Artist Spotlight

Judy Choate

Judy Choate in front of her painting 'white Dove Mountains'

Judy Choate was born in Wisconsin, but raised in Eureka, California. During her teenage years, her family moved to the San Francisco Bay area. She finished her last year of high school in Redwood City and attended the College of San Mateo.

Judy joined United Airlines as a flight attendant and worked with that company for 18 years. While working with United, she met her husband, a pilot for the company. They have lived in Maryland, Nevada and now Arizona for the past 14 years.

Even though Judy had taken some classes in drawing and watercolor through the years, she believes that the most important and influential courses were the classes she enjoyed while living in Sedona before moving to Tucson.

Judy also feels that her “art awakening” happened in 2006 when she worked on closing a deceased aunt’s estate. Her aunt had been an artist in San Mateo and then Santa Monica for many years. Judy was surrounded and lived with her aunt’s work for that month.

It was in June 2008 that Judy started painting with acrylics on canvas for the first time and discovered her way of art, which has been totally self-taught and continues to evolve. In September of 2008, Jim and Pat Ratliff asked her if she would like to be represented in their gallery.Judy had her first show in the James Ratliff Gallery in Sedona that December and seven subsequent shows since then.

There is a special natural light in the Southwest high desert that can occur just before sunset. When this light is present, the red rocks, skies and clouds take on a surreal appearance. Colors are enhanced to the point of over saturation. This is one of the magic moments that has been captured in Judy Choate’s artwork.

Judy Choate preserves for us the spirit and memory of the high desert and mountain regions. She has developed a style of abstract painting greatly influenced by the natural beauty found in Arizona and the Four Corners area of the Southwest.

Judy Choate
'White Dove Mountains’ 16x20 acrylic

Her artwork is definitely a fresh interpretation of the landscapes that are common in these high desert and mountain regions. Contrast, hard edges and bold colors are part of the signature abstract artistry she has developed.

Past Artists of the Year Winners