Steamboat artist finds beauty in the mundane
June 5, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Sun-bleached bones and skulls is a source of beauty that can be found in many of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings.
The bull skull or cow skulls often were a symbol of strength and history from a life long ago. O'Keeffe used these as the primary inspiration to depict the grandeur of the Western landscape and found beauty in the most mundane of artifacts.
Paula Jo Jaconetta from Circle 7 Gallery, sought to represent Steamboat in a similar depiction. For this month’s First Friday Artwalk, her work can be seen in the gallery from 5 to 8 p.m.
"I really wanted to find something that people in Steamboat and even the West in general could relate to," she said about her inspiration for the work she created to be featured Friday for the Artwalk event.
As a mother and longtime Steamboat Springs resident, Jaconetta said the the paintings represent a piece of her. One specific painting, "Kitchen/Bull Skull," Jaconetta found that her kitchen table, with it's swirl of hues from the wear and tear of children's crafts and paint, produced the perfect background for one of her photographs. When the light hit the table just right, the picture became exactly what she was looking for.
"One woman looked at this one and said that even tough it's a bull skull, it has a real feminine quality to it," she said.
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Perhaps it's the soft touch of pink from the flowers or the intriguing texture of color found in the background from the overlay of a number of photos.
The process for Jaconetta's featured photographs involved taking two days to shoot photos all across Steamboat.
She discovered Lithia Springs and became so intrigued by the colors in the stream that it was one of the primary inspirations for the series.
As part of Steamboat's uniqueness, the hot springs she said are "hugely Steamboat" and the springs fit perfectly to what she was trying to accomplish in her photographs.
From a vast assortment of photos, she choose a select few such as desert or wood, that transpired into textures for the backgrounds.
"I hope that people can relate to the photographs and find something in it that they really enjoy and will want to look at on their wall," Jaconetta said about the feedback she hopes to receive this weekend.