Emotional Expressions in Color: Sculptor Spotlight

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • June 15th, 2017
Desert Dreamer by Suzanne Wallace Mears at Pippin Contemporary

Desert Dreamer, Suzanne Wallace Mears, SOLD

Emotional Expressions in Color opens this July as a powerful display of emotive energy, from meditative abstraction to whimsical realism. Suzanne Wallace Mears is the only sculptor in the exhibition of four artists; her work plays an important role in breaking the show’s two dimensional boundary with a striking display of sculptural luminosity. Stephanie Page‘s soothing yet vivid color palette, Liz Barber‘s joyous abstraction and Elizabeth Hahn‘s vibrant patterns are each physically embodied in Mears’ tabletop vessels and totems, which are infused with the spirited personality of the Oklahoma City artist.

“My totems are flamboyant, whimsically named and conjure up pure fun,” says Mears, who approaches her work in an abstract manner but with a specific theme and color palette in mind. Each piece takes on its own eccentric persona from the artist’s imbued energy, from the whimsical “Alligator Swag” and “Awesome Frank” to the mystical “Desert Dreamer” and “Spirit Memories.” Below are some of the artist’s personal contemplations on her latest work.

“Rain Dance represents how it feels to play out in the pouring rain, while Little Reef Knight is that little elusive reef fish peering out from a hiding place in the coral. The Vegetarian with rust, green and a topknot of handout plasma cut steel seems like it could be a culinary delight. Alligator Swag is a cocky alligator dressed up for a night in the glades, and Amber Waves is about the wheat fields and blue skies, lazy days and easy thoughts.”

Mears cuts flat sheets of glass and layers them to fire flat in her kiln, incorporating embellishments such as copper, wire and dichroic glass into their shapes. Multiple firings at anywhere from 1200 to 1500 degrees are often required for the artist’s desired effect, with pieces remaining in the kiln for days at a time. “It’s a delightful, challenging dance,” says Mears of her process.

Vibrant, luminous color is the driving force of inspiration for Mears and is the common thread that connects the four artists represented in Emotional Expressions in Color. Learn more about the exhibition here, which opens Friday, July 7th from 5-7pm. Browse Mears’ full inventory on her artist page of our website.

Suzanne Wallace Mears Pippin Contemporary Artist

See Exhibition Catalogue.

Behind the Paintings: Rebecca Haines, “Animystic”

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • May 3rd, 2017

Curiouser & Curiouser by Rebecca Haines at Pippin Contemporary
“Curiouser and Curiouser” (pictured above) by Rebecca Haines is the largest oil painting in the Santa Fe artist’s upcoming solo exhibition, “Animystic.” Measuring five feet tall and four feet wide, it’s also one of the first paintings she’s created at this scale. “I like working in this size,” says Haines of her recent exploration with larger paintings. “It’s a cool feeling because I’m not just putting these animals down; they have as much power in the conversation as I do.”

In “Curiouser and Curiouser,” a bright-eyed deer stares out from the center of the panel, captivating the viewer with its determined gaze while a larger-than-life magpie looms overhead. Haines’ animals show up on her panels as abstract essences of their physical selves, acting as spiritual emissaries that evoke larger narratives or symbolic notions. The deer, for example, is a recurring figure in Haines’ work that is typically used as a self-portrait as the artist personally resonates with its gentle and elusive nature. The magpie carries a more traditional meaning as a messenger of things to come; it can be seen as a good or bad omen depending on the number of birds encountered at once. The deer and magpie are painted together in “Curiouser and Curiouser” with a vibrant palette under a golden sun, representing a shift in the seasons and well as shifts in the artist’s life.

For as Long as I'm Here by Rebecca Haines at Pippin Contemporary

For as Long as I’m Here, Haines, 30×30″ oil/panel

Haines committed full-time to her growing art career last spring affording time and space to embark on new experiments in the studio, such as painting on a larger scale. Haines’ work has also evolved to become more abstract with looser marks and gestural animal silhouettes that symbolize the transience of human kind. “For as Long as I’m Here” is a painting that embodies this idea of temporary life. “When I started this piece I had planned for the head to dissolve or disappear,” explains Haines. “But then I decided I was stronger than that. I may be dissolving but I’m still very grounded. Life is temporary but as long as I’m here I want to keep putting my work out there.”

