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Using rust to create rustic

Ted AlvarezVail, CO Colorado
AE Barb Bomier 1 DT 8-13-07
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Barb Bomier loves to paint plein air landscapes – mountains, streams and orange skies fill the frames on her walls. But she just can’t get away frum rusty old trucks.”I’m kind of known for doing rusty old pickup trucks,” she says. “I actually sometimes prefer to do plein air, but it’s really popular. But I do love old stuff – furniture, houses, people. And especially old trucks from the ’40s. I don’t know why I love them, I just do.”Bomier thinks Americans are drawn to her trucks because it stokes our collective fond memories of a bygone era. “I think Americans have such a love affair with vehicles, and trucks are icons of the West,” she says. “Maybe it’s the Boomer era, but I think most people are as nostalgic as I am. We grew up when the designs were round and built with pleasing curves. Today’s cars and trucks are square, and I don’t like them as much.”

Bomier has studied decay – rust, peeling paint, chipping wood – to the point that they become images outside of the worn objects they adorn.”Rusty stuff kind of forms natural abstract shapes and colors,” she says. “I couldn’t come up with an abstract piece like that on my own. Nature turns them perfect.”Like other Red Cliff artists, Bomier paints because she is compelled to, as if a force from deep within wills her to do it. And like many artists, her mood is determined by her ability to express herself.”People ask, ‘Why do you paint?’ and the answer is I’m compelled to do it,” she said. “It’s like that for creative people. If you’re not doing your creative thing, it’s like a toxin in your body. If I don’t have time to create, I get grumpy.”

Bomier stakes out junkyards and roadside ruins looking for possible subjects. She doesn’t go knocking on doors, but she recently found a wealth of subjects in a junkyard near Gypsum.”Down in Gypsum, there’s a treasure trove in this junkyard,” she says. “I took four rolls of film. It was like a goldmine.”In 19 years, Bomier has spent countless days painting the natural features of Red Cliff – but the rusty trucks always come back, in both her imagination and the imagination of her admirers.”You know how they say Thomas Kinkade is a painter of light?” she says. “Well I’m a painter of rust.”



Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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