Inger Jirby, Santa Fe, Taos Colorist, New Mexico (1994)



 Inger Jirby paints Santa Fe and the landscape and small towns of New Mexico in a uniquely free, personal style. She uses rich, often pure pastel yellows, pinks, turquoise blues and greens, and strong reds that express the power of her emotions and the character and spirit of the area.


 Some subjects include close-up old adobe churches or buildings small in the distance beneath great mountains, as in her paintings of the hamlet of Pilar deep in the Rio Grande Gorge. Adobe portals, colorful doorways, the interior of her own home and studio, and a terrific portrait of Tommy Maccione, the renowned and recently deceased Santa Fe artist and "character," are all painted with the same stylistic gusto and rich palette, that are both very sophisticated and child-like.


 It is this sophisticated innocence of a world traveler who somehow maintains the child that grew up in Swedish Lapp Land amid the colorful toys and decorations of her heritage that combine to form her art. The interior of her home is like her paintings -- colorful, sophisticated, innocent -- with occasional carved wooden toys used as sculptural decoration and accent, and to express her natural affinity for them and the world of fantasy and reality they represent.


 Jirby often manipulates perspective in her buildings for expressive purposes. But a comparison of the painting, directly drawn in simple, telling lines, with the actual site, reveals she has accurately captured the spirit and character of the structure, often quite complexly in the case of extensive village scenes.


 Suggestions of Van Gogh, the Fauves, German Expressionists and Milton Avery can be found in her art, but Inger Jirby is completely her own artist and person, painting vibrantly distinctive, successful works. Her paintings may be seen at the Inger Jirby Gallery, 207 Ledoux Street in Taos, or on her website:


Copyright by Don Gray


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