“Animystic” runs May 24th through June 6th and is Haines’ first solo exhibition at Pippin Contemporary since she began painting full-time. Her new paintings embody the artist’s uninterrupted inspiration and are each a personal outpouring of Haines’ visceral response to the world around her. To witness the artist’s process, visit Pippin Contemporary during the Canyon Road Spring Arts Festival on Saturday, May 13th where Haines will paint in front of the gallery along with other participating artists. You will also have the opportunity to meet Haines at the opening reception of “Animystic” on Friday, May 26th from 5-7pm. Click here to preview new work in the online exhibition catalog.

In the Beginning by Rebecca Haines at Pippin Contemporary

In the Beginning, Haines, 18×18″ oil/panel


Jami Tobey: Enlivening the Landscape

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • April 10th, 2017

Jami Tobey at Pippin ContemporaryJami Tobey captures the endlessly expanding Southwest skies in her dreamy, stylized landscapes with billowing clouds and luminous mountain views. Just as the desert is constantly enveloped in a blanket of blue, Tobey’s paintings are dominated by a similar celestial glow. Having grown up under awe-inspiring Santa Fe skies, Tobey currently lives in southern California where drifting clouds and broad vistas continue to inspire her.

“The sky always sets the tone for the direction the painting will go,” says Tobey, who begins each piece with swelling clouds and vibrant color. While the artist starts with a specific plan in mind for the composition, her intention is subject to change as the piece unfolds. Tobey uses acrylic paint to lay down the landscape in vibrant hues and then adorns the composition with metallic ink, adding swirls, dots and detailed patterns that bring the piece to life. Finished paintings are imaginative and dream-like; yet reveal familiar scenes and distinct emotions, recalling the romance of an evening sunset or serenity of ambling clouds. Striking a balance between fantasy and reality, Tobey celebrates the wonder and beauty of nature through her work.

Staring at the Sun by Jami Tobey at Pippin Contemporary

Staring at the Sun, Tobey, 12×12″ acrylic/canvas. Click here to purchase this piece online. 

Tobey grew up in a family of artists in Santa Fe. Her father, renowned western sculptor Gene Tobey, encouraged his daughter’s artistic impulses which eventually led her to pursue an art degree at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Here, Tobey began to explore her fascination with painting nature in a loose, untraditional way, which continues to evolve as she discovers new patterns and materials to incorporate into her work. Tobey has sold her art professionally in galleries since she was 28 years old and has amassed a vast following and collector base for her joyful, fantastical approach to landscape painting.

Your Own Dream Landscape, Jami Tobey

Your Own Dream Landscape, Tobey, 48x 60″ acrylic/canvas. Contact the gallery for inquiry.

Visit our gallery at 409 Canyon Road to experience Tobey’s latest cloudscapes or browse her portfolio on our website.

Bassmi Ibrahim: Exploring the “Isness” of being through spiritual painting

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 21st, 2017

Bassmi Ibrahim, painter showing at Pippin ContemporaryBassmi Ibrahim’s Isness paintings are inspired by spiritual practices and an intuitive artistic process, resulting in veils of vivid color that ebb and flow across his canvases. The Cairo-born painter works in a meditative state, allowing a vision to arise and then recreating it with liquid paint and an outpouring of emotional energy.

“As the work became more about the inner layers of my psyche, it started having more purity and an ethereal look to it,” says Bassmi, whose early paintings called more attention to the artist’s hand through lively brushwork. The Isness series, which Bassmi began in 2005, are free-form compositions that represent a boundless existence and act as journeys to the inner-self. The artist relates the idea of “isness” to the essence of being and the intrinsic reality of all experiences.

Bassmi illustrates his meditative visions by applying oil and acrylic paint to the canvas in liquid form. He then manipulates the washes of color with soft Chinese brushes, a technique that erases any trace of the artist’s physical presence. Taking on a watercolor-like appearance, layers of color become translucent rhythmic visions that emanate a deep energetic vibration.

Isness 80 by Bassmi Ibrahim at Pippin Contemporary

Isness 80, Bassmi, 33×48″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Isness 92 by Bassmi Ibrahim at Pippin Contnemporary

Isness 92, Bassmi, 36×48″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Isness 116 by Bassmi Ibrahim by Pippin Contemporary

Isness 116, Bassmi 60×72″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Color field painter Mark Rothko has been a spiritual mentor ever since Bassmi met the preeminent abstract expressionist in New York City in the mid 1960s; Rothko similarly used abstract color for a psychological effect in his work. Other artistic influences include Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler and Paul Jenkins.

Bassmi’s formless painting style and poetic compositions invite varied interpretations and reflections from the viewer. The artist says, “The viewer is absolutely free. This art is made free, born free, and you’re free to look at it any way you want.”

