When my wife and I first began dating, one of the things we discovered we had in common was an appreciation for art. Young and unencumbered with children or debt, we spent time visiting art galleries and buying art that we both enjoyed. What my wife didn’t know at the time was how many art books – large, coffee-table sized collections – that I owned. I love art books.
And I loved this collection, Painted Sky.
It also so happens that I love the American Southwest – from the Rocky Mountains to the Mexican border, the desert country (both high and low) inspires art in a way unlike any other environment. So a collection of artists who paint in this environment regularly is bound to attract my attention.
Editor E. Ashley Rooney has assembled a large number of artists, offering to showcase just a few samples of the artists’ work and printing a half-page bio/commentary on the artist along with a photo of the artist him/herself. It is a very nicely put-together book. This gave me just enough on each artist that if I wanted to know more (and more often than not, I did), I would look them up online.
As with any multi-artist collection of this sort, there were artists whose work did not appeal to me but the majority of the work was, to me, excellent, with more than a handful that were truly outstanding.
One of the most unusual artists included was Edward Bateman. His manipulated photographs are tremendously eerie and delightful. Most artists featured are traditional oil, acrylic, and watercolor painters, but there are weavers and sculptors as well.
This book includes:
Foreward: Contemporary West: Myth, Truth, and What Lies Beneath by Rose Fredrick
Carel P. Brest van Kempen
Julie T. Chapman
Dianne L. Massey Dunbar
Glen Lyman Edwards
Edward J. Fraughton
Lindsey Bittner Graham
Kathy Bonnema Leslie
Michael J. Lynch
V. Kim Martinez
Christopher Owen Nelson
Robin Cole Smith
theodore j. smith
William and Marilyn Stevens
r. david wilson
Jenny Glenn Wuerker
Galleries Showing The Artists’ Work
The last two portions of the book – the links to the artists’ websites and the galleries showing these works is an invaluable resource. In terms of commerce, the world is so small today, but it takes a book like this to help bring the awareness of the incredible artistic talents to light.
Looking for a good book? Painted Sky by E. Ashley Rooney is a fantastic collection of a wide range of artists from the Rocky Mountain area and should be enjoyed by art collectors and enthusiasts.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
Painted Sky: 106 Artists of the Rocky Mountain West
editor: E. Ashley Rooney
publisher: Schiffer Publishing
hardcover, 224 pages