Trailside Galleries Presents - Dustin Van Wechel: The Wild, Wild West

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The Wild, Wild West

DUSTIN VAN WECHEL


Trailside Galleries Presents

DUSTIN VAN WECHEL The Wild, Wild West September 7 – 17 2022

“This new collection of work is the culmination of decades of exploring the wilds of North America. In all of that time, I’ve seen the many varying details of what one might call the Wild, Wild West. It was these various attributes of what makes the west wild — the terrain, the stories of the animals that inhabit it and their beauty — that I hoped to explore with these new, smaller and more intimate paintings.” Dustin Van Wechel


“Bison are notoriously ill-tempered and few things quite embody the wild nature of the west like a bull bison. Intimidating on a good day, these often cantankerous creatures are forever a favorite subject of mine.”

Cantankerous

oil on linen, 14 x 11 inches, $2,400


“Mountain goats are one of my favorite subjects. Observing them deftly traversing their rocky, high-altitude environments it becomes immediately clear just what “Rock Stars” they truly are.”

Rock Stars

oil on linen, 32 x 32 inches, $10,500


“Pronghorn are an extraordinary staple of the west. Simultaneously appearing delicate while being undeniably hardy, they live throughout incredibly diverse landscapes and environmental conditions. We’re all used to seeing them on the vast high plains of Wyoming, but I have always found their traversing of difficult terrain more interesting. Pronghorn are uniquely adapted to the ruggedness of the Wild, Wild West.”

The Buddy System

oil on linen, 24 x 18 inches, $5,000


“Little Wishes” is the title of a poem written by American poet, Casarah Nance. The poem describes the ‘little wishes’ a mother has for her daughter and for the life she hopes her daughter will lead. I thought it was a fitting title for this tender moment I witnessed between a mule deer doe and her fawn in the Wild, Wild West.”

Little Wishes

oil on linen, 14 x 11 inches, $2,400


A Good Morning Stretch

oil on linen, 11 x 14 inches, $2,400

“Trumpeter swans are one of the wild west’s greatest gifts of beauty. Finding interesting ways of contrasting their graceful nature with the textures and colors of the west is a challenge I can seldom resist.”


CariBOO!

oil on linen, 36 x 48 inches, $18,000


“While in Alaska, I came across a small bachelor herd of caribou making their way through the blazing colors of the late summer tundra. Spooked by my presence, the caribou quickly dashed from the area. It was then the inspiration for “CariBOO!” hit me. Just as I had spooked these bulls, I envisioned them doing the same to a covey of ptarmigan, flushing them from the lichen-covered rocks in which they were hiding.”


Three Amigos

oil on linen, 16 x 20 inches, $4,000

“It is always a treat to happen upon a bachelor herd of bighorn sheep. Of all the animals of the American West I’ve observed over the years, it’s bighorn I’ve probably spent the most time with. Adapted to some of the harshest but beautiful environments of the west, I couldn’t think of a better combination of landscape and animal than that of bighorn sheep.”


“I’ve always felt owls have a particular look of judgement on their face — none more so than the great horned owl. Every time I’ve come across an owl in the wild, I have the sense they’re irritated by me…so I snap a few photographs then quietly skulk away, my head lowered in shame. No wild animal is as effective at inducing a feeling of shame than the judgey owl.”

Passing Judgment

oil on linen, 16 x 12 inches, $3,200


BIOGRAPHY


Since leaving a successful career in advertising to pursue fine art on a full time basis, Dustin Van Wechel has ascended to the top in the genre of wildlife painting. As a young boy growing up in Arizona, trips with his father into the high country instilled a deep love of the mountains and appreciation for nature, the environment and the animals. Influenced by such iconic wildlife artists as Carl Rungius, Bob Kuhn, Tucker Smith and Ken Carlson, Van Wechel’s paintings are always intimate, presenting the viewer with a portrayal of the subject matter and ideas in each painting that they can connect with emotionally. Each painting tells a unique story, filtered through his own personal lens of the wildlife and landscapes of the West. Immersing himself in the serenity of the environment leads to unforgettable experiences with nature that he brings back to the studio to reimagine through his paintings. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S.in one-man shows, major art exhibitions and museums including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Autry National Center, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Booth Museum and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. His numerous distinctions include the 2015 and 2022 Bob Kuhn Award For Wildlife at the Masters of the American West Show as well as the 2018 People’s Choice Award and 2015 Premier Platinum Award at the Buffalo Bill Show. Dustin Van Wechel and his wife Yvonne call Colorado Springs, Colorado home.


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