Friday, September 2, 2005

Illustrative art brought to life

Painter befits Sun Valley's bygone days

Express Staff Writer

Painting by Carla Palmese

There's something about Sun Valley and the vintage Western ski world that works together. And it's no wonder. Sun Valley was the first destination ski resort in the United States. Built in the late 1930s by Union Pacific tycoon Averell Harriman, it attracted cowboys, skiers, socialites and movie stars alike.

Wyoming-based artist Carla Palmese works in a medium that perfectly captures those vintage days of yore.

Her art exhibit opens today, Friday, Sept. 2, at Sagebrush Interiors in Ketchum. Her new collection is titled "Vintage Summer Sports and Leisure Travel."

Palmese says her paintings are "always based on the past—a sweeter, more innocent time, especially the love affair the eastern United States had with the West, home to the dude ranch vacations of the 1920s."

Evoking a sense of nostalgia, her work depicts a time when travel by railroad to remote wilderness areas, dude ranches and resort destinations was leisure time well spent. Her art employs a unique style of painting seen in early illustrated art. She often begins by painting plein air.

"I paint to record a second in time--the light, the shadows, the colors, fleeting images gone forever to the eye but caught forever on a canvas to share, confirm and inspire that this is truly the best of all possible worlds."

The color tones are laid closely together, reading as one. Each landscape's palette is rooted deeply in the American Impressionist school of painting.

With her husband, Ted Van Doorn, Palmese founded Vandor Imports, an internationally successful giftware company based in San Francisco. She is also a costume designer.

Palmese resides in Wyoming but spends time traveling and painting on location throughout the West.

Musicians Bruce Innes and Cheryl Morrell are entertaining during the artist reception from 6 to 9 p.m.

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