By Charles Diaz:
Smoke drifts as the statuesque deer gazes out at a jewel-toned horizon. A miniature landscape of periwinkle, copper, purple and turquoise unfolds slowly from above. Motionless people silhouetted against a moving background capture a sense of isolation, contemplation and despair as haunting and ethereal music plays.
Welcome to the world of the Amarillo College School of Creative Arts dean, Victoria Taylor-Gore. When she’s not attending meetings, juggling budgets and planning schedules, Taylor-Gore immerses herself in a world of surrealistic vistas, vivid colors and miniature dream scenes. She contributes to the world of art both as a teacher and as an artist herself.
In addition to her administrative role as dean, Taylor-Gore has taught online classes in design, art history and art appreciation at AC, but in her personal time she is a full time practitioner of creativity. For the past 30 years, she has created vivid impressionist paintings and pastels and has crafted digital videos that display how she sees the world. Undoubtedly creative, Taylor-Gore is also a reserved woman, reluctant to talk about herself but comfortable discussing her artwork. Her work has been displayed in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Dallas, China and Amarillo. As a true creator, Taylor-Gore does not confine herself to a single artistic avenue. When she is not painting, she creates short surreal films, photography and digital collages involving symbolic characters set in miniature interiors and landscapes.
“All of my work shares the same surreal and symbolic quality and the same essential design components…composition, light, color, emphasis…it’s all part of visual storytelling,” she said.
Taylor-Gore’s stylized soft pastels and miniature paintings depict simplified architectural and landscape scenes with a dynamically distorted perspective. Smoothly blended color transitions add richness and variety to the surface of the work. “Soft pastels have proved to be a very fluent medium for me.”
Taylor-Gore’s paintings and pastels often feature some aspect of a house in an imagined landscape, with a touch of surrealism as objects and forms tend to take on an implied meaning. According to Taylor-Gore, a house can be thought of as a symbol of the self, and often a glowing colored light gives life and spirit to each house. Each piece is unique, vivid, simple in its complexity, and yet emotionally charged. No two of her creations are identical, but all evoke certain responses and create a similar mood.
“The technique is subordinate to the content, so I can visualize an idea and bring it to life in my own simplified style,” Taylor-Gore said, adding that she enjoys exploring new approaches. “Recently I have also been creating miniature paintings in Holbein Acryla Gouache paint. The acrylic gouache medium allows richly saturated colors that dry to a wonderful matte surface.”
Taylor-Gore began her career as a professional artist at the University of California in Santa Barbara. “While working toward my master of fine arts, I discovered my own simplified geometric style – it just appeared to me, and it has been a very intuitive part of my work ever since. Exaggerated perspective and geometric shapes define my work, and I derive my dreamlike imagery from memory.”
Taylor-Gore has exhibited her work professionally for 20 years, displaying and selling her pieces primarily at the Alexandria Stevens Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo. She has also exhibited in Dallas and Los Angeles and has had a traveling exhibition in China. Her public achievements include 15 group exhibits, four solo exhibits and nine multimedia productions.
Victoria Taylor-Gore’s work serves as an inspiration for students and shows there is no limit to creating art. It comes in all shapes and forms. Create what you dream and don’t let anything hold you back.