Rebecca Drach, of rural St. John, won Best of Show in the recent Western Art Show held at Fort Larned National Historic Site. The winning painting was "Morning Call," showing a mooing calf or cow. "Morning Call" and nine other Drach works were hung in the Visitors Center at the fort last Wednesday and will be there through mid-October. The Creative Arts Council sponsored the contest and is sponsoring the exhibit.
Drach said she has painted figures, some still life, and animals that caught her eye. "It’s pure joy," she said. "I’m honored to show here at the fort."
About herself and her paintings, Drach said, "I have been interested in art since I was a child. I always remember wanting to paint in oils. When I was about 10 years old I was given an oil painting set and experimented with it on my own for several years.
"Painting in oils still fascinates me. i paint using the Direct Method, otherwise known as "Alla Prima," all at once. Using this method the paint is applied to the canvas In a single layer, usually in one setting. Most of the artists I admire most use this method of painting. A few include John Singer Sargent, Dan Gerhartz and Richard Schmid. Like Sargent and Gerhartz, my favorite subject is the portrait scene. That is a face or figure included in either a landscape or a still-life scene. At times I also enjoy substituting animals in the scenes. These scenes seem the most expressive to me and are the most fun and challenging to paint.
"Over the next several months I will have solo exhibits in the following locations: The Fort Larned National Historic Site Visitors Center in September, through mid-October; The Great Bend Public Library in October; Ellsworth Arts Center in November; The Hutchinson Arts Center in January 2011; and The Upstage Gallery in Topeka in April and May 2011.
My work is regularly represented at the Barton County Arts Center in Great Bend and the Hutchinson Arts Center in Hutchinson."