To say that I fell under the spell of Bekye Fargason's paintings the first time I saw them is an under statement. They are bold, textural and engaging. You find yourself walking up to each canvas to check out the
raised, decorative surface.
They 'fool the eye' as in trompe l'oeil. The buckskin, beads and fringe that look so real are fashioned from molding plaster using a variety of pallet knives and other techniques to create the intricate beading effect.
"I like to call it sculpture on canvas," explains Bekye.
Ooriginally a decorative painter working with interior designers creating her magic on walls, ceilings and furniture, she made an artistic shift when the financial crunch hit in 2007, and a year ago moved from New Orleans to Santa Fe.
The day I visited she was in the process of creating two large horse paintings and it was fascinating to see how she builds the layered elements and textures onto each canvas.
She begins by sketching the image on the canvas; then the layering and painting begins. She paints with oil and applies metal leaf and molding plaster and usually works on several paintings at once. "With each layer, I see it coming to life and can envision what it will look like."
The process is tedious and some paintings, like the buckskin dress, took months to complete. If something isn't going right with a painting, she steps away and then revisits it to re-work and add more layering or elements until it's finished.
And of course, her studio companions are there to offer aid
and comfort when needed!
Her other work - holding sway on tables to one side of her studio - is abstract and bold and in sharp contrast to the delicately worked figural paintings. Great sweeps of color are applied with a palate knife and then sections are blasted with heat to create a crackling effect.
Thanks Bekye for the studio visit; can't wait to see more
of your gorgeous work!
Here's what happens when you take a walk downtown Santa Fe...
YOU GET TO EAT A SCRUMPTIOUS BAGUETTE AT THE FRENCH PASTRY SHOP AT LA FONDA ON THE PLAZA
A RARE TREAT...
I saw these gorgeous young ladies in their fairytale gowns of layered tulle, white fur wraps and glam jewelry. They were being photographed in the middle of the Plaza - beautiful portraits to commemorate their 15th birthday. A lavish celebration in Hispanic culture called - QUINCEANERA - designating a girl's transition from childhood to adulthood.
THE SWEET ATTENDANTS...
Thank you for sharing your special day with CHASING!