World-class bronze and oil artists headed to Horton in Beaver Creek |

World-class bronze and oil artists headed to Horton in Beaver Creek

Daily staff report

David Riley, known for his oil paintings, often captures wildlife and gives it a "contemporary feel."
Special to the Daily

If you go …

What: Artist reception with Craig Campbell and David Riley.

When: Saturday, 3 to 8 p.m.

Where: Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek.

On Saturday, both bronze artist Craig Campbell — whose artistic accomplishments include creation of characters for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Mad Max” and “Elysium” — as well as David Riley, the country’s hottest contemporary wildlife oil painter, will be in the same space at the same time: Horton Fine Art on from 3 to 8 p.m.

Both artists will be creating artwork during their visit.

Craig Campbell

What does it take to be one of six sculptors headhunted from around the globe to work on a film such as “The Hobbit?”

“Part of it is luck,” said Campbell in a press release, “to be at the right place at the right time, but you have to work hard to have the skill so that when opportunity does knock, you’re ready to grab it and go.”

Along with skill, Campbell sites an open mind and positive attitude.

Before “The Hobbit,” he had done a lot of sculpting projects, big and small, but he had never done film work. There would be a lot of unknowns and challenges — doing character designs, creating the prosthetics for the actors who would be the creatures, making the collectibles. Having a can-do attitude instead of focusing on deadline pressures and other demanding negatives, made it possible to accept the position.

The same was true when he was asked to be a featured artist on the HISTORY Channel’s “Monument Guys.” He had worked hard to lay the groundwork with his skills so, even though this would be a new chapter in his life, he was confident that the rest would follow.

Campbell’s visit will last through Monday.

David Riley

What can you make with just transparent red oxide, ultramarine blue and white? In the hands of oil painter David Riley, wonderful things.

When asked release why he thought interest in his work was skyrocketing Riley answered in the release, “I think my work is an amalgamation — I’ve taken traditional subject matter, but given it a very contemporary feel.”

Most of Riley’s work is in a large format with the background having an ethereal or dreamlike quality. The subject stands out, giving it character.

“I want the viewer to have an interaction, a direct experience with the animal in the painting,” said Riley. In fact, it’s hard to view the painter’s wildlife portraits without feeling like you’re having a conversation with the animal.

Riley’s visit will begin on Thursday and end on Saturday.

Support Local Journalism