Editor’s Letter | Wisdom for Life

Each month in Southwest Art, our goal on every page is to bring you the finest art being created in the West, and to surround that art with words that enrich the experience of viewing it. We bring you the artists’ stories and shed light on their works, both in their own words and in the words of our talented writers. But sometimes, the artists and writers shed light on more than just the art itself. Often, as I’m working on a story, I’ll come across a passage that strikes an even deeper chord, that offers a perspective on creativity or perseverance or life in general. I often stop to take special note of these quotes and observations, and they stay with me over the following days as we continue to prepare the issue.

Take our story on California painter Tim Solliday. When we last visited with Tim several years ago, he was painting landscapes; today he’s transitioned to works that use the landscape as a backdrop for figures, and we asked him what motivated his new direction. Here’s the part of his answer that stood out to me: “People always limit themselves with what they feel comfortable with, and I didn’t want to do that. This change has given me a greater sense of confidence.” Tim is speaking of painting, of course, but his perceptive comment could just as easily apply to anyone and any endeavor.

Or take this quote from Julie McNair, one of the artists featured in our portfolio of sculptors: “As you hit a bump in the road of life, you have no choice but to find the humor in it.” She’s talking about one of her fanciful figurative sculptures in particular, but it’s a good reminder to all of us not to take life too seriously. And one of my all-time favorite quotes comes from a story we did back in August 2006 on painter Gail Morris. In the story, writer Virginia Campbell observed, “For the artist, art is work—a summoning of skill and quelling of doubt that must go on in rain or shine.” Of course, most of us realize just how difficult a pursuit art is, but that particular turn of phrase—especially the notion of “summoning” and “quelling”—resonated deeply with me, and still does. I hope that you, too, will find meaningful passages in this issue, and every issue, of Southwest Art. -July 2008

Kristin Bucher