In a world where many so-called artists climb on bandwagons and imitate other artists' styles, it's refreshing to come across those who follow their own vision and hone in on their own styles.
Three artists who definitely fit into the second group are currently displaying their creative works in one-person shows at the Dolores Chase Gallery in downtown Salt Lake City and the Kimball Art Center in Park City.- Whenever Edie Roberson has a show, it's always a treat. For her trompe l'oeil (trick of the eye) paintings, she not only tromps the soil to find the many objects used in her artwork, but she paints them soaring above the clouds.
We all know that boats, tricycles, pedal cars and people don't fly - that is, if they're not part of Roberson's imaginative paintings.
Of course, when painted separately, her intricate re-creation of a tricycle and the sky are considered trompe l'oeil. However, when the tricycle is flying through the sky, it's labeled "fantasy."
"The subject matter in my trompe l'oeil paintings is chosen intuitively from all kinds of objects I've collected through the years," Roberson says. "They come together, as if they have a life of their own, to unite in an assemblage. . . . They are like symbols in a dream; they tell a story."
This concept is particularly evident in her "Aunt Polly's Bird Cage."
It's not always "either/or" when the artist uses trompe l'oeil and fantasy. Sometimes Roberson introduces fantasy so subtly that it's not immediately apparent.
For example, "Seashells, Ships and Such" appears to be a realistic look at the shore upon which shells and a toy ship have been washed up during high tide. The viewer becomes temporarily fascinated with the long string of bubbles along the water's edge. They have been painted so realistically that one feels that if he touched them with a finger, they'd pop.
A closer look at the ship reveals that there is smoke coming out of the stacks.
Another painting, "Marble Falls," has a most appropriate title. The painting shows objects that have been placed on a shelf. All objects are definitely "still life" except for a single marble that has rolled off the shelf and is falling to the floor. However, it isn't immediately apparent, since the marble has been painted with the same hard edge and detail as the others.
"The Necklace" shows a fish with a human head and adorned with a brightly colored charm necklace flying in the black sky . Once again, Roberson has captured dreamlike fantasy.
The 13 new works that comprise "Recent Fantasies" will remain through Feb. 10 at Dolores Chase Fine Art, 260 S. 200 West, 328-2787. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2-5 p.m. on Saturday.
A reception for this exhibit is planned for the night of the monthly Gallery Stroll - Friday, Jan. 21, from 6-9 p.m. Roberson will be on hand to answer questions about her recent paintings, styles and philosophy.
- The Kimball Art Center is spotlighting imaginative work by Marianne Cone in the Main Gallery and Brooks K. Tyler in the Badami Gallery.
Cone's multilevel constructions are a fascinating mix of sculpture and painting. When creating them, she uses a variety of mixed media - canvas, wood, found objects etc.
She refuses to imitate other artists' styles; she also refuses to stick with her own style long enough that she gets in a rut.
"Time passes too quickly to cover the same ground," Cone says. "I seek to improve my technique, explore different media and express my ever-changing view of the world."
This Park City artist was faced with a formidable task to fill KAC's large Main Gallery with her time-consuming constructions. But she has pulled it off beautifully.
One wall is dotted with a number of her acrylic-on-paper studies she paints before making her more ambitious works. "Tire Store," "Orchard #4" and "Past Gas Stations (Malad)" are three little gems that especially appealed to me.
Her larger works range stylistically from realism ("Thames at Low Tide") and abstract-expressionism ("Orchard #1"). Other unique works include "Flying to the Sun," "Dream Chase: Houndstooth" and "Put Out to Pasture."
Landscape, of course, is the inspiration for most of Cone's work. And the artist doesn't limit her imagery to pastoral scenes around Park City. You'll see scenes from Arches National Park as well as England, Holland, France, etc.
While at KAC, be sure to walk down the stairs and enjoy the wall hangings and three-dimensional sculptures by Brooks Tyler of Victor, Idaho.
Tyler constructs these sculptures primarily using wood and etched glass - often adding neon tubing and a variety of metals.
Initially, the viewer is attracted to the impact of the effective mix of materials. But it is soon evident that he loves to explore the transparent nature of glass. Through glass etching, he's able to illustrate imagery and provide greater meaning to his work.
He says that these transparent fronts allow the viewer to peer through the outer shell into more personal feelings and activities.
"So often our homes and personalities are concealed behind obstacles and appearances," he says. The etched glass allows the viewer to penetrate that facade for greater understanding and more interpretation.
Three of his most successful works in this show are "In Stitches," "Green House Effect" and "Petroman."
Tyler graduated from USU in 1981. Since then, he has attended several glass, lamp-working and neon workshops across the country.
Both shows continue through Feb. 2 in Park City's Kimball Art Center. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For details, call 649-8882.