Watch the video below to hear Bassmi discuss his process and Isness paintings:

Read more about Bassmi Ibrahim in our press release announcing him as a new stable artist at Pippin Contemporary.

Click here to browse his available work. 

Hunt Slonem: Painting Exotica

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 6th, 2017

Hunt Slonem, artist, at Pippin ContemporaryThere are anywhere from 30 to 100 birds that live in Hunt Slonem’s 30,000 square-foot Brooklyn-based studio, and it’s not uncommon for one to be perched on the artist’s shoulder as he paints an exotic interpretation of his feathered friend. In an interview with Architectural Digest just last month, Hunt Slonem explained that he keeps his birds in close proximity to his easel because they provide “an endless source of inspiration.” He says, “I paint from them, so they are working animals in my subject matters. I also often ask them what they think of things, and I get responses of sorts.”

Birds, released on February 17th, is Slonem’s highly anticipated book and first comprehensive compilation of his ornithological body of work. Slonem’s vibrant renderings of parrots, parakeets and other tropical birds were initially influenced by his travels to Nicaragua, where he spent time as an exchange student in high school, and Hawaii, where Slonem lived on a military base with his family as a young boy. Slonem continues to travel extensively to places like India, Mexico, Haiti and Scandinavia for renewed inspiration. By painting his birds wet-on-wet, a technique that the artist describes as “drawing in paint,” Slonem creates tangible texture with crosshatched patterns that denote wire enclosures over the animals. The birds themselves are layered on the canvas with thick brushwork and rich colors, creating dazzling compositions that celebrate the tropical vibrancy of their subjects.

Parakeets by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Parakeets, Slonem, 48×48″ oil/canvas

Finches by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Finches, Slonem, 31×61″ oil/canvas

In the studio

Another iconic figure in Slonem’s repertoire is the bunny, which he started to focus on in the 1980s after discovering he was born in the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. The gestural, repetitive strokes that make up Slonem’s bunny paintings have become the artist’s signature style and were the subject of his first publication, Bunnies, released in 2014. Painting bunnies is Slonem’s morning ritual; he begins everyday with several “warm-ups,” populating small panels with quick strokes that make up the animal’s familiar portrait. This repetition was slightly inspired by Pop art, such as Andy Warhol’s soup cans and celebrities, and is now a morning meditation for Slonem. The act of repeated imagery, which also shows up in his bird and butterfly paintings, is a spiritual mantra for the artist.


In the studio: Slonem’s “Bunny Wall.” Photo by Adam Golfer for The Wall Street Journal

Simon by Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Simon, Slonem, 12×10″ oil

Slonem’s work is in the permanent collections of over 250 museums, galleries, corporations and institutions around the globe, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His paintings are collected by the likes of Kris Jenner, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon and more, and he is consistently teaming up with different companies or charities for continued relevancy. His bunnies and his own exuberant style led him to fame in the fashion and design world; he collaborated with Jason Wu for the Grey Jason Wu fashion label and was also enlisted by Audi to create the “Hunt Slonem Audi A5” that was eventually auctioned off to benefit cancer research.


Slonem/Jason Wu designs for the Grey Jason Wu fashion label

Slonem’s bunnies are often displayed in formal gilt frames, which juxtapose their simplistic style and make the boldly colored panels pop off the wall. This salon-style design that can be found in Slonem’s studio has been transformed into wallpaper, carpet and fabric.


Slonem with his Bunny Wall wallpaper


Bunny wallpaper in one of Slonem’s New York residences

Slonem’s Neo-Expressionist paintings are renowned in today’s art world for their vivacious color and exuberant creator. Check out Artsy’s recent artist feature on Slonem and virtually tour his aviary/studio with Architectural Digest.

Click here to see Pippin Contemporary’s inventory of Hunt Slonem paintings. You can purchase his work from our website or call the gallery for more information at 505-795-7476.

Q&A: In the studio with Liz Barber

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • January 24th, 2017

Liz Barber‘s nature-inspired paintings are created with watercolor, gauche, acrylic ink and oil paint. Layers are built up on the canvases in Barber’s studio outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where the waves of daffodil and rhododendron blooms in the spring enliven her work. Her vast studio space allows Barber to spread her work out on the floor or lean canvases against the wall in an easel-like format, inviting the artist to dive deeper into the painting and get closer to her material. We asked Barber a few questions about her creative space so we can envision her artistic process from here in Santa Fe.

