New Art for a New Year ... Celebrate!

“New Art for a New Year…Celebrate” opened  with a public reception Friday, January 6th, at James Ratliff Gallery, Hillside Sedona, 671 State Route 179, Suites A1 & A2, Sedona, AZ 86336 from 5-8 PM.  This exhibit will continue through the end of January.  Featured artists include: Judy Choate, William Crook, Greg Heil, Cary Henrie, and Kay Stratman.  And even though the Sedona Film Festival hosted a gala event the same evening, JRG had a wonderful crowd who enjoyed the artwork of the following artists.

Judy Choate’s dramatic landscapes fire the imagination while exploring through the use of   brilliant color,  vibrant  and  creative interpretations of the magnificence of the Sonoran and high  desert in which we live.  According to many, there is a special natural light in the Southwest high desert that can occur just before sunset. When this light is present, the red rocks, skies and clouds take on a surreal appearance. Colors are enhanced to the point of over saturation. This is one of the magic moments Judy Choate deftly  captures with acrylic paint on canvas.

William Crook’s paintings often provide a charming, whimsical, yet serene companion to Choate’s flamboyant brilliance.  As Crook states:  “My desire, as I create my paintings, is to paint the ordinary in an extraordinary way, and to journey on a painting expedition less traveled, to imbue people and objects with humor, irony, compassion and endurance, and to be mindful of the occasional rainbow in an oil slick.”  In Crook’s selected works for the January exhibit, emphasis will be on his quirky buildings.

Greg Heil paints landscapes in his signature plein-air style.  Heil is part of a new tradition in American painting whose work bridges the gaps between abstraction, expressionism and traditional plein-air painting.  Heil’s subject matter arises from his Southwest home which provides him with an abundance of motifs so that, in his words, “nature overpowers the human mind with an infinite variety of forms and colors”.  Heil’s magic draws the viewer in through realism infused with an element of fantasy.

Cary Henrie’s classical education on scholarship at the Pratt Institute in New York and a following decade of work as a graphic artist in the Big Apple with publishers like Time, Sports Illustrated, etc. did not erase Henrie’s passion for creating fine art.  He found home and the refinement of his artistic techniques in the Wasatch Mountains where he still is at home today.  Continuous global travels have complemented Henrie’s discoveries.  His work reveals how he incorporates what he’s seen:  “Visiting Bali, Egypt, Israel and Europe, I loved the warm and broken patinas I had seen in these countries’ art and architecture. I saw similarities to my native West, particularly weather-beaten landscapes, sandstone textures, patina of rusted metal contrasted with vast soft sunsets and auras of changing skies.” Over the last 20 years,  Henrie’s works have evolved to include his amazing Nature Framed butterflies as well as the most recent dimensional pieces…always recognizable as created by Cary Henrie.

Kay Stratman uses a “splash and pour” watercolor technique to produce landscapes of “controlled spontaneity”  Stratman unites opposites (wet and dry, abstract and realistic, detail and loose suggestion) to illustrate the spirit and nature of a landscape.  Ms. Stratman’s paintings have been described as contemporary realism.  The delicate beauty of her watercolors were duly noted by jurists who awarded Ms. Stratman The Best Wyoming Artist award at the 30th Annual Watercolor Wyoming National Exhibition.

Jim and Pat Ratliff and Julie Sutherland cordially invite you to enjoy this beautiful show through the end of January.  Feb. 3rd and 4th will feature a “Jewelry Extravaganza” with 3 exceptional woman Jewelers/artists presenting their latest work….Adriana Walker, Sally Peck and Sandra Den Hartog.  Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!