Col­lec­tor’s Fo­cus: Vi­sions of the Fall

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - BY JOHN O’HERN

Rick Stevens paints ei­ther among the as­pens at 10,000 feet in the San­gre de Cristo Moun­tains or at the lower el­e­va­tion of his stu­dio in Santa Fe. In­spired by the nat­u­ral, spir­i­tual en­ergy of the land­scape, he of­ten lets his im­pres­sions flow into ab­strac­tion al­low­ing an in­ner light to em­anate from his paint­ings, rather than try­ing to cap­ture the ef­fects of sun­light on a par­tic­u­lar scene.

In Quak­ing Yel­low, how­ever, he paints the spir­i­tual re­al­ity of fall aspen groves, sun­light shin­ing through and off the leaves shown against the dark ever­green moun­tain be­hind.

Speak­ing of his plein air work he says, “The southwest land­scape is ir­re­sistibly pic­turesque. More than just an ex­er­cise, for me it is dip­ping back into the well. I feel great re­spect for tra­di­tional ap­proaches to land­scapes, and also want to pay at­ten­tion to un­ex­pected ef­fects that hap­pen along the way and man­age to edge the paint­ing to­ward mys­tery.”

An­other Santa Fe artist, For­rest Moses also main­tains a ten­sion be­tween ab­strac­tion and re­al­ity in his paint­ings of the land­scape. He seeks “to dis­cover na­ture’s truth and give life to a painted im­age by un­der­stand­ing the rhythms and pulses be­hind ap­pear­ances.” In Gal­is­teo Riverbed - Oc­to­ber he paints a small river that arises in the San­gre de

Cris­tos and flows to the Rio Grande. It flows in­ex­orably from its source through sea­sons of growth, de­cay and death. His paint­ings and mono­prints are strongly in­flu­enced by his ex­pe­ri­ence of Ja­panese aes­thet­ics dur­ing his time in the ser­vice in the Far East.

He em­bod­ies an east­ern aes­thetic about life as well. “I find that ‘be­ing’ in na­ture is the best way for me…my paint­ing comes from that fo­cused silent place be­cause I am alone in that work process, but I yank my­self back into abun­dant dis­trac­tion when I seek hu­man com­pan­ion­ship. The trick, as it is said, is to be in the world but not of it.”

Gor­don Brown paints an­other river flow­ing through Au­tumn Col­ors and ex­plains, “My paint­ings are all about light and mood.” Paint­ing on lo­ca­tion in Colorado, he says, “I have the re­spon­si­bil­ity as a painter to record and re­veal the nat­u­ral beauty of the land­scape as faith­fully as pos­si­ble.”

His in­flu­ences range from the work of 19th-cen­tury Amer­i­can tonal­ists to the plein air tech­niques of the Chi­nese painter Shang Ding who vis­ited Grand Junc­tion, Colorado, for a year. His friend, ab­stract painter Jac Kephart, taught him about creat­ing tex­tured sur­faces.

Chris Charlebois’ tex­tured sur­faces cap­ture the stiff re­mains of sum­mer plants in Iona #4.

He says, “My goal as a painter has al­ways been to sim­ply ex­press. Na­ture is the source of that ex­pres­sion. I look for the ges­ture in na­ture. It is this dom­i­nant line of move­ment and struc­ture that all the el­e­ments in a paint­ing will be based upon. By tak­ing apart (ab­stract­ing) the com­po­nents of the sub­ject, then re­build­ing mak­ing sys­tem­atic log­i­cal choices, and at the same time us­ing mem­ory, in­tu­ition and in­ven­tion, a re­sult of clear ex­pres­sion can be at­tained.”

Paint­ing in Bri­tish Columbia, Charlebois paints the tran­scen­dently mun­dane as­pects of the fall land­scape.

Fall is of­ten seen as a sad end to sum­mer. The sea­son, though, pro­vides its own plea­sures even for as quiet and moody a per­son as Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote, “I can­not en­dure to waste any­thing so pre­cious as au­tum­nal sun­shine by stay­ing in the house.”

In the pages of this spe­cial sec­tion, col­lec­tors will find land­scapes and na­ture scenes from lead­ing Western artists, de­pict­ing

the spell­bind­ing col­ors of the har­vest sea­son.

