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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

The Hidden Secret of Color

The American Naturalist, John Muir, wrote in The Yosemite, “Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play, and to pray where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” Words local artist Casey Cheuvront sets to motion each time she takes to the hills with her plein air equipment and determination to capture a bit of nature's magic.

Casey's favorite activities growing up in Ohio were her adventures trekking through the woods, fishing and target shooting, bow and arrows in hand, with her dad. Back home, her mom pursued her interests in the creation of craft products and turning out delectable baked goods. When Casey was 12, her family relocated to California, changing her outlook on the world. She instantly loved California's sweeping vistas, golden, rolling hillsides, vast stretches of beach, towering redwoods, and the magnificent Yosemite highlands. Casey would take up hiking, backpacking, and hang gliding over in the coming years.

Casey is lucky to have had an excellent art teacher in grade school. She states, "I opened my eyes to color; there is more to a shadow than gray. From then on, I never stopped looking for the 'secret colors." Casey attended Fresno State University for her undergraduate degree in psychology with parallel classes in studio art. In her studio classes, Casey dabbled in papermaking, bookbinding, sculpture, life drawing, architectural drawing, painting, and design. She completed her Master of Science in Psychology and studied Clinical Psychology for six years in a Ph.D. program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. During a portion of this time, Casey worked with a hospital child protection team providing testing and treatment for sexually and physically abused children. She states,

"I burned out on this work and moved into corporate America, a place that was much different for women thirty years ago!"

“The workshops at Scottsdale Artist School are extremely valuable; once you learn to see color that way, you can't 'unsee' it."

Casey returned to her creative roots in artistic expression, competing in the dance world and focusing on sketching, pottery, and teaching. Casey discovered the Scottsdale Artist School (SAS), where she would build on her foundation in the arts and continue her analysis with color. She enrolled in a color workshop taught by Camille Przewodek, a student of Hawthorne's who studied under Henry Hensche. The opportunity brought her full circle from her childhood art experience in seeing and analyzing color in a new dramatic, and dynamic way. The study of great works of the Impressionists, Dutch Masters, Sorolla, and Sargent provides a rich source of inspiration. The way color is used in various applications through the ages; according to Casey, “The workshops at SAS are extremely valuable; once you learn to see color that way, you can't 'unsee' it."

Currently, Casey's painting studio is in her home in Rio Verde, Arizona where she resides within the expansive views of Four Peaks, Bartlett Dam, and the gorgeous desert skies. When asked about her goals in developing her painting, Casey replies, "I am also working to refine my control of value, color, and edgework." She would like to return to Yosemite to paint the Highland area she backpacked 30 years ago. The area offers new challenges separate from the iconic Yosemite Valley. Casey explains, "I have learned much over the years with my color and painting techniques. I feel now I could do the area some justice."

Casey's work can be seen at the Sedona Arts Center and exhibits throughout the year with the Sonoran Arts League. She also participates in the Prescott and Sedona Plein Air Festivals. Her teaching schedule is equally busy with classes for the Verdes Art League and the Yosemite Conservancy. Locally Casey teaches courses with the Sonoran Arts League in Cave Creek. Casey is a Juried Member of the Arizona Art Alliance, Sonoran Art League, Arizona Plein Air Painters, and the Oil Painters of America. She is a Certificated Teaching Artist and Ambassador for Grumbacher Paints. Casey recently signed on with a studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Miniatura, specializing in small works and with Legends of the West Fine Art Gallery also in Santa Fe. Casey received two scholarships through the Scottsdale Artist School for an abstracted painting course and a bronze casting series, undoubtedly she'll have an exciting new selection of work emerging into the market next year. Casey Cheuvront is committed to nurturing herself through the creative process and helping others do the same.


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