Tom Perkinson & Robin Laws
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"