Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wintertime Arrives ~ in Contrast




As winter peaks it's glorious head around the mountain tops that are in my backyard, I am taken back to where we moved from - a year ago - a farmstead, in North Central Kansas (two photos above.)

Winters are winters in the middle and western U.S.  In Kansas, much of the cold and snow
was accompanied by ICE.  In Colorado, much of the cold and snow is accompanied
by more snow, and that is what it is doing on the high peaks this morning...which is exactly what
it should have been doing last year, but really didn't.  So here's to an El Nino winter here in Colorado!
Bring it on!  This valley experienced it's worst ever drought this growing season.

I remember - soon after we moved to Kansas from Colorado, we had an ice storm that left us without power for a week.  We used the onboard generator of our RV and hooked it up to the electric for SOME of the house, at least the fridge and furnace were working.  Here, where we live near Westcliffe, we will always have power, as long as there is propane in the tank for the generator to run if sun doesn't shine for awhile and/or the sun shines - which is often - gives the solar arrays the power to send power to the battery system.  There aren't days and days of no sunshine. Living OFF GRID has it's perks! Oh, and add, 'as long as we have wood pellets' - having 2 pellet stoves is a real plus.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Alla Prima Westcliffe Show/Reception

The final show was held at the 3rd Street Gallery in Westcliffe, Colorado (USA) by the Sangres Art Guild.  I entered my three pieces (out of 7 that I painted for the week) view on previous post, click here and here.  There were 39 artists that participated and 102 art piece entries (an official count) - we spilled over from the 1st to the 2nd floor of the gallery. There was food and drinks and a Bossa-Nova/Swing/Jazz band.

 Listening for the winning pieces and prizes!

 This piece won Best of Show, I just love it! (by Jennifer Reifenberg)
This painting took second place - it was one of my faves, too! (by Cliff Austin)
There were other awards - have photos of them all, just can't find them right now, story of my life.

 All in all - this was an awesome event - for the full week! Didn't think
I would actually get through it, but I did, thanks to the weather and the
great planning and smooth operation of the whole week.  Thanks to
the Sangres Art Guild members who diligently kept everything running
smoothly without a hitch or a glitch!  And a huge thank you to the people
who let me paint on their private property.
And thanks to Tim Deibler, who sparked an interest in learning MORE 
about painting plein air with oil paint.  I am a forever and willing pupil!

ADDENDUM - from 1 - 3 PM on this day you could attend a viewing of the BIG art show "Art for the Sangres".  Grand that this event is held about 2 miles down the hill from where I live at the "Painted View Ranch".  Hubby and I attended...what a treat!  So inspiring!  This event is held as a benefit for the San Isabel Land Protection Trust.  A dinner and show and sale and auction was held that night for members and guests.

Day 5 of Alla Prima Westcliffe

This was the last day for painting anything that was worthy of entering in the show.  I joined many others at the Music Meadows Ranch, an operating horse and cattle ranch/ a Dude (or Dudette) Ranch in the south part of Custer County.  In particular, it is run by mostly chicks (women).   A really lovely place...we had a model in the morning - a BBQ 'TexMex style' lunch (yummy) and there was a horse drawn wagon model in the afternoon, that I missed, as I left to go decide which paintings to mat and frame for the intake of the show on the next day. I had a lot of work to do and frames to probably empty for re-use - I always do.
Didn't think this painting for today was very good, I had a good vantage point, but I chose a surface size that was all wrong for the subject..anyway, had fun painting it quickly - there were ever changing sunrays underneath that tree, however, painting en plein air - there are NO EXCUSES.  It's a technique that is quick and really can't be reckoned with.






They have a completely different view of the Sangres than I do - but always beautiful, just the same.

Day 4 of Alla Prima Westcliffe

Don't ever follow me too closely on county roads or in light traffic, as I am known to take my Jeep to the roadside at a moments notice.  Clouds are especially attractive to me. On so many occasions, living in Colorado, the clouds are unique and different - more so than anywhere else on earth. I always say, you could blindfold me, take me lots of places, drop me back here and by looking at the skies, I would know I was in Colorado.

