She died shortly after the dance. Susette Stalé Cardon was 86 years old, after all. She had been chatting about dress styles and dances with granddaughters and nieces near Tucson, Arizona. Her lively steps exemplified her and her family’s faith and fortitude. She left her homeland at age 19. She learned the dance of the grapes as a young girl, perhaps at one of the dances on the hill above her hometown of Angrogna, Italy.
From the outside, John Horejs’s suburban home appears no different than the neighboring houses. It is what happens on the inside that truly inspires.
Horejs, a local West Valley artist, is currently busy preparing 40 pieces for his next show. Just inside the front door, his studio is flooded with a beautiful northern light—“the best for painting,” states Horejs—and surrounded by completed works as well as positive messages accompanied by a soundtrack of soft music by a French singer.
Originally from McCall, Idaho, Horejs has trained with fellow artists in various locations to learn techniques over the past 40 plus years. In 1992 Horejs traveled to Arizona for the Scottsdale Artists’ School to study with several other artists for a week and decided to relocate. He still divides his time between Sun Valley and Litchfield Park, showcasing works in Sun Valley every year with 7-8 other artists. His landscape works clearly reflect the influence of his diverse surroundings. His art is showcased in 6 galleries all over the country, including Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Gallery 601 in Boise, Idaho.
Working mainly in the medium of oil on canvas, in more recent years Horejs has been experimenting with gold leaf, acrylic abstracts, and even a few three dimensional oil on canvas pieces which reside in his studio and around his home.
“I love working with oil because of the richness of the color that you really can’t achieve any other way,” says Horejs. Inspiration for his pieces comes from photographs taken during his travels, as well as examining what kind of art complements interiors.
His interest in painting began while he was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris, France, an interesting story which he shares in detail in one of his Ask the Artist broadcasts.
After his mission, he was taught by his aunt. He visited her once a week for 6 weeks and she taught him everything she knew. As he wanted to know more, he studied with other artists and took courses. Art has grown into a lifelong pursuit. So it is clear that when people ask how long it takes for him to paint a piece, his answer is “a lifetime.”
Every Monday at 1 PM Arizona time, you can catch John Horejs on a Facebook Live broadcast called Ask the Artist, an informal show which began airing in January of this year. The show loosely follows an interview format and has been conducted by his daughter, Adrienne Quintana, in his studio where he answers questions submitted from interested viewers. Horejs challenges viewers, saying, “Send me your questions. I’ll discuss any topic and attempt to answer your burning questions. Or if I don’t like them, I’ll burn your questions!”
You can see his current pieces in the Xanadu Gallery every Thursday during the Scottsdale ArtWalk between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM when all the SGA galleries are open.