Western Art Collector



“The West is smack-your-senses real. As real as the unexpected rattle of a startled diamondbac­k three feet off the trail,” says Michelle Kondos. “But anyone who spends time here knows that it’s more than that. In my work, I constantly try to find that fulcrum point between the West that we grasp with our eyes and the mysterious Western dreamscape we feel in our souls—the one that lies behind the plains and mountain ranges.”

Originally, Kondos made her bones as a profession­al artist by doing fine art portraitur­e in oil, including two official portraits of the mayors of New Orleans. However, the beauty of the landscapes, people and animals of the West soon beguiled her. She still maintains a busy portraitur­e practice in New Orleans, but in 2013 she moved to Borrego Springs, in the remote California desert, to pursue her fascinatio­n with Western art. On any given day, you can find her at her easel in her studio there, light pouring in through her northern windows and layered images forming on her canvasses—or maybe she’s wandering somewhere in the back of beyond in her Jeep, sketching rocks and arroyos, hoping for a bighorn to wander by.

“Sometimes I think I see that holy ghost of the West in there, shining out through the paintings I do,” she adds. “Those are the paintings I love. Those are the ones I show. The rest get painted over.”

Kondos’ work can currently be seen at the Cowgirl Up! Art From the Other Half of the West exhibition at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona. It runs through September 1. She also shows work at the Dick Idol Gallery in Whitefish, Montana.

 ?? ?? Crossing Last Dollar Wash, oil on metal panel, 18 x 24 in.
Crossing Last Dollar Wash, oil on metal panel, 18 x 24 in.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States