Cogswell Gallery in Vail hosts an exhibit of new works by painter Jeff Desautels and sculptor Clay Enoch Saturday and Sunday. Both artists will be at the gallery.
Desautels, a skiing enthusiast, uses his oil paintings to bring the viewer directly into his favorite setting, the ski mountain. While many of his paintings are pure landscapes, Desautels has recently been focusing on what he calls "action paintings," featuring skiers.
"I try to convey some of the sense of movement, peace and solitude that a good run can offer," he said.
Desautels exclusively uses palette knives to create a rich, buttery texture. This texture helps capture the movement and energy of the skiers highlighted in many of his pieces. Louisa, at Cogswell Gallery, thinks, "His energetic style leaves you with the feeling that you get when you're shredding down the ski slope."
After attending the U.S. Naval Academy and serving in nuclear submarines, Desautels attended Yale Law School. He spent 21 years practicing environmental law before devoting himself full time to art. It was skiing and the mountains that originally drew him to Colorado more than 30 years ago.
Bronze sculptor Clay Enoch creates a wide range of work: from portraits of children to expressive human figures. He explains, "In art the human figure is endlessly expressive; it can evoke a simple feeling or it can tell an elaborate story."
His work is full of emotion and inspiration. He uses the figure to "draw out transcendent truth and contemporary messages of hope and redemption," he said.
Enoch's emphasis is on composition and he strives to find "the perfect tension to make the work sculpturally compelling." Each of Enoch's bronze sculpture is mounted on a walnut block, giving it a specific space and context. He recently began incorporating glass into his bronze pieces to add "the element of luminosity." The contrast between the glass, bronze and wood increases the impact of each piece.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Enoch earned his bachelors of fine art degree from Wheaton College in Illinois before making a move to Colorado Springs. His work is exhibited throughout the country and internationally, in Germany.