With words and pictures

Stew Mosberg

Gore Creek Gallery is located at the west end of Gore Creek Drive, just a few steps up from the street. Exhibiting local or formerly local artists, the showcase is owned by painter Mario Kotney, son of Paul Kotney, another painter.

The senior Kotney works with oils and experimented with the mixing of marble dust into his chosen pigments. Two paintings demonstrating this technique hang in the gallery and although they are not to my taste, the results are quite interesting, lending texture and relief to the surface.

So that other talented artists can be displayed, son Mario’s work is in limited supply at the gallery. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to take a look at his lovely canvases.

One of the featured artists is the gifted and much acclaimed Ramon Kelly, who will be hosted by Gore Creek Gallery at a signing of his work and books on March 13. Kelly’s pastel, “Girl in Antique White,” reminded me of an Edgar Degas painting, while “Harmony in Red & Gold,” a sensitive portrayal of a contemplative woman placed against an abstract background, is filled with mystery.

Kelly also works with oils, and his “Church Doors” is painted in an impressionistic style. “At the Beach,” although tiny, is a charming study of children playing in the surf.

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In addition, there is Nikolo Balkanski, a Bulgarian-born painter, who will be exhibited at this year’s Colorado Governor’s Invitational in Loveland. His painting of a simple village back street, with its pale, cold sky, a few chickens pecking at the dirt and houses cloistered behind low walls, draws you in by the shear stark, bleakness of the scene.

Work by Desmond O’Hagan includes sea and landscapes. But my favorite of his is “Morning Conversation, Paris.” Depicting an everyday bistro scene, it is comprised of faceted surfaces reminiscent of the Cubist movement, and is treated with a respect and delight in mundane events, focusing not on the subject, but rather the light and atmosphere enveloping the moment.

Carole Katchen paints whimsical narratives that have off-beat titles and surprising colors. Her “Bursting with Flavor” and “Ripe for the Picking” have New Yorker Magazine flair to them, where, dancers, chefs or a waitress evoke humor and wry commentary.

A pleasant interlude to your visit, and one of the unique aspects of Gore Creek Gallery, is that it shares floor space with Traveler Books. In this age of mega-book emporiums, the small section of the gallery offers first editions, books about the West and Southwest, some modern classics, old prints and pages from antique Harper’s Weekly, all of which are for sale.

Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer and recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of two books on design and can be reached at

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