Show Preview | Eppler & Baum

Santa Fe, NM
Manitou Galleries, August 18-September 17

Jim Eppler, Cougar, bronze, 59 x 28 x 13.

Jim Eppler, Cougar, bronze, 59 x 28 x 13.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Some of Mother Nature’s finest offerings are on display this month at Manitou Galleries on Canyon Road, where new wildlife sculptures and oil paintings by artist and nature lover Jim Eppler take the spotlight. The highlight of the show takes place during an opening reception on Saturday, August 18, beginning at 5 p.m., when Eppler’s monumental bronze sculpture of a sleek, stealthy cougar is unveiled. In a sense, the piece was years in the making; the Lubbock, TX, artist had long entertained the idea of creating a cougar sculpture. This year, after deciding upon just the right gesture for his bronze wild cat, he tackled a preliminary model. “From the maquette, the life-size version took life,” he says.

Other newly released bronze sculptures by Eppler include lifelike depictions of prairie dogs, box turtles, and ravens, all of which demonstrate his flair for capturing the distinctive colors, subtle movements, and spirited behaviors of his subjects. But the artist doesn’t limit his acute observations of nature to sculpture. He’s also an accomplished painter who has studied with renowned artists like Bob Kuhn, Charles Reid, and Robert Wood, and his show includes a half-dozen paintings featuring western landscapes and the creatures that inhabit them. A few of these works, notes Eppler, “were inspired by a morning outing in Wyoming, where I saw a small herd of buffalo topping a hill as the sun came up behind them.” Captivated by the “breathtaking” scene, he adds, “I had to grab my camera to capture the experience.”

As a complement to Eppler’s work, as many as eight new paintings by western landscape artist Michael Baum are on view. Baum’s home base is Manitou Springs, CO, where he works both in his studio and en plein air. “I’m always striving to push the boundaries of light, atmosphere, and color in my paintings, evoking a more intense experience of a place while still presenting it realistically,” he says. The rewards of such efforts can be seen in ON THE WAY HOME, a visually arresting scene inspired by one of Baum’s local road trips. “At the end of the day, when the sun is setting and twilight is approaching, I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of the transformed landscape,” he says. “Then I sometimes get a little wistful and think about the warmth and comfort of home beckoning somewhere up ahead. This painting is all about that.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
505.986.9833
www.manitougalleries.com

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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