Artists Create On Bold Canvas And With Recycled Barn Wood

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Minette Richardson thinks big.

The size of any project that might overwhelm most of us, does not frighten her. As a painter, she expresses herself in a grand way; large canvases, vivid colors, larger-than-life flowers or figures. The timid and delicate do not seem to interest her.

"Half of the time, I know exactly what I want to paint, and what media I am going to use. The other half of the time I just feel like using a certain medium and have no idea what I am going to paint or draw. I find I am usually much more pleased with what appears on the canvas when I have no plan. It is as if I have no control over my hand... it just happens," Minette Richardson said.

Her inspiration and ideas come from many places, "It could be something someone says, something I see, or an idea that just pops into my head."

She cannot remember not wanting to draw or paint. Her creativity was greatly encouraged by her grandmother.

The efforts involved in opening Down the Street Art Gallery this past year have cut into her time to paint, yet she has created a body of new work that will be featured this month, along with Roger Buchanan's.

A portrait of a woman at a bar on the waterfront tulips and a nude are the three latest canvases Minette has painted.

Buchanan is an Arizona native. His work is influenced by his heritage, which is the background of a western family who settled in Arizona before the turn of the last century. Buchanan graduated from Arizona State University, earning his master's degree in fine arts, photography in 1973. He has been the recipient of many grants and endowments and his art has been featured in numerous photography magazines. He was an instructor at ASU and Phoenix Community College for many years.

When his hands are not setting the F-Stop on a camera, his focus is crafting wood into useful, decorative rustic furniture out of mesquite, ironwood, oak, cedar, manzanita and walnut, as well as driftwoods.

He also works in pioneer-era barn wood, garnished with found objects from farms, ranches and abandoned refuse sites, which are scoured for rusted metal, old glass, animal bones, feathers and natural stones.

"The wood speaks out and suggests the direction in which to develop," Buchanan said. Roger's pieces are as much sculpture, as they are functional pieces.

Art patrons will be able to meet Buchanan, along with Richardson, at Down the Street Art Gallery. Opening reception is 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec 7, during the First Friday Art and Antique Walk.

Down the Street Gallery, 703 W. Main St., Payson (928) 468-6129.

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