Art from imagination: Emmi Whitehorse and Joan Miro

Water Lily by Emmi Whitehorse, 2009, 38 x 50", oil and chalk on paper, canvas mounted

I’m working on a painting for an exhibit about my town of Niwot, which is named after a Native American chief of the Arapahoe nation, who lived here in the 1800s. I have a deep love of history, so when I learned of the exhibits’ theme, “What is unique about (our town of) Niwot?”, I had to go back to the source, our town’s name sake. (Niwot means Left Hand.) Ideas emerged and I came up with an image I will post when it’s all said and done.

Meanwhile, I want to share one of my favorite artists who grew up within the Navaho nation, Emmi Whitehorse. She is New Mexico born and bred. (My adopted state.) I first saw her work in Santa Fe, and now you can see it in the Denver Art Museum as well!  I love the dreamy, atmospheric qualities, and the suggestion of layers and depth, with lines and shapes seemingly floating in space. One can react to art like this on a gut level; it just speaks to me!

Constellation: The Morning Star, by Joan MIro, 1940

I have a similar love for works of Spanish artist Joan Miro. I’m not sure what other viewers may think of these artist’s works, but I see a special kind of beauty in these two pieces. First I see the cloud-like background of soft color gradients. Then the foreground elements of fine line, contrasted by more solid shapes, captures my interest. There is a playful quality I find especially endearing.

Art simply brings me pure joy, and these are great examples of just such art. When I encounter work like this in a gallery, you would say, “Karen, I see that is a jaw-dropper for you!”

Well, shut my mouth! 🙂

Oh, please comment if you have any reaction, I’d love to hear your ideas.


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