Archives for Wildlife

Poignant Moments

Colorado-based low relief sculptor J.D. (Jeremiah) Welsh spent much of the past year working in secret. The award-winning member of the National Sculpture Society (NSS) is no stranger to producing complex works on tight deadlines, but he poured many months and 23 years’ worth of skill into one special, small object: the Brookgreen Medal. “I honestly never thought I’d have the chance to do it,” Welsh says of the medal, which honors the prestigious Brookgreen Gardens sculpture garden in South Carolina and is presented to artists who ear the Anna Huntington Hyatt Award at the NSS’ annual awards exhibition. It
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Pushing the Color

“I do a couple of shows a year,” says New Mexico-based oil painter Mejo Okon. “The rest of the time, I’m just trying to do cool stuff.” That statement is not a hollow boast. Okon has just wrapped up a courtroom sketching gig for a high-profile trial in Colorado and is now back home in Albuquerque painting. She recently dabbled in acting as well, playing a courtroom sketch artist in the upcoming “Coyote vs. Acme,” an animated/live action movie. “Today I’m working on colorizing some of my seventy-plus drawings from the trial,” Okon says, going on to offer some background
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‘I Paint What Excites Me’

Getting to the Prix de West International Art Exhibition last June wasn’t easy for Ron Kingswood. His home near Sparta, Ontario, is almost 1,150 miles from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma—and travel between Canada and the United States had become more challenging since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. But it was worth the trip for Kingswood and his wife Linda. His painting, A Morning Walk, earned the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award for exceptional artistic merit for a wildlife painting or sculpture at the show. “I was
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Capturing the Cowboy Culture

It’s not often you find common qualities with oil painting and bull riding—but you do when you meet Western painter Brandon Bailey. “It’s a lot of self-doubt and fear,” he says of bull riding. “There’s no one there to make you get on that bull. With art, it’s the same type of thing, whether you’re sitting at the canvas or walking into a gallery; it’s the same type of feelings and the same type of emotions you come across.” In the decade-plus since he left rodeo riding, Bailey has made a full-time living working as an artist, with things progressing
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Nature and the Human Soul

In some ways, personally and professionally, Sally Vannoy’s life might seem like a fairytale. She married the man of her dreams in a beautiful setting in Glacier National Park, was accepted into the Society of Animal Artists as a Signature Member on her first attempt, and has seen her works hang beside original Charles M. Russell paintings at the famous Triple Creek Ranch. As in many classic stories, however, the heroine had to leave her comfort zone in order to reach her potential. “I had the most amazing childhood and family life growing up,” says Vannoy, who grew up with
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The Studio of John Fawcett

In late May, after a four-day drive from their home near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, John and Elizabeth Fawcett happily drove through the gates to their home in Clark, Colorado. It’s an annual event that includes pulling a large horse trailer occupied by the couple’s two horses and all of Fawcett’s paint supplies. “We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies,” he says with a laugh. Located on a 52-acre ranch the Fawcetts named Double LL—which Fawcett says stands for Lucky (me) and Lizzie (Elizabeth)—the property is 25 miles north of Steamboat Springs. Willow Creek runs through the ranch and attracts deer and elk,
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Turning Chaos Into Order

When Evelyn Tennyson, owner of Two Old Crows Gallery in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, asked Dave LaMure to create a monumental sculpture in honor of her late husband’s passion—trout fishing—he hesitated before giving her a de!nite answer. “I said, ‘Let me research it,'” he recalls. LaMure was so focused on the unique vessels he was making that he wasn’t sure he wanted to take time away from those creations to take on a trout commission. That changed as he began his research and became hooked on the story of the Native Cutthroat Trout, which was thought to be extinct for 70
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Painting From His Soul

William Suys doesn’t limit himself in what he paints or how he paints it, whether it’s an animal, a person, a landscape, or a still life. The only constant is that he strives to imbue each of his works with personality, presence, and power. He accomplishes each of those goals with great skill. “I want the process of my painting to be personal, completely from my soul,” Suys says. “I want to paint what I feel, and I’ve been doing more of that. If I can paint something that is meaningful for me and do a better job of laying
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Drive and Determination

Crouched behind a wooden fence, tail down, ears perked, heart racing, he watches. His auburn fur blends into the fall grass and vines, a perfect camouflage from the danger galloping across the field, as horses, dogs, and riders in red coats are leaping, yelping, scrambling—all searching for him. A seasoned adversary, he knows not to move a muscle. He stays perfectly still, his eyes watching for clues to his next move—his chance to change his fate. Outfoxed is a spellbinding story of being hunted told by Ezra Tucker with acrylics on a three-foot board. He paints animals with so much
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Boundless Talent, Boundless Energy

Star Liana York’s energy knows no bounds. Neither does her talent. She’s not only been creating award-winning sculptures for more than four decades, she also owns and runs a ranch with her husband and operates an Airbnb. After competing in horse events and breeding and training horses for many years, she has set that aside. There are, after all, only so many hours in a day, most of which York fills with creating magnificent sculptures that have earned her countless awards and are treasured by collectors. York’s monumental sculptures are placed at sites throughout the country that include the Smithsonian
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