This story was featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine December 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine December 2012 digital download here. Or simply subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
Each year we receive thousands of entries for our Artistic Excellence competition. Round after round, we whittle them down until only three top winners and 10 honorable mentions remain. But beyond these 13, we receive many works that are dynamic, expressive, and skillfully executed. Here we present a sampling of the 70 artists who made it to our final round.
After a career in illustration and advertising, Terry Barnes has returned to his first love, oil painting. He captures landscapes of the Texas Hill Country and canyonlands as well as the people and animals living there. Fantasy artist Julie Bellrecently branched out into wildlife painting, where she explores dynamic relationships in animal packs and captures the grace and beauty of both domestic and wild creatures.
Although not yet 20 years old, Barry Carter has explored myriad artistic genres, from historical and western paintings to portraiture and scultpure. After college, Victoria Castillocontinued her art studies by exploring works in great museums and private art collections. Her figurative paintings focus on the softly lit female form in intimate settings.
Susan Driscoll says she is inspired by things that are “spooky, funny, or pretty” and loves to paint people and faces. As a child, Nicole Finger was powerfully influenced by the colors and excitement of, and her late father’s passion for, thoroughbred horseracing. She paints horse- and horseracing-themed works as well as figurative works.
Drawing inspiration from wildlife parks and zoos, Janetta Gee paints endangered birds and animals as well as pet and horse portraits on commission. Denver-area artist Lindsey Bittner Graham paints loosely rendered and emotionally charged horse-, rodeo-, and western-themed works in oil and watercolor.
From rolling heartland farms to rocky Pacific coastlines, Debra Joy Groesser captures the western landscape in subtly hued plein-air and studio works. Though best known for her coastal and Lowcountry landscapes, Paula Holtzclaw’s oeuvre also includes still lifes featuring flow-blue china and classically rendered fruits and flowers.
After many years away from the Southwest, Peggy Immel returned to live in Taos, NM. She paints intimately cropped impressions of the mountainous and adobe-strewn landscape. Lisa Johnson-McLoughlin’s acrylic and oil paintings depict western and Southwestern lifestyles and contemporary American cowboy life.
Banff-area artist Sarah Kidner is intrigued by the human figure. She captures featureless subjects as they move through and interact in powerfully backlit urban scenes. Korean artist Taeil Kimis currently pursuing his master’s degree in fine art in the United States. His impressionistic urban landscapes and portraits begin with an intrinsic concept that he attempts to reveal through expressive brushwork.
Pastelist Rita Kirkman’s portfolio includes warm renderings of people and animals, from Renaissance festival-goers to buffalo to near-comic caricatures of pets and farm animals. Tracey Lane’s thickly textured acrylic paintings combine impressionistic renderings of birds, flowers, horses, and trees set against abstract backgrounds.
Cincinnati-based Yvette Mazza paints sensitively rendered portraits of animals and people. Horses, equestrian events, children, and dogs are favorite subjects. After a career in motorsport painting, Anne Peyton now captures waterfowl, songbirds, and birds of prey in realistic acrylic works.
Neal Philpott paints Northwestern landscapes that render the joy of a moment in time. His works explore patterns of rural country roads, farmland, and water in motion. In 2004, Erin Schulz left her engineering job to pursue art full time. Her classical still lifes and figurative works are marked with warm colors and nostalgic imagery.
After a 35-year hiatus from art, Robert Talbert returned to watercolor painting. He skillfully renders subjects ranging from historical-reenactment characters to his own cherished blue roan. William C. Wright employs watercolors and oils to create dramatically lit still lifes and landscapes, alive with vibrant color. —Laura Rintala
Featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine December 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine December 2012 print edition
Or subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
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