Artists to Watch: 10 Painters on the Rise in 2007

Article excerpt

Karen G. Myers

Of all the places around the globe where Karen G. Myers has traveled, Asian cultures have had the greatest impact on her art. There's "a quietness and a beautiful sense of space and balance" in contemporary Asian art, she notes. While her own landscapes, cityscapes, and close-up botanical subjects are often inspired by scenes near her home in Denver, CO, Myers infuses her paintings with a contemplative mood gained from reflecting on the Asian aesthetic. "I'm not trying to portray loneliness," she explains, "but solitary landscapes appeal to me."

Having grown up in Denver as an only child with a creative, independent spirit, Myers has experienced various lifestyles and cultures over the years. Now 57, this painter has previously been a clothing and costume designer, graphic artist, cartoonist in Alaska, bank trust officer, and financial analyst for the FBI. She has also undertaken extensive art training-at Colorado State University, New York's Pratt Institute, the San Francisco Academy of Art, and with respected painters such as Quang Ho, Kim English, and David Leffel.

In 1990, Myers returned to her first passion, focusing full time on painting. Her recent work gives expression to the serenity of muted hues, the power of visual contrast, and a growing interest in abstraction. She also frequently indulges in a fascination with layered surface texture. "Texture is almost like fabric," she observes. "It picks up the light and pulls you in." Myers' paintings are on view at Abend Gallery of Fine Art, Denver, CO; Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; and www.karengmyers.com. -GF

Mark Gould

Mark Gould's paintings arc born in abstraction-in the deliberate spontaneity of wiping extra paint from a brush onto canvas, for example. Gould pushes the paint around a bit and suddenly, he says, "something quite interesting happens." From there the process is like playing chess with the painting. The artist's every move is in response to a constantly shifting sense of balance, color, and form. With his abstracted artworks he expresses solid suggestions of the everyday world: In die end, a richly hued, rhythmically vibrant landscape or still life emerges. Gould's "happy accident" approach to painting got even happier a few months ago, when the Taos, NM-based artist married for the first time at age 55. His newtbund contentment is expressed in a brighter and more cohesive palette.

Raised in rural Iowa, Gould earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa and then detoured from painting for a number of years as a general contractor. Fittingly, his paintings often contain rolling hills and the iconic image of a simple pitched-roof house. In the mid-1980s, he studied with Bruce Cody at the Denver Art Students League and Gary Cook at the University of New Mexico. With characteristic warmth and humor, Gould describes his work with a favorite quote by Richard Diebenkorn: "I can never accomplish what I want, only what I would have wanted had I thought of it beforehand."

His paintings are on view at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Lanning Gallery, Sedona, AZ; Pierson Gallery, Tulsa, OK; High Country Art, Blue Ridge, GA; and Charles Gallery, Las Cruces, NM. -GF

John Schieffer

"My mom would love me to paint flowers, but...." John Schieffer smiles as his words trail off. It's clear that classical still-life subjects are a little too "inside the box" for Schieffer, who describes his painting style as high realism. The storage shelves in his Phoenix, AZ-area studio are lined with things like balloons ready to blow up, colorful rubber bands, and a lollipop in its wrapper. On his easel is a painting from his marbles series, this one incorporating an antique camera given to him by his grandfather.

Such kid-friendly subjects seem fitting for an artist whose first job, following graduation from Paier College of Art in Hamden, CT, was as a children's book illustrator. …