Nestled among mares and stallions on an acreage just outside of Pauls Valley, two artists — from different worlds but sharing a penchant for globetrotting across them — found an unexpected creative home and wellspring of inspiration.
Between Pastures & Skies: Art from the Ranch, 2014-2019 is the culmination of a vision born from the unique creative relationship and special friendship of the artists Irmgard Geul and Skip Hill, featuring select original mixed-medium works, paintings, drawings, installations, photos and videos produced by the artists over the last five years in their studios on a picturesque 120-acre horse ranch in Oklahoma.
The exhibition debuts with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 11 and runs through Saturday, November 16. A closing reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 8. Both receptions are free, open-to-the-public and coincide with the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk taking place in Downtown Norman each month.
The mixed-media works of international artist Irmgard Geul are best viewed as colorful aerial maps capturing, on paper and canvas, a bird’s eye view of her internal creative explorations scanning the tracts of landscape below and the unfathomable ocean of sky above.
Her paintings serve as visual diaries that document her external observations of the rolling landscape, the daily rhythm of life and the changing seasons on the horse ranch that has been her home and a source of inspiration since arriving in 1998 from her native country, The Netherlands.
Having built and established an internationally renowned equine import and export facility in the heartland of America, Geul always felt a yearning to reconnect with the creative urges from her early love for art and fine arts education in the Netherlands; her unforgettable recollections of India and her life as a graphic designer for corporate brands around the world.
Today in her light-filled studio overlooking open pastures and a wide horizon, Irmgard devotes herself full-time to fulfilling those creative urges in acrylics, ink, oil crayon, collage and photography for an audience of devoted collectors throughout the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Colombia and Israel.
Free of any didactic or moral intent, tortured conceptualism or social agenda beyond the politics of love, Skip Hill is a professional visual artist who creates rich, lyrical works of art that exude a graphic fragrance and a sensuous line.
Using acrylic paints, markers, inks and cut paper from a collection of source materials,Hill has produced a body of work that includes mixed-medium drawings, paintings on canvas and wood, collages on paper, and large scale interior and exterior murals.
Thematically poetic, and subtlety narrative in content, the art of Hill is a visual journey through verdant gardens featuring feminine figures, flocks of birds, exotic fauna, mesmerizing moods, rich textures and vivid colors of an imagined environment he invites his audience to explore.
Hill’s art focuses on the beauty of composition, the exuberance of process, on positive and negative space, on contrasts of mood, colors and flowing line work. Some of the most captivating parts of his mixed-media drawings are in the peripheral details sourced from Art History, elements of folk art, Tattoo-like expressive patterning, looping graphic lines, kinetic scribbling, Asian calligraphy, Pop culture and African motifs.
In the highly productive years since returning to the U.S. from The Netherlands, Hill has created and sold hundreds of works, participated in museum group exhibitions, selected art fairs, and shown in commercial galleries. He has illustrated several award-winning children’s books including A Gift From Greensboro and On Tying A Shoe from Penny Candy Press.
His original paintings, drawings and murals are found in public spaces and private collections throughout the United States, France, The Netherlands, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.