Art shows, such as Quest for the West, can be found in every state in the U.S. and throughout much of the world.
When I was young and growing up with an artist father in Southern California, the Laguna Arts Festival was my favorite. Specific pieces of art don’t stand out in my memories, but the joyful feelings of wonder and curiosity I felt still does.
I’ve been painting and attending art shows as a professional artist for more than 30 years and I still feel a sense of wonder and excitement when I go to a show like the Quest for the West at the Eiteljorg in Indianapolis.
The Quest for the West has been a yearly ‘must’ since I first learned of it more than 10 years ago.
This year, because David and his family were visiting, we made it a couple’s date. Why would an art show, with a 3-hour round-trip drive, be a destination spot for a date when they only had a few days to visit?
For us it’s because David told me that since he started helping me with Master Oil Painting he’s fallen in love with art (which is a good thing since he married an artist). He says he’s learned so much from the critique webinars, blank canvas interviews and art training blog posts he feels he can better appreciate the level of skill and passion that goes into painting.
He and Camden (his wife) now visit galleries and shows when they travel, and they’ve even begun collecting art (and not just mine).
What is it about art shows that can captivate and compel us to go so far out of our way to visit them?
I don’t know if I can fully answer that. David, Camden, Kristie and I all had different favorite paintings at the show. And I suspect that the reasons are as varied as our individual life experiences.
Those experiences, I believe, are why art appeals to such a broad range of peoples and cultures. Something in our hearts and minds is opened and expanded when we study and view art. Art uplifts, teaches, motivates, angers, excites, confuses, quiets, compels, confounds and causes our thoughts to soar above the mundane.
Great art stirs emotions within us that make our lives more meaningful.
Our Favorite Quest for the West Paintings
Brent Cotton was new to the show this year. I’ve admired Brent’s work for years and loved Under the Cottonwoods at the Prix de West Invitational – which won the Wilson Hurley Memorial Award for Outstanding Landscape.
Brent has mastered the effects of luminesce light.
Josh Elliott’s work always stands out. He was also at the Prix de West where he sold every piece.
C. Michael Dudash is a fantastic storyteller with his richly colorful western paintings. He is one of the foremost artists that draws me to the show each year.
I’m not the only one that loves his work since it sells readily at the shows.
The Legacy Gallery in the late 90’s or early 2000’s was where I first saw G. Russel Case’s paintings. At the time I thought they were too simplified and lacked refinement.
Now they seem elegant – enough detail to draw the viewer in without drawing attention from the simple beauty of the West.
One day I hope to own one of his paintings.
George Hallmark is a universal favorite of David, Camden, Kristie and I.
All four of us simply stood and enjoyed La Parroquia for quite some time, periodically commenting on areas of the painting that stood out to us.
John Fawcett drew David in like a fish on a hook. He barely held off purchasing Stop on a Dime because it looks just like his team-roping Grandpa. Fawcett also captured the feeling of a quick-stop so beautifully.
Kristie taught David and each of our children how to ride and made sure that horses are now a part of their DNA and their happy memories. This was a difficult painting to walk away from.
John Moyers is one of my favorite painters living today. He has an economy of brushstrokes and color that is masterful and mesmerizing.
His approach to painting has immense variety while being consistently Moyers’. His work always keeps me wanting more. I have trouble not pulling up a chair so I can sit there till closing time and they force me to leave.
There were many other dazzling artworks at the show by artists such as Tim Solliday, Nathan Solano, Krystii Melaine, Joseph McGurl, Robert Griffing, Daniel Smith, sculptor extraordinaire Gerald Balciar, and others.
Plans for Next Year’s Quest for the West Art Show
The Quest for the West show is one of the highlights of my year. A stampede of buffalo would be hard pressed to keep me from it next year.
Let me know what day’s you plan to be there in 2019 so we can admire the paintings together. We can also grab some lunch at the Eiteljorg Museum Café – their food rivals the artwork!
Are you really passionate about art?
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