Today we have a guest blogger, Danielle Bartlette, one of the five artists participating in the Artist Ranch Project. Danielle tells us about her visit to the OH Ranch in the fall of 2013, themes in her work and her creative process. Her work will be on display at the Western Art Show in the Western Oasis during the 10-day Stampede.

My time spent at the OH ranch was a whirlwind of connecting with new faces (artists included) and actually getting to see how a functioning ranch worked. There were plenty of photographs snapped, a few pints consumed, and a couple of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. I scribbled a lot in my art journal and went home to start digesting what I’d experienced.

OH_Rio Alto Ranch front gate. In 1883 the Ings brothers became the second owners of the ranch and re-named it 'Rio Alto', which means High River. In 1950 the ranch was legally changed back to OH IMAG9294

In terms of themes in my past work, I’d put geography in conjunction with story-telling in the forefront and this series is no exception. The work I’m creating for Stampede pulls its inspiration from this specific Albertan ranch based on memory and photographs I took at the residency. Having a strong visual connection to the OH Ranch and Longview, it allowed for me to focus on what I perceive to be traditional eye-candy..tractor, barn, antlers, sugar shack.

OH Ranch_Barn

The first layer of my paintings are created with several applications of gold leaf, inks, and acrylic paint on board or canvas to achieve a sense of depth, texture, and colour transition. The top coat showcases a flat outlined image allowing for the background to float through the shell of the object. One needs to get close to see a more intricate (and sparkly) background surface among these rather bold, somewhat stark symbols. These symbols mirror my photographic references and the background (first layer) I let get carried away by mood.

redgreen barn making

Small red barn

DSC_0892 DSC_0919    I’ve quite enjoyed my experience in the residency and I’m looking forward to seeing what the other four artists have created. I will be on site during Stampede at the Artist Ranch display as much as I can and I hope you will drop in and say hello!

workspaceDanielle in her studio.

‘Red Barn’ 60”x40” mixed media on canvas (finished and close up)

‘Rio Alto Ranch’ 48”x60” mixed media on canvas (finished, two detail)