Fine Art Photography
The rodeo is an exciting and challenging subject for a fine art photography series.
It’s capturing images of cowboys fighting to stay on the backs of bucking bulls as they try to avoid being launched sky high before the 8-second buzzer. The riders are protected by bullfighters willing to put their bodies between a downed cowboy and a 2000-pound bull with very bad intentions. Bronco competitors face a similar challenge as their mounts try violently to rid themselves of the man up top. There’s the skill of the tie-down ropers as they lasso sprinting calves in partnership with great horses that put on the brakes and hold tension on the rope until the judges call time. In the barrel race, cowgirls run horses that maneuver like F-16s in afterburner. All the events require courage, skill and athleticism. It’s Americana at its best and an exciting demonstration of the skills used every day by working cowhands on ranches across the West.
My approach to photography springs from my years as a painter: experience that has forged my aesthetic as a visual storyteller. As a fine art photographer, I treat my images much like I would a painting. Digital tools have replaced my darkroom in which I spent many years, and pixels in my camera’s sensor have taken the place of grains of silver on film.
Oil and Cold Wax
I am a professional mixed media artist and teacher. I started drawing and painting intensely as a child without any influence. I have since studied privately under Hillary Miller, Nicki Heenan, and Gillian Lee Cox.
Today, much of my work concentrates on seeking and memorializing the perfect moment in time spent in the outdoors where I feel open to receiving nature and all of her gifts and to connecting with God. I seek to convey my response to a particular scene through abstraction while keeping a sense of place intact. By doing so I hope to share a common bond with my collectors who are reminded by my work of moments in time they spent in the outdoors that left a lasting impression.
I consider myself a mixed media artist where I have developed a particular affinity for oil mixed with cold wax. Cold wax is a newer medium in the art world and consists of beeswax and resin. It can be used to paint in a traditional oil manner, but it can also be applied with instruments such as the brayer, spatula, knife, squeegee, and pretty much anything the artist comes up with. It allows for thick application or several layers of thin oil and cold wax. Opacity and translucency can be obtained with knowledge and experience. It then becomes a dance between application and excavation and removal with instruments and spirits. The thing I love about it the most is I am never quite sure just what is going to happen or what the end result is. The only thing I am certain of is that it gives my work more expression as to what I am trying to convey to my viewers. It somehow wraps my soul into the work much more so than any other medium.
Sanibel Island Love Letter in oils, acrylics, and watercolor
I approached the Stephen Smith Gallery with a concept: a selection of paintings on the theme of Sanibel Island off the gulf coast of Florida. To have a show in September would be close to the one-year anniversary of the island being demolished by Hurricane Ian on September 29, 2022.
I was in love with the birds of Sanibel, the colorful sea grapes that lined the shore, the sandy pathways to the beach, all lined with weathered pilings. Every day was a different color, a different mood. The sunsets were spectacular. Even rainy, stormy gray days held an appeal.
You might find in these paintings a nearly photorealistic passage next to an impressionistic passage. I seem to paint the subject in the way I feel the subject requires.
Reports are that Sanibel is rebounding. It will never be the same island I’ve visited over the years, but I look forward to returning to see how it has evolved.
Art of the Week
Is a watercolor artist, working on both traditional and synthetic paper. She grew up in the Kansas City area and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in art history. Using the unique qualities of watercolor pigments and employing a number of different techniques, she celebrates the underlying shapes of the prairie landscape; the structures of and spaces between native plants; and the relationships between earth and sky, form and movement.