Santa Fe, NM
August 23-September 4
This story was featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art August 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art August 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Connie Dillman’s 30-year career as a painter was put on hold when she received a breast cancer diagnosis two years ago. Late last year she was able to resume painting again, and the joy she feels about returning to the studio is evident in her recent work. “Painting is more meaningful to me,” says the El Paso, TX, artist. “I also realize how meaningful my family and the landscape and animals are to me. I appreciate everything more and feel more attentive than ever before.”
Dillman’s latest paintings are featured in a two-person show with Colorado painter Deb Kaylor, which opens with an artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on August 23 at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art in Santa Fe. Among Dillman’s works in acrylics and oils are at least six figurative pieces. In INFLUENCES, Dillman paints one of her granddaughters in a blue kimono reclining against a backdrop of oversized decorator pillows. Other works feature granddaughters playing with dogs and great-granddaughters performing in a ballet recital. “I’m interested in the shapes and patterns in all these paintings,” she explains. “They are crucial to the feeling of each image.”
Dillman’s renewed passion for the landscape is also clear in her recent works depicting Ghost Ranch, one of her favorite haunts in northern New Mexico, and the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge near Socorro, NM.
While Kaylor painted a number of landscapes at the beginning of her career in 2004, her latest interest is in detailed cityscapes. Among the more than one dozen oil paintings she brings to the show are images of people shopping in markets and wandering through city streets. “I call some of my recent figurative pieces ‘people-scapes,’” she says, “because people play a prominent role in the landscape. In these works, people are enjoying life.”
In contrast, the artist also has been drawn to painting simple, pastoral scenes with animals. These quiet, contemplative works often feature sheep. “I know where every large group of sheep is in my area,” says Kaylor, who lives in a community outside Denver. “I visit them regularly. Some of the sheep in my paintings are also from Michigan, which is where I grew up. When I travel to visit family members in Michigan, I photograph sheep there.”
Recently, Kaylor has been toning down the colors in her paintings. She’s using more neutral colors, including tan, black, and white. “It’s the less-is-more approach,” she says. “There’s a subtleness to my work that hasn’t been there before.”
Deborah Fritz, co-owner of Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, is delighted to present works by Dillman and Kaylor in a show she calls Two Women Painting in Impressionism. “These amazing women paint what they want to paint,” she says. “No parameters. Just their technique, their vision, their style.” —Emily Van Cleve
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