Archives for Portrait

‘My Art is About Messages’

Oreland C. Joe is committed to three things in life: his family, his art, and encouraging young Native Americans to preserve their culture. “The most valuable lesson one could ever learn in any field,” he says, “is to give your success back to the children and the community.” That is exactly what Joe is doing through a foundation he started in 2018, but more about that later. Joe has earned great acclaim for the artwork he creates, which includes paintings, stone carvings, bronze sculptures, and jewelry. He has won more awards than we have space to list here, and his
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‘How I Got Here’

During a visit last October, Susan Lyon made three admissions. The first is that she never considered herself a natural artist. She hadn’t impressed anyone with her drawings as a child. She wasn’t the student who was always chosen to illustrate the school yearbook cover or design the hallway mural. Later, while studying at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, Lyon noticed that some of her classmates seemed to be able to see spatial relationships and copy them perfectly. For her, it was a struggle. “I wasn’t someone who had ever been very confident in drawing,” she says.
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Mixing It Up

As has often been said, timing is everything. This was especially true in the case of Utah artist Jason Rich. As he’ll tell you, the stars aligned, and his time as a career artist came quickly—before he had even finished his college education. But let’s step back and follow the route that took Rich to his art career. His father, an elementary school teacher, owned a small horse farm in southern Idaho, where he raised and trained horses to sell. One of five siblings, Rich was the only one who worked alongside his father, growing not only to love—but to
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‘I’m Called To It’

Tina Garrett credits her best friend, Laura, with giving her the advice she needed to head down the path to becoming an artist. “She said, ‘You are an artist at heart; stop trying to be something you’re not,’ Garrett recalls. At the time, she had quit her job as a freelance designer and illustrator for a publishing company and was trying to decide what to do next. Her husband Adam, a firefighter and registered nurse, suggested she become a dental hygienist so that, when they retired, they could do traveling nursing and dentistry. The thought of being a dental hygienist,
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Aesthetic Visions

Stark rock outcrops towering over desert vistas, waves breaking on a coastal paradise, billowing clouds over serene mountain settings—for many years, those were the images that Glenn Dean most frequently chose to celebrate on canvas. Recently, however, he has expanded his subject matter to encompass the realm of figurative work, as well. “In my early landscapes I avoided painting figures as a way of purifying the landscape,” he says. “People were included on a small scale to show the enormity of a canyon wall, or the size of the clouds. However, beginning in 2012, I transitioned into painting a lot
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‘A Beautiful Medium’

“A pencil drawing is classy. It’s classic; it’s timeless. It’s almost like a little black dress or a nice black suit; everyone should have one.” They should indeed. And if that pencil art happens to have Brenda Murphy’s name attached to it, it’s even more classic. Her pieces are magnificently drawn. The detail and texture are exquisite. There is no need for color. In fact, Murphy says, “It’s a compliment, when someone looks at one of my graphite drawings and says, ‘It doesn’t need color, because I can visualize it.’ They see beyond the black and white. It gives them
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The Joy of Storytelling

Nothing gets Morgan Weistling’s adrenalin going like telling a story. And, oh, the stories he tells. Focusing on pioneer life in the late 1800s, Weistling’s epic scenes depict the men, women, and children in everyday situations, as they settled the West. Much like a movie director, he carefully stages his characters in scenes that transport time. Through his skillful use of color and light, he leads viewers from one face to another, from one object to another, encouraging them to stop along the way and savor the story. “I’ve always loved storytellers; I liked art that told stories,” Weistling says,
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‘I’m On a Quest of Discovery’

If it weren’t for a musician cancelling a two-month recording session 17 years ago, today we more than likely would not be enjoying the wonderful paintings Michael Blessing creates at his studio in Bozeman, Montana. Faced with eight empty weeks on his calendar, Blessing, who at the time owned and operated a recording studio, decided to spend that time down in his basement—drawing. “My wife had been an art major and encouraged me,” he says. “I have two daughters, and they would bring me little trinkets to draw. Then my wife gave me an image from a National Geographic magazine
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A Universal Language

Utah artist Robert Duncan’s motto could be this: Explore the depth of your surroundings to mine the beauty at hand. Meanwhile, his catalyst seems to be Andrew Wyeth’s artistic philosophy. “[Wyeth] never wanted to travel much, he just wanted to dig deeper into the things close around him,” Duncan says. “He’d talk about how just a footprint in the snow, as he walked across a field, would trigger a feeling that he could dig into for days and weeks. I think that digging deeper into the things we care most about, and to appreciate the things that we pass by,
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‘I’ll Never Retire; I’ll Always Paint’

For most of the past decade, C. Michael Dudash has been ramping up his annual schedule of shows. In the coming year, he’ll participate in at least half a dozen major art events, from Quest for the West at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana, to the Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That means that Dudash paints between 40 and 50 pieces a year. Some are small, and some are larger, but each one requires dedicated time at the easel in his Rathdrum, Idaho, studio. “It is a lot
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