Show Preview | Telluride Gallery of Fine Art: Julee Hutchison

Telluride, CO, June 27-July 27

Below Lone Cone, oil, 15 x 23.

When Julee Hutchison thinks about her new show at Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, she conjures up images of cake frosting. The reason: In a workshop, painter Peggi Kroll-Roberts once told Hutchison and the other participants that she loved the medium of oil paint because it was similar to frosting. The analogy has stayed with Hutchison for more than a decade.

For the works in her new show, titled Telluride Horizon, she let the idea rule her style and approach to the landscape. “I really tried to be more painterly, and I tried not to be so timid with the oil paint, because here is a medium that is so gooey and luscious,” Hutchison says. “I really wanted to take risks in this exhibit while being joyful and expressive.”

The artist lives about 40 minutes from the scenic town of Telluride, a popular ski resort that sits in a box canyon surrounded by steep, forested mountains. In the 28 paintings on view in the show, Hutchison captures the picturesque area in all four seasons. “We live on one of the mesas, and being right in the mountains is incredibly beautiful. But I also love the countryside—the meadows and pastures that lead up to the mountains,” she says.

For BELOW LONE CONE, Hutchison found inspiration on a quintessentially beautiful fall day last year while driving through the nearby rural community of Norwood. The light on a field was magnificent, she recalls, and the warm and cool contrasts of the scene appealed to her artistic sensibilities. She pulled over to the side of the road, snapped a photograph, and later did a study from the photo and her memory.

The show, which opens with a reception on June 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is filled with such scenes—moments that have caught the artist’s eye and caused the proverbial goosebumps, she says. While Hutchison also paints figures and still lifes on occasion, the landscape speaks to her on a higher plane. “I feel like the landscape is my church, and it’s a very spiritual place for me,” she says. “That is what drives me. I feel like it elevates my heart.”

Gallery owner Will Thompson says Hutchison’s paintings never fail to delight him. “Whether it’s a landscape, a figurative piece, or a still life, her color palette, her fresh yet masterful brush strokes, and her dedication to plein-air painting succeed in giving each piece heart,” Thompson says. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

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Featured in the June 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase a copy:
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