To view a Bonnie Posselli painting — be it of winter cottonwoods along a river bottom, the warm flush of an evening sun over the buttes of southern Utah, or scenes from her journeys to foreign lands — is to be within the moment that Bonnie experienced.
She grew up in Salt Lake City, the eldest of six children. Family vacations included camping throughout the western states during which she absorbed the beauty and wonder of nature that is now reflected in her paintings. Her mother was a painter who encouraged Bonnie as a young adult to join with her in a plein air painting group and from there the dye was cast.
Bonnie married and had three children, one daughter and two sons. Her education during this time was intermittent at the University of Utah. There she studied figure with Alvin Gittens, an experience that was indelible and has continued to serve her. After her divorce she went on to earn a degree in illustration but soon realized that plein air painting was her abiding love and strongest asset. Bonnie never did accept a job in the commercial art field, but that training, coupled with early outdoor painting experience, enriched her depth of understanding and skill.
Her most significant and lasting influences are from early landscape painters, John F. Carlson, Edgar Payne and LeConte Stewart. Carlson (1890-1945) was a noted expert on outdoor painting from the Art Students League Summer School in Woodstock, New York. His book, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, has become the "Bible" for many students of landscape painting. Carlson's philosophy was to paint nature at your own back door and not feel compelled to travel for the "picturesque." His reverence for pure, natural landscape and his abiding love of trees has continued to inspire Bonnie throughout her career.
Bonnie has traveled and painted throughout South America. Over a span of about ten years there have been seven trips including Brazil, Argentina, three trips to Peru, Guatemala, Chili and Easter Island, and now planning another trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in November 2004.
Alaska opened another plein air painting and camping experience during a week long river trip filled with adventure in the Tik Chik wilderness area.
Bonnie Posselli's quiet and meticulous rendering of trees, as well as her rich, luscious hues depicting the many moods of Utah's red rock country, have won her critical praise along with an impressive group of collectors.
Bonnie`s most recent awards:
- One of the 100 Best Artists of Utah, Springville Art Museum 2002 curatorial committee
- Best of Show, Maynard Dixon Invitational
- 2002 Arts for the Parks rand Canyon Purchase Award
-Dixie College Invitational Purchase Award
- Deseret News Purchase Award
- Utah Governor's Mansion Artist Award
- Invited Guest of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America) 2002, 2003
Gallery One Person Shows:
1993- Art Masters Gallery; Park City, Utah
1995- Repartee Gallery; Park City, Utah
1996- Williams Fine Art Gallery; Salt Lake City, Utah
1997- Torrey Gallery; Torrey, Utah
1998- Myra Powell Gallery; Invitational One Person Show, Ogden, Utah
2002- Torrey Gallery; Torrey Utah
2003- Wiford and Vogt One Person Show
Corporate One Person Shows:
1993- ZCMI Mercantile; Salt Lake City, Utah 1995- Murdock Travel; Salt Lake City, Utah
1997- Pan American Tours; Salt Lake City, Utah
1998- 1999- 2000-2001-2002-2004; Zions Banking Corporation
1989- Dixie College Invitational
1989- Springville Museum Invitational
1993- Saguaro Gallery Invitational- National Mini Master
1993- Tivoli Gallery Invitational
1999-2005 - Maynard Dixon Invitational
2000-2001-2002- 2003- Dixie College Invitational
2002- Springville Museum
2002 Winter Olympics Best 100 Artists of Utah.
2003- BCN Art Directe Invitational; Barcelona, Spain
2001-2003- Plein Aire Painters of America, Guest Artist; Catalina Island, CA
2004 -Southern Virginia Universtiy Invitational
2003 PAPA "Plein air Painters of America" guest artist Catalina Island.
Bonnie is featured in "Enchanted Isle" The new book featuring a history of plein air
painting on Catalina Island .
2002 Chosen as "One of the Hundred Most Honored Artists of Utah"
by the Springville Museum Olympic Curatorial Committee.
2001, 2002, 2003 Maynard Dixon Invitational: Peoples Choice Award;
Best Oil Award; and Best of Show Award.
2000 "Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Purchase Award"
2002 "Dixie College Invitational Purchase Award"
1999 " Deseret News Purchase Award"
1997 "Utah Governors Mansion Achievement Award"
Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, 1997, "The Art of Travel"
Southwest Art Magazine, September 1998, One page ad for Torrey Gallery One Person Show
Salt Lake Magazine, 1990 feature article "Painting from the Land"
Southwest Art Magazine, February 2001 "Artist to Watch"
Art of the West Magazine, March/April 2002 "What's News" "Sego Gallery features Alaskan Art"
Southwest Art Magazine, January 2005 feature article "The Architecture of Emotion"
Bonnie Posselli - The Paintings of Bonnie Posselli
Enchanted Isle: A History of Plein Air Painting in Catalina Island. Published in 2003
Utah Art/Artists, 150 year survey, Springville Museum of Art, 2002 Cultural Olympiad Committee.
Utah Profile 1991, 1992: Full Page with color images and text, American Heritage Publication
In the beginning the canvas is washed in hues that are chosen for a ground that will give energy to the painting. Often I will layer the washes with different colors, suspending bits of pure pigment and letting it drizzle for a rich grainy effect. The intent of this careful preparation is to leave tiny sections of this delicious ground to speak for itself throughout the painting.
When I am satisfied with the wash I will do a slight sketch, and then perhaps select a palette knife to slip some texture into areas where it would be effective. From there a loose block in is formed with shape, value and line, with the idea of coming back with layers of paint using palette knife and brush. Sometimes washes and glazes are used to create an effect or mood. Always there is a reverence for truth that the subject chosen has inspired.
Each painting is a separate journey, a different story, and thus the process will change to facilitate the unique unfolding that inspires each painting.
"Sunny Sky Above"
14" x 18" oil
20" x 24" oil
"We Two Are One"
8" x 10" oil
9" x 12" oil