a yearling buck in velvet standing in the Lupine



As a kid in Utah, I collected unforgettable memories; the vision of clear, blue mountain lakes, the morning sun turning the world into a “golden time”, a moonlit night with moonbeams dancing thru the aspen trees, hearing a mountain stream bubble and froth over the rocks as it splashed it’s way toward the valley, seeing a doe standing very still with only her ears and nose twitching.  Leaving my world full of sights and sounds that now find their way to my canvas recreating those memories of light, drama and my experience of nature.

Over the years of exhibitions, art shows, studio tour shows, one questions seems to pop up over and over again, “Do you use photographs!”  Other than the obvious, can you actually pull a deer out of your memory banks or is the Modern world questioning the validity of realistic art.  “Did you use a photograph?”

I have been told that realistic art is simply copy art.  Anybody can take a photograph and copy it.  Boring!!!  Somehow, the painting becomes less important, because the artist used a photograph.  Copied!

But then isn’t landscaping painting, a copy, portrait painting, a copy, a still life a copy!  It isn’t something that you conjured up yourself, merely a copy!

I disagree.

Certainly memories remind me of those moments when I initially encountered the beauty of God’s creation.  And then, I would have the desire to put it on canvas, to share the experience, not as a coloring book experience, but to create a painting that is not only accurate, but has an emotional connection, a wonderment, an amazement, a feeling of awe for God’s world.

I may use a camera, but I don’t project or just copy.  I use a camera for information, a reference and for accuracy.

My husband and I visited the new western art Museum in Old Town, Scottsdale, Az.  To my absolute delight, they had a couple of Carl Rungius paintings on exhibit.  Looking at his moose painting, I felt like I had stepped into the actual scene.  As I was catching my breath, I felt enamored with his exquisite rendering of this painting, the masterful brush strokes and use of color.  An absolute master piece.  It’s a beautiful painting.  Beautiful because he understood what a moose was, where it lived, the beauty of his environment, and Rungius painted it not only with truth, but with his heart.