Archives for Wildlife

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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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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COWBOY ARTISTS OF AMERICA: New Beginnings

The Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) has taken a bold step—right into the cultural heart of Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time in its history, its annual art show will not be tethered to a museum, and members couldn’t be more enthusiastic. Utah artist and current CAA president, Jason Rich, has been a member for eight years. He says, “Fort Worth is a mecca of art institutions and Western culture museums—the Amon Carter Museum, the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the Cattle Museum, Sid Richardson Museum, etc.—that all focus on the West and Western art, and we just really fit
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Beyond Everyday Reality

Ethereal and omniscient, often steeped in clouds or fog, the imagery of Wyoming-based painter, Kathryn Mapes Turner, features a mystical blending of physical and spiritual. “My style is inspired by the Celtic word CAOL AIT – places separated by a thin veil, where spaces in the solid world and the realm of spirit come close together,” she says. Bringing that concept to her work, Turner employs brushes and paint as a means of sharing with others the joy and awe of nature that lie deep within her own soul. “My relationship to the natural world is spiritual and, ideally, I
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A Personal Passion

When Ralph Oberg was 23, his brother invited him to go to Alaska on a mountain climbing adventure. Oberg was doing architectural renderings and basic graphic design at the time and was completely unsatisfied with the work. The trip to Alaska provided the perfect opportunity to make a change. “When I got the opportunity to quit my job and go climb ice-covered mountains in Alaska, I took it,” Oberg says. “That decision cemented the adventurer in me.” It also gave him a closer glimpse of the glaciers that now have become a hallmark of his work. Since that trip 46
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Beautiful Moments

For nearly 20 years, Utah artist Nicholas Coleman has created realistic paintings, with impressionistic overtones, as he preserves the history of the American West. His Western history and art education began at his father’s side. “[My dad] was always buying me sketchbooks, or we’d go to the art store and get colored pencils or clay,” Coleman says. His father also bought him history books and told stories of cowboys, Native Americans, and mountain men to expand his son’s knowledge of the country’s heritage. As early as age 3, Coleman worked alongside his father, renowned artist Michael Coleman. The younger Coleman
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Wildlife Wonders

For years, wildlife artist William Alther had painted in his spare time, taking brush to canvas on a limited basis. Finally, in 2004, confident that he had refined his skills to a satisfactory level, he decided the time had come to make the transition from his day job with the zoology department of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and begin earning his living as a professional artist. It was a good decision. Within 15 years, galleries in Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming were carrying Alther’s evocative wildlife imagery, and his work was regularly juried into prestigious national exhibitions, including
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