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The Spirit of the Valley

Oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches


THE ARTIST: Kathryn Mapes Turner

KNOWN FOR: Painted meditations on the wild creatures and wild places of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

A FAMILY OF RANCHERS: "I was born under a lucky star. We're celebrating 91 years of Triangle X Ranch beingi n my family. It's now located in the middle of Grand Teton National Park, but our family established the ranch long before the park was there. It has one of the most spectacular views of the Grand Tetons. Frankly, it was the view of the mountains that is the reason I became a painter. That kind of beauty shaped me."

LISTENING TO THE PAINT: "I try not to over-control the process. It's a happy accident when there's a drip. I don't always stop it; I let it do its thing. I also try not to tell the whole story, and leave edges lost because the viewer brings their own experience to the paintings, and the more that you leave unsaid the more the viewer has the opportunity to bring their own experiences and engage in the image."

LOVE OF NATURE: "I was brought up with an ethic of living closely with the natural world, and also sharing it. Art is a form of communication, and I paint about the love that I have for the mountains and for this valley in particular. When I paint animals, I work from life—sitting with them, studying them, sketching and seeing their behavior. A goal of my work is to capture their spirit—the chi, the life force. That's why we love animals, because of their way of being in the world."

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