After many years as a successful illustrator, Bruce Cheever changed his focus to gallery art, bringing his admiration for Renaissance art, American Tonalism, Luminism, and Western artists like Thomas Moran to his portrayals of the American West and Southwest, as well as his travels in Italy and other parts of Europe.
Though sometimes bathed in direct sunlight, Cheever’s compositions are more often presented in the soft light of overcast days, mornings or evenings, when contrasts are softer and more subtle.
I particularly enjoy his paintings of ranches and farm houses in which his muted palette and close value ranges imbue the scene with a feeling of quiet and suspended time.
Unfortunately, most of the available images of his work are relatively small, and only in a few somewhat larger ones can you see that his approach is more open and painterly than it appears in the smaller reproductions.
Cheever’s work is currently on display in a show at the Trailside Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona until March 15, 2015; as part of the American Miniatures show at Settler’s West in Tuscon, AZ; and the Masters of the American West 2015 show at the Autry in Los Angeles, CA to March 8, 2015.