Western Art Collector
Up to 15 works
130 Lincoln Avenue Santa Fe, NM 8701 (480) 440-3912 www.kinggalleries.com
For the last four months, Andrea Vargas has been traveling from her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Ghost Ranch and the Pecos River on a mission to capture dramatic cloudscapes and the colors of nocturnal skies.
“Plein air painting brought me solace this season,” says Vargas. “Hiking toward jagged mountain ranges put dust in my shoes, and a patriotic spirit back into my step. My new exhibition of oil paintings is called Towards the West. As a visual narrative, the body of work literally shares my route for finding quiet places of heritage and sublime beauty.”
This exhibition marks Vargas’ return to her roots in plein air painting and love of open spaces. Ten years ago, it led her to commit to canvases as large as 7 by 4 feet measurements, which Vargas found appropriate for
rendering landmarks like the trestle bridge in Ventura, California. This particular painting is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Ventura County.
For this new exhibition at King Galleries in Santa Fe, the subject is not only land, but the movement above the horizon. Vargas has over 15 pieces in Towards the West, and seems determined to share the idea that the drama of storm clouds always settles, leaving behind a peaceful earth and a soil ready for the sun to rise.
Considering Vargas’ commitment to this land, one can also look to the heritage of American art in the early 20th century when artists like Georgia O’keeffe, Marsden Hartley and John Marin came to the Southwest to find a subject matter that they considered authentically
American. Carolyn Burke, in her recent book, Foursome, quotes O’keeffe, “one can’t…be an American by going about saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, live America, love America, and then work.”