would be an artist. And, oh, what an artist he has become! The many awards he has won and the respect he has earned from peers and collectors give testimony to his talent Browning’s depictions of the West—its people, wildlife, horses, cowboys, and Indians—come from the heart, from a deep love and respect for his subjects. His love of art goes back to his childhood. Born in Ontario, Oregon, in 1949, he was fascinated by the artwork he saw in magazines. By the time he was 9, he was drawing
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The Long and Winding Road

“I was an out-of-control child,” John DeMott says. “I was right-brain from the get-go. We would walk to kindergarten, and sometimes I wouldn’t make it to class, so my mother would come looking for me, and I would be catching butterflies. I did what I wanted to do, not necessarily what I was supposed to do. I have kind of marched to my own tune my whole life.” He has indeed. But, oh what a tune it is. Today, DeMott is a successful artist—and part-time musician—living in Loveland, Colorado, where he is surrounded by the natural beauty, the people, and
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Western Inspiration

The son of American missionary parents, Don Oelze was born in New Zealand in 1965 and lived there for the next nine years of his life. Despite those beginnings half a continent away, who now lives in Montana, has been blessed with the ability to portray the history of the American West with a remarkably vivid and captivating reality. The explanation of this gift is simple: From early childhood, his mother and father had piqued their son’s curiosity about Western and Native American cultures by sharing stories of their own upbringings in Arizona and Montana. His maternal grandmother reinforced the
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Personal Connections

When Huihan Liu was a child in rural China, he managed to save enough money to buy a small sketchbook. The store, where he could purchase it, was several miles away from his home, but Liu chose to walk instead of taking the bus, so that he could use all of his money on paper. “It was just a little piece of a sketchbook, but I was so happy to have it,” he says. “I would draw on it and then erase it, so that I could draw on it again. I drew on that paper over and over again.”
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Truth, Beauty, and Happy Accidents

Ask Eric Bowman what he does for fun, when he isn’t painting and you might get a long, slightly self-conscious silence, followed by this sheepish admission: “When I’m not painting, I’m thinking about painting.” Bowman spends long days in his backyard studio in northwest Oregon, patiently creating richly textured oil paintings in a style he describes as “not as tight as realism, but not as abstract as impressionism.” Sometimes he paints figures, sometimes he paints landscapes, and occasionally he does a still life. On the rare days Bowman feels uninspired, he attends to the busywork that goes along with being
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Defying Definition

Tim Solliday’s paintings do not lend themselves to easy categorization. Clicking through the slides on his website once, twice, a couple dozen times, my eyes linger on the expressive faces, the light-drenched landscapes. Are these works realistic? Well, no, not exactly. No human eyes have ever been that wise or that kind. No natural light is quite so warm and inviting. I’m not looking at reality; I’m looking at something with more beauty and more potential for magic than mere prosaic reality. I find myself looking to literature instead, where there’s a term that feels close to apt: magical realism,
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The Stuido of Andy Thomas

Andy Thomas was born and raised in Carthage, Missouri, and continues to live there today, creating paintings that have earned him membership in—and awards from—several prestigious art organizations, including the Oil Painters of America, International Masters of Fine Art, the Salmagundi Club, and the Portrait Society of America. His lifelong interest in art took a back seat to earning a steady income, however, after he earned a degree in marketing management from Missouri Southern State University in 1981 and spent 10 years working for a local manufacturing company. Although Thomas, who is primarily self-taught, painted in his spare time, it
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Honoring the People of the Past

Historically speaking, Montana artist Charles Fritz is always historically speaking—well, at least through his paintings. History for him is an enduring passion, and doesn’t show signs of letting up any time soon. “My interest in the history of the West just keeps growing,” he says. “The fur trade era, the Pony Express, the Oregon Trail, the voyageurs, homesteading, the native cultures and the Indian Wars all present great opportunities for paintings. These may seem like unrelated topics, but in actuality they all seamlessly weave one into another, and it becomes one large fascinating story with endless nuances to explore through
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