Captivated by their observations of animal behavior, a spirited group of artists have joined together to present new work in the exhibition “Animal Nature: Wild & Domestic” which opens at Mountain Trails Gallery Sedona on First Friday, Sept. 2, with a reception from 4-7 p.m.
These artists are all fascinated by the lessons learned from animals, including their display of parallel actions similar to one’s own way of being. Whether it is the large mammals from the mountains and valleys of North America or the charming companions from the ranch, these compelling animals are given a place of recognition and honor in the work of all these award-winning artists.
Sculptor Raymond Gibby finds inspiration from observing and studying his beloved animal kingdom, as he appreciates all the groups and species. The titles of each of his figurative bronzes offer a clue into how this artist sees and learns from animal nature. Gibby’s sculpting talent leads the eye to each animal’s particular characteristic, such as with his dynamic mountain lion “When Lightning Strikes” as it leaps from on high with a quick and fierce determination, or with his “Devotion” bronze depicting a wolf family closely held together by the protective male.
Contemporary sculptor Mark Edward Adams spends hours observing animal nature as well as the anatomy unique to each species. One of his fascinations is with the American bison, and Adams does not hesitate to be with them in a natural seeing while he sculpts. This Fellow of the National Sculpture Society began his “Thunder Road” among a herd of buffalo and was captivated by the spiritual-like nature of this prehistoric mammal. Standing firm, this bronze holds steadfast to its history and longevity, despite all the odds. With a unique twist and overwhelming charm, Jeremy Bradshaw creates his contemporary sculpture more often on the side of humor or delight. His “Cinnamon Roll” presents a chubby bear cub ready to tumble, finished with Bradshaw’s exceptionally complex patina colors.
Arizona wildlife painter Jennifer O’Cualain brings her awareness and experiences with each animal in the form of close-up portraits, as she portrays her own connection to their soul through the animal’s eyes. Her “Relaxed & Ready” oil portrait of a lynx has a strength of presence in its laser-beam eyes, as this expert hunter, it is said, can spot a mouse as much as 250 feet away. Also, O’Cualain’s “Grey Gaze” wolf, “Sure-Footed Fellow” mountain goat, and her bears “Escape Claws” and “Don’t Look Away” are all compelling confrontations that mesmerize. Western wildlife painter Joe Garcia masterfully captures animals and birds in oil as well as in watercolors. Hiking and exploring nonstop, Garcia’s delight with each creature large and small is evident in all of his paintings. His “Cat Eyes” shows the crouching bobcat on the alert for lunch as does his “On the Scent” grey wolf, and his “Cottontail Territory” is as much a landscape painting as it is a wildlife painting of a desert rabbit.
All these remarkable wildlife artists and more specialize in not only seeing the form but seeing beyond the form into each animal’s nature and are also featured in this new season of fine art offerings at Mountain Trails Gallery. Included in the exhibition are the heartfelt paintings of wildlife artist Sandra Byland who captures her serendipitous backyard experiences with animals in colored pencil and mixed media treasures.
Maria D’Angelo presents a variety of domestic and wild animals including her masterful graphite drawings of horses and colored pencil paintings of butterflies and birds. Western painter Shawn Cameron has mastered the atmosphere and lay of the land with her technically exquisite ranch life paintings of horses, dogs, and cattle, and rancher Sarah Phippen brings the life she loves to light in all her domestic and wildlife works.
Western contemporary painter Tamara Rymer brings her Native American history to her bison “Into the Dust” as she speaks to the enduring nature of this important ancient mammal. New Zealand artist Adele Earnshaw presents juicy color in her avian and wildlife paintings from her time in Arizona, as does Barbara Rudolph with her highly detailed avian work.
Western painter and sculptor Michael Trcic has a history of capturing the action-packed nature of animals, both wild and domestic, including being one of the leading paleontology artists in the world. An important part of this intriguing exhibition, Deborah Copenhaver Fellows, Susan Kliewer, and Cowboy Artists of America member Dustin Payne all bring ranching animals their due in remarkably detailed bronze sculptures.
The multi-talented wildlife sculptor Bryce Pettit works in all categories of fine art as he incorporates all groups and species in his complex miniature and tabletop bronzes, his garden monuments, his fine art installations, as well as his furniture, and a variety of objects of delight, including wildlife jewelry.
Mountain Trails Gallery Sedona, located within Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, 336 SR 179, upstairs Suite A201, is proud to exhibit work by their more than 50 extraordinary artists working in a wide variety of subject matter with painting, sculpture and mixed media fine art, as they all contribute to making this gallery a destination for collectors, enthusiasts, and visitors from all over the world.
Information provided by Mountain Trails Gallery.