Ali and John Schooley
THE PROVIDENCE OF ART & LOVE
We will begin with John. John began his career in Advertising in Dayton, Ohio approximately 43 years ago. His career eventually led him to Louisville, KY where he worked his way up to Creative Director in Advertising. After 31 years in the field, time passed and life changed, John decided to leave the Advertising field and pursue his passion as a Watercolor Artist, so his journey began. John initiated his search with the intention of relocating to an area with a lucrative art community. His search took him to several beautiful areas of the country, however none of them felt quite right. Then one day, someone mentioned Las Cruces, NM as a potential location for pursuing his passion. Something felt right about Las Cruces, his heart told him this was where he was suppose to be. Therefore, without as much as a visit or a second thought, John relinquished himself of all his worldly possessions except for his car, cloths and art supplies and began his journey to the unknown without having any idea what was in store for him.
This brings us to Ali. Ali had lived in Las Cruces many years prior, back in 1989 and 90. Ali had spent 30 plus years, ultimately as a Director of Contracts and Project Manager for Government Contractors as well as her endeavors as a small business owner. Ali had been living in the Dallas area when she decided to break away from the Government world and pursue her desire to be an Artist. Therefore, Ali moved back to Las Cruces approximately 2 years before John made his way there. In the interim Ali became enmeshed in the Las Cruces and El Paso artworld and became known for her photography. As with John, time passed and things changed.
Fast forward to 2012. One fall afternoon in 2012 Ali was manning the Mesilla Fine Art Gallery, an Artist Co-op Gallery. She pretty much knew every Artist that belonged to the Gallery. As she was working behind the desk with her face in the paperwork, she felt someone standing in front of the desk. She looked up and there stood John, the newest Artist in the Gallery. Immediately she thought, this man is going to be in my life somehow and for quite some time. She didn’t know how or what capacity. This was the beginning of “The providence of Art and Love”.
As time passed John and Ali spent a lot of time together as they were both involved in the Las Cruces art world. They partnered on Studio Tours and joined the same Galleries. Eventually Spring rolled around and John and Ali decided to take a trip to Tubac, AZ in March, a major art destination, with Galleries, boutiques and restaurants. During their 10 day stay in Tubac they came across a small building for rent that was perfect for a Gallery. Once again, it just felt right, so without that second thought again they signed a lease, went back to Las Cruces packed up and preceded to open the new Gallery by May 13th and a new type of partnership began between them. They subsequently opened a Custom Frame Shop as well. They were in love with their new lives, art, and each other. In 2015 they made their partnership even more permanent by becoming husband and wife.
Over the years, as time passed, John’s watercolors developed into a style of photorealism as well as his own unique style. His detailed paintings began to loosen up. He still maintains the detail but his stokes became more liberal with flowing colors. John’s pallet is also his forte, with rich brilliant colors. His layering and blending of paints have bought his watercolors to life. John has also moved beyond only painting certain subject matters and his artwork is totally unrestricted.
Ali became an award winning photographer, with her art appearing in magazines and on a book cover. She has never been limited to her subject matter. She eventually began working with acrylics producing various types of abstracts, including multi-medium art where she would incorporate items such as metal and copper into her paintings. Ali also creates decorative skulls, mostly longhorns. She utilizes acrylic paint or patina, leather, feathers, copper, silver, and precious stones to construct the decorative skulls. She also began using the horns from the skulls to make silk floral arrangements. She has recently added leather bracelets and cuffs to her many mediums of art using beautiful buttons instead of snaps. They range from simplistic with a single pendant to complex adding items such as copper materials and beading.
John and Ali closed the Gallery and Frame Shop in the summer of 2018 to focus more on their art and each other. They now live on a Golf Course in the mountains of Alto/Ruidoso, New Mexico and are just as happy, if not happier than the first time they laid eyes on each other. They have completely solidified “The Providence of Art and Love”.