Painter, sculptors visit Cogswell Gallery
VAIL ” Cogswell Gallery in Vail Village hosts Denver-based palette knife painter Jeffery Desautels and the collective bronze work of Montana-based sculptors Eugene Morelli and his wife, Joan Zygmunt, Saturday for artists’ receptions.
Desautels has lived in Colorado for almost 30 years. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he served in nuclear submarines, then attended law school at Yale. After graduating, he practiced corporate environmental law for 21 years before devoting all his time to art beginning in 1998. He has studied with Don Sahli; with Doug Dawson, Rick Brogan and John Lencicki at the Art Students League of Denver; and with Boris Shoshensky.
“What first drew me to art, and keeps me enthralled by it, is simply the joy of creativity,” Desautels said. “I am more interested in capturing color, light and texture than in pursuing any particular subject matter. My philosophy is very simple: I paint what I like to look at, and try to create paintings that please me and, I hope, others.”
He often uses painting knives, either in combination with brushes or alone, to achieve a rich, buttery texture and particularly vibrant colors.
“The colors and texture attained in knife paintings are especially satisfying, as is the great freedom of expression I have found by painting with knives,” Desautels said.
Montana-based bronze sculptors Eugene Morelli and Joan Zygmunt both began their careers over 25 years ago. Zygmunt was already a full time artist when she met Morelli in Ornithology class at the University of Montana in 1979.
Since beginning his career in 1980, Morelli has exhibited his sculpture in many of the most prestigious galleries and shows in the country. In 2002, Morelli’s work became part of the permanent collection of The White House in Washington, D.C.
In addition to their individual success, this husband and wife will often collaborate on many of their sculptures and are considered the premier bird sculptors in the world, whether it be a majestic bald eagle soaring ” wings outstretched ” or a delicate nesting hummingbird. The products of their creativity exemplify the balanced coupling of fine art sculpting with extensive life-long study of birds and wildlife, both at the university level and research in the field.