August 2021: Natalie Heller, Featured Artist
A Midwesterner’s Dream

Natalie Heller, The Drive Home

The Drive Home. 18”x36” photograph on canvas won 1st Place  in the March 2021 issue of  “Colorado Country Life” magazine. By Natalie Heller, Lone Cone Photography.

Natalie Heller, award-winning photographer, SW Colorado. Courtesy image.

By Kathryn R. Burke, Publisher, San Juan Publishing], Vice President, MCA

Natalie Heller’s solo exhibit portrays her fascination of  the “old west” from the perspective of a midwesterner. An experienced and award-winning photographer, now, she’s living her dream, immersing herself in western  lifestyle and scenic vistas as she views both through the lens of her camera.

“I’ve always been in love with horses and the American West having grown up on western film —all of us photography “boomers” seem to be saying that these days). So it’s thrilling to have achieved the good fortune to photograph some of our local ranch life.  My favorite photo shoots are being out on the ranches, absorbing every detail of work during branding season.  The dust, the smoke, the smell of leather and the scent of sweat on the horses.  I find myself leaning in to take the tight shots that convey the details in the chaps and spurs, their creases and textures, well-worn leather or a weathered face. With tight shots, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the details that typically may go unnoticed.  Achieving in the printed image, what I saw through the lens, is greatly rewarding to me. ”

The Drive Home won 1st Place  in the March 2021 issue of  Colorado Country Life magazine.  Heller said this about taking the photo:

“It’s a real privilege to be invited onto any ranch operation and permitted to photograph their families working together to brand their calves or push the herd towards their home range. This was the last photo of the day and it turned out the best of all. The cool rain on the backs of the cattle caused a light mist above them and the rain helped to saturate the colors in the landscape. The horses, the riders and the dogs all lined up perfectly for the final shot.”

Recent Exhibits and Awards


  • 1st Place – Cowboys & Indians Annual photo Contest in the Landscape/Wildlife category with “Headed for Trouble” and finalist with “Mountain Pool” in the Seasons category.  Feb/March 2021 issue.
  • 1st Place – Colorado Country Life magazine, March 2021 with the image “The Drive Home”.


  • Solo exhibit – 610 Arts Gallery – 610 Clinton St.,  Ridgway, Colo.  July 2020

Featured Artists & Shows

January.Marko Marino
February, Wine & Roses
.. Musician, Nick Carozza concert
March, Gary Ratcliff
..  Fiber Arts Exhibit
April, Joan Anderon
May, Tim Brady
June, Square Deal Fundraiser
July, Jeff Ellingson
Natalie Heller, solo show
The Rood Collection, 19th century art
September, Pat Jeffers, solo show
... Deb Barr, Singer/songwriter
October, MVAG
November, 3-Women Show: Julia Reid, Cristin Johnson, Jenny McIntyre
December, Cheri Isgreen, solo Show

February, Mike Simpson
March, Sheryl Williams
July Barbara Kendrick, pastel
October, Bonnie Heidbrak, photography
December - Mary Pat Ettinger, paintings

December, Virginia Blackstock