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Local Love on Canvas

Shining a Spotlight On Three of the Hill Country’s Fine Artists

Article by Aubrey Matson

Photography by Aubrey Matson

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

No matter where we go, art is all around us: in the music we listen to, in the clothes that we wear, and in the art on our walls. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for all of the different kinds of creative beauty we see daily, but the key is to notice it. The beauty of art is that everyone on the globe enjoys it in some way, and that includes right here in Boerne. Let’s take a moment to practice some art appreciation and shed the spotlight on some of the area’s finest fine artists.

Riki Yarbrough
@rikiyarbrough | rikiyarbrough.com
Riki Yarbrough knows what it means to master all mediums — the physical and the digital. Yarbrough completed a general art degree in college and pursued a career in graphic design afterward, which she has done freelance for over 25 years. Yarbrough has also been creating and selling her physical art for almost a decade where she enjoys melding traditional painting with elements such as typography. “I’m giddy over type,” said Yarbrough. After participating in a collaborative art journal about a decade ago, Yarbrough discovered her love for using many kinds of media in her work including paint, pastel, and charcoal. Yarbrough says a common theme within her work is perseverance and finding beauty in the pieces of the world that are typically thought of as tough, such as a resilient cactus in the high desert, a location she frequently finds herself returning to paint. You can see Yarbrough’s art for yourself at Gallery 195 in downtown Boerne as well as on her website.

Amy Higgins
@amy_higgins_art

“I love that art gives me the flexibility to do things that are whimsical,” said Fair Oaks Ranch-based artist Amy Higgins, who specializes in oil painting and personalized watercolor illustrations for invitations and stationery. Higgins said she has always noticed shadows and shapes since she was a child when she went on to win prizes in the Houston Rodeo Art competition in high school. Although she became a teacher after college, Higgins always continued pursuing her painting. Higgins regularly paints bold and whimsical animals; in fact, Higgins painted a bold, funky painting of a group of goats that sits proudly in her home. However, Higgins elaborated that these goats actually represent her family. Rather than focusing on photorealism, Higgins said, “I just like things that are a little different, things that are a little weird.”

Rhonda Bell
@rhonda.bell.studio | artworkarchive.com/profile/rhondabell-studio
Fine artist Rhonda Bell says that she has always been an artist even since she was a child. Bell was taught and inspired by both of her grandmothers — one who taught her to sew, and the other who curated beautiful items through thrift shopping. This, Bell said, inspired her to “find beauty in ordinary things.” She carried that love from her earliest years, and the rest has been her history. Bell has done many kinds of art, but for the past 20 years, she has focused on acrylic and oil painting inspired by the Texas Hill Country and the beauty of everyday events and objects. “Even common things such as a teacup,” said Bell. Bell does commission work and sells her art online and in person at Fiddlin Frogs in Comfort. 

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