Show Preview | Duff & Meikle

Cobalt Gallery, Tubac, AZ
February 10-28


Cynthia Duff, Saguaro Monarch, acrylic on birchwood, 36 x 36.

Cynthia Duff, Saguaro Monarch, acrylic on birchwood, 36 x 36.

Every year for the last six years, Cynthia Duff and Barbara Meikle have exhibited their work together at Cobalt Gallery in Tubac, AZ, at the invitation of owner Mesia Hachadorian. The gallerist sensed that the two artists would make a great pairing, thanks not only to their shared love of southwestern subjects but also to their sociable personalities and loyal collectors.

Duff’s show, titled The Woven West, takes place at the gallery’s location on Camino Otero. Meikle’s show, My Favorite Color is Wild, is on display at the gallery’s brand-new space not far away on Tubac Road. The shows coincide with the Tubac Festival of the Arts, held February 10-14, and both artists travel to southern Arizona to participate in the weekend’s events. Collectors can meet Duff and see her work at Cobalt’s tent within the festival; Meikle plans a painting demonstration at the gallery with local horses as her models.

Barbara Meikle, Eye of the Storm, bronze, 15 x 35 x 25.

Barbara Meikle, Eye of the Storm, bronze, 15 x 35 x 25.

Duff is looking forward to sharing approximately 20 new works painted in the signature multidimensional, bent-birchwood style she calls fracturing. “SAGUARO MONARCH shows this style the clearest,” she says. “I’m playing with the light and its reflection on the edges of the fractured cactus in the foreground. The wood grains come through beautifully, and you can really get a sense of the light quality.” Although Duff enjoys painting with bold colors, this year’s body of work also includes a few pieces created with a neutral palette. There are also smaller, abstracted pieces available, a new direction for the artist.

Meikle is equally eager to showcase new works this year, including a recently released 35-inch-long bronze titled EYE OF THE STORM. In addition, she brings several colorful paintings of horses, including two based on wild horses that she encountered and photographed during a trip to the Salt River in Arizona last winter. “These stunning wild horses that descended from Spanish Mustangs are, sadly, also slightly endangered,” Meikle explains. “I wanted to paint them not only to bring awareness to their endangered habitats but also because they challenged me to find new ways—including abstracting certain areas—to recreate the powerful feeling of the horses splashing in or lying by the river.” Meikle has a total of 10 works on display.

Hachadorian comments that one of the many ways the artists complement each other is in their intuitive abilities with color. “People always lean in to see the whirls of color, the unique shifts in light, and the bold color choices present in both artists’ work,” she observes. “It’s mesmerizing and beautiful. It’s also notable how much joy comes through in the work—a reflection of their lives.”
Allison Malafronte

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This story appeared in the February 2021 issue of Southwest Art magazine.