Evergreen Fine Art, February 7-28
This story was featured in the February 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Although she’s only 30 years old, Renee Buller is already in her second decade as a professional artist. The wildlife painter is displaying newfound levels of expression and confidence in the collection that makes up her first solo show at Evergreen Fine Art. Entitled Impressions of Creation, the show opens with an artist’s reception on Saturday, February 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. and features 20 to 25 new paintings representing her most intentional work to date. In these pieces, the Colorado native aims to portray interactions between animals and each one’s distinct personality. “I want to capture that quirky side of nature and creation, where [the animals] make you smile,” she says.
The group dynamic can be seen in IT’S THAT SEASON, an oil showing the flirtatious side of the animal kingdom as bull elk chase cows during the rut. “It’s my favorite piece in the show,” Buller says. “I just feel I captured exactly what I saw in my mind. It didn’t change as I painted it. It was a completed painting when I started it.” In another standout work from the show titled BUSY BOG, Buller depicts the cacophony of a red-winged blackbird flock in the swamps of Evergreen Lake. “They’re loud and crazy and as busy as can be,” she says of the birds. Buller gathers inspiration for her paintings and takes photographs during hikes in the majestic Rocky Mountains near her home in Castle Rock and around Evergreen.
Although representational, Buller’s work isn’t always literal. “One thing that’s impressed me about Renee is her bold choices with color,” says gallery director of exhibitions Doug Kacena. “She’s usually pretty tight with her coloring of the birds, but with the reeds she’ll use striking blues or oranges you wouldn’t normally see.”
Buller’s eye for painting wildlife and her entrée into professional art evolved naturally from her childhood. Her father is wildlife sculptor Stephen LeBlanc, who also exhibits at Evergreen Fine Art. A man of diverse interests, LeBlanc is also a taxidermist and the host of a television show on the Outdoor Channel. As a child, Buller accompanied him on backcountry expeditions. When they returned home, she says, “I’d be there in the highchair while my dad did taxidermy. I grew up with a love and respect for wildlife. I can’t imagine it not being part of my life every day.” She also attended art shows with her father and began doing flatwork at an early age.
Although Buller first exhibited at 19, her young career has not been without obstacles; she has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. These health concerns “present challenges,” she says. “It’s something that’s a struggle for me, but it’s nothing that is going to stand in the way of my career.”
In the few years he’s worked with her, Kacena has observed Buller’s artistic growth: “Her new work, compositionally, is the strongest I’ve seen from her,” he says. —Ashley M. Biggers
Featured in the February 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art February 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook