Portfolio | Scenes of Winter

Valley Thaw, watercolor, 8 x 12. paiting, southwest art.
Valley Thaw, watercolor, 8 x 12.

Thomas William Jones
Thomas William Jones is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH, and has won numerous painting awards from the American Watercolor Society. Although Jones grew up in Ohio, today he lives in Washington. He painted Valley Thaw near his home north of Seattle. “We had an early snow and it looked as if this structure was retreating organically into the ground,” he says. “It was an abandoned dairy farm in the Snohomish River Valley, and it reminded me of the way things used to look before a lot of changes took place. I like to paint things that are reminiscent of a time before there were major intrusions on the landscape like highways and modern structures.” Jones is known for capturing the flavor of quiet, rural America with its scenic back roads and bucolic farms. His work has been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. He is represented by Howard Portnoy Gallerie, Carmel, CA. —BG

The West Side is A-Peeling, oil, 12 x 16. painting, southwest art.
The West Side is A-Peeling, oil, 12 x 16.

Len Chmiel
Driving through southern Idaho in the dead of winter a few years ago, Len Chmiel suddenly saw a flash of color—a bright red barn in the middle of a snow-covered field. The bold color inspired him to stop his car and set up an easel on the side of the road to paint. He named the final painting The West Side is A-Peeling, a play on words. “The sight was appealing because it was nice to see something like that out in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “And, like a lot of old barns, the paint was peeling off.”

Born in Chicago, Chmiel moved to California when he was 8. After working as a commercial artist in Los Angeles for years, he decided to move to Colorado to paint full time in the 1970s. An avid gardener and hunter, he frequently paints still lifes and landscapes. Despite the frozen temperatures, he says he enjoys painting winter scenes because the subject gives him the chance to experiment with shapes, shadow, and dimension. “What I like about snow is that it is so plastic; the forms are so beautiful and you can move things around to get the composition you want,” he says. “You can move the shapes around to fix the composition, and it still looks like snow.” Chmiel is represented by Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV, and Bishop Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ. —AH

Flathead s Middlefork, oil, 19 x 25. painting, southwest art.
Flathead’s Middlefork, oil, 19 x 25.

Linda Tippetts
The big skies and breathtaking scenery of Montana have awed and inspired painter Linda Tippetts since she was a child. Growing up in the Sun River Valley, Tippetts felt a connection to the land that she still feels to this day. She honors that connection by capturing the beauty of Montana—the majestic peaks, the lush vegetation, and the dramatic seasonal changes—in her plein-air paintings. After graduating by correspondence from the Famous Artists School of Fine Arts Painting in Westport, CT, Tippetts honed her painting skills by taking workshops with artists such as Del Gish and Richard Schmid and by studying the works of artists such as Joaquin Sorolla and William Merritt Chase. An avid traveler as well, her painting trips have taken her to Portugal, Alaska, China, Canada, and most recently Italy. A member of the Plein Air Painters of America and American Women Artists, she says her main goal is to capture the light and the diversity of the landscape in her paintings. Tippetts is represented by Sutton West Gallery, Missoula, MT; Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, ID; and Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY. —AH

Sierra Morning, oil, 24 x 30.  painting, southwest art.
Sierra Morning, oil, 24 x 30.

T.M. Nicholas
As a boy, T.M. Nicholas learned about the artist’s life from his father, well-known painter Tom Nicholas. Today, at 36, the younger Nicholas has also established himself as an accomplished landscape painter. Although he lives near Boston, MA, he regularly journeys to California to portray the state’s picturesque coastal and mountain regions. Whether he is creating in the East or the West, Nicholas is known for his snowscapes. He painted Sierra Morning in May near a valley area in Bishop, CA. “It was a clear day with light clouds,” he says. “Snow covered the pockets of the mountain, and the lake was frozen below.” Nicholas says he enjoys painting a wide variety of subjects, but snowy landscapes are among his favorites. A hardy soul, he creates works on location despite what some would call hazardous conditions. “I once painted in Chester, VT, when the temperature hit 8 below zero,” he says. “The main thing to remember about painting in the snow is to keep your feet warm.” Nicholas is represented by Pogan Gallery, Tahoe City, CA; Tom Nicholas Gallery, Rockport, MA; Argosy Collection, Bar Harbor, ME; Gardner Colby Gallery, Naples, FL; and Vixseboxse Art Galleries, Cleveland Heights, OH. —BG

Flight of the Light, oil, 12 x 9. painting, southwest art.
Flight of the Light, oil, 12 x 9.

Dan Robinson
During one of his trips to the Colorado Rockies, Dan Robinson drove past the majestic mountains and grand overlooks and found inspiration in a little hidden setting somewhere near Durango. He stopped to paint some sketches that he then took back to his studio in Arizona, where he “pushed and pulled them” into his own interpretation of the scene and called it Flight of the Light. “I don’t try to document what I see but rather react to what I see and let those feelings come out through my hand,” Robinson says. He believes that sketches made in the field and the interpretations that develop later in the studio are equally important. Although he’s a resident of the desert, most of the landscapes he paints are of snow, mountains, and the California coast because “they’re fresh to me. I get ‘sparked’ by being on location somewhere new.” A 1988 graduate of the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, CA, Robinson teaches at the Scottsdale Artists School. his landscapes and still lifes can be found at Overland Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Simpson Gallagher Gallery, Cody, WY; and Wickenburg Gal-lery, Wickenburg, AZ. —BD

Featured in “Portfolio: Scenes of Winter” December 2000