Q&A: In the studio with Liz Barber

What is your favorite thing about your art studio?

My studio is attached to our house so anytime that I’m feeling inspired I can just head out and start painting. This really allows me a lot of freedom to capture ideas as they come to me.

Walk us through the evolution of a mixed media painting in your studio.

I begin the paining with a nugget of an idea and start with a washing layer of paint – very watered down so that it can move freely all around the canvas. After that dries I sit with it a while and figure out where the painting is. Usually it’s along the path of my idea but sometimes it takes on a life of its own. At this point I edit out areas that are not working so well and focus on the areas that are exciting to me. I then intuitively respond to each element that I lay down on the canvas and bring it to resolution.

What tool in your painting process could you not live without?

I’m not sure if it’s actually a tool, but music is so critical to my process. It opens me up creatively and lets me get lost in the painting that I’m working on. It actually does add to the flow and movement of the painting.

How many pieces do you typically work on at once?

I work on 4 to 6 canvases at one time; that way I can bounce around and not get stuck on one piece. This keeps the work fresh and the ideas flowing.

Your work is inspired by the changing of the seasons. Which season is most inspirational for you and why?

I would have to say spring. I think after the long winter of sparse landscape it’s amazing to see flowers bursting through the ground and color just awakening everywhere.



Read more about Liz Barber’s inspirations and process in a previous blog post, and learn about her background from our press release officially announcing her as a represented artist.

View Liz Barber’s available paintings.

Liz Barber: The Artist’s Process

  • by
  • January 11th, 2017

Liz Barber, mixed media artist, working in studio“Mixed media allows for more creative freedom. It’s a way to give the materials more of a voice. I direct – they sing.”

Georgia-based painter Liz Barber’s ethereal abstract paintings begin with a watercolor and gouache base. The artist then innately organizes layers of acrylic ink and oil paint to build a harmonized composition that rhythmically reflects her current natural environment or memories of past experience. Shapes reminiscent of flower petals or floating leaves emerge through this painterly process, moving gracefully across the canvas as if they were drifting in still water or flowing with a rushing steam. The artist anchors their movement and the viewer’s eye by incorporating drawn elements with graphite pencil to tie areas of the painting together, tracing various story lines that coalesce into a single narrative. As the viewer follows the swirling marks that connect soft airy spaces with vivid opaque forms, the piece unfolds to capture the cadence of nature and its seasonal shifts, from fresh blooms to withering decay.

Some of the narratives that take shape in Barber’s paintings represent the current season with bursts of color in spring, white washed palettes in winter and luminous lighting in summer. Other paintings intuitively form from the artist’s past experiences. Barber grew up in a coastal New England town in Massachusetts where the meditative movement of water inspired her from an early age and continues to influence her work. Foggy coastlines, rocky beaches and clear water permeate Barber’s memories and resurface in paintings such as Shoreline 2 and Surf 7.

Shoreline #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Shoreline 2, Barber, 24×24″ mixed media

Surf #7 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Surf 7, Barber, 60×60″ mixed media

The floral feel in Red Petals and Tulips 2 stems from Barber’s early memories of her mother’s flower garden and the peaceful quiet she found among the carefully coordinated blooms. “It took a lot of organizing, but looked effortless,” Barber recalls of her mother’s work. Similarly, Barber’s paintings are spontaneous yet controlled through an organized process as she meticulously directs each layer of paint and then intuitively responds to the interaction of the material. The result is a colorfully composed chorus that commands a visceral response and emotional expression from the viewer. To experience more of Barber’s paintings, visit her artist page on our website and read more about her work from our recent press release that officially announces her as one of our represented artists.

Red Petals mixed media by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Red Petals, Barber, 40×60″ mixed media

Tulips #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Tulips 2, Barber, 60×48″ mixed media

Happy Holidays from Pippin Contemporary

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • December 19th, 2016

0f5b0867f267eff8bbe7fa55cf58177dHappy Holidays! It’s a special time of year in Santa Fe as the city is illuminated with farolitos and holiday lights, adobe buildings are adorned with wreaths and ristras, and the smell of pinon fires waft through the streets. Turquoise doors pop from adobe facades as snow falls from sunny skies – there’s truly no better place to be. We love strolling Canyon Road this time of year to see the local galleries all dressed up in their holiday finest, and always look forward to the annual Farolito Walk on Canyon Road for Christmas Eve (that’s this Saturday night!)

