A preview of six pieces on view in this month’s Prix de West Invitational
Carrie L. Ballantyne
“Painting portraits is my joy; it’s also my job. Painting portraits of family and friends within our ranching community makes my job even more enjoyable. I began using my very young sisters as models 30 years ago. I am now into the second generation. My model for SWEET INNOCENCE is my niece, a girl after my own heart. She loves horses and the outdoors.
“I never thought of myself as a ‘storyteller’ artist, since it’s the portrait that I have always been so passionate about. But recently, a friend told me that each one of my portraits tells an individual story. I like the sound of that.”
Big Horn Galleries, Cody, WY, and Tubac, AZ.
Buffalo Bill Art Show, Cody, WY, September 23-24.
“The Prix de West is a show that I have watched and respected for many years. It has truly been an honor to show my work along with artists of such high caliber. When I set out to create a painting for this show, it must be something that has very deep meaning for me.
“My family and I have spent over 25 years hiking, painting, and picnicking at this beautiful lake in the Sierras. I have treasured every moment we have spent there, from warm summer days to thunderstorms to dustings of snow. This summer we look forward to this experience with our new granddaughter and creating a new generation of appreciation for the West.”
William A. Karges Fine Art, Carmel and Beverly Hills, CA; www.dennisdoheny.com.
“The image of a bull moose at the water’s edge has remained with me since I first saw a similar event many years ago. Since that encounter, the moose, to me, has symbolized the spirit and wonder of the wilderness. I have come back to this theme in a variety of works. The painting titled SUNRISE explores all that I feel about the wild places and the animals I love to paint. It is a moment in time as nature reveals itself in a new day.”
J.N. Bartfield Galleries, New York, NY; Burnt Mills Gallery, Bernardsville, NJ; Art and Decoy Gallery, Frenchtown, NJ; Swain’s Art Gallery, Plainfield, NJ.
Masters in Miniature, Trailside Galleries, Jackson, WY, July 4-24.
Western Visions, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, WY, September 15-16.
“I have always been attracted to landscapes all over the West. The rugged mountains, the arid desert, and the endless grasslands of the Southwest hold a special connection for me. I like to paint subtle places in nature that many people pass by to remind viewers of the beauty that surrounds us. This painting of the ruins of the Gran Quivira, part of New Mexico’s historic Salinas Pueblo, shows the summer rains falling in the distance. In the West, the summer rains always seem to fall somewhere else. The people of the Salinas Pueblo must have felt this, too. But what a view they had!”
Altermann Galleries, Santa Fe, NM; Whistle Pik Galleries, Fredericksburg, TX; Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ; www.michaelstackfineart.com.
“The painting idea developed from a morning walk on the beach this past winter, and it is typical of how I work. This particular morning was very cold and very windy, gusting close to 50 knots, and I was interested in the light and the backlit spray. Most of my paintings develop from things I see outside, often small details. I use that element as a starting point to develop a painting idea. I usually transpose the idea into a different setting and time, work out the composition, as well as decide upon the narrative aspect of the painting. Finally, the piece needs to be suffused with consistent and appropriate light and atmosphere, which requires having a very clear idea of the particular kind of day and light that I’m trying to capture. I want to be able to convince the viewer to recognize and identify with a particular moment in time rather than a generic scene, reinforcing the illusion of reality.”
Claggett/Rey Gallery, Vail, CO; J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Fairfield, CT.
“Moon Girl is a desert tribal story. The coyote took a fancy to this girl and pursued her. She went to the springs and jumped in, and the moon offered to hide her. When the coyote that was following her saw her in the water, he jumped in but could not find her. Every time he looked in the water, he could see her and would try again to jump in and catch her. Not knowing that she was a reflection in the moon, he continued doing this. My sculptural version of this story is made to flow like the water. With the basket in hand, Moon Girl changes the moon phases; you can see the quarters, halves, and the full moon. I give three dimensions to verbal Native stories; this is one of my life pursuits. It is my way of capturing the words and images and creating them in a solid form. I get very excited when I work like this; it is my way of preserving traditions.”
Berlin Gallery, Phoenix, AZ; Claggett/Rey Gallery, Vail, CO; Hayden Hays Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO; Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY; Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Nedra Matteucci Galleries, Santa Fe, NM; Rowe Gallery, Sedona, AZ.
Group exhibit, Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ, July 23-October 16.
Quest for the West Show, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN, September 11-October 9.
Miniatures and More Exhibition, Albuquerque Museum Foundation, Albuquerque, NM, October 22-December 4.
Featured in June 2011.