Dear readers,

A warm Montana welcome to all of my new readers whom I met at Western Masters / Western Art Week in Great Falls! The robins and bluebirds are coming back, and the giant berms of snow around our driveway are down to only three feet high...we must be coming into spring.

In this issue:

* Does this email look wonky? See the issue online.

Newsbytes / calendar

  • -- WORKSHOPS IN 2014 and 2015 --
    I have retitled my workshops to "The Art of Seeing Animals" - a better description of our focus in these events.

    KALISPELL, MT (Triple D Game Farm) - Sept. 26-29, 2014. There is just 1 slot left in this workshop! Call Triple D at 406-755-9653 to sign up.

    WIMBERLEY, TX (Creekhaven Inn) - Feb. 2-5, 2015. An intensive experience in the beautiful comfort of Creekhaven Inn in Wimberley. Call Bill Appleman at 800-827-1913 or visit the workshop website.

In this issue

  • Of a collector and a commission

18 x 18, scratchboard
This new piece is hanging at Holland & Holland in London. "Shujaa" is Swahili for 'warrior', which seemed an appropriate title for this portrait of a battle-scarred lion. We saw this big boy in Kruger Park, South Africa; he had a consort and they were obviously enjoying each other's company.


Tidbits - on collectors

"As a collector, you will discover that surrounding yourself with art can enrich not only your visual experiences, but instill a sense of vitality to your life and uplift your soul." - Sylvia White

"It has been said of many buyers of fine art that they invest in the artist and that they do not just buy a work." - Chris Tyrell

"The true artist and the sane collector never will tolerate insincerity and impudence." - Walter J. Phillips

"Each time you purchase a piece of art, you're investing in a piece of history and in another person's life." - Diane Overmyer


The Story of a Collector and a Commission

Astute readers may recall that one of my paintings in the 2013 Calgary Stampede western art auction, "Blondes Have More Fun", was featured on the cover of the auction catalog (see right).

The collector who purchased the piece, Daren M., has since become a friend and has commissioned two more paintings to accompany "Blondes" and make what we decided to call the "Working Girls" triptych. Daren generously agreed to an interview for the Artzine, and supplied thoughtful and enthusiastic answers to my questions - read on!

Accompanying Daren's interview are images of the commission in progress.

JC: Why do you collect art?
DM: Being surrounded by paintings inspired by western themes makes me feel better connected to my new home, Alberta. I lived in southern England for over a decade and never felt connected with that country. I am thrilled to be back in Canada and have quickly embraced western Canadian heritage, which is totally new to me (I am originally from small-town Atlantic Canada). Alberta is home. And I plan on living in or near Calgary for the rest of my life. My paintings reinforce the notion that the west is where I have finally put my roots down. I am here to stay and contribute to my community.

JC: How did you get started collecting art?
DM: My modern condo has a lot of wall space, and when I moved in during the spring of 2013, the walls were bare. They needed new life and colour. (So did I!)

I attended the Calgary Stampede art auction in 2013, and this was my first-ever experience in purchasing quality art. The cover painting on the auction's catalogue featured "Blondes Have More Fun," and I wanted it. I love the thrill of the cowgirl taking aim on her gorgeous mount! I always get the same thrill when admiring this piece.

At the time, I had no idea about the double-entendre of the Palomino horse -- the other blonde. (The daughter of my horse instructor educated me on that lost subtlety.) Now, I am learning to ride horses. And thanks to the Calgary Stampede, I am hooked on the excitement and camaraderie of rodeo, cowboy boots and hats, and country music. Did I mention my bright red F-150?

JC: What artists and styles of art are represented in your collection?
DM: All of my paintings either feature horses or Rocky Mountain scenes. I like horses because their quiet, yet determined effort helped to shape and build the west. Banff National Park is one of the most breathtaking places on Earth, so I also collect landscapes that remind me of Alberta's rugged outdoors.

JC: What drives your buying decision on a particular piece?
DM: There needs to be a familiarity of scenery and authenticity of action.

The working sketches for the two paintings Daren commissioned to make the "Working Girls" triptych

Step 1 of the barrel racer: the sketch for the painting is transferred freehand to the 14x18 gessoed canvas.

Step 2: the canvas has been textured and a base coat of warm color scrubbed on. The painting looks a mess at this stage!

Step 3: the top coat of oils in place for the background and rider

Finished: "Rollin' in Clover" (a play on the cloverleaf pattern barrel racers ride), 14x18 oil on textured canvas panel.

JC: What motivated you to commission two more pieces to make the "Working Girls" triptych?
DM: Trust is at the core of any loving relationship, which is well represented by "Blondes". I have two daughters (who live with their mom in England) and so it seemed natural to want to commission two new pieces in honour of my lovely daughters.

The triptych depicts skilled horsewoman who clearly have mastered shooting, roping, and barrel racing while forging a trusting relationship with their horses. I wish that they inspire my daughters to excel at whatever they choose to do in life. And to build and maintain strong, meaningful relationships.

The paintings themselves, of course, represent skilled artistry. The cheeky titles are also a reminder not to take life too serious -- there is a lot of fun stuff, too, as I have experienced at many rodeos. Those paintings will eventually belong to my daughters. For now, the paintings remind me of my own flesh and blood; one day, they will remind my daughters of me.

These will not be my last commissions from Julie, just the start of building a fine collection of thrilling rodeo action that connects with my inner and outer cowboy. I have let my hair down and am loving it!

Daren, many many thanks for sharing these wonderful thoughts with us!

Daren's title for this photo is perfect: "All the girls together!", with his daughters holding the painting each picked.


READERS RESPOND - footnotes to the March Artzine:

"Another round of the exquisite and extraordinary; you are a gift to the world of art...and the world period!" -- A fabulous compliment - thank you Kathleen M.!

The wolf scratchboard, "Tenderness", in the March issue seemed to resonate with readers:
""Tenderness" is truly amazing...touching,'ve caught the moment so perfectly, I can feel it IN my being..." -- Thank you, Carol M.!

"I just love that Tenderness.....truly beautiful and soulful!" -- thank you, Joan W.!

"I often get asked to paint/draw wolves and I always say no - I'm a hoofed animal kinda girl and although wolves are amazing creatures, they just don't turn my crank. Of all the the wolf art I've seen out there, and there is a lot (some very good), I've got to admit, the wolf and pup scratchboard piece is the first that has ever caught my attention. The angles, composition, natural pose, and of course, light, they do it for me, so much that I thought it warranted an email." -- Charity D., thank you for taking the time to write such a kind note!

That's it for April. I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter (and thank you to the many readers who respond after each Artzine, thus giving me good material for the "Footnotes" section :-) - if so, I encourage you to share it with anyone and everyone. I appreciate your help in building a bigger audience for my work!

Warmest regards,
Julie T. Chapman

Painting Today’s Wild West (and Africa!) with Contemporary Flair
(406) 546-2636
20900 Whitetail Ridge Road * Huson, MT 59846
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** All images and text in this newsletter are copyright (c) 2013 Julie T. Chapman. I encourage you to forward this email as long as it includes this copyright notice - thank you!**