Painter Cheryl Magellen presents a selection of captivating portraits and landscapes. Visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
Drawing is something I have loved since childhood. It became the way I handled the pressures of being human and it offered an escape route around and through the expectations placed on me from an early age. Art wasn’t just an elective. It was an essential part of my life growing up.
I continued to pursue my passion for art and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. While in college, I turned to the field of graphics as a creative way to support myself and my young son. There were no courses offered in graphic arts at the time, so I learned everything on the job—from linotype to desktop publishing.
I went on to work in various companies and eventually opened my own business. After 35 years in the business world, I wanted a change. When I finally relocated to a small mountain town in Oregon, I redirected my focus back to art.
I began my journey into color with pastel—the perfect transition from drawing to painting. After several months of classes, I decided to try painting in oil. I was hooked. In 2010, I jumped on board the atelier and workshop bus. I studied at the Southern Oregon Art Academy and took additional classes alongside my academic studies.
When I had to relocate to Arizona to take care of my aging mother, I continued my studies at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, where I focused on portrait and figure painting in oil. In the seven years I lived in the desert, there were few distractions and I was able to produce a tremendous amount of work.
In 2018, on my way back to Oregon, I was enticed by the upsurge of art galleries opening in the Arts District in the downtown area of Las Vegas. I decided to explore the avenues leading to gallery representation.
I became associated with one of the local galleries, rode out the pandemic by teaching private classes, and later orchestrated the start-up and curating of two new galleries in the area.
Through the years, my work has gone from strict realism to impressionistic, abstracted and biomorphic styles of painting. Although I am still passionate about fine portraiture and figure painting, I have recently spent time exploring acrylic landscapes.
In addition to painting, teaching and consulting, I host two drawing sessions each week with live models to keep my portrait and figurative work fresh. To keep evolving as a painter, I also use these sessions to experiment with different painting styles, techniques and materials.
Aside from raising my son, being an artist has been the most fulfilling of all my aspirations. It has allowed me to connect with a tribe of creative and inspiring people, and continue to find the hidden beauty in all things.