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Koons has range of styles

December 1, 2011
Kylie Saari - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - The print is small, but its style is unmistakable. A woman in a garden, wearing a hat as she looks over her flowers. The colors are blurred, giving an impression of the scene without clearly defining what is happening.

Sue Ellen Koons took the photo in a backyard in Fairmont, and digitally manipulated it until it recalled works by one of her favorite artists, impressionist painter Claude Monet.

Another work shows broken-down store fronts of an old-town main street, printed in sepia tones. The photograph screams Old West - you can almost feel the dust in your teeth as you look at it.

Article Photos

Sue Ellen Koons stands next to an untitled photo she took. She is the artist of the month for December at Red Rock Center for the Arts in Fairmont.

Koons said the photo was taken just as she found the buildings, broken down in the middle of nowhere, no other buildings nearby.

Another, in yet a different style, shows a close-up of a carousel horse's head, with its colorful paint and movement.

All around the walls of the Red Rock Center in Fairmont are print after print of Koons' work, representing a variety of styles.

Koons is December's Artist of the Month.

Sue Ellen Koons began her lifetime relationship with art as a toddler, drawing horses.

Soon she began painting, dabbling in watercolors.

She has always loved art, she said. Her mother was an artist, and she taught herself. Koons had no other training than a few courses here and there.

As an adult, Koons has moved to another medium - photography - but that began not as an endeavor to capture the beauty of an image, but rather to sell horses.

"Several decades ago we bought a camera to take pictures of our horses," she said.

Slowly, she developed her skill, photographing animals in their natural setting and landscapes, largely capturing a Western feeling in much of her work.

When she isn't taking photos or manipulating them on her computer, Koons works at a bank and on her hobby farm, raising horses and black angus cattle.

Born and raised in Martin County, most of her work is shot in the area.

"I love the challenge of digital art," she said. "I have the image in my head of what I want it to look like."

Koons' art is for sale at Red Rock, as well as at On the Wall, which sells some of her personalized products, such as trivets.



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