Emerging Artists | Vance, Griffith, Locke

Day Break On Berthoud Pass By Karen Vance. Painting, southwest art.

Karen Vance
At the November Plein Air Painters of America show and sale on California’s Catalina Island, Karen Vance caused quite a stir. The night of the sale she sold all eight of her paintings in 25 minutes. In fact, when the sales were tallied for the entire show, she had sold the most paintings among 30 participating artists. While the Colorado-based landscape painter relishes discovering new locations to paint around the country, she says her favorite scenes are closest to home. “I live along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains at 9,500 feet, and I love to paint snow,” Vance says. Indeed, she is best known for her snow and mountain scenes, although nature in general interests her as subject matter. In her work she constantly strives to convey what she calls the third level of painting. “That’s where the piece becomes a visual symphony that moves the viewer to great emotion,” she says. Vance cites her teacher Quang Ho as one of the greatest influences on her work, as well as John Singer Sargent from the realm of art history. She is represented by Smith-Klein Gallery, Boulder and Broomfield, CO; Elk Horn Art Gallery, Winter Park, CO; Evergreen Fine Art, Evergreen, CO; and Montana Gallery of Fine Art, Deer Lodge, MT. —BG

Foothills by Jineen Griffith. painting, southwest art.

Jineen Griffith
When she’s not playing ice hockey, mountain biking, kayaking, or skiing, Jineen Griffith can often be found scouting locations for her paintings. The Idaho resident spends much of her time outdoors, and her paintings are another way of expressing her love for nature. “I like to be outside, to be in nature,” she says. “That’s the basis of my painting. Painting is looking at nature in a different way.” Working mostly en plein air, she captures the many moods of the mountains, meadows, and rivers near her home. “I’m very comfortable being outside—the snow, wind, and other elements don’t really bother me,” she says. She also takes her paints along with her on her travels; this summer found her in the Grand Canyon and in Canada. For Griffith, who participated in an expedition to the Himalayas in the 1980s, painting gives her the opportunity to see nature in a way her other hobbies do not. “When you’re outside in nature playing sports, climbing mountains, or biking, it’s more aggressive—you’re trying to get somewhere or achieve something,” she explains. “When you paint, you look at nature through an artist’s eyes. You just slow down and notice the little things, like the individual snowflakes, that you miss otherwise.” She is represented by Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, ID; Horizon Fine Art, Jackson, WY; and Creekside Gallery, Park City, UT, and Scottsdale, AZ. —AH

Alstomerias by Elizabeth Locke. Painting, southwest art.

Elizabeth Locke
Texas artist Elizabeth Locke paints landscapes, figures, and still lifes. Of Alstromerias she says, “I really like dramatic light that starts low and comes from the ground up.” What she doesn’t like, though, is ordinary still-life compositions in which a bouquet of flowers sticks straight up from a tall vase—hence her decision to paint just one branch of pink flowers laying across the top of a shallow bowl. “I also like the way the pattern of lights and darks creates a series of abstract shapes,” says Locke of this painting. “It works from a distance in a powerful way.” Although she enjoys still-life painting, Locke says she prefers painting en plein air. “It’s fun to be responding to something in real time,” she says. “It’s a delicious experience to be right there in the landscape. Magical things can happen when we are in a relationship with nature like that.” Last summer, she and 16 students from the adult art classes she teaches spent three weeks painting in France; a trip to Tuscany is scheduled for this spring. Locke is represented by Meyer Gallery, Park City, UT, and Jackson, WY. —KB

Featured in “Artists to Watch” March 2001