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A year of awards, recognition and sales for Ogden-based watercolor artist Stephen Henry

By The Monarch - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Nov 24, 2021

Photo supplied, Stephen Henry

Stephen Henry, left, and friends in Steamboat Springs, Colo., for a plein air competition.

“I have certainly been blessed this year,” says Utah artist Stephen Henry, well-known for his watercolor paintings of mountains, farmland, cattle ranches and “ordinary folk” of the rural West, many of which may be seen inside his studio at The Monarch. Participating in competitions and being accepted into local and national shows, high achievements in and of themselves, Henry has also been the recipient of several distinguished awards in 2021.

Henry’s paintings, which tell a story about his Texas upbringing as well as the Northern Utah area where he currently resides, may also be seen at Brushworks Gallery in Salt Lake City alongside those of some of the most skilled painters in Utah.

Things kicked off to a bright start early this year for Henry with the honor of being accepted into the 13th Annual National Juried Exhibition by the Idaho Falls Arts Council and exhibited at the Willard Arts Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. His painting “West Texas Redux” received honorable mention at the exhibition that is open to art pieces of all mediums throughout the United States.

Later in the spring, Henry was accepted into the prestigious Western Federation of Watercolor Societies’ 46th show with “Comanche Moon Rising” and the Springville Museum of Art’s 97th Annual Spring Salon Show — one of nearly 1,000 entries out of 250 to be accepted — with “Half Light, Delight,” both firsts for the Western watercolor painter.

His “streak of good fortune” continued with a second place award for “Via Lactea” at the Utah Watercolor Society’s Spring Open Exhibition. “A very proud moment, indeed!” Henry said.

Photo supplied, Stephen Henry

First-place winner by Stephen Henry at the Eden 1900 Gallery plein air competition.

In early June, Henry embarked on a “Plein Air season” adventure that began with a trip to Cumberland, Maryland, where he participated in his first juried plein air event: the Mountain Maryland Plein Air Festival, about which he said, “I met some of the finest plein air painters in the eastern half of the country, and made a few good sales.”

The next competitive stop was in Driggs, Idaho. “I believe that I made some of my best plein air paintings to date while there, though sales and recognition weren’t in the cards for me,” Henry said.

By late August, Henry says he found himself juggling his time between his high school teaching job at Two Rivers High School and the Ogden Valley in Eden, where he made several paintings that, he would soon find out, were very successful.

“After turning in the Ogden Valley paintings to be judged, I took a few personal days from my teaching job to enjoy the Steamboat Art Museum’s plein air competition,” Henry recalled. “It began with a sale ‘on the easel’ at the opening quick draw and ended with even more sales in the main competition.”

Upon his return to Utah, Henry learned that his paintings in the Eden 1900 Gallery Plein Air competition were recognized with both the first place and third place awards. Since then, he has participated in a plein air event in Capitol Reef National Park and was accepted into the Utah Watercolor Society Fall Exhibit.

Photo supplied, Stephen Henry

Original watercolor piece by Stephen Henry.

Follow Stephen Henry at cowcreekstudio.com and at The Monarch along with many of the best artists in the Northern Utah area.

Original watercolor piece by Stephen Henry.

Second-place winning art piece by Stephen Henry at the Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show.

Original watercolor piece by Stephen Henry.

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