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Yet it was Posselli's mother who encouraged her to draw and paint. While still a teenager, Bonnie and her mom joined a painting group lead by brothers Ken and Dan Baxter, who formed the genesis of the Plein Air Painters of Utah. Worht metioning is thtat the group, under Posselli's leadership, recently was resurrected, and twice a month she helps to lead excursions across Utah where young artists paint on location with local masters.
An oil painter, Posselli names a constellation of predecessors and contemporaries who, for various reasons, have influenced her work and helped her through challenges in compostion and technique. Among them (in order of discovery): John F. Carslon [1875-1945], Richard Schmid, Nicolai Fechin [1881-1955], Edgar Payne [1882-1947], John William Waterhouse [1848-1917], and of late, impressionist-minimalist Gustav Klimt [1862-1918].
Observers say it has been landscape that not only nurtured Posselli's maturation as a painter but also provided solace as she coped with a painful divorce decades ago, raised her kids as a single mother, and, by example, taught them that what makes life worth living is the passion for daily ephiphanies. "Together we grew as a family, and I credit that with fueling my ability to grow as an artist," she recalls.
Posselli has now earned her place in the pantheon of 21st century western regionalists, but more than a decade ago an influential collecter helped make that so. Back then, Posselli's work caught the attention of Scott Anderson, president of Zions Bank, Now, tow dozen Posselli oils hang in Zions branches across the state, including non-Utah scenes and classic pastorals from farms and ranches dotting the Great Basin. Anderson notes, "I love the variety of her work, which rages from traditional landscape to more avant-garde. Bonnie love to play with light, and her command of it has made her one of Utah's finest contemorary artists."
Jessilee's Cows , Oil, 14 X 18
Today, Posselli's studio is in Torrey, a tiny gateway to Capitol Reef National Prk and Escalante Staircase National Monument. Here, tourists from all over the world add an international flavor to a traditional Mormon ranching community. One of the painters anchoring the distinguished group of Utah artists on view at Torry Gallery is Posselli. Co-owner Kathy Bagley points out, "Bonnie's work allows visitors to take a piece of the West home with them in a lasting way that memories of th mind cannot do."
Since the late 1990's Torrey Gallery has hosted three one-womean shows for Posselli, and each one has sold out. Twice Posselli has been selected to participate in the Plein Air Painters of America exhibition on Santa Catalina Island in California. She was selected in 2002 as one of the hundred most honored artists in Utah by the Springville Museum' she's taken top prizes at the prestigious Maynard Dixion Invitational; and he's received the Utah Governor's Mansion Achievement Award. She also teaches outdoor painting workshops and mentors young students in her studio.
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