Showing posts with label portrait. Show all posts
Showing posts with label portrait. Show all posts

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Indian Meeting Place Of The Universe

A life size wooden Indian faces my gallery every day. He wears a war bonnet, is dressed in buckskin and holds a tomahawk. Each morning he is dragged out of the shop called Shalako that sells old Native American Indian silver jewelry and adornments. Then he goes back inside at closing time. He stands sentinel at the door and tourists from all over the world have stopped to have their picture taken next to him.

Santa Fe is the meeting place of the universe for Indians this weekend. Indian Market is in progress. Today, a real Indian stood next to the wooden one as I took a picture. He grabbed the ax from the wooden Indian's hand and smiled while I photographed. He is from the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico, and is here among tribe people from all over the United States, including Alaska, and also some from Canada. 

Tents line every street going out from the plaza. The Indians sell their pottery, jewelry, weavings, artwork and more. Tourists come from all over. They can be seen waiting at the booth of a favorite artist for over an hour before opening time at 8 AM on Saturday morning. 
Throughout the two days, there are continual performances of native music with colorful dancing in traditional costume . . . and a spirit of happiness and excitement pervades everywhere.

My gallery is only 100 feet from the plaza. Often, downtown businesses complain that shoppers are so fixated on the Indian crafts that their businesses go into a sales slump. Last year I had the good fortune to sell a big painting during the market.

I show up with a positive attitude and am thankful for what fate brings . . . and this year some collectors came in and bought art from me; including a portrait that I had just completed. You might call it a “native” portrait. It is of an indigenous woman from South America, wearing her native costume, including a bright red felt hat.

"The Red Hat", oil on linen, 20 x 20 inches
by Steven Boone

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Art Is Never Finished

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” -Leonardo da Vinci

During the course of creating art, a time comes when the work nears completion. Artists’ often think, “Is it finished?” Many have experienced the culmination of their efforts and yet wonder, can it be better? On occasion, an artist eventually sees his work hanging in a gallery or a home, finds it not quite satisfactory and changes it.

Just like a person might not see a flaw in themselves that another easily sees, an artist when they are making art, becomes one with it so that they are “in” it. It is only when stepping away that objectivity arrives.

We can feel an art work is finished when there is no more space to cover or stone to carve. But that is not really it, for art is malleable . . . (excepting sculpture). Some artists like to leave “mistakes” in the work to show the process. There are indigenous artisans who purposefully leave something undone—to show humility and that only God is perfect.

For me, I have come to believe that my portraits are done when the subject is able to “speak”. If my landscapes invite the viewer to enter in their realm and abide there in wonder, perhaps then they are complete.

As I write, I feel Leonardo is correct- Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


This afternoon I finished an oil painting on panel, and stood back to see if I liked it. The subject appealed to me—two cockatoo birds, sharing a nut between their beaks. The painting came out well enough and I considered it a success. I measure my portraits a success if in the end, the subject seems to speak in some way . . . as if imparting a message. The birds seem alive, and joyful in their camaraderie.
Often when I finish a painting I photograph it and post it to my Facebook page. I posted this picture, and right away, Colleen, my cousin's wife in Atlanta messaged me asking the price. We chatted this way, and she bought the artwork immediately. So, between the time I posted the picture and the time it sold, maybe five minutes elapsed. Colleen said the work had special meaning for her because she had been a zoo docent for 4 years and knew the birds.
My cousin Greg died a few years ago and left Colleen bereft. I call the painting “Lovebirds.” That is what Greg and Colleen were . . . and now, when Colleen sees the painting in her home, she can be reminded of her eternal union with Greg.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thank God For Beauty

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Lately, I have been waking up from sleep with some anxiety, since my gallery is floundering under the poor economy. Especially difficult is that during the last four months, a large investment was made preparing for and installing a critically popular and well attended show of portraits by twenty-five artists, called HEADS UP—but the sales have been negligent. So I am scrambling to survive.

This morning, I arrived at my gallery to open, and noticed across the street that a garden is in bloom. I took my camera and walked over to take pictures. Right on cue, a beautiful butterfly landed on a flower and opened it’s wings to share with me it’s beauty before it fluttered off, not a care in the world. 

Thank God for beauty.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Art Of Portraits

When I had the idea to use The Steven Boone Gallery for a portrait exhibit, I almost simultaneously thought of Geoffrey Laurence as a possible curator. Geoff is the quintessential realist painter.and he has been around the block many times. He is talented, and so knowledgeable about art and painting techniques, that he is sought after as a highly respected instructor.

When I asked Geoffrey to consider curating a show of portraits, he was honored and thrilled. That was over four months ago, and now, in barely two weeks, our show, called HEADS UP, The Art Of Portraits, is about to commence. Geoff has gathered twenty-five highly respected artists and over sixty works of art.

I have been amazed at how much work our gallery has put forth, and also astonished how much effort Geoffrey has dedicated. As I write this article, Geoff is busy with a scale model he built of the gallery, and is placing small-scale prints of all the artwork in the model, to visualize the best presentation for exhibition.

From the start, we have planned, selected artists, communicated with them, selected art, made graphic art for advertising, written promotions, made contracts . . . the list goes on, and continues, probably until the hour of the show opening.

In the end, this will be a fantastic show, and leave its mark on the consciousness of Santa Fe.

To see all the artwork, click here: HEADS UP

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I am excited that The Steven Boone Gallery will be hosting a major show of portraits, July 6, 2012. Artists from as far away as New York, Seattle, and Ontario, Canada will participate. My friend, the painter Geoffrey Laurence is curating and his standards are high, so this will be a wonderful exhibit.
I am primarily known as a landscape painter, and this is what sells the most for me. But I have always loved portraits and depictions of human subjects. Now, besides my landscape paintings, I am working on portraits.

Recently, a colorful and stately older woman came to my studio. Alicia De Najera Sena and I are just getting acquainted. When my wife, Heidi Of The Mountains, realized that I needed a subject, she immediately thought of Alicia. Alicia is flamboyant and worldly. Her heritage is Native American and Hispanic, and she has been involved with flamenco and flamenco dance companies for years.

When Alicia arrived at my studio, she was dressed in a red velvet dress and red shawl, which was perfect for enhancing the look of her dark skin and long black hair. She brought flamenco cd’s with her, and as the music played, struck poses under my skylight, in front of a black cloth I had strung from my ceiling. I took about seventy pictures. Soon, I will begin sketching from one of the photo’s and call Alicia back in for adjustments as I proceed. It is better this way, since Alicia  has foot problems and could not stand for hours on end as I paint her portrait.

I am certain I will get a good likeness.