Exploration of beauty

Fulkerson creates art people can relate to

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Half of Phoebe Fulkerson's paintings have other paintings underneath.

The finished product represents a snapshot of a beautiful moment, and she wants people to have good feelings when they look at it. If she is not happy with a painting, she uses gesso to re-create the surface and start over.

Fulkerson will display these moments in her Steamboat Springs art debut at the Comb Goddess. The show is "An Exploration of Beauty."

"These paintings are my effort to portray a mystical world where man and nature can exist in peace," Fulkerson said.

Fulkerson earned an undergraduate degree in art education. But she did not begin to reach her potential until she was pursuing her master's in art education and studying under Richard Galusha.

"He's the one who got me going in this direction," Fulkerson said. "I had to learn the classical method to be able to teach others."

Her real passion is teaching art. "Art education is very important and is not getting adequate funding," Fulkerson said. "Art is the place to build self-confidence, which the children can translate into other subjects."

While teaching art in Flor--ida, she noticed that most of her students would say they couldn't draw because they didn't think they could do it. Fulkerson encouraged her students by giving them the tools and teaching them how to use them.

"The kids were amazing themselves," she said.

Fulkerson hopes to teach the foundations of art that she finds in the classical techniques used in Soviet impressionism. "The Soviets never lost their classical training when everyone else moved to abstract art, -- where the emphasis became on flatness instead of depth," Fulkerson said. "I saw this art and it changed my attitude toward art."

She admires the Soviets' work. "They were trained well because the communists wanted their art to portray happiness in communism," Fulkerson said.

Fulkerson has dabbled in almost every medium including post modern installation art, photography, large sculptural and interactive works, ceramics, print making, drawing and representational and surreal oil painting. She is now experimenting with glazes and impasto. She also puts poems on the back of some of her paintings.

Fulkerson has taken a break from painting after she finished the pieces for this show. "When the walls of my house are bare," she said, "that's when I'll start painting again."

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