Archives for Wildlife

The Studio of William Matthews

During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in the spring, William Matthews was spending a lot of time in his studio, and he didn’t mind it a bit. His custom-built studio, which sits behind his home in Denver, Colorado, has always been his sanctuary. It’s his personal space, a place where he can be completely alone and paint in peace. Usually, however, Matthews has appointments to keep at his gallery and office in Denver’s RiNo Art District. That 12,000-foot space includes a woodshop, a frame shop, meeting areas, a public gallery, and his office space. He almost always has projects
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Portraits of the Past

Ranging in scope from mountain men and covered wagons to Native Americans and working cowboys, Steven Lang’s illuminating compositions provide highly personal insights into Western history. Tracing his Pawnee and Cherokee heritage back to his great- grandparents, the California-based artist has a special affinity for creating imagery that portrays the life of Native Americans. However, an oeuvre of work created during the past three decades also includes action-filled scenes of cattle drives, saloons, and Indian war parties. An inveterate storyteller, Lang finds it equally satisfying to depict the more intimate moments of everyday life. Although they might have lived a
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It’s A Wild Life

Standing in a place she describes as “bear Eden” on the infamous Katmai Coast of Alaska, Kelly Singleton didn’t realize she was standing between two male bears about to duke it out over a sow. Before she had arrived, her coworkers told her they were sure she was going to get eaten by bears in a place where it had happened before. “You get out there and sometimes you’re just surrounded by bears,” Singleton says. Up until that point, Singleton, who had lived in Maryland for her entire life, had never even seen a wild bear. “When looking through the
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Making Art Sing

No matter what Cyrus Afsary paints, he makes his subjects sing. The Arizona artist infuses his landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and anything else he paints with head turning beauty that stops you in your tracks. That is his goal with each painting. “My primary objective is to have a viewer stop and wonder how I managed to express the light, color, or composition in the paintings,” he says. “I want them to look at the work in wonder, not pass it by too quickly.” How does he do it? “I don’t know,” Afsary says thoughtfully, going on to compare art
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The Studio of Kyle Ma

Kyle Ma is an art prodigy who began drawing nature scenes at age 4 in Taiwan, where he was born in 2000. Ten years later, he and his family immigrated to the United States, settling in Austin, Texas, where he began his art career in earnest. He astonished the art world by raking in multiple awards and gaining the attention of galleries and museums by the time he was 18. It’s been said he has the ability to create magic from street scenes, still lifes, landscapes—nearly anything he chooses to paint. Where does Ma work his magic? He does so
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A Dream Come True

David Fink considers himself one of the luckiest men on earth. That’s especially true at night when he turns off the overhead lights and turns small spotlights on low to highlight his 13-piece collection of wildlife portraits painted by Ken Carlson. “They just come alive,” he says. “It’s a grand collection.” It is indeed. The result of a commission that took two years to complete, it consists of 12 10” by 13” paintings and one 16” by 13” of a wolf that serves as a centerpiece to the others. Those paintings are a source of amazement and joy for Fink.
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The Studio of Luke Frazier

For more than three decades, a working studio located in the serene Cache Valley of northern Utah has provided inspiration for Luke Frazier’s magnificent paintings. It’s a homey space filled with a plethora of items that he knows and loves and that gives visitors the opportunity to know him on a more personal level. “When my wife Angela and I built our home, its design included a great room, which was intended to serve as my studio,” Frazier says. The room’s footprint measures approximately 20’ by 30’, and its 18-foot high ceiling easily accommodates his sculptures as well as large
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Hitting Their Stride

Maybe it’s using complementary colors. Perhaps it’s painting in black and white or sepia tones. Maybe it’s diving deeply into one subject matter to capture it perfectly. Artists go through phases of work, improving their techniques and finding their places in the art world. Whether it’s at the beginning, middle, or later in their careers, something just ‘clicks’ when artists find the subject matter, medium, or technique that allows their creativity to shine. Meet three artists who are hitting their stride, and who are being featured in Art of the West for the first time. They are worthy of your
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The Power of the West

“I was born a storyteller.” So writes Mark Kohler in his book titled “Going West.” And he tells those stories brilliantly through his paintings of everything from working cowboys, bronc riders, and ropers to remudas, escaramuzas, and still lifes. “My art mirrors my life and experiences,” he writes. “We paint what we are.” Kohler loves what he paints and goes to great lengths to capture scenes—and people—that captivate and inspire him. He visits ranches in several states and takes a myriad of photographs of the people who work them and the animals that inhabit them. It took awhile for Kohler
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Monumentally Magnificent

On the night in 1987 that Bill Nebeker announced an edition of 25 castings of his sculpture If Horses Could Talk, he sold all 25 of them—and had another 75 collectors wanting to buy it as well. “It was the most popular piece I ever made; people just loved it,” he says. “You’ve got the cowboy looking for the deer, the deer sneaking away behind him, and the horse looking at the deer. It’s happened to every hunter out there. And people who don’t care for hunting love it, too, because the deer is getting away.” During the following years,
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