Tag Archives: Western Art

A Closer Look at Plein Air

Bill Sawczuk, from "A Closer Look."

Bill Sawczuk, from “A Closer Look.”

Why take “a closer look?” What does it mean, relative to plein air painting, to examine the world more closely?

Summer is the season, and Jackson Hole is the place to find out. The summer brings a multitude of artists into the open, where they mingle with wilderness, wildlife and, this year, a blockbuster number of tourists. Like the good people working for the postal service, neither sleet nor snow nor bears eating easels can keep plein air painters from delivering the plein air “mail.”

Plein air painter and partner at Jackson gallery Trio Fine Art, Bill Sawczuk is set to host his summer solo exhibition “A Closer Look.”  The show, says the artist, will explore the [myriad talents] of an experienced eye. In partnership with a well-weilded paintbrush, an artist’s eye may take very close examination at its surrounding beauty.

Sawczuk’s work has been largely traditional, primarily broad landscapes, directly translated. “A Closer Look” searches out what doesn’t immediately catch the eye. Seemingly static scenes change, and Sawczuk wants to see what’s new.

“Old cabins in Grand Teton National Park are picturesque to be sure, but there is more to be seen and felt. [I have] tried to express the loneliness and melancholy [I] feel when describing these cabins in a painting. It can take very little to say a lot, to explore the material, and to convey [my] feelings to the viewer.” says the artist.

Bill Sawczuk at work.

Bill Sawczuk at work.

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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


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 

Art is Fine!

Howdy! I’m back. The Jackson Hole Art Blog is up again! We’ll be writing brief (up to 500 words) weekly posts about Jackson Hole Arts. Summer traffic is turning up early this year, so let’s get going! Send me your news! Email me at tammy@jacksonholearttours.com OR tammychristel@gmail.com.  


One of Jackson’s most eclectic, sophisticated galleries, Heather James Fine Art, has two locations. Their home gallery is in Palm Springs, California, and its second gallery is here in Jackson. Currently featured is “Arts of Asia,” a stunning artifacts collection.

“Antiquities loaded with historical, ritual, and cultural richness weave an intricate story of centuries of dynasties and eras in Arts of Asia,” says the gallery. “Spanning 2,000 years, the objects in the show are organized by geography: China, Japan, and India & Southeast Asia.”

Heather James’ new series of online catalogs are beautifully composed. View catalogs of this and other Heather James collections at www.heatherjames.com 

Brent Cotton VALLEY EVENING oil on linen 20 x 24 in

Brent Cotton
oil on linen
20 x 24 in

Jackson’s Trailside Galleries presents “Fleeting Effects of Light,” a show of new works by Brent Cotton. Light is the thing in our valley. Our light wears infinite guises, an artist’s eternal muse.

“Raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Idaho, Brent’s first lessons in art were taught by his grandmother, a talented watercolorist. He grew up sketching the cowboys and horses he observed every day. In high school an influential instructor encouraged him to pursue a career in art,” says Trailside. “Cotton attended workshops and studied with some of the best known names in wildlife and Western art, including world-renowned Western artist Howard Terpning.”

“Fleeting Effects of Light” runs June 1 – June 30, 2015 at Trailside. An Open House and ArtWalk (which includes many galleries around town) takes place June 18, 5-7 pm.  www.trailsidegalleries.com 

Big Art at Legacy; Miniatures at Trailside; Mix’d Media; Diehl Kickoff

Nelson Boren - "Circa 1923"

Nelson Boren – “Circa 1923”

Nelson Boren’s big life story is reflected in his big, bold watercolor depictions of cowboy boots, chaps, rodeo gear, cowboy kids on fences and well-worn Western hats. From what I’ve read, Boren was a tad repressed as a young artist, and, though clearly talented, was kept from hanging his artwork anywhere in the house except his bedroom. In college, he studied architecture, only to be drawn to watercolors~~but gave it up, thinking he wasn’t so good.

Back to architecture he went; but when that environment proved too restrictive Boren turned back to painting watercolors, this time taking it seriously. He ended up moving his wife and, by then, seven children, to Idaho. He started selling work door-to-door…and now he’s a featured artist at Legacy Gallery.

Terry Donahue - "Mule Deer Study"

Terry Donahue – “Mule Deer Study”

He and pastel artist Terry Donahue share floor space at Legacy’s Jackson Gallery, in a two-artist show opening July 5th; a reception takes place 4-6:00 pm.

Donahue’s works are, by contrast, gentle. However, his works are also filled with dynamic movement and he chooses to depict a wide variety of wildlife. Some works have a minimalist presence, but are as exciting as any of his works that fill his canvas with paint. Donahue experiments well with space, and his colors are bold, rich. The artist’s emotion is apparent.  www.legacygallery.com


Timothy Mayhew - "Chukar Center"

Timothy Mayhew – “Chukar Center”

Trailside Galleries presents their third annual “Masters in Miniature Exhibition & Sale,” showcasing over 250 small work-of-art treasures by Trailside artists. “Home” gallery artists will be featured as are many specially invited artists, Timothy Mayhew among them. Mayhew was kind enough to write and let the Art Blog know how pleased he is to be included in this year’s special, juried event. The show runs July 15-28th, 2013, with an opening reception on Thursday, July 18th, 5-8:00 pm.  All works will be sold by draw at 7:30 pm. The gallery’s roster includes members of the Cowboy Artists of America and the Prix de West.

This is Trailside’s 50th Anniversary year, and the gallery has just recently added a collection of exquisite area rugs crafted in the Middle East to its collections. Stop by and view them any day~~it’s very nice to consider the “big picture” when it comes to presenting your art to the world!  Beautiful, hand made carpets set the tone. Trailside is also a partner in the annual Jackson Hole Art Auction, being held this year on September 14th, at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, WY. www.trailsidegalleries.com

Morgan Weistling - "The Daydreamer"

Morgan Weistling – “The Daydreamer”

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Heather James Fine Art Features Western Masters

Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939) Apaches at Moonrise (Eventide)

Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939) Apaches at Moonrise (Eventide)

“The point of the show, and everything else we do at Heather James, is to bring works of excellence by a large variety of artists and genres to the viewing public and collectors. This show is no exception,” says Heather James Fine Art’s Shari Brownfield, gallery director. “Our goal is to always be searching for fine examples of paintings or sculptures by great artists. When you get all these greats together, and curate them either into an integrated thematic or genre show, it’s amazing the conversations elicited just by hanging certain works side by side.”

Joseph H. Sharp (1859-1953) Taos Moonlight

Joseph H. Sharp (1859-1953) Taos Moonlight

Right now Heather James Fine Art, known for its Post War, Contemporary, Latin American, Impressionist and Modern Art, as well as collections and works from all corners of the earth, is showcasing an impressive collection of (and I’m linking you to the best-known museum for this genre, the AutryAmerican Western Masters. Now on display at Heather James’ Palm Desert location, the works come from a variety of private sellers. Together, they comprise one hell of a show. Represented artists are Maurice Braun, Gerald Cassidy, William Gollings, E. Martin Hennings, Frank Tenney Johnson, William R. Leigh, Frederic Remington, Joseph H. Sharp (sigh…love Sharp) and Olaf Wieghorst. Provenançes include institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, the Gerald Peters Gallery and private collections in Jackson Hole, Dallas and Houston, Denver, and the state of Florida.

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