If you’ve visited any art galleries in Vail or Beaver Creek, you’ve most likely seen the vibrant, modern depictions of traditional Western icons from the very famous Denver native Carrie Fell. Thankfully, Fell has released a book that includes an extensive collection of his work from the past three decades, so you can bring a significant amount of his new Western reinterpretations into your home.
On Saturday, August 6, Carrie Fell will be at The Bookworm to host a trip, which includes a reading from her beautiful coffee table book, “The Art of Carrie Fell.” This journey will then turn into a conversation with the participants, much like his art. The event will culminate with a chance to purchase copies of her book and have them signed and personalized.
Fell grew up in Denver, accompanying her interior designer mother on building projects and learning the power and inspiration of great interior design. These experiences pushed her to pursue studies in interior design, where she learned many skills that helped her become the successful artist she is today. “The ability to take an idea and scale it quickly has fueled a lot of my growth as an artist and now as an entrepreneur in new markets,” Fell said. “This concept kept me excited and worked as a full-time artist for almost 30 years.”
Being a full-time artist for so long means that Fell has found inspiration in all sorts of experiences throughout her life. One of her main inspirations was her travels to Colorado as a young professional. “As a Denver native, I found I didn’t fully appreciate the ethos of Colorado and the diverse people and landscapes that made it up,” Fell says. “I saw a fading way of life; the cowboys and ranchers, and the people and their experiences that have always made Colorado so strong, yet welcoming. These early interactions are what led me to create the Western series, like the “Ghost Riders”.
Although Western figures and landscapes feature heavily in Fell’s works, she does not necessarily consider herself a Western artist. “Although my work is considered Western Impressionism, the character of the West applies to all of life, so it was easy to adapt the same view of them to more modern characters, like ‘The Posse, “who are golfers,” Fell said. “I’m not trying to paint ‘Western scenes’, I’m trying to capture the ideals of Western philosophy: resilience, strength, honor and hard work. My images are more fluid and allow the viewer to engage and take in what they feel/see/experience. I don’t want to create art that tells what I see and feel; I want it to be interpreted individually. Great art speaks personally to each viewer.
Recently, Fell has experimented with capturing Western ideals through other types of media, reaching viewers in different ways. “I work with almost all mediums; canvas, paper, sculpture, etc. They all have different characteristics and I like to experiment and try new approaches on familiar mediums,” Fell said. “More recently, I’ve been doing what’s called mixed media, which is the use of multiple types of media. So I can paint an image on paper, then add physical props (i.e. a brooch or paper flowers on a tie), then finish with neon lighting. It’s about experimenting and finding new ways to excite people and enhance their experience of art.
Spanning 560 full-color pages, Fell’s Coffee Table Book gives context to Fell’s art, but doesn’t detract from the unique experience of it. “This book allows me to share how my art tells a story, but the entries are meant to be abstract to allow the reader to interpret their own meaning,” Fell said. “I hope that everyone who sees my art or reads the book will find something that relates to them personally. The book now enables this for a new generation of collectors, as well as those who have accompanied me over the years.