BEAVER CREEK – An old proverb states that “God is in the details.” For artist Marie Channer, this truism is evident in her paintings of horses and portraits of women and children. Every hair counts — every small particle of dust stirred up by traveling hoofs is recorded in the finest detail.
Channer grew up in the deep south of Alabama. She started drawing at an early age with her mother who was a locally acclaimed artist. Under her mother’s wing, Channer learned the fundamentals of art and portraiture. She is the mother of five children, which has helped her to connect emotionally with her subjects. This connection allows her to explore in depth the subject’s inner beauty and charm — evident in her portraiture.
“I try to take the viewer into another’s world, to share a moment in time to glimpse an emotion, a feeling, a sense of mystery, drama or passion,” she said. “It gives me great joy to share the softness, beauty, strength or grace of the world around us. God has blessed us with awesome beauty and my passion is to capture some of it on my canvas.”
Channer also has a passion for everything western, especially horses. The finest details of the horse’s anatomy are created with confident brush strokes that reveal long hours of observation and visual recording. Every moving muscle is so finely depicted that viewers often ask if the painting is actually a photograph.
“We love that dropping of the mouth, the deep sense of wonder, the mental questioning and admiration we witness when people stop and look at Marie’s work. We see the wheels turning, the body getting closer to the artwork — wondering if it is a photo or a painting,” said Simone Crotzer, art director for the Horton Gallery in Beaver Creek.
Most recently, Channer has studied and depicted dancers, especially flamenco dancers. There is a great kinetic sense of motion, as well as the passion that unites the dancer and the artist to become one on canvas.
To create a deeper sense of drama, she often uses a deep, dark backdrop, as if the eyes can only see the subject of the dance and nothing else matters. Channer will be painting and showing her latest creations at the Horton Fine Art gallery on Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. The gallery is located in the Beaver Creek Plaza across from the ice skating rink.