Dee Anne Potter Short

My fascination with the far off developed while living on the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. The mountains were always visible from my bedroom window yet unreachable. Some of my early works were flat, hard edge fantasy worlds that often featured simplified landscape backgrounds. Now analytical observation, focused on why things look the way they do and translating those understandings into the language of paint is my ongoing quest. It is a real joy to realize you found that exact color or brushstroke that says it naturally. Like finding the exact word when writing a poem.

Landscape shows up in some way in most of my paintings, even still lifes like Elevating the Sphere which combines trees and field from a photograph and items from my home united by round forms.

Alexandre Hogue, my teacher and an early supporter, by generously explaining one of his Big Bend paintings, led me to believe as he did, that understanding why features appear and function as they do makes it easier to render them with conviction. Sometimes it takes looking more . . . sometimes differently. With Road 600 I took photos in winter to see the branching structure of the trees which was hidden by summer folliage.

The reality of global climate change cannot be ignored by anyone who pays even a little attention to the natural world that surrounds and supports us. Every time I walk out my front door I see its effect, deforestation, dead and dying trees where there used to be dense woods. Honoring the land as it looks now by recording it the way I see it seems an endeavor worth the time and energy I have left. But then, I never knew when I was going to change styles or interests before so my direction could change. I do believe loving the making of art as much as a finished product is a big part of what keeps me working. And of course, the more I paint the more things I find I want to paint.

Dee Anne Potter Short taught art for 40 years and now divides her time between her studio near Chouteau, Oklahoma, and the family pecan farm.