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Mountain Trails Gallery presents ‘The Process of Creation: Wildlife and Beyond’



Originally Published: August 24, 2019 3:21 p.m.

Mountain Trails Gallery located at Tlaquepaque in Sedona is proud to present their new exhibition “The Process of Creation: Wildlife and Beyond” which highlights the techniques and fascination with process by a group of gallery artists.

The show opens with a reception on Friday, Sept. 6, at Mountain Trails Gallery in Tlaquepaque , from 5-8 p.m. The highlights of the show feature wildlife artists who work in their own particular technique and style with sculpture, painting, drawing, and mixed media, including functional art.

The gallery invites those who enjoy the process of creation to explore the intricacy of sculpture through the eyes of wildlife artists Mark Edward Adams, Raymond Gibby, and Bryce Pettit. Each of these artists sculpt as much as possible from real life, including observing horses, buffalo, desert creatures, as well as bear, semi-aquatic mammals, and birds in the most natural setting they can find.

Mark Edward Adams talks about his experience sculpting a bison, “The sculpture “Thunder Road” originated from among a herd of 30 bison. There were times that I felt unsafe, but it was worth it to get that close to these awesome creatures. Nothing beats the energy of a live model.”

Gibby speaks about the unlimited number of micro-steps and craftsmanship involved with each piece in his editions, “It would take volumes to fully understand what goes into creating a high-quality bronze.”

From his time studying biology and ecology to his acceptance of pursuing his own artistic muse within, bronze sculptor Bryce Pettit works to show not only the details of life in the natural world, but the humor, beauty, and wonder of each unique creature.

From the inception of an idea to the installation, whether it be small or larger than life-size, these sculptors care for their projects and appreciate the effort in the process every step of the way.

A remarkable artist with a passion for technique is Sandra Passmore Byland who has devoted much of her life to the care of wildlife and domestic animals.

Her passion found a home with colored pencil painting. Her many layers of multiple colored pencil markings build up a rich and mysteriously layered background. Each mammal or bird is brought to life with detail upon detail, creating each hair or feather with the closeup precision of a surgeon but with the heart of a maestro.

Sarah Siltala is fascinated with birds interacting with objects, incorporating mood and atmosphere into still life paintings using her own pigments and her own refined organic linseed oils. The fascination comes from her studies of the old masters before modern oil painting materials were available.

Although it is a slow process, Siltala finds solace and even poetry in balancing the process with her subject matter and layering technique and style, “I have learned how amazingly unique each pigment is, and how you can manipulate the handling properties by using different oils and extenders. Experimenting takes time but is completely worth the effort.”

Part scientist, part artist, Siltala creates breathtaking jewel-like surfaces in each shadow-box still life or landscape painting.

Desert creatures have been a fascination for portrait, landscape, and still-life artist Jennifer O’Cualain. She is always animated with stories of her encounters with wildlife from her travels and explorations, and this artist senses there is much more communication between animals and humans than one might have considered.

O’Cualain can capture even the smaller creatures like a honeybee with the accuracy, care and precision of an Audubon drawing but with brush strokes and colors that convey a very personal expression that emanates from each critter.

Meet some of the artists who bring their talents to life at a reception on First Friday, Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m.

Mountain Trails Gallery is located in Tlaquepaque, upstairs Suite A201 overlooking the Patio de las Campanas, 336 SR 179, Sedona, AZ 86336.   mountaintrailssedona.com   fineart@mountaintrailssedona.com