Gary Lynn Roberts
Exploding with color
For Montana painter Gary Lynn Roberts it always come down two things: faith and family. “Those are the driving forces behind my work. They are what define me,” the Hamilton-based painter and father of four says. “With my art, I believe it all comes from God, and one thing God has blessed me with is an imagination. I’ll just be driving down the road and see a painting. I never have a shortage of ideas. I’ll need 15 lives to paint everything in my head.”
Roberts has a new show opening August 23 at Legacy Gallery’s location in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The show will present nearly a dozen new works that exemplify Roberts’ unmistakable paintings: large works with multiple figures within expansive landscapes, compositions that communicate the magnificent size and scope of the American wilderness, and scenes rich with color. “I want them to be exploding with color,” Roberts says, adding that he frequently pushes color to its breaking point to find help tell his stories.
“Sometimes I know I’ve gone too far because I push the envelope until I go ouch and then I back it up a bit. I’ve spent my whole life studying color, color intensity, value, color complements… without the knowledge you can’t do it,” he says, pointing to a work like the cowboy scene Lighthearted Conversation, with its layers of landscape framing his human and horse subjects. “For this one, without the red—that sorta soft peach—in the middle-left mountain, the far mountain wouldn’t look right. Colors are meant to be complements, and that peach color helps me punch up the color of the color behind it. It makes my blue look bluer.”
He continues: “I also think it’s important for the worlds I’m painting to have a lived-in feel to them. It has to feel believable. My cowboys are often the stars, and the landscapes are the co-stars. But they all work together to tell a story,” he says. “For Lighthearted Conversation, what could be better than the company of your good friend and the mountains to wander on horseback? In this scene, two friends carry on lighthearted conversation as the horses cross where the river shallows. It’s hard to imagine life any better than this!”
Other works in the show include The Crooked Trail. Of the painting he says, “The great Northwest created many challenges for the Native Americans who inhabited the region. This painting depicts a party of warriors dressed in the vibrant colors of battle as they trek a crooked mountain trail to defend their homeland.”
Roberts’ show continues through September 2.
For a direct link to the exhibiting gallery go to www.westernartcollector.com
The Crooked Trail, oil, 50 x 60”
Native Beauty, oil, 50 x 40”