magpie's featured artist for October and November is well-known painter Alice Webb. Her fauvist en plein air oil paintings seem made for the season.
Webb grew up in Fort Worth, Texas near the museum district, where as a child she was exposed to the arts. Bitten by the bug, and fortunate to have parental support, Webb found her place as an artist, early on.
“In high school I won a scholarship to study oil painting at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. After graduating from high school, I attended the University of Texas before moving to the artist mecca of Taos, New Mexico,” she explains in her biography.
During her early years in Taos, she designed and made jewelry, studied tapestry weaving, created fiber sculpture, wrote poetry and continued to hone her drawing skills. It was also during those years that she began to teach art. In 1990 she moved to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico.
“I like to think I grew up, at least as an artist, in Taos. I got here in 1973 when I was twenty. It was like coming home. I had always been an artist, but never knew any real artists and here I was surrounded by a multitude, like Jim Wagner and Tom Noble, who were actually making a living doing what they loved.
During the 70s I was a tapestry weaver but soon knew I had to return to painting. I started going out painting with Alyce Frank, Barbara Zaring, Judy Gentry and other Taos artists. During the 80s I painted the landscape endlessly and became known as a colorist. Towards the late 80s I studied with Fritz Scholder and moved towards abstraction. It was not a surprise that the shapes, colors, lines and textures of the landscape found their way into my abstracts,” she says.
Webb says her focus these days is primarily on the landscape and she paints outside almost every week.
“My heart is in northern New Mexico and the majority of works in this collection of oil paintings, done over the past two years, document the light and textures found along the highways and backroads from Albuquerque to Taos and Abiquiú, to Santa Fe and Jemez Springs.
I have always been inspired by the colors and shapes of the landscape here which are at one moment sweet and subtle and in the next moment fierce and thunderous,” the artist notes.
Webb holds a masters degree in art education and taught in Albuquerque Public Schools for fifteen years and was recognized as a Golden Apple Distinguished Teacher. In 2016 she was given the Albuquerque Art Treasure award for her work both as an artist and as an art educator. Three years ago Webb retired from the public schools and is now back in the studio full time.
The show is up at magpie through Nov. 29.
magpie is located at 218 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte Unit B. Open ⋅ 10 - 5 p.m. Call 781 248-0166 for more information.