By Julie Osterman
In her watercolor paintings of cowboys, horses, wildlife, and landscapes, Idaho artist Polly Barrett brings to life the Wild West of her surroundings. Having grown up with horses (“I had a 27-year-old horse that babysat me when I was a teen-ager,” she jokes), she is an avid horsewoman and has befriended working cowboys and horse trainers who pose for her work. On trips to her cabin at Warm Lake, Barrett sits on the bow of a boat and photographs the moose and aspen trees that surround the water. On a recent outing, she captured breathtaking images of a mother moose with her baby. She paints from these photos in her studio, which is located back at home in Boise. “I know it’s not the typical plein air, but the bugs bother me,” she explains.
One of her greatest attributes, according to the artist, is the ability to paint a diverse range of subjects and styles. She is currently working on a series of portraits, featuring “pretty faces” such as her niece’s. “I don’t have to make a statement when I’m painting—I just like to paint things that are pleasing to people,” she says. Read more about the artist at www.pollybarrett.com. Barrett is represented by Artisan Gallery, Eagle, ID; The Glass Knight, Langley, WA; Brown’s Gallery, Boise, ID; and Jonita’s Southwestern Connection, Boise, ID.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” March 2004