seamlessly into organic. Through the gates and into the lush garden patio, one finds a gallery of green with a moss-covered wall that must be seen. Each clay piece indicates the hand of the artist. Slight imperfections create unique character and beauty, in much the same way as it does in people. Wood, stone and water are the elements that complete the picture in this living studio where art merges with nature. Terry Masters holds the unique position of the only artist in residence, with a live/studio space on North Palm Canyon. Terry resides above his studio and Desert Painter Gallery. His remodel of the old Spunky Monkey restaurant into an open, fresh and inviting art gallery has helped to transform this city block. As a longtime resident, Terry has absorbed the essence of our surroundings and he masterfully renders his experience into engaging works of art. His desert oil paintings shift us to somewhere we’ve been before. A familiar place just on the edge of our recollection. One feels a sense of solitude, alone with the subject matter. Terry takes us to a secret desert gem or a recognized street corner, but we have the scene all to ourselves, as in a very early Sunday morning. True to the spirit of the muses, Terry Masters shares his studio with other artists and he teaches oil painting in his own relaxed way. A true California artist, he engenders a sense of freedom in the student. There are no mistakes and everything is magically fixable. Art revealing life. Although immediately appealing to anyone with an eye for color, the “Familiar Modern” art of Nat Reed calls to many of us who are mid-century ourselves. Using striking color and distinct perspective, Nat emphasizes architectural and symbolic post war elements that call out to him, and to us. Those of us born in the 50’s and 60’s easily recognize the cultural insignias of our youth, used as visual metaphor to express the artist’s point of view. With a nod to his tiki carving grandfather and a family foot firmly in the movie industry, Nat reminds us why we love to live here. The artist prints each image himself, giving him more artistic control and his use of museum quality paper allows each color to stand on its own within the context of the entire piece. At the same time fun and engaging, Nat’s technique is never hollow, it has a bottom. There is a definite viewpoint, a message to the subconscious. The heart of Palm Springs will always be aligned with the fantastic weather, the welcoming populace, and the great fun mixed with ultimate relaxation. However, the true soul of Palm Springs remains in the eye of the artist. One theory states that the stark, barren landscape of the desert leaves the eye with nothing to focus on. No distinctive landmarks are obvious or intricate colors to distract our attention. Left in a sea of rocky brown and beige, capped by the limitless blue sky, the artist in us all discerns the sublime beauty, the less apparent details and colors that surround us here. In the city one finds oneself, in nature one finds beauty, in the desert one finds spirit. The artist in Palm Springs finds all three.
NOVEMBER, 2013 13
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