Emerging Artists | Cosby, Soukup, Skollar

Along the Highway by John Cosby.  painting, southwest art.
Along the Highway by John Cosby

John Cosby

Southern California painter John Cosby is fond of depicting people in motion—portraying them in the act of doing something, whether it’s crossing a street or sipping a cup of coffee. “I’m trying to capture man’s interaction with our environment whether it’s urban or rural,” Cosby says. “I am always looking for the dynamic tension and the focal point of energy in a scene.”

Cosby’s rendering of a small-town fruit stand was recently selected as the poster image for the 2001 La Quinta Arts Foundation’s Desert Plein Air show and sale in La Quinta, CA. He is also the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary that spotlights him painting on location in San Francisco.

When he is not in his studio painting, Cosby is likely to be organizing an art-related activity. He is a founder of the successful Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational competition, an event that attracts top landscape artists from across the country. His organizational talents hark back to his early days when he was once chosen as an advance communications man during former President Richard Nixon’s and Gerald Ford’s administration. “I always try to bring energy to the things I do—things that are bigger than my own career. The energy and the benefits come back tenfold,” Cosby says. Cosby is represented by Addi Gallery, Maui, HI; Knox Gallery, Beaver Creek, CO, and Naples, FL; Lahaina Galleries, Newport Beach and San Francisco, CA; New Masters Gallery, Carmel, CA; and Pacific Edge Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA. —BG

To the Bus Stop by Jill Soukup. painting, southwest art.
To the Bus Stop by Jill Soukup

Jill Soukup

Jill Soukup, short of being a Colorado native by just six months, has been interested in art for as long as she can remember. She started out drawing horses—which she still loves painting today—and her family supported her interest in art. She graduated from Colorado State University in 1991 with a bachelors degree in fine art and began pursuing a career in graphic design. “Sometimes I used to wish I’d gone directly into painting,” Soukup says, “but I learned so much about color, value, and composition from studying design.” More recently she has taken classes from well-known Denver painters Quang Ho and Mark Daily.

Soukup’s subject matter ranges from landscapes to cityscapes to animals, and she claims not to have a favorite subject—“it all comes down to shapes and compositions, anyway,” she explains. To the Bus Stop was inspired by being in a particular place at a particular time. “I was in a neighborhood just north of downtown Denver where there are old homes with a lot of character,” Soukup says. “It was a late afternoon in the winter on a clear, sunny day, and the sun was intensifying the colors in a way I really liked. I did a couple plein-air paintings that day and also took photographs of the scene.” Find Soukup’s works at Abend Gallery, Denver, CO, or at www.soukupdesigns.com. —KB

Racecar by Steven Skollar. painting, southwest art.
Racecar by Steven Skollar

Steven Skollar

Native New Yorker Steven Skollar describes his still-life paintings as “a juxtaposition of classical training with crazy, funny objects.” His objects of choice include contemporary subject matter such as cars and children’s toys—“I love the colors they allow me to use,” he says. Skollar’s parents were both artists, and he grew up painting and drawing before attending the Art Students’ League in New York City in the early 1970s. Schooled in classical traditions and influenced by the paintings of Carravagio and Chardin, Skollar embraced representational painting but is determined to put an original spin on it. “I feel it’s important to say your own thing,” he says. Skollar is represented by Meyer Galleries, Santa Fe, NM, and Scottsdale, AZ; Hackett/Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Bridgewater, Lusberg & Blumenfeld, New York, NY; and Rice-Polak Gallery, Provincetown, MA. —MB

Featured in “Artists to Watch” December 2000