Portfolio | Pick of the West

William Shepherd

Our American Colors, oil, 31 x 26.

“I was born and raised in Wyoming and have always lived in the Mountain West, falling under the influence of its unique colors, artifacts, and stories.

“In the latter part of the 19th century a convergence of cultures occurred in the Mountain West: Native American societies, Mexicans, Chinese, British, Scots, Irish, and Jews, to mention a few. This rich blend of cultures and the environment they inhabited shaped the world where I grew up.

“The painting OUR AMERICAN COLORS is both a memento of, and a tribute to, a small part of the America of my childhood.”



Jay Dusard

Abandoned Railway Coach Car, Rodeo, NM, pigmented, archival ink-jet print, 68 x 82.

“My friend Harry Ridgway emailed me several beguiling digital photos of a long-abandoned, once-elegant railroad coach car languishing in the desert near his home in Rodeo, NM—clearly something I had to photograph before it returned completely to dust. By way of reinvigorating an earlier mania for extreme optical distortion, I determined to photograph the interior with my old 8-by-10 view camera and an ultra-wide-angle lens that doesn’t quite cover the negative, so as to place the viewer inside the thorax of the decomposing beast. Hunkered with camera on tripod in the incomplete lee of one end of the car, enduring a howling west wind, I waited for hours praying for a cloud to venture overhead, to temper cast shadows a bit and “occupy” the numerous gaps in the skeleton. Paydirt!”


Cattle Track Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Etherton Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Andrew Smith Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Paul Paletti Gallery, Louisville, KY.

Len Chmiel

Approach to Kaibab, oil, 24 x 42.

“When I say, ‘Stop for a second,’ my friend Russell asks, ‘What do you see?’ What I see is the heart of the high desert: this east-facing ascent to the Kaibab Plateau, an August sun incinerating details, dehydrated miles of heat-squelched scrub, airless distance, mirages, endless sky. A subtle, featureless landscape pleading to be recognized for its uncommon beauty. With the picturesque Vermillion Cliffs and canyon of the Colorado River at our backs, we paint the heart of the desert.”


Simpson Gallagher Gallery, Cody, WY; Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV; Claggett/Rey Gallery, Vail, CO; www.lenchmiel.com.

upcoming shows

Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale, Denver, CO, January 7-22, 2012.

Masters of the American West Exhibition, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA, February 4-March 18, 2012.

Prix de West Invitational, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK, June 8-10, 2012.


Walter Matia

Oasis—California Quail Trio, bronze, 14 x 10 x 10.

“There is a fine balance between a good story and good sculpture. Is there such a thing as one quail? The artist’s challenge is to see the elegant patterns and shapes of a moment and edit them into compositions that have beauty regardless of an understanding of the story. This all sounds a bit less joyous than the actual artistic experience, but sculpture is about volumes and relationships of those masses to each other. Get those things right, and the surface and story fall into place.”


Collectors Covey, Dallas, TX; Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Meredith Long & Company, Houston, TX; Simpson Gallagher Gallery, Cody, WY; Legacy Gallery, Jackson, WY.

upcoming shows

Group Show, Steele Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, October 21.

Collectors’ Reserve American Art Exhibition and Sale, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK, October 23-November 4.

Plantation Wildlife Festival, Thomasville, GA, November 19-20.


Arturo Chavez

Rock of Ages, oil, 80 x 160.

“The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the magnificence one feels when encountering it is truly awe-inspiring. The Grand Canyon is created by the Colorado River cutting a channel through the layers of rock, exposing 1.7 billion years of our planet’s history. The painting ROCK OF AGES exemplifies one of the canyon’s majestic wonders, the Temple of Isis at sunrise.

My intent in ROCK OF AGES is to bring the awesome majesty of this geologic wonder to the forefront of the hearts and minds of everyone who gazes upon it as a reminder of our connection to the stardust that we are composed of. Each of us has an eternal link to the universe, just as the ancient Pharaohs claimed, and this realization strikes a chord of harmony in our collective DNA.”


Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Mountain Trails Galleries, Sedona, AZ; www.arturochavez.com.

upcoming show

Quest for the West, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN, through October 10.

George Hallmark

Shadows of San Xavier, oil, 48 x 36.

“Founded in 1692, Mission San Xavier del Bac is situated in the center of a Papago Indian settlement along the banks of the Santa Cruz River, approximately seven miles south of Tucson, AZ. The mission has been restored many times and has kept the beautiful white stucco exterior. This painting depicts the late afternoon arrival of supplies by burro caravan and, while being unloaded, the donkeys are enjoying the shadows. I have painted this mission several times and enjoyed the process each time. The beautiful white stucco exterior absolutely glows in the midst of the Arizona desert.”


Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY; Whistle Pik Galleries, Fredericksburg, TX.

upcoming shows

Quest for the West, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN, through October 10.

Small Works, Great Wonders, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK, November 18.

Masters of the American West Exhibition, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA, February 4-March 18, 2012.

Featured in October 2011.