Tag Archives: Paintings

Our Majestic Parks: Ziemienski at Altamira Fine Art

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas 40 x 30 "

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas. 40×30″

In Dennis Ziemienski’s new show “Celebrating Our National Parks” at Altamira Fine Art, our parks are monumental. Man’s presence, for the most part, is small and humbling. In every image, you’ll find homage and acknowledgement that they, the parks, were here before us; and they, not us, are Earth’s great achievements.

DENNIS ZIEMIENSKI: CELEBRATING OUR NATIONAL PARKS, is on exhibit at Altamira Fine Art in Jackson, Wyoming, August 15-27, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 18, 5-8:00 pm. 

Dennis Ziemienski Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park Oil on Canvas 48 x 30 inches

Dennis Ziemienski
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Oil on Canvas
48 x 30 “

As I write, 11 works from the show are posted on Altamira’s website; two have already sold. Ziemienski’s painting has always been marked by an appreciation of all things vintage. At times I’ve felt his work can be a little too obvious, but in this show, being obvious about color, scale and our precious parks is the point. These are spectacular tributes to some of America’s greatest treasures: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, Arches National Park, Glacier , Yosemite and Devil’s Tower National Monument. This year is the National Park Centennial, and if you are one of the millions whose lives are deeply affected by personal park experience; if these wild and gorgeous places have made their mark on your soul, then you are bound to be transported by this tremendous exhibit.

Works reflect National Parks grandeur and scale. Ziemienski’s smallest painting measures 18 x 24″, and the largest canvas is 36 x 48″.

“The stunning beauty, history and wildlife provides an unlimited source of inspiration and subject matter for my paintings.” ~ Dennis Ziemienski

Growing up near Yosemite, I spent many summers there. Two decades ago I moved to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park; stepping off the plane here for the first time my pulse quickened, stunned by the Tetons’ visual impact. Those halcyon summer months spent at Yosemite’s lakes, beneath the waterfalls, hiking valleys, camping in the pines~~I can smell it. I thought I’d lost that sense memory forever. Thank goodness, I was wrong.

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Nature is That “Nameless Thing”

Jennifer Hoffman Gessler, Morning Glory. 8x10"

Jennifer Hoffman, Morning Glory. 8 x10″ Oil

“There is something beyond explanation when an artist is drawn to a subject,” writes Jackson Hole artist Jennifer Hoffman. “Maybe it’s a bit of light or some familiar memory that is stirred, or some emotion the scene recalls. I’ve heard other artists refer to it as a sense of mystery or magic. My desire to paint the landscape around us (or any subject) goes beyond just copying its visual qualities.”

“That Nameless Thing” is the title of Hoffman’s newest show at Trio Fine Art, located just north of the Town Square in Jackson, Wyoming. She took the title from the writings of the deceased artist Emily Carr, an artist working in the early 1900’s associated with Canada’s “Group of Seven.”  Carr’s book “Hundreds and Thousands: the journals of Emily Carr” is Hoffman’s source.

While a variety of subjects, sizes and mediums fill the show, Hoffman has one ultimate goal: “I hope to catch something of that ‘nameless thing’,” she says. Hoffman was recently quite successful at capturing nature~~her serene, mirror-like painting of Flat Creek won “Honorable Mention” at the recent “Plein Air for the Park” Show and Sale.

“I love the patterns, colors, and textures of the mineral deposits, the steam, the reflective quality of the water.  I love the abstractness of the forms.” ~ Jennifer Hoffman

Jennifer Hoffman, "From Within." 12 x 16" Oil Pastel

Jennifer Hoffman, “From Within.” 12 x 16″ Oil Pastel

I’ve followed Hoffman closely over the years, and over those years she has consistently demonstrated her great gift for delving ever deeper into a scene. She is able to “translate” a landscape, wild creatures and still lifes into surprising, yet evocative works of art. Her draftsmanship is nothing short of impeccable, but she’s able to keep us from thinking of composition in its most basic terms because we are carried away by the poetry in her paintings.  One 30 x 30″ pastel of a thawing Hoback River is Hoffman’s largest pastel work to date.

