Art Obsessions Gallery, July 3-12
This story was featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
The feeling of a place is what Michelle T. Courier is most interested in communicating through her landscape paintings. She wants the viewer to sense the time of day through the quality of light and feel the temperature of the air. “It’s all about creating a mood,” she explains. Scenes of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area are among the 20 waterscapes featured in Courier’s solo show at Art Obsessions Gallery, which recently moved to a new location at 10015 West River Street in Truckee. In lieu of an opening reception, Courier is at the gallery for the duration of the show, from July 3 through 12.
A resident of Michigan, Courier regularly travels to California to spend time at Lake Tahoe, which she says is “my favorite place in the entire world.” At least six of the show’s paintings capture the beauty of the lake so close to her heart. “The water in Lake Tahoe can be emerald green, silver, deep blue, or aqua depending on the time of day and location,” she says. “There’s one painting where it seems as if I’m standing in the water observing wave patterns. Other paintings capture calm scenes from the shore.”
Last summer the artist hiked around Tahoe, in Oregon, and at Yosemite and Glacier national parks, and those ad-ventures inspired the works in the show. Courier sought out trails that traveled along mountain streams or ended at lakes. In her hunt to find scenic waters in Glacier National Park, she discovered the emerald colors of Avalanche Lake. And the Merced River flowing through Yosemite National Park revealed some irresistibly beautiful, clear reflections.
Since Courier often hikes a long distance to capture a scene—up to 22 miles round trip in a day—most people haven’t seen the places she paints. “Michelle’s art not only captivates the viewers, it draws them into her paintings through familiarity, immersed in reality,” says gallery owner David Borlongan. “What’s special about her work is not just the images of the mountains, the creativeness of the trees, or the dramatic rushing of the waters. It’s the magic and enchantment delivered through her paintings.” —Emily Van Cleve
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