Artist Friends Exhibit Different Interpretations

Los Alamos artists and friends Janice Parker Muir, left, and Sheridan Brown share an exhibit that opens from 5-7 p.m., Friday at Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery across from Ashley Pond. Photo by Karen Wray

By Mandy Marksteiner

  • Upcoming exhibition at Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery features the work of two friends who see the world differently

No two people see the world the same way.

“Janice Parker Muir and I have been friends for a long time,” artist Sheridan Brown said. “We’ve had a lot of fun going out and painting together. We see different things even when we’re in the same place.”

The upcoming show at the Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery and Studio, “Two-Artist Exhibition: Sheridan Brown and Janice Parker Muir,” will show how two artists can have a completely different interpretation of the same view.

Join the artists at the opening reception that kicks off the exhibit from 5-7 p.m., Friday July 13. The show will continue through Aug. 24.

“The paintings are done,” Muir said, via Facebook. “Now we need to see if we can mesh our two styles together. Sheridan Brown and I are both excited about our joint show. It will be an interesting mix of animals and landscape. Hope we can figure out how to hang it.”

According to Brown, the friends have often joked about collaborating on a painting where Muir (a passionate sky watcher) would paint the background and landscape while Brown (a devoted birdwatcher) would add the foreground details.

Brown said hanging their paintings in close proximity might produce the same effect: “You’ll be able to imagine my birds flying past Janice’s skies.

Photo: “Parrots” by Sheridan Brown. Courtesy/KRFAG

Attracting her animal subjects

Brown, who does commissions of family pets, has two chocolate labs and three cats.

“I love doing animal portrait studies,” she said. “They’re very expressive.”

But she has to work a little harder to find birds to paint.

Brown moved into a house where the trees were all cut down and the yard is covered in landscaping rock. 

In order to attract birds, she added feeders and several birdbaths. She grows bird-friendly plants, like sunflowers, that the birds like to perch on.

Brown goes to Wild Birds Unlimited to pick out foods that attract certain birds, like goldfinches, which are her favorite.

Once they’re in her yard, Brown has to move fast. She studies them to watch how they move, sketching their fine gestures and refining it in her paintings.

Photo: “Storm Brewing” by Janice Parker Muir. Courtesy/KRFAG

Growing as artists — Together

Although their styles are different, Brown and Muir enjoy sharing ideas and finding opportunities to grow as artists.

Together they recently attended a workshop at the Fechin Institute north of Taos, with Kim English, an artist who does high-contrast landscape work.

“We were talking about sunsets and about how you only have a few minutes to capture a sunset,” Brown said. “Kim came by, giving tips on how to make the clouds more intense by darkening everything else when he suddenly looked at the sunset and said, ‘I’ve got to paint that!’ He whipped out his supplies and in five minutes he painted it.”

Brown has work in the Wilde/Meyer Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, and has a BA in fine arts from the University of New Mexico in intaglio printmaking (etching.)

She is a signature member of The Pastel Society of New Mexico and an associate member of Women Artists of the West.

Muir is a signature member of the Women Artists of the West, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, the Pastel Society of New Mexico, and the Pastel Society of Colorado.

She is also an associate member of the Oil Painters of America.

Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery is an artist-owned and operated gallery in downtown Los Alamos that features art created by Los Alamos artists, inspired by local surroundings.

The gallery offers painting classes taught by local artists.

Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery, 2101 Trinity Dr., Suite B-2, is open noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m., Saturday.

Call (505) 660-6382 for more details.

















LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems