"Study In Blue," a painting by Fran Mayfield, is displayed at the Henderson Fine Arts Gallery.
"Study In Blue," a painting by Fran Mayfield, is displayed at the Henderson Fine Arts Gallery. (The Daily Times)
IF YOU GO

What: : "Not House Paint Anymore" exhibit featuring paintings by Fran Mayfield and Stephen Unger

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit runs through June 28.

Where: Henderson Fine Arts Gallery, San Juan College, 4601 College Blvd. The Henderson Fine Art Gallery is located in the Henderson Fine Arts Building, next to the box office.

More info: 505-566-3464

Farmington — While traveling with the Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners, friends Fran Mayfield and Stephen Unger often paint together.

But the fruits of their labor often turn out very differently.

"People can look at a scene and see something completely different," Mayfield said.

Unger described Mayfield as more of an impressionistic painter, while his paintings tend to be more realistic.

Paintings by the two artists are on display at San Juan College's Henderson Fine Arts Gallery, 4601 College Blvd. The paintings are part of the exhibit "Not House Paint Anymore," which will be on display through June 28.

Mayfield generally starts by painting a smaller plein air painting, which she later uses to create her full-sized painting. Plein air painting is painting done on location while looking at the subject.

When deciding what to paint, Mayfield looks at the colors and the layout of the subject.

"I'm looking for a relationship in the atmosphere," Mayfield said.

Mayfield started painting after joining the Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners and taking classes at San Juan College. After starting, she discovered she loved it.

"It's a good thing to be able to take the beauty I see and share it with other people," Mayfield said.

Although Unger never really considered himself a landscape artist, he said he finds himself painting a lot of landscapes.

"We live in a great spot," Unger said. "You can't beat this -- being in the Four Corners -- for landscape."

Unger said the area has a wide variety of landscapes. For instance, there are the Bisti Wilderness Area, which he said look like something from the surface of Mars. Then, around 60 or 90 miles north of the Bisti, there are mountains.

In addition to painting landscapes, Unger paints a lot of portraits, many of them on commission. Some of his portraits will be hanging in the show, including "Jessica," a painting he did of his daughter-in-law, and "Green Blouse," a painting of a friend's daughter. After seeing her sitting in the sunlight, he asked if he could paint her because of her brilliant red hair.

"The Green Blouse," a painting by Stephen Unger, is displayed at the Henderson Fine Arts Gallery.
"The Green Blouse," a painting by Stephen Unger, is displayed at the Henderson Fine Arts Gallery. (The Daily Times)

"In the sunlight, it was really on fire," Unger said.

Unger also painted pictures during the Civil War battle reenactment at Fort Davis in Texas, where he knew many of the actors. One of his paintings shows an old soldier looking out of the windows of a barrack. He said the reenactment gave him and other fellow artists plenty to work with.

Unger said he doesn't understand people who have artists' block. He always has ideas of what he wants to do.

"I paint things that appeal to me, that I find inspiring," Unger said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover