Simplicity, peace, and freedom are found on an open road, under clear skies, looking at the distant horizon and gradient light. The landscape paintings, etchings, and pastels by Nathan Solano, Joel Ostlind, Sabrina Stiles, and Linda Lillegraven illustrate the expansive sense of place found east of the Rockies. When looking at these works, what moment or place are you reminded of?
Nathan Solano was born in Utah and raised in Southern Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado until he was drafted during the Vietnam War where he served a tour as an infantry sergeant. By the time he was in his 40s, Solano was able to pursue his passion for painting. Solano has become widely known for his portrait work, but his personal interests and curiosity have broadened his subject matter. He can be found at cattle roundups, powwows, and other environmental scenes of the American West, taking professional photographs that often end up on canvas. Fleeting moments are captured with dancing light and gesture, enticing the viewer to feel present within the scene and marking the moment as Solano prefers—”in the now.”
Linda Lillegraven lives in Laramie, Wyoming, and earned a BA in Art and BS in Zoology from San Diego State University. The great open landscapes of the West, with their changing light and seasons, offer the artist a lifetime of inspiration. Her oil paintings depict the transitions of color and tone of the plains, so subtle as to be ”almost invisible,” yet masterfully achieved. Lillegraven includes a minimal amount of detail while giving the viewer a sense of big skies, open fields, space and scale.
Sabrina Stiles is a Colorado-based pastel artist with an expressive style that lends itself to her chosen medium. Primarily a landscape artist, Stiles prefers to work en plein air, and draws inspiration from cloudy days that allow for softer light and feminine expression. Her keen observation and reverence for the beauty that surrounds her is evident in her work. She prefers to make her own surfaces: un-sanded board coated with oil paint, multi-media boards coated with gesso and pumice mixes, watercolor washes on paper, and more.
Joel Ostlind is a Wyoming native and expert draftsman. Ostlind spent fifteen years herding cattle on large ranches throughout the American West, always with a sketchbook in his back pocket. His drawings found new life, with copper plate etchings as his medium, and are often hand-colored with watercolor or gouache. His subject matter depicts the full range of Western life, with his current focus on cowboys and girls, fishermen, log cabins, and day dreams.