Archives for Still Life

Talent Knows No Age

In 2004, after 30 years in the car business, John Marzolf sold his three dealerships and retired. Two years later, however, he was bored and looking for something to do. “I loved art, and I collected art,” he says, “so I decided to buy and sell art.” While visiting the Biltmore Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona, Marzolf purchased a Frank Tenney Johnson painting for $275,000 and met the gallery’s owner, Steve Rose. “I liked Rose,” Marzolf says, adding that three times he asked Rose to sell the gallery to him. “The fourth time I said, ‘Why don’t you sell it to
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A Life Fully Lived

P.A. (Peter) Nisbet’s dramatic landscape compositions go beyond mere pictorial renderings to draw viewers in and challenge them to find meaning within their beauty. Each painting represents an individual journey of discovery made by the artist himself. The recording of these personal experiences has become the hallmark of every Nisbet painting; rarely has he depicted a location he has not visited in person. When he puts brush to canvas, what he is sharing is a visual record of his experiences, enriched by sensory perceptions such as the feel of the wind, the sound of a stream, or the fragrance of
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‘I Can’t Turn it Off’

For a long time, Bruce Cheever was best known as a landscape painter. His atmospheric, often nostalgic scenes had earned awards, recognition, and a solid following of collectors. Those landscapes are still his recognizable pieces—and landscapes are still his favorite subject to paint. During the past several years, however, he’s been steadfastly broadening his universe to include still lifes, figures, wildlife, and more. “My goal is to be able to sit down and paint any subject with equal confidence,” Cheever says. “I’ve tried to push my boundaries out further so that I feel comfortable tackling any subject. I wanted to
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‘I Found My Passion’

In September, Sheri Farabaugh hopes to board a plane headed to Russia, where she will join a group of artists who will spend two weeks painting with Eric Rhoads, a plein air painter and publisher of PleinAir magazine. They will visit galleries and art institutes in St. Petersburg, several villages where the Russian Masters painted, and Moscow. Farabaugh hopes that trip will help her to become more proficient at plein air painting. She is brutally honest about her capabilities in that area, saying, “I’m a horrible plein air painter; I’m trying to figure out why that is. Narrowing down my
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The Studio of Nancy Cawdrey

Many people are working from home these days, but few of them have a setup as enviable as that of Whitefish, Montana, painter Nancy Cawdrey. All she has to do is wake up, descend two flights of stairs, and she’s in a 1,000-square-foot studio where she can work on her latest oil or watercolor painting or on one of the vibrant silk paintings that have become something of a trademark during her two-decade career. “My studio is in my house,” Cawdrey says. “It’s a little bit like the European thing, where you work on the ground floor, live on the
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Young Talent, Old Soul

Brittany Weistling was thrilled when she was invited to be a guest artist at the 2012 Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale. That meant her paintings would be exhibited outside, rather than inside, the main gallery, but that was just fine with her. Weistling’s paintings sold, validating what the show’s officials already knew: Her talent deserved to be showcased during the event, which is conducted each year at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California, and features works by some of the country’s top Western artists. What made the experience remarkable was
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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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Storybook Lives

Once upon a time, two lovely, talented, and hard-working artists met in a studio in New York City. They fell in love, he proposed to her at the Brandywine Museum, and they married. He paints portraits, she paints still-lifes, and their 9-year-old daughter Sadie makes elaborate structures out of cardboard boxes. That, in a very small nutshell, is the story of Sarah Lamb and David Larned. It’s not always rainbows and puppies, however. Today, it’s lobsters and crabs—four-day-old lobsters and crabs, in fact, and they do not smell good. “It’s starting to smell really bad in here,” Lamb says with
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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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