Tom Perkin­son & Robin Laws

Ru­ral ren­der­ings

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

This May, Man­i­tou Gal­leries will fea­ture Tom Perkin­son and Robin Laws in a new exhibition, run­ning from May 4 through May 18. Perkin­son, a painter, and Laws, a sculpter, both work to faith­fully ren­der the ru­ral world.

Perkin­son con­sid­ers him­self a re­gional, romantic re­al­ist, paint­ing pri­mar­ily in water­color and adding pastel as the water­color dries. “Most of my work is from my imag­i­na­tion,” he says. “I do not make sketches or work from pho­to­graphs. I be­gin a paint­ing by lay­ing down water­color washes with dif­fer­ent lights and darks. At this time I be­gin to search for a land­scape. Once I see one, I will next de­cide the dis­tance I am from the scene. This will be the ba­sis for the per­spec­tive in the rest of the paint­ing un­til com­pleted.”

His main in­spi­ra­tion comes from the New Mexico scenes that sur­round him. “The dra­matic light and shad­ows that fall on the moun­tain mesas and deserts have al­ways fas­ci­nated me,” he notes. “The Amer­i­can ton­al­ist style of paint­ing from the late 1800s, with artist such as Ge­orge In­ness and John Fran­cis Mur­phy and the early Rem­brandt pen and ink sketches, have been my in­spi­ra­tion from my youth.

Man­i­tou’s Matt Mullins says of Perkin­son’s work, “The land­scape takes cen­ter stage... en­gulf­ing the hu­man and an­i­mal in­hab­i­tants that are painted as small, al­most hid­den de­tails.”

Laws, too, looks to the world around her for in­spi­ra­tions for her sculp­tures. She lives on a small Wy­oming farm where she keeps horses, bur­ros, chick­ens, geese, pea­cocks and other an­i­mals. Their whim­si­cal in­ter­ac­tions pro­vide much fod­der for her work, and she

notes that her sculp­tures “show the hu­mor that the an­i­mals have—they do things that are ab­so­lutely hys­ter­i­cal.”

She sub­sti­tutes her stu­dio for a pas­ture, sit­ting with an up­turned 55-gal­lon drum in the field so she can work among her an­i­mals. “The an­i­mals are very cu­ri­ous, and they come to see what you’re do­ing,” she says.

Mullins says, “[Laws] sculpts an­i­mals that she in­ti­mately knows, which en­ables her to cap­ture the spirit, be­hav­iors and per­son­al­ity of her sub­jects.”

Tom Perkin­son, Wolves in Win­ter, water­color and pastel, 5 x 10” Tom Perkin­son, Au­tumn Sun­set, pastel, 10 x 10”

Robin Laws, Swat Team, bronze, 60 x 61 x 37"

Tom Perkin­son, Pur­ple Mesa at Dusk, water­color and pastel, 16 x 16"

Robin Laws, Just One Buck, bronze, 26 x 14 x 12"

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