2019 Homestead Magazine

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Simplicity + Beauty

Bring Joy to Life

Splendid, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches


Turner Fine Art
turnerfineart.com

Story By
Katy Niner
Photos By
Kathryn Mapes Turner

The work of Jackson based-artist Kathryn Mapes Turner is inspired by her connection with the natural world. Having grown up on her family’s dude-ranch inside Grand Teton National Park, her paintings and drawings capture the essence of the landscape and wildlife with a balance of dynamic energy and serenity. Turner lives the valley through every fiber of her being—hiking, skiing, running, riding horses. From this experiential intuition, she painted her native place—until tearing her anterior cruciate ligament this winter put her at a distance from this immersion, at the very moment when she needed to summon all she knows and loves about Jackson Hole as the Fall Arts Festival featured artist—an honor she felt both awed and intimidated by, having watched all of her local heroes step up for Fall Arts.

Of Earth and Wind, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches

2019 Fall Arts Festival featured piece that will be auctioned on September 14th on the Town Square at the Quick Draw Art Sale + Auction, 10:30am.

To overcome her injury, Turner channeled Matisse and his cutouts—his aesthetic adaption to being bed-bound. Painting on crutches forced her to imagine, rather than live, the world she wanted to paint. Instead of walking outside to find her subjects, she had to turn within, to the resources inside her studio—her shelves of art history books, her access online. Open books covered every inch of her workspace: the equine studies of Eadweard Muybridge; scenes by Andrew Wyeth; “The Horse Fair” by Rosa Bonheur. To combat the sensory deprivation of enduring the epic winter indoors, she found palette infusion in the clipped pages of Vogue and Scandinavian design magazines. “I had all of these mentors and teachers and friends in my studio with me,” she says. “It felt like a collaboration.”

Cinnabar—The One O’clock Fox, watercolor, 18 x 24 inches

With her daily needs cared for by kind friends and family, she focused her strained reserves on her Fall Arts painting. Her usual practice—a rapid dance around her easel, laying down moments and then gliding back for perspective—slowed into solitary brushstrokes, laboriously considered. The resulting work—a lone horse galloping against the backdrop of the mountains—bears no trace of her pain, exuding only communion with nature’s exuberance.

“What a privilege it is as an artist—we can enter another reality,” she says. “I couldn’t move with these horses, but I could move through them.”

Turner Fine Art located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the home gallery of Kathryn Mapes Turner.

The Listener, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 inches