Fall in the Texas Hill Coun­try is the ideal time for Chuck and Bar­bara Mauldin to ven­ture into the lo­cal land­scape and paint amidst the crisp au­tumn air. “The op­pres­sive heat of the sum­mer is in the rearview, and while fall col­ors are typ­i­cally not as spec­tac­u­lar as in other ar­eas of the coun­try, any­thing not green is sub­ject to ex­ag­ger­a­tion,” the hus­band and wife team says. Both artists con­sider their plein air paint­ings to be fin­ished works, trea­sured among col­lec­tors. Chuck’s oil Boos Road Farm Houses will be in the Plein Air Artists of Colorado 22nd An­nual Na­tional Show from Oc­to­ber 5 to 28.

“Au­tumn Whis­per was in­spired by a trip into the moun­tains when the fall sea­son was mak­ing its state­ment,” says Linda Glover Gooch of her oil paint­ing, which de­picts a soft, serene wa­ter scene. “The re­flec­tion of the warm tones on the cool wa­ter were beg­ging to be put onto can­vas. To be paint­ing in the trees with leaves fall­ing among you, the wind, the sound of the wa­ter, this is what artists thrive on. It just doesn’t last long enough; be­fore you know it the peak of fall sea­son hits, and you are forced to wait an­other year. That is the beauty of art, to re­mind us of those days, tak­ing us back in time.”

Artist Jeff Love paints the beauty of the moun­tain states in plein air. “As sum­mer’s bloom fades and morphs into the hues of fall, again I find my­self amazed at the won­der of na­ture...and now again, here is fall, with its bril­liance, grow­ing cooler as each day passes...the moun­tains change so quickly, but the desert is sub­tle, tak­ing her time, al­low­ing me to linger in the col­ors of the early fall sky.”

Ron Kucin­ski’s acrylic They Es­caped Hal­loween en­cap­su­lates one of the quin­tes­sen­tial sym­bols of fall: the pump­kin. The piece, which fea­tures a large pump­kin in the fore­ground, takes on a com­i­cal ap­proach in its ti­tle, sug­gest­ing that the pop­u­lar or­ange gourds es­caped the fate of a jack-o’-lantern. “Hal­loween has past, Thanks­giv­ing is a few days away, and an early snow has cov­ered the farm fields. The sun­set ends one more day of anx­ious wait­ing for the pump­kins. If only they can go un­no­ticed they’ll be spared,” says Kucin­ski. “I en­joy paint­ing late day or noc­tur­nal scenes es­pe­cially if snow is an el­e­ment of the­ing a real­ist painter

I strive for spec­tac­u­lar skies, sun­rises and sun­sets.”

Lo­cated in Basalt, Colorado, Ann Korol­o­gos Gallery has rep­re­sented fine artists in­spired by the al­lure of the West for more than 20 years. “Western land­scapes are some of the most di­verse and dra­matic in the coun­try, and our artists cer­tainly rep­re­sent that. All of our land­scape painters find their in­spi­ra­tion on scene and share the pas­sion of doc­u­ment­ing the ma­jes­tic land and life­style of the West,” says gallery owner Ann Korol­o­gos. The gallery show­cases artists na­tion­wide work­ing in a va­ri­ety of medi­ums.

8. Bar­bara Mauldin, Au­tumn Blaze, oil, 9 x 12"

9. Linda Glover Gooch, Au­tumn Whis­per, oil on linen, 30 x 27" 10. Ann Korol­o­gos Gallery,

Left, oil on linen, 33 x 45", by Andy Tay­lor.

11. Jeff Love, Chang­ing Hues, oil, 20 x 24"

12. Jeff Love, Lin­ger­ing on the Hori­zon, oil, 30 x 40"

1. Gallery 1261, Au­tumn Col­ors, oil, 14 x 24", by Gor­don Brown.

2. Abend Gallery, Iona #4, oil, 42 x 42", by Chris Charlebois. 3. Hunter Kirk­land Con­tem­po­rary, Quak­ing Yel­low, oil on can­vas, 16 × 14" (framed), by Rick Stevens. 4. Lewallen Gal­leries, Gal­is­teo Riverbed - Oc­to­ber, oil on can­vas, 40 x 42", by For­rest Moses. 5. Ron Kucin­ski, They Es­caped Hal­loween, acrylic, 14 x 18” 6. Chuck Mauldin, Boos Road Farm Houses, oil, 9 x 12" 7. Chuck Mauldin, Hill­side Col­ors, oil, 9 x 12"

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