Editor’s Choice

This issue marks the 47th anniversary of Southwest Art. To celebrate the milestone, editors Kristin Hoerth, Kim Agricola, and Mackenzie McCreary have chosen 47 of our favorite artworks from the past year. These are the pieces (some of which appeared in print, others which appeared online only) that stood out to us on a personal level.

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

Andy Evansen, Far From Home, watercolor, 11 x 15.

Andy Evansen, Far From Home, watercolor, 11 x 15.

ABOVE: There are many qualities to love about this painting, but I’m especially drawn to the sense of peace it conveys with minimal detail. Calming hues of blue, lavender, and gray steal the show in this snowy rural landscape, where the fluidity of watercolors seems especially fitting as Evansen masterfully captures the delicate play of light and shadow upon the snow. Grazing near the bottom of the picture plane, four cows with rich brown hides add grounding notes of earthy warmth. Far beyond, two statuesque grain silos stand guard like dutiful punctuation marks in this spare, unadulterated picture of pastoral silence. —KA

Chula Beauregard, All in a Day’s Work, oil, 18 x 24.

Chula Beauregard, All in a Day’s Work, oil, 18 x 24.

ABOVE: A sunny winter day and a black cat—two of my favorite things in one painting! The artist has created a masterful composition that perfectly orchestrates light and shadow. —KH

Bill Baker, Indian Blankets, pastel, 22 x 24.

Bill Baker, Indian Blankets, pastel, 22 x 24.

ABOVE: I love the mixture of deep, vibrant tones and fascinating textures in this pastel, from the purple-and-turquoise blanket to the gathered white fabric full of colorful shadows. —KH

Sally Maxwell, Full Moon, colored scratchboard, 24 x 48.

Sally Maxwell, Full Moon, colored scratchboard, 24 x 48.

ABOVE: Sally Maxwell’s FULL MOON is an intense experience. The entire scene is so immersive to me, as though I can feel I am alone in the field with the bull while we enjoy the stillness and wonder about our places in this universe. Yet, when I step out of the scene, I am amazed by the level of skill needed to be able to include the finite lines in the bull’s horns, as well as the soft edges of the galaxy, entirely on scratchboard. I never get tired of falling into the scene and finding both peace and wonderment there. —MM

Ann Watcher, Before the Party, oil, 26 x 28.

Ann Watcher, Before the Party, oil, 26 x 28.

ABOVE: This colorful, intimate vignette makes me feel cheerful. I love the loose flower petals, the shape of the silver faucet, and the mere suggestion of a sink. —KH

Jeffery R. Pugh, Happy Clouds, oil, 30 x 30.

Jeffery R. Pugh, Happy Clouds, oil, 30 x 30.

ABOVE: Everything about this bright, impasto-rich scene says “happy,” from the chunky, textured clouds to the cheerful pops of red and strong, graphic shapes that compose the idyllic landscape below. —KA

David Grossmann, Quilted Autumn, oil, 40 x 60.

David Grossmann, Quilted Autumn, oil, 40 x 60.

ABOVE: David Grossmann has a unique knack for building a landscape with depth while solely using flattened, minimalist shapes. I have always been drawn to repetition, so the mosaic-like “tiles” used throughout the piece are appealing to my eye, even as they change colors and seem to blend into one another. Grossmann dazzles me with the warm colors of fall trees against the cool-blue night sky. I long to be lost in this forest, where there are no distractions from my day-to-day life. Instead, there are only feelings and intuition, where I can get lost in my thoughts without ever losing my way. —MM

Dennis Doheny, Receding Tide, oil, 24 x 30.

Dennis Doheny, Receding Tide, oil, 24 x 30.

ABOVE: These might be the most gorgeous shades of purple I’ve ever seen. I’m not usually drawn to coastal scenes, but this one leaves me in silent awe of its beauty. —KH

Rebecca Haines, For as Long as I’m Here, oil, 30 x 30.

Rebecca Haines, For as Long as I’m Here, oil, 30 x 30.

ABOVE: Rebecca Haines sees her animals as spiritual guides that help us find true connection and balance in our lives. This deer’s presence feels fleeting, but it brings stillness and peace to my very core. —MM

Michael Blessing, Reservations at Eight, oil, 24 x 36.

Michael Blessing, Reservations at Eight, oil, 24 x 36.

ABOVE: One of my favorite things about this painting is Blessing’s dynamic pairing of energetic colors and bold patterns. Together, they playfully complement the scene’s lighthearted narrative. From the white crop lines zipping toward the horizon to the exaggerated profile of an enormous setting sun, the animated composition engages and delights the eye. The lively, loosely painted background helps to emphasize the more tightly rendered pickup truck and figures in the foreground, where a woman—dressed in a red cocktail dress and heels—anxiously observes a farmer’s repair work. Will the truck be fixed in time to make her dinner reservation? —KA

Albin Veselka, Fruit and Sunflowers, oil, 10 x 8.

Albin Veselka, Fruit and Sunflowers, oil, 10 x 8.

ABOVE: Still lifes don’t typically convey movement, but in this painterly arrangement, the artist’s gestural brushwork and spirited mark-making create a swirl of energy. Even the sprightly sunflowers curl with life. —KA

E. Dan Klepper, One Hundred Moons, photograph, 36 x 36.

E. Dan Klepper, One Hundred Moons, photograph, 36 x 36.

ABOVE: As the days and nights follow their cycle, the moon remains a constant, comforting presence at all times. This mosaic reminds me of the few things that are certain in life and how beautiful they can be. —MM

Laurel Peterson Gregory, Rambunction, bronze, 17 x 8 x 5.

Laurel Peterson Gregory, Rambunction, bronze, 17 x 8 x 5.

Brent Cotton, Embers of Twilight, oil, 40 x 60.

Brent Cotton, Embers of Twilight, oil, 40 x 60.

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

COMMENT