Jennifer Hoffman at work.

The artist at Flat Creek

I’d go so far as to say Hoffman is channeling a bit of Abstract Expressionism. Helen Frankenthaler, are you in the air?

Yellowstone’s thermal areas are obviously beautiful.  Of course they draw many, many visitors because of their drama and unique physicality,” Hoffman observes. “I love the patterns, colors, and textures of the mineral deposits, the steam, the reflective quality of the water.  I love the abstraction of form.”

Jennifer Hoffman, "Transition," 16 x 20" Pastel

Jennifer Hoffman, “Transition,” 16 x 20″ Pastel

In this show you’ll find the fantastic, the sweet secrets of nature, a commanding use of color and light, and fall in love.

“That Nameless Thing” opens at Trio Fine Art on July 27th, and remains on exhibition through August 13th. An Opening Reception takes place Thursday, July 28th, 5-8:00 pm. Hoffman will give a talk at 6:00 pm. All work will be viewable online by July 25th. Visit www.triofineart.com ,  and contact the gallery at 307-734-4444. Email:   jen@jlholhoffmanfineart.com 

 

 

 

Todd Kosharek: Peace in the Valley

Todd Kosharek: "Provisions."

Todd Kosharek: “Provisions.”

“‘Provisions.’–Almost finished. Started it over two years ago. I love working on these large, long term paintings, life moving along as I paint them. So much gets absorbed into them.” ~ Todd Kosharek

Jackson artist Todd Kosharek is, as we speak, finishing up the last of two new pieces for his next solo show, “Folded: Symbol.” The exhibition opens August 1st at Daly Projects Gallery and is comprised, Kosharek shares, of ten new paintings exploring the symbolism of origami cranes as a symbol for Peace. The show remains up through the month.

“These paintings are the ones that explore the idea of Peace in various forms,” Kosharek writes. “Peace through principle, peace through expression, peace through practice – these are the titles of some of the paintings in the show. Some works explore these ideas as actual documents folded into cranes; some explore more abstractly. I’m also showing four of my latest portraits, including “Golden Boy,” my first portrait of (my son) Weston.”

Todd Kosharek - Peace Through Principle. 14x26"

Todd Kosharek – Peace Through Principle. 14×26″

Kosharek has been so busy researching, designing and painting he’s barely had time to photograph his work. A miraculous ability to balance daily family life — he is a new father — and paint to near perfection, not concerning himself with the length of time he puts into a work, is evident. One work, “Peace Through Practice – The Nobel Peace Prize” depicts origami cranes imprinted with the words of Alfred Nobel, Martin Luther King, Jimmy Carter, Gorbachev and the Dali Lama. All in their original handwriting.

“Provisions” is a masterpiece. It has the detailed mystery of a Zen garden; thousands of stories folded into one. A dining room set is at once anchored and weightless. Kosharek sets the scene by nesting rectangles inside of one another, each leading the eye to where it needs to go. Cranes rest at each place, and below the floor-table are more cranes, more “provisions.” What look like artist’s supplies are painted lower left~~a self-portrait? We’re looking inside Kosharek’s mind, his spirituality. Though this interior is dark, curtains part to reveal a bright, snowy scene. Against the window is a bare, dead tree. But beyond it is a lush forest of evergreens, a snowy white path to wherever Kosharek wants to travel. “Provisions” is at once mysterious, a bit prophetic and…peaceful. www.toddkosharek.com

Todd Kosharek. "Peace Through Transcendence. 10x16"

Todd Kosharek. “Peace Through Transcendence. 10×16”

Visions of the New Old West at Altamira

Dennis Ziemienski-Wyoming Cowgirl. Oil on Canvas  60x40"

Dennis Ziemienski-Wyoming Cowgirl. Oil on Canvas 60×40″

Join painter Dennis Ziemienski at Altamira Fine Art for an opening reception and artist’s talk on on Ziemienski’s new show, “Visions of the New Old West,” on July 30th, 5:30-7:30 pm. The show remains on exhibit July 27-August 8.

