South Lake Tahoe artist’s nature paintings featured at Stremmel Gallery
Local South Shore artist Phyllis Shafer is known for her plein air paintings, which depict the living landscape surrounding her. Beginning Thursday, Nov. 3, her artwork will be displayed for the sixth time in a solo exhibition at Stremmel Gallery.
The exhibition, titled “Nature Divine: Landscape Paintings of the American West,” features Shafer’s observations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and nature throughout the state of Wyoming.
“It’s been three years since I’ve had my last show. There’s a lot of firsts in this show – it’s my first moonlight painting, the first where I’m putting multiple canvases together,” Shafer said.
As a plein air artist, Shafer spends much of her time outdoors and paints what she sees.
“I march out with all my gear and find my location and set up and paint on location. I’ll go back because the sun’s changing. I’ll work maybe three to four hours, and I’ll go back for a series of days during the same time of day. I finish them in the studio,” Shafer said.
She specializes in oil paintings and works on paper. When Shafer first walked into the gallery 12 years ago, Stremmel Gallery co-owner Turkey Stremmel said she was blown away by the artistry.
“I truly, truly think Phyllis is one of the outstanding artists of the time.
“I think her work appeals to so many on so many different levels, whether you backpack or go for a stroll or walk, or you’re just intrigued by her handling of the subject matter. I’m looking at one right now — if you look at her sagebrush, it’s not just sage brush. She almost has her sagebrush look like characters, not in a funny way, but they have their own dignity. They have such a beautiful quality to them — a lot of color, vibrancy.
“When you see her work, you’re in the painting. There are so many integral parts to her painting, yet it flows. It’s not choppy,” Stremmel said.
An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 5-7 p.m., and is free to the public. “Nature Divine: Landscape Paintings of the American West” runs through Dec. 10.
The gallery is located at 1400 South Virginia St., in Reno, and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.