With this festive atmosphere also comes the joy of giving. Holiday shopping is never stressful in Santa Fe when you’re perusing cozy galleries and unique boutiques. Even so, we’ve decided to bring the holiday shopping to you by adding a special Holiday Page to our website. Here, we’ve assembled a selection of original work by our artists that ranges from $150 to $2000, so you can easily shop for the ideal gift.

Santa Fe Ristra



Jeffrey Beauchamp’s Landscapes – More Than a Walk in the Woods

  • by
  • December 8th, 2016

Written by Aleta Pippin

Landscape to Distract the Casual Burglar by Jeffrey Beauchamp at Pippin Contemporary

Landscape to Distract the Casual Burglar by Jeffrey Beauchamp

You climb through a portal of richly colored, gesturally expressionistic brushstrokes in Jeffrey Beauchamp’s landscape paintings to reach the luscious light-filled traditionally painted background. As you consider your journey, you realize it was so much more than simply viewing a landscape painting, it was a journey through two worlds, each rendered in a painterly fashion and each with a unique message. At once, you appreciate the historical knowledge and passionate imagination of Beauchamp’s artistic talent.

Intentionally intermixing historical art genres is Beauchamp’s guiding principle, “to maintain a visual conflict between a classic and modern painting surface. I give you a setting, then add props, and stage pieces making you question whether you walked into the right theater,” explains Beauchamp.

If Brahms Was a Movie by Jeffrey Beauchamp at Pippin Contemporary

If Brahms Was a Movie by Jeffrey Beauchamp

Armed with a fine arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, Beauchamp’s career started with animation and airbrush painting, evolving to realistic portraiture. The turning point in Beauchamp’s artistic evolution – inspirational museum visits where he encountered significant art movements and realized the dynamics of vibrant color, exaggerated motion, and easily interpreted detail.

The impressions created by these movements percolated in Beauchamp’s mind until they began spilling out in his paintings as structured compositions with raw strokes of color and loose forms. Though Jeffrey’s relationship with the natural world is reflected in his landscapes his paintings are so much more. There is his lush brushstroke, rich color, and intelligent blocking, creating a “portal” to navigate to the landscape; a contemporary, singular style created by Beauchamp.

Jeffrey Beauchamp showing at Pippin Contemporary

Jeffrey Beauchamp

“We recognize the genius of Jeffrey’s style – rendering a traditional landscape and pushing it to another visual level. This contrasting style sets up a dynamic for the viewer to consider Jeffrey’s paintings from a deeper perspective,” declares Aleta Pippin, owner of Pippin Contemporary. “We’re thrilled to represent him.”

Pippin Contemporary Introduces Three New Artists

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • November 29th, 2016

We are thrilled to officially announce the recent addition of three new stable artists to Pippin Contemporary. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing you to the work and careers of Jeffrey Beauchamp, Liz Barber and Hunt Slonem, three compelling contemporary artists that we’re proud to now be representing.

This winter we’re releasing blog posts, press releases, and e-blasts that call for an intriguing exploration of Beauchamp’s gestural abstract landscapes, Barber’s nature-inspired compositions, and Slonem’s exotic wildlife paintings. Here’s a brief introduction to each artist as you anticipate a deeper discovery.

The Tipsy Philosopher & Occam's Razor-Jeffrey Beauchamp-Pippin ContemporaryJeffrey Beauchamp offers a new perspective on abstraction, one that is drenched in art historical knowledge, passionate imagination, and striking artistic talent. The California painter’s structured compositions are layered with raw strokes of color and loose forms, upsetting the elegance of a classical landscape with whimsical abstraction. Click here to learn more about the artist and browse his available work.

Tulips #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin ContemporaryLiz Barber’s organic abstract paintings contain bursts of energy complimented by soothing movement, capturing the spontaneity of the natural world. Her work reflects the changing of the seasons as free-floating forms drift across the canvas, echoing the shapes of flower petals hovering on still water. Her compositions and color palettes evolve with seasonal shifts, expressing a natural life cycle from first bloom to final decay. Click here to learn more about the artist and browse her available work.

Parakeets by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin ContemporaryHunt Slonem’s exotic butterflies and tropical birds are painted with an exuberant flair for color and gestural abstract style. By painting wet-on-wet he creates tangible texture that denotes wire enclosures over the animals. Slonem uses spontaneous brushwork for his iconic rabbit portraits, which are highly regarded in the fashion world and beyond. Found in prestigious collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Slonem’s work celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of each species he portrays. Click here to learn more about the artist and browse his available work.