This was one in particular I took on my way to my painting place looking to the south - the Spanish Peaks in Huerfano County -  on Day 4. 

This day I went back to the place where I painted on Day 2.  It has a special magic there.  Luckily, I got to meet and talk to the owner in person, as she was there for a little bit.
Such nice people.
I painted most of the morning in OIL, and it bombed, as oil was bombing for me the whole entire week.  So I ended the afternoon, with the shade on the right side of the tree changing to the shade on the left side of the tree.  Always interesting with plein air painting..the sun and the weather can change so quickly. I remember the sun was intense, almost to the point of not being able to see
the scene and colors as they really were.
This is the more successful outcome of the day's painting - in PASTEL.
"Ready to Turn"
pastel and Inktense pencil
10" x 14"
sanded paper adhered to board

ADDENDUM - AGAIN I forgot, but who could forget this night?
A world famous Disney Animator was giving a presentation at the local
theater. Aaron Blaise worked for many years for Disney and was an 
animator/artist of animals since he was a little kid growing up in the Everglades
of Florida.  He offered his talk "A Persistence of Vision" with video, slides and a screening
of the Academy Award nominated movie "Brother Bear" which he co-directed.
Such an interesting life and passion he has.  A life that any artist
could possibly dream of as they were growing up.
I know I always wanted to work in commercial art (did a few things that may
have counted as commercial art, but on my own - as a freelancer. Never hung
up my sign as "Commercial Artist".)
What was so great about this visit is that the next day - Aaron also gave this presentation and did
some drawing for the kids at Custer County Schools.
Also forgot to mention that there were several high school students who
were on the 'deserving end' of scholarships toward that Tim Deibler workshop
on Sunday.  The kids in this county get LOTS of outside experience and influence
from people who come to town as artists, musicians, actors, etc. It's all 
built into the Wet Mountain Valley community funding.  Great place
to raise a family, so many experiences, so much culture!





Sunday, October 14, 2018

Day 3 of Alla Prima Westcliffe

Guess I had better get on with the telling of this event, before I forget what we did.  

On Tues, Sept. 25, many of us met at a property owned by a local resident - high in the Wet Mtns that overlook Westcliffe/Silver Cliff.  The resident is a caretaker of the Nuche Forest and Wildlife Reserve.  In attendance was Ute tribe member - Roland McCook. Chief Ouray and his second wife Chipeta are his great great grandparents. He was present to bless the land in full ceremonial dress.  All of us participated in his direction of blessing the area and giving prayer to the Creator.  As an addition, the landowner asked forgiveness for the atrocities and genocide committed on the Ute Nation.  It moved me to tears.  It was a beautiful, sunlit morning - it seemed the animals were in agreement with the event as evidenced by their presence, as well.
Afterwords, Roland posed for us - many painted him, I drew him.
As I said, it was a lovely morning, I wanted to take it all in.  He sat and talked about
growing up, his memories and the Ute people.
Amazing, to say the least.
Here are a couple of photos I took and the drawings I made in my sketchbook.
Yes, I will paint him later.
After we had a wonderful lunch provided by the landowner, I went home...inspired and
ready to paint the next day.




This particular day will live in my mind for a very long time.
It was one of those amazing ONCE in a lifetime events.

ADDENDUM - How could I forget - there were many activities planned
for us in the evening, and on this evening we were invited to the Greenstone Gallery
in town for 'Bohemian Night' - popcorn, BYOB and chair and watch the movie
"Loving Vincent" - which I had seen twice, but loved it so much, a third time
was welcomed!


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Pop Up Art Show at a Local Valley Event

Art and Music go hand in hand.  Artist Jean Krueger and I will be showing and selling our artwork tomorrow at the Jones Theater/Studio 2 in downtown Westcliffe at 10 AM to 2 PM - a one day event in conjunction with a concert by Take 3.  
There will be artists at the above events throughout the rest of the season. 
It has become my job to schedule them.  
Of course, it just makes sense that 
I am one of the first artists this year to show. Yes?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Alla Prima - Day 2

Monday came (9/24 - the one year anniversary of us buying OUR house here on the west slopes of Westcliffe) of the actual PAINT OUT. What do I paint, where do I go?  Our new accessory building is being built by a local builder who is also building a house on a lovely property east of town.  We had been invited to come see his work and yes, it is awesome.  I contacted the owners, who live out of town and asked if I could paint there this week. They said yes!

