The American West is known for its sweeping vistas as well as its unique outposts, its vast deserts and colorful rock formations, its majestic mountains and desert valleys, its weather driven streams and rivers, and especially for its breathtaking national parks.
Mountain Trails Gallery artists memorialize the panoramas of those grand sights as well as extraordinary outlooks, including secluded enclaves, that show off their arresting beauty, too difficult for an artist to pass up.
The exhibition “Enclaves and Outlooks” opens March 5, with a reception from 4-7 p.m., and continues throughout the month at their gallery located inside Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village in Sedona.
Landscape artists, as well as participating wildlife artists, show off their many remarkable finds and compelling sights that inspire them to go outdoors and paint.
No stranger to hiking and climbing, plein air painters Betty Carr, Howard Carr, Bill Cramer, Michelle Condrat, Linda Glover Gooch, Susie Hyer, and Marcia Molnar are all over the West with their paint brushes in hand, never missing an opportunity to see the ever-changing clouds, colors, and atmospheres that a sudden storm or sunlit opening might offer.
In an homage to light breaking through and creating a little piece of heaven, Betty Carr honors the cottonwood guardians of the Verde Valley River in her paintings “Gentle Giant” as well as in her meandering “River of Color.”
Howard Carr has used an ethereal light coming through the trees, infused with heightened color in his enclave creek painting “Autumn’s Colorful Reflection.”
Susie Hyer brings color and brush strokes to life in her plein air Sedona paintings “Morning Light at Dry Creek” which encircles a favorite hiking trail, and in her “Red Rock Vignette” which brings a pause to her step as she takes in the stunning views.
Not unlike a storm chaser, Bill Cramer seizes every opportunity to view the panoramas in their most dramatic, just to catch the surrounding atmospheric events which always make his paintings rich with passages of complex color and poetic brushstrokes, and in “Storm Behind the Mesa” Cramer does just that.
Also, a painter of complex nuance as well as a masterful technician, Linda Glover Gooch makes the mountains and valleys her home while on the road. Perfecting such things as “the color of air” and knowing when to make hard edges and when to make soft, Gooch takes on the atmospheric vista of the Grand Canyon in “Canyon Haze” and she highlights an opportunity for repose and retreat in her more intimate “Creekside” painting, lush with vibrant greens and reflective waters.
It takes a lot of passion for these artists to say ‘yes’ to such a wide variety of local conditions.
Michelle Condrat and Marcia Molnar both use the outdoors as a steppingstone to capture the vistas of national parks as well as the outpost pockets to express how they see the world.
Using a heightened sense of color, capitalizing on the shapes in nature, together with hard edges of flickering light that create a sense of movement, these artists pack a punch without using as many details.
In Condrat’s outlook painting “Moran Flat Top” and Molnar’s “Spectacular” they both incorporate the vantage point to allow the viewer to see out and beyond, as the paintings open to a world of possibilities.
And, in their Grand Canyon enclave paintings, Molnar paints a desert refuge of water flowing between the high canyon walls in cold winter light in her “December Morning,” and Condrat uses the flicker of light and diaphanous color to express the affection and warmth she feels when it comes time to leave her beloved canyon in her sunset painting “Until Next Time.”
Not to be missed in the exhibition is “Hard Headed” by Doyle Hostetler who gives this desert bighorn sheep the most compelling look as he beams with curiosity from his high outpost, and Joe Garcia’s perched mountain lion painting ”Canyon Visitor” which he captured while hiking in the protected Hells Canyon, a favorite west coast wilderness area.
The gallery welcomes visitors for the reception on Friday, March 5, from 4-7 p.m. as well as during regular gallery hours (Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) or by special appointment.
The artwork can also be viewed on the gallery’s website at mountaintrailssedona.com, which also includes an interactive Gallery Tour, on Instagram at #mountaintrailssedona, and on Facebook @MTGSedona.
Contact the gallery at 928-282-3225 or email@example.com.