Opening Reception: Oct 5, 6-8pm
Please sign up to be on the early preview list.
Gallery 1261 is proud to announce the upcoming two-person exhibition by Teresa Elliott and Jill Soukup titled, “WEST x WEST”. In this exquisitely painterly exhibit, this dynamic duo will share with the audience their studied observations of the natural beauty of the famous West.
Elliott is a visual storyteller, masterfully sharing her craft as she relays the emotional connectedness of the natural world. One of her favorite quotes by John Muir states, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it connected to the rest of the world.” When Teresa is out of her studio and out in nature, gathering references for her paintings, she often remembers these words.
Soukup further adds to the conversation of connectedness. This show for her is an accumulation of the many years studying and spending time with the people and animals of the west. In particular, she has been painting the livestock and lifestyle of two ranches for about fifteen years now—Ranchlands’ Chico Basin and Zapata ranches. “Over this time, my connection with the ranch has transformed from a sort of generic business and artistic adventure, into a deep, visceral, yet abstract notion of a sentiment I can't quite put into words—and thus, I paint it.”
Although these two artists share a lot in common in terms of their subject matter, stylistically, their aesthetics are distinct with individuality and approach. Elliot’s expertly rendered works have a majestic and powerfully charged energy about them. With bold colors and strong direct gazes, the animals and people seem to say “I am here. I am in my element.”
Elliott shares, “I’ve always enjoyed conjuring my own realities in paint. Once the bones of a painting are in place, the sweeping landscapes, epic bovines and calves are all there to entice me to capture them in situations that I would gladly trade places with. I paint them as I see them, living in the moment, casually exchanging a glance with a visitor who may pick up on the operatic atmosphere I strive for.”
Teresa attributes her personal growth to being able to progress with through the infinite challenges of becoming an accomplished painter and doing so through providing a powerful visual statement with attention to color relationships, design, edges and paint handling.
Soukup’s immaculate canvases capture the subjects from the outside, looking in. They seem to have a contemplative, watchful feel about them, rendering the animals and people with studied curiosity and grace.
She shares on painting her fauna subject matter, horses specifically, “…the more time I spend with them and painting them, the more layers I discover—the various qualities of their coats, their personalities, the underlying structure and anatomy and even my own expanding feelings about them.” Thus, for Soukup this show reflects primarily her exploration of Ranchlands' horses and provides a glimpse of the people and other animals that are an integral part of her work.
The two women also enjoy a great deal of respect and admiration for one another. Jill shares, “Having an exhibition with Teresa, whom and who's work I admire greatly, has been a long-time aim.” Teresa echoes the sentiment, “ Jill and I both have wanted to show together for some time. Our approaches and technique are different, but I think we both have a great affinity for the hardy grazing animals of the old west that are still with us today.”
And thus, this duo exhibit concept comes to fruition; each artist bringing a unique point of view and their distinctly different styles providing for the perfect blend of tension and harmony.
Teresa Elliott is an American realist painter living and working in her desert studio north of the Big Bend National Park in Alpine, Texas. After completing a Fine Art BFA from the University of Kansas, she moved to Dallas, TX working as an artist, designing intricate scroll work for Colt, Winchester firearms and Buck knives for an etching company. Soon, she saw an opportunity to become self employed as a graphic designer and illustrator. Many years as an illustrator prepared her for her true calling as a fine art painter. In 2006, she had a sold-out gallery show in Ft. Worth, Texas which launched her career and afforded her to devote every day to her studio practice. Her studio located in the hills of the Big Bend region of West Texas, sits on a bed of ancient lava rock looking over a vast old ranch now vacant of livestock. The wandering javelina herds, deer, turkey and white wing doves are frequent visitors at her studio reminding her how inspiration is everywhere.
Gifted with artistic talent from a very young age, Jill Soukup was always certain she would be a professional artist. As a teen, she started a pet-portrait business, acquired jobs painting murals, and designed logos for local organizations. Jill went on to study art at Colorado State University, eager to learn about a wide range of disciplines. After earning her Bachelor of Art degree, Jill found what was, for her, the ideal job as an artist. She went to work as a graphic designer at Denver’s Natural History Museum, which utilized her artistic talents while appealing to her love of all things natural. For more than 15 years now, Jill has devoted herself to oil painting and has developed an impressive reputation as a contemporary Western artist. Jill’s work continues to gain recognition as she receives awards, appears in national publications, and shows in important galleries as well as juried and one-woman exhibitions, such as the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale and the Cowgirl Up! Invitational Exhibition & Sale, where she recently won Best of Show. Jill is also a noted workshop instructor specializing in teaching equine painting. She currently resides with her husband and son in Denver, Colorado.