Butler County Times Gazette
  • Coutts Museum to host Stecklein exhibit

  • The exhibit is located on the third floor, and will run from now through March 15, 2013.
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  • The Coutts Museum of Art will be exhibiting “Pastel Landscapes and Florals,” an exhibit of paintings by Kansas artist Barbara Stecklein.
    The exhibit is located on the third floor, and will run from now through March 15, 2013.
    “Pastel Landscapes and Florals” is an exhibit compiled from works done by Stecklein over the past five years or so. Included in the exhibit are several large-scale pastel floral works, as well as some Kansas landscapes.
    “It’s unusual to see some of these large works in shows anymore. Barbara’s a small person who works in a large size,” said Rod Seel, executive director of the Coutts Museum of Art. “The result is some really stunning works, done in a very colorful palette.” Stecklein began her art career after completing a Fine Art Degree from the University of Texas in San Antonio in 1985. Her original concentration was on still life’s in watercolor, before moving to mostly pastel as a medium. Stecklein paints from life, so while living in Texas, every year was divided into three different still life seasons.
    Beginning in January, work began with flowers in her garden. Then sunflowers were drawn in the studio over the hot summer months. In the fall and winter months, she would concentrate outdoors again with squash, fruits and vegetables.
    Since moving to Kansas in 2008, she has added landscapes of grain fields and snow scenes. Because she works from life, and in a grand scale, many of the pastels take weeks or months to complete. It is not uncommon for some of her pieces to be as large as 72 inches wide. Her work outside may begin with a preparatory sketch or drawing, but most of the time the pastel work is done directly on the paper, developing the composition as the garden changes.
    Eventually, the work develops in to a fully developed drawing. The show includes about seventeen original works. Because of the nature of her work, and the time each piece requires, most of her work is not for sale.
    However, Barbara has many professionally made, beautiful giclee reproductions which are available for purchase during the show. The Coutts Museum of Art, located in downtown El Dorado, Kansas is a regional destination art museum that houses over 1,500 works of art in an historic building.
    The collection includes Art of the American West, contemporary American, European, and regional Kansas art.

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