Welcome to my collection of work, ideas, and inspiration!
I received a BFA in 1983 from West Texas A & M University, and then in 1985 I went to the University of California, Santa Barbara for my MFA. I have exhibited my work professionally for the past 20 years ...primarily in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, but also in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and recently in China.
Alexandra Steven's Gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe has represented my work for the past 12 years. If you are interested in purchasing my work, contact the Alexandra Steven's Gallery, but please feel free to contact me directly with any comments or questions!
I currently teach both traditional and online classes in drawing, painting, art history and art appreciation at Amarillo College in Texas.
Soft pastels have proved to be a very fluent medium for me. The technique is subordinate to the content, so I can get an idea and follow through with it. My work depicts simplified architectural and landscape forms in a distorted perspective and seamlessly blends the pastels in smooth color transitions.
Here are a few examples of my most recent work:The Red Shoe House
The Route 66 Series
My Route 66 Series has been going on for years. Inspiration for this series came from the spirit of the "open road" highway phenomenon of the 1940's - 1960's in the US as well as classic film noir and Hitchcock films from that era. Some of the pastels from this series are in color, some in black and white. There are no literal historic references; rather it is an impression of the style of that time. I let my imagination play with mysterious juxtapositions of images - my idea of what a lonely trip on Route 66 might have been like.
Recent "Route 66" images became the background for a short film I did called "The Drive." Thanks so much to @PlanetMitch (Mitch Aunger) for the article about this video on the Planet5D blog “The Drive” – Pastels, Video, and a Toy Car – Art by Victoria Taylor-Gore. And make sure and see the behind the scenes video here - http://vimeo.com/13781262Passages 1 by Victoria Taylor-Gore
The Passages Series
The series of pastels for Passages recycles long reoccurring images in my work such as; the boat as vessel of the spirit, the ladder as a means of ascent, sky and water as symbols of another world beyond this one, the house as the symbol of the self, and the road and river as a means of passage. See slide show of images: Passages 1, Passages 2, Passages 3, Passages 4, Passages 5.
These familiar symbols have been recycled and varied by illusive juxtapositions and now a contrast of areas of black and white pastel with isolated areas of color. This visual contrast of black and white next to small areas of rich color was inspired by films such as Pleasantville (1998, starring: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, director: Gary Ross) where the use of color in a black and white world took on deeper meanings. In the Route 66 series, I have used small areas of black and white in large color pastels...in Passages the color appears in a world of black and white.
Art historian and critic Hunter Ingalls wrote about my Passages series:
That's curiously kin to the mental, imaginative distance of Taylor-Gore's imagery. Elements of nature conspire with man-made objects in relationships that convey feelings rather than factual information. In her pastels, it's a dream-like world in which our eyes drift across softly lit, sensuously hued surfaces in realms of suspended possibility.
Everything exists in a larger, symbolic context: "...the boat as a vessel of the spirit ... the house as the symbol of the self ... road and river as a means of passage," she explains in a statement with the show. Ambiguity and mystery are fundamental to the works' expression. However, the drawings allow us to follow steps in the artist's process; the positioning of things, especially in relation to light, is important.
- Humter Ingalls, Amarillo Globe News, Art Beat, January 21, 2007Middle House
The Villages Series
These pastels of simple villages are in a "wide screen" or elongated horizontal format. The expanded view of space gives the viewer a panoramic experience of both interior and exterior spaces, thus enhancing the "visual journey" through my work. The painted road through these villages also suggests the idea of a journey, usually leading back to a vast sky and landscape. This series is colored with the vast horizon of the Texas plains where I live, where the sky always dominates, along with the nested valleys and layered mesas of New Mexico.
Although I am known as a pastel artist, and continue to paint pastels...recently I have started making short films. My passion for filmmaking has allowed me to explore not only film, but photography as well. Painting, filmmaking, and photography deal with the same essential design components...composition, light, color, emphasis...it's all part of visual storytelling. To see more of my short films, see my Vimeo Channel and my YouTube Channel. Also, you and see my "Video/Flash" page for the videos I have done over the past year.
For the past several years, I have expanded my imagery to video. The Canon 7D has changed my life - what a magical tool. Not only does it take great stills of my work, but it is an incredible filmmaking machine! I started doing "Ken Burns" slideshows of other artists' work for my Art History and Art Appreciation courses, and then began to explore the potential of taking my artist's eye and making moving images. It's been quite a journey...instead of taking me away from my pastels, it has led me to consider my pastels as scenes from movies with stronger composition, lighting, color, and also a fresh eye. Some of my short films deal directly with my pastels as in the examples below. Other films explore similar symbolic and surreal content as my pastel imagery, and finally some are just learning how to make a proper short film...practice of shooting real events.
These are frame grabs from a recent short film project to create a narrative short silent film.
And here is a short test video of some of the visual effects that will be in the film.
I have illustrated two book covers for the University of New Mexico Press: The Lore of New Mexico by Marta Weigle and Peter White and The Algarrobos Quartet by Gerardo Mario Goloboff and translated by Stephen A. Sadow.
The UNM Press designers big winner “The Algarrobos Quartet: Four Novellas,” by Mario Goloboff and translated by Stephen Sadow, received awards at the 33rd Annual Bookbuilders West Book Show held in Oakland, California. UNM Press’s part of the press’s Jewish Latin America Series, garnered awards for designers Robyn Mundy and Melissa Tandysh. They were awarded, respectively, for exterior and interior designs, winning best all-around design for a trade, text-driven book.Algarrobos
"The restrained and uncluttered interior is eminently readable. The jacket suggests something foreign and mysterious, yet familiar and friendly. This design very successfully suggests the puzzles and multiple meanings that are the heart of these enigmatic novellas."
noted Bookbuilders West in the show catalog.
Some of the not to distant press about my work includes a Christmas Eve show at the Alexandra Stevens Gallery Santa Fe in 2004 that was featured in an article in the Albuquerque Journal. My interiors featuring the romance of Route 66 was reviewed in Southwest Art Magazine, June / 2002, The Poetry of Spaces. Sara Ford wrote an article about my work in Focus Santa Fe Magazine.
The press release for Rising Stars 2000 exhibition, Western Artists Worth Watching (9 /16 - 10 /29, 2000) states:
"She weaves her stylized objects together like a mystery novel, illuminating them with eerie lights, showing them to us from odd angles, and purposefully making them ambiguous in placement. Is that a picture or a window? ...Paths of light from sunsets, moon rises, light fixtures, candles or brightly burning hearths capture our attention and fuel our imaginations..."