As time passes, disputes over what is considered true Western art have volubly (in the sense of expanding lung capacity) lessened. We are, as this show’s title suggests, evolving yet again. Recently I attended a Yale University Art Gallery talk on Whistler’s etchings and their influence over artists of his age; conversely, Whistler was influenced by his peers. Put all these artists’ works together, and the effects are clear as day.

“Nothing is really ever new,” remarked the university’s etchings curator. “Everything springs from another era some way, somehow.”

Dennis Ziemienski, Wig Wam Nocturne Oil on Canvas 36 x 36 inches

Dennis Ziemienski,
Wig Wam Nocturne Oil on Canvas 36 x 36 inches

The West—our region, at any rate—was first discovered in part because of posters commissioned by railroad lines. These travel posters promoted new regions opening up to tourism and Ziemenski, a native San Franciscan, puts together idealistic images of cowboy life with a feel for sharp, witty modernism. His work melds love of traditional Western aesthetic and everything new the West has absorbed for decades.

How unlikely to think of Whistler’s work while considering Ziemenski’s; the former show included a nocturne, and Altamira’s includes Ziemienski’s “Wig Wam Nocturne,” shown above. It’s one of my favorites. See how the artist lines up his composition, playing the tipi’s inverted “V” against a parked car’s tailwing rear lights? Perfectly placed zig-zags (symbolizing mountains?) echo a line of violet sunset clouds. A lighted door beckons.  www.altamiraart.com.

Views From Here and There

Jason Rohlf, Navigate, 2013 Acrylic & Collage on Canvas, 24 x 90 in.

Jason Rohlf, Navigate, 2013 Acrylic & Collage on Canvas, 24 x 90 in.

He had me at “palimpsest.”

Jason Rohlf’s new exhibition at Diehl Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming looks to have what it takes to be a really fresh, exciting show. At least that’s what images suggest. So engaging are Rohlf’s pinwheel bright paintings they prompted me to read the man’s “biography.”

It isn’t a biography; it’s an artist’s statement. It’s wordy and needn’t be, but there’s “palimpsest!”

Jason Rohlf, Parted, 2013 Acrylic on Linen, 12 x 9 in.

Jason Rohlf, Parted, 2013
Acrylic on Linen, 12 x 9 in.

“Like an urban palimpsest many of the most thoughtful moments occur as these conflicting efforts achieve harmony and then begin to recede resulting in the melding of competing ideas,” says Rohlf.

What he means is that when he’s working, new ideas and “elements from the past” collide and layer. Hard fought details, he notes, likely “earn a swift opaque top coat as a result of each days [sic] fits and starts.”

Other works depict birds. Rolf’s birds are struck through with color, into a branch, and further. The hope, says Rohlf, is to express “intimacy shared between the activity and its effect on the environment it occupies.”

“Jason Rohlf: Views from Here” is on exhibition at Diehl Gallery through August 11th, 2015.  www.diehlgallery.com

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Logan Maxwell Hagege, Family Tradition, oil, 20 x 30"

Logan Maxwell Hagege, Family Tradition, oil, 20 x 30″

Trailside Galleries’ month-long “Masters in Miniature” invitational exhibition includes up to 200 small works by Trailside’s artists. In its fifth year, the Miniatures Show is ever more popular. The show provides quantity, quality, and economy for those getting a taste of Western style art. From “tightly painted” to impressionistic canvases, it’s easy to spend hours perusing. The exhibit is in its final days, so scoot!

Tim Solliday, Three Close Friends, 32 x 46.

Tim Solliday, Three Close Friends, 32 x 46.

Trailside never rests. At any given time during the summer the gallery offers a multitude of showcases and exhibitions. Works are available for straight purchase or by “draw.” An ISSUU catalog illustrates “A Western Convergence,” with masterful works by Bill Anton, Logan Maxwell Hagege, Z.S. Liang, Tim Solliday and Jim Norton. All with their own view of the West. www.trailsidegalleries.com