Collector’s Focus: Winterlands
R. Tom Gilleon grew up drawing in the sand by day outside “a little place where there was no electricity and the inside of our wooden home was lit by kerosene lanterns. I always felt drawn into the light and everything around the glow disappeared into a blur.” It was close to the earth and a place of shelter.
His iconic paintings of teepees epitomize shelter on the Plains, lit by the setting sun or illuminated from a fire within. He says of his Cherokee forebears and other Native American tribes, “They didn’t stand outside of the natural world looking in. They were part of it.” In Winter North snow piles up around the teepee’s base. It’s symmetrical shape gives it stability in the strong winter winds.
Ranchers throughout the West rely on simple, sturdy structures to protect themselves, their animals and their supplies. But even in winter, the work goes on.
Loren Entz’s Out Doing Morning Chores is an example of his paintings of everyday farm life, more serene than his scenes of bucking broncos and roping. Entz grew up on a farm and often sketched on breaks from his chores. He now lives in Montana. He paints the startling blue of the snow in the early morning and leads the viewer into the painting from a dark patch of water in the foreground to intermediate shadows, to the site of the morning chores and, far in the distance, home and hearth.
Dinah Worman lives near Taos, New Mexico, and approaches her subjects in a very different, but no less true, way. In Cows in Snow she paints the subtle light of a cloudy day which allows her more freedom to flatten the landscape, assembling rectangles and rhomboids into a cohesive whole.
She says, “I am looking for two things: I want to see the bones of the landscape found
in the openness of an arid climate or the stacked fields of cultivated land. I also love the compositional elements of a cluttered, close scene that allows me to treat the landscape much like a still life. This is especially true of my aerial views and large foreground pieces,” she continues. I’m looking for the compositional elements of both of these types of landscape paintings rather than the beauty of individual objects.”
Chris Morel grew up in Maryland and now lives not far from Worman outside of Taos. When he first arrived in the mountains above the high desert he did a lot of plein air painting—even in the dead of winter. He wanted to experience the visual sensations of the clear air and the visceral sensations of being nearly 9,000 feet up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In Truchaseco the heavy snow of the area hasn’t been plowed or disturbed. He compacts the range of values as the pupil of the eye does in self-defense, but maintains a sense of depth and intensity. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and environmentalist Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) compared a productive period of writing to “a New Mexico snow-storm. I had it coming down thick and heavy, muffling the roads and mounding on adobe walls and windowsills and whitening the piñon and junipers…”
In the pages of this special collector’s focus, readers will find winter scenes from some of the West’s top artists and galleries.
As a history buff, Barbara Donahue likes to add what might have been in her Western paintings. Her painting First Snow depicts Native American warriors coming home from perhaps a winter hunt. Through her use of color, viewers can feel the cold and the sunny day reflects the weather she experienced from living many years on a small ranch in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Don Woodard specializes in creating relief wood sculptures and three-dimensional paintings that hang on the wall. “My passion is to design, then sculpt a scene threedimensionally as a bas-relief within a piece of fine wood,” he explains. “Sometimes I paint the image while other times I finish it naturally. I find this style of artwork to be very challenging, unusual and being well received by collectors.
He continues, “My style is very unique, with not many people creating artwork in this genre. That is one of the reasons collectors purchase my artwork, besides creating subject matter that they find enjoyable.” Woodard also accepts commissions to create works of art that tell a personal story.
John Buxton does not consider himself a landscape painter, even though his paintings often win awards in landscape categories. “I am a painter of 18th century Eastern woodland frontier scenes,” he explains. “These scenes require extensive research, especially if they depict actual events in our history. This often limits my control to create pleasing compositions. The objective is to show our history as it truly appeared, not to alter it.” His
painting Trilogy depicts Northern trappers, gathered to rest before splitting off to set their traps, and Almost Quiet shows three Native Americans witnessing a softly murmuring stream as they transport skins for trade.
A native of Oklahoma, art has been a part of Linda Tuma Robertson’s life since she won her first blue ribbon in kindergarten. She describes her style as a combination between realism and impressionism, and her love for the land inspires her to record the countryside and vanishing wilderness. Of her snowscapes, she says, “The sunlight breathes warmth and color into a snow-covered landscape bringing out incredible colors, blue shadows and sparkling snow and ice making ‘winter wonderland’ a perfect description of winter.”
Trailside Galleries has locations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Founded in 1963, the gallery is regarded as one of the pre-eminent dealers of American representational art, and specializes in a rich and varied collection of works by the leading Western, wildlife, figurative, impressionist, and landscape artists in the country. Represented artists who paint snowscapes include Jeremy Browne, Ron Kingswood and Robert Moore.
2. Loren Entz, Out Doing Morning Chores, oil on canvas board, 12 x 16". Courtesy The Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Jackson, WY; and Bozeman, MT. 3. Dinah Worman, Cows in Snow, oil on canvas, 40 x 40". Courtesy Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ, and...
1. Chris Morel, Truchaseco, oil on linen, 20 x 30". Courtesy Nedra Matteucci Galleries, Santa Fe, NM.
11. Trailside Galleries, Mousing, oil on canvas, 48 x 44", by Ron Kingswood. 12. Don Woodard, Mountain High, watercolor on linden wood, 11 x 15" 13. Linda Tuma Robertson, Winter Speaks, oil, 14 x 18" 14. Don Woodard, Mountain Lodge, watercolor on...