“So, Call Me” by Ginger Bowen
When the sizzling summer climes descend on the Arizona desert, painter Ginger Bowen heads for the road out of town. For Bowen, it’s a good time to travel and paint the splendors of the great outdoors in scenes ranging from the picturesque Italian countryside to the Rocky Mountains sprinkled with wildflowers. “I want to convey just how beautiful it is out there, and hopefully people will notice the landscape more—little things like how the light hits the trees late in the day,” Bowen says. “I want people to feel a love of the earth like I do.”
Although she enjoys capturing natural wonders, she is equally at home in her studio arranging objects for her still-life paintings. In search of items for her tableaux, she scours antique stores and garage sales for nostalgic objects such as egg beaters, gumball machines, and old toys. “With my still lifes, I’m trying to give the viewer a smile,” she explains. “People’s lives are so complicated, serious, and stressful today.”
Recently, one of Bowen’s still-life works was selected for inclusion in a 2008 traveling show organized by the International Guild of Realism. Last year she was invited to join Alla Prima International. Bowen is represented by Willow Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ.
“Laguna Cove” by Mike Maczuga
Whether he captures waves crashing against the rocky Pacific coastline or a threatening sky in an approaching storm, the common theme that weaves through many of Mike Maczuga’s paintings is the element of movement. Indeed, the Arizona-based artist is known for his ability to convey tumultuous waters and skies in his works through the use of energetic, expressionistic brushstrokes.
Portraying light in his evocative landscape paintings is also a major artistic concern for Maczuga. “I enjoy being able to capture things such as the last light on the ridge before the sun goes down,” he explains. “I find plein-air painting really challenging because the light does change so quickly. It tests your skills on how quickly you can get it all down, because the light can change every 20 or 30 minutes.”
Although Maczuga began pursuing fine art only six years ago—studying with John Burton, Robert Lemler, and Ray Roberts—he already has chalked up a number of awards, including ones from the 2004 and 2005 Best and Brightest show at the Scottsdale Artists’ School in Arizona. He was also invited to join the Oil Painters of America in 2004. Maczuga is represented by Scottsdale Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ, and SonRise Gallery, Monterey, CA.
“Room Service” by Cathy Lamb
Doughnuts, bagels, catsup, mustard, and pickles. Washington-based painter Cathy Lamb relishes capturing food in her playful, whimsical still-life works. She also enjoys rhapsodizing poetically about her artistic objects of desire. “I love food images,” she says. “The humble pickle, so unique and ubiquitous—we hardly see it as something special. The mini catsup and mustard, well, they are cool because miniature anything is cool.”
When a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop opened near her home recently, she was soon captivated by the sweet and sticky pastry. “When you see the donuts on the conveyor belt, they are as lovely as a newly painted car, perfect, shiny, and iridescent like a pearl. Who can resist painting that?” she asks. Indeed, Lamb’s delicious paintings can stir hunger pangs in the most well-fed observers while offering them a new way to appreciate everyday items people often overlook.
A former illustrator, Lamb notes that her culinary subject matter appeals to her in a realm outside of the ordinary reaction to food. She appreciates an olive, onion, or radish as an art object with its own unique design elements. Lamb is represented by Yoshida’s Fine Art Gallery, Portland, OR.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” February 2007