"My challenge and subsequent reward is to reorder reality by distilling it to its essence. It is in this essence where the truth of subject lies. Beauty resides in this truth. It is a pleasure to seek out this essence and to share it with others." - September Vhay
September Vhay was born in Reno, Nevada. A largely self-taught artist, her formal training is in architecture. She received her bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Oregon in 1993. Vhay's initial painting education, via architecture school, was in watercolor and she now paints in both watercolor and oil. Because of her skill with watercolor, she seamlessly achieves the freshness of watercolor with the saturation of color only possible in oils.
Vhay's work is classic in subject matter and technique, and at the same time modern in her composition and minimal approach. Her paintings are realistic in form and detail, yet they possess an impressionistic aura as well, a looseness that adds a sensitive dimension. She deftly exposes the interplay of light and dark, hard edges and soft, and dynamic areas against quiet, open space. Backgrounds drop away so that her muted earthen palette can evoke the very essence of an animal.
Vhay's understanding of structure, composition, and light (all of which are crucial in architecture) give her paintings a sense of three-dimensional form. In addition to architecture, she was also influenced by the paintings and sculpture of her great-grandfather Gutzon Borglum, who created and sculpted Mount Rushmore and other prominent national monuments. It was his comparatively smaller-scale work that Vhay most admired.
Vhay's exhibitions include the 2017 Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale in Cody, Wy, the 2013 Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale in Denver, CO and the 2013 "Cowgirl Up" at Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg, AZ. Among other awards, September won first place in painting at the 2012 Ex Arte Equinus International Competition, and the Trustee's Purchase Award at the 2010 Western Visions Show & Sale at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
Cowboys and Indians Magazine, August-September 2017, feature
Homestead Magazine, 2016, feature
Southwest Art Magazine, August 2015, feature
American Art Collector, June 2014, feature
Western Art & Architecture, Winter 2011, feature
Images West, Summer 2011
Cowboys and Indians, July 2011, feature
Southwest Art, "21 over 31," November 2010
Ex Arte Equinus VI - First Place in Painting Category, 2012
Ex Arte Equinus V - Editors Choice Award, 2011
Trustee's Purchase Award - National Museum of Wildlife Art's Western Visions Exhibit, 2010
Ex Arte Equinus - Fine Print Imaging Award, 2009