I painted in oil on Saturday.  I wanted to do a pastel or two, so took my pastels, pastel pencils and Inktense pencils with me on this paint out.  It was a super beautiful day.  Got a little breezy and rainy at the end of my time there but painted two large pastels.  These two were later submitted for the Plein Air show on Friday. First four photos of house and property - amazing lookout tower on top of house, they can see all over the area..she will use it as a retreat - for crafting and painting and reading, to me the sky would be the limit! Envious!

This is NOT our house..just so you know.



  
I painted with no one else around, how cool it that?


"Mellow Yellow"
13" x 16" 
pastel on Art Spectrum

 "Changelings"
13" x 17"
pastel on velour paper

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Alla Prima Week - Day 1

I just completed a week long event "Alla Prima Westcliffe" - an event where artists gather and paint totally outdoors each day and then turn in up to 3 works for an art show at the end of the week.  

As most art shows go, there needs to be an ''art judge' who has the daunting task of choosing or selecting art for awards that he/she deem worthy.  Along with that job, this artist often offers a workshop on the front end of the event.  

This week we were graced with the tutelage of an awesome landscape/plein air workshop (at an affordable cost)  by Colorado artist Tim Deibler/OPA (Oil Painters of America) from Walsenburg.  There are artists who participate and come back to this event year after year...that says something about the caliber and the prestige of the event, sponsored by the Sangres Art Guild. 

Since I had not painted en plein air for several years (only the last few weeks) I decided I needed to take this course, besides, it's a great way to start alla prima week - painting together with and meeting new (to me) artists, from Westcliffe, as well as from other places..like Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Woodland Park, Silverthorne, Centennial and even Eugene, Oregon 

We painted at a location/ranch/cabin just north of Westcliffe, that is owned by the Samuelson family.  Artist Rebecca Samuelson passed away unexpectedly in recent times and her husband has set up a fund - "Rebecca's Fund". 

The Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation has established the Rebecca Samuelson Memorial Fund in Rebecca's memory to benefit the arts in Custer County. Rebecca had a particular fondness for the art program for children in the Custer County Schools.


Tim Deibler

The setting for art easels and gear.  About the only
special item one needs to paint outdoors is a sturdy
easel, that withstands the wind.

Me. It was a great sun filled day - and yes, I stood for the most part of this first day.
This was the test...having ankle issues, didn't know if I could stand for the entire time.
But I made it throughout the week and could still walk without needing special care
or cane or any help.

I painted my first painting with Tim's demo in mind, that's how you learn.
The view to Humboldt peak.

Then I painted this little cabin that was on the property.
It is not a final photo, as it was wet when I took this picture and there is 
a lot of shine.
 It was a successful day.  I was on my way.  What a great sendoff!

In my mind, I thought I could probably paint 3 a day..well, the story will be continued - next post.
This event was on Saturday and Sunday, I chose to do Saturday, with a day's break in between the beginning day - Monday.

BY THE WAY...

If you would like to donate to a praiseworthy cause I mentioned above (which allowed several art students from the high school to attend) you can send your donation to: 
WMVCF
Rebecca Samuelson Memorial Fund
PO Box 718
Westcliffe, CO 81252

Please note on your check that the donation is for the Rebecca Samuelson memorial fund.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gearing up for a Week Full of Plein Air Painting

...and learning, always learning.  It's been awhile since I used my plein air equipment outdoors.  I have been practicing since signing up for Alla Prima Westcliffe - a week long event of painting outdoors, a competition and show at the end and a jolly good Arts Hullabaloo/town event.
Here are a few of my plein air practices these past few weeks.

