Artistic Excellence 2019 | Honorable Mention: Rebecca Korth


Rebecca Korth, Bluebird, Bartletts & Cara Caras, oil, 24 x 30.

Rebecca Korth, Bluebird, Bartletts & Cara Caras, oil, 24 x 30.

WITH ITS uplifting palette and radiant imagery, Rebecca Korth’s winning entry is a sight for sore eyes—and that’s by her design. “I want to make pretty things prettier,” notes the Wisconsin artist. “I might paint something brighter than it is in real life. I like painting things that make people smile.”

Korth created BLUEBIRD, BARTLETTS & CARA CARAS with her mother in mind. Birds—which she began including in many of her still lifes after her mother died—are a poignant reminder of her. Her mother suffered from a lung condition that often kept her at home, so Korth’s father filled their backyard with flowers and bird feeders. “I have many fond memories of sitting with her, chatting and watching the birds at play,” says Korth. “That’s why this piece has a bluebird. It’s a way for me to honor her in my work.”

The artist was inspired to paint her winning entry after noticing how the quartz countertop in her kitchen exquisitely reflected the colors of objects sitting on its surface. She recreated the effect in her studio by arranging a Chinese vase and a few pears on gleaming porcelain tile, topping it all off with a handful of Cara Cara oranges piled into a crystal bowl once belonging to her mother. “Then, I always pick a bird to complement my arrangement,” says the self-described realist, whose bird imagery is only loosely based on reference photographs. In her portrayals, Korth paints the birds the way she imagines they would look if they had actually fluttered into her still lifes. Find the artist’s work at Hueys Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Fish Creek, WI; and Milward Farrell Fine Art, Madison, WI. —Kim Agricola

This story was featured in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2019/January 2020 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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