From imagining a low water bridge on the Ute Creek being used for a cattle drive, to taking favorite images from southwestern United States and placing them on canvas, Randall Nix has one purpose as an artist — to create an image that captures the essence of western beauty.

Nix, a western artist from Gentry, Arkansas, will display an assortment of his work on Friday, April 13, during the Second Friday gathering at the Brush and Palette Club.

The show, which features a preview of Shirley Valentine by Lori Klickman and the Playmakers, is set to begin at 6 p.m., at the gallery located at 18 West Fourth, Grove.

Nix, who uses mainly oil and acrylics on canvas, has been painting since 1966. He said it took 20 years to "start getting good."

"Since that time [1986] I've had no problem turning out paintings," Nix said in a past interview, joking that he wants "to make a painting so good you don't want to throw it out when you get tired of it."

From visits to Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona, Nix has worked to capture some of the land he calls near and dear to his heart into paintings.

"I've just always liked it," Nix said. "I lived surrounded by all of it when I was young and it stuck with me."

This is the second time Nix has been a featured artist at the Brush & Palette Club.

"I see the beauty of the country that many people don't get to see," Nix said, adding he believes its his responsibility to help introduce people to the beauty beyond their immediate horizon.

Nix draws much of his inspiration for his works from the landscape itself.

Sometimes he draws the image as it appears in a photograph. Other times he adds animals or other images to help tell the story.

"Sometimes the rocks are so stunningly beautiful, that anything else [added to the painting] would detract from them," Nix said.

Nix's work is not limited to western art. He has also created work featuring deer frolicking below the falls at Natural Falls State Park in West Siloam Springs.

But ultimately, western art is what Nix truly loves.

"I can't live without my beautiful pictures and paintings of the west," Nix said, "and the memories of my childhood in the mountains.

"In fact a good view of the plains with the mountains in the background is the best of both worlds."