"Hill with Yucca"
pastel on Canson paper
this is a hill of rocks on my property
left by digging and piling for one reason or another
long before we came here

"Petunias and Zinnias"
oil on canvasboard
9" x 12"
done from the flowers I have
growing on in a pot on my rainbarrel

Tomorrow I will be attending a plein air workshop with Colorado artist, Tim Deibler.

Acrylic practice in the studio - here - this one is large 24" x 30"
I love aspen trees.  Looking for a few young ones to put on our property.
This is being done from my photo from up into the alpine and mountains.


Stay tuned because by the end of next week, I will have lots to show and tell.

Today we are doing our OWN concrete apron pads for our new building - can you
say, 'concrete all over myself'?  Concrete truck is bringing the material, WE are 
doing the finishing after they pour it - 2 yards.



  


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wild Things Reception

Last week was the Art Reception for the 'Wild Things' show at the 3rd Street Gallery in Westcliffe, Co.  My first event with them.  Fun, and music and laid back conversation - interesting crowd!  Love it!

At the end of this month is the Alla Prima Westcliffe - plein air event.
Four days of painting on location - out doors.
I am signed up and getting the rust out of the paints and pastels
so I can be ready to participate!
Should be fun and exciting!
Praying the weather stays calm.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Saker Falcon in Watercolor

"Saker Falcon"
16" x 20"
watercolor and acrylic on Arches

Finished.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The ART of Practice

On Mondays, we can paint with others at the gallery.  I was in a quandary about what to take for my first time. I don't paint away from my studio very much.  When I work I need LOTS of space, because I use lots of different materials and the gallery area is not really set up for that one.  So, not wanting to push anyone's space with lots of stuff, I chose to fill my carpenters bucket with watercolor materials and took an Arches pad.  It worked out just fine.  Had fun and lots of chatting.  Getting to know others and finding out  I really am in the right place - finally.  Kansas (where we lived anyway) had so little to offer for ART experiences like this one.  'Bloom where you are planted' has always been my motto, but I like it better when there are plenty more gardeners who are serious about what they do.  I imagined that I wouldn't get much done, but I did.  Here is a watercolor I started and am thinking about where to take it.  I used a reference photo from Unsplash.com - a 'free to use' photo site that is just full of unique and awesome images.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Add a Gallery


I have waited almost a year to get involved in the LOCAL art scene.  Having many issues on our house and property - I (we) have taken some time to address those things where I was needed as help and backup for many a project.  That has slowed enough now,  that I decided it was time to take a step forward.  It's part of what brought me here (back to Colorado, where I have spent most of my life - to Westcliffe), the ART SCENE.  

There are numerous ART opportunities and places in a town of about 500...being a hot tourist and getaway area in the warm months.  I chose "3rd Street Gallery" as my starting point and have joined the 'Sangres Art Guild' - I am only 15 minutes away.  My art is now hanging in the 'members' gallery on the second floor and I have entered three pieces in a month long show called "Wild Things" - right up MY ALLEY.  Show starts on the 26th of August.  Opening reception is September 1st, located at 59000 Highway 69 in Westcliffe, CO.  So excited!  The gallery is closed from Jan to May - as we all need some 'hunker down time' in the winter.  Many restaurants and shops close, as well.  A good production time in the studio - anyway - while wiling away the winter cold.  

There are artist 'painting get togethers' every Monday at the gallery, so you know where I will be on Mondays.  'Gallery sitting' will be on the agenda, as well.  I have my times already scheduled.  It is a perfectly and smoothly run business - no kinks - no hassle - just nice friendly people (of course, haven't met anyone that wasn't just super nice - here) - can't wait to be INVOLVED!  I now wonder, why I waited so long...but 'life' comes first, always. And I am elated beyond belief that I am back, living in a place that SUPPORTS the arts - I have new friends.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Busy, Busy Summer

We have been busy on the Lazy K - updating the house and our grid system, having another outbuilding added to our property, RVing and just plain busy!
I have been able to get a few paintings going and done.
First a commission..
"Orcas" 12" x 12"
acrylic on wrapped canvas
(AR from pixabay.com)

and next a new 'work in progress' - watercolor and pastel merged
onto Uart mounted sandpaper

14" x 18"