Evergreen Fine Art, October 4-25
This story was featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Oil paintings of animals indigenous to the Rocky Mountain region, including elk, wolves, mountain goats, and foxes, are featured in Edward Aldrich’s solo show titled From the Wild at Evergreen Fine Art this month. Opening with an artist’s reception and gallery talk from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 4, and running through October 25, the exhibition of 15 to 20 works is a showcase for Aldrich’s stunning portrayal of western wildlife and his love for the landscape in which these magnificent animals live. “Ned’s work speaks to the soul of the subjects,” says Evergreen Fine Art’s director of exhibitions Doug Kacena. “His reverence for the natural world is clearly reflected in his striking depictions of Rocky Mountain wildlife.”
A resident of Golden, CO, Aldrich doesn’t have to go far from home to find the subjects of his paintings. And even though he has painted hundreds of animals in their natural habitats during his career, he still has much to say about them and thoroughly enjoys the painting process. “I try to capture the power, character, and feeling of the animal,” he explains. “Sometimes I focus on its mystery or shyness.”
In the bulk of Aldrich’s oeuvre, animals are portrayed in their environments. For this show, the artist also has focused more attention on the animals themselves. OUT OF THE FOG is one of a series of works that hone in on an animal’s unique qualities. In this painting, a timber wolf walks out of a fog toward the viewer. “I’m focusing on emotions and on dynamic lighting or atmosphere,” he says. “OUT OF THE FOG is about the soul of the timber wolf. It’s a personal portrayal of the animal.” In another painting, titled SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, Aldrich has depicted the tender yet protective relationship between an adult mountain goat and its progeny.
Collectors will find another first at this show in a few landscape pieces. While Aldrich has painted thousands of small landscape studies over the years, he doesn’t usually exhibit them. Up until now, he primarily has painted them for his own edification. “To be a good animal painter, I think you need to be a good landscape painter,” he says. “I decided I wanted to show a couple of these works, and I was delighted that Doug agreed. I approach landscapes in basically the same way I do animals. I look for the power and the mystery in the landscape.” Although the Rocky Mountains have provided inspiration for many of Aldrich’s landscapes, some of these works are purposely ambiguous, making it difficult to determine exactly which western- U.S. environment is portrayed. In LOW CLOUDS, for example, the pine trees, water, and mountains could be found in Wyoming or Washington State.
“I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a particular kind of painter, which is why I am showing a variety of work in this show,” Aldrich says. “I grow and change all the time.” —Emily Van Cleve
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