All Creatures, Great and Small"
The William&Joseph Gallery will kick off the arts season May 4th with an art exhibition/fundraiser for the Espanola Valley Humane Society.
The featured artist, Natasha Isenhour, is creating paintings of animals for this special exhibit.
Isenhour was also a special guest artist for ArtSmart in February, was a guest artist at SXSW in Austin in March, and was also awarded a price with the Masterworks of New Mexico Art Exhibit last week, and is an artist in residence at the Inn at Loretto.
When someone asks where I get my inspiration, I really don’t have a canned or predictable answer. Depending on the day, I may say music, or a poem... or you may hear me say blue, the sky or laughter. Every time I sit down and try to articulate an answer to that question, I am stumped as to how to put it into words.
I work full-time in the studio, and moonlight as an artist during all my waking hours outside of that comfortable nest of creativity. I have an unstoppable stream of visual inspiration living in the southwest. There are animals galore, sunsets, storytelling adobe ruins, the changing light of the seasons and more landscape that I could ever hope to absorb in a lifetime. All of these elements are present for me when I step up to the easel regardless of the subject that takes its place in the composition as I begin working.
People often ask if I know what colors I will use before I begin. The answer is “no.” More often than not, I step up to the oil box or the pastel box and allow myself to be inspired by a color, then, as in any relationship, one thing leads to another. I try to leave preconceived notions of an ideal finished product somewhere inaccessible so I can allow my passion and emotion to drive the work. I often feel that the subject matter that I use in my work is merely a catalyst to convey emotion through color. You see a bird, a horse or a staircase; I see my heart.
Whether in oil or pastel, my technique begins with the perfect substrate. Then it is color on color on color until I get the rich, crisp combination that succeeds in expressing what I can’t find words for. I am also a writer and a musician, and I often refer to my paintings as picking up where the words and notes fall short.
So I suppose you could say that what inspires me is the last thing I painted. Creativity for me breeds itself. The more I paint, the more I know that there is no end to the inspiration for the next blank canvas.”
She is an active member of the following organizations:
Oil Painters of America
American Women Artists
Pastel Society of New Mexico
Plein Air Painters of New Mexico
Isenhour’s collectors span the globe from all across the United States to Paris and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her work has been exhibited internationally in London, the Czech Republic, and Florence, Italy. Natasha is a member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico and a writer for, and member of the Pastel Society of New Mexico. *image attached: "When Words Fail" oil on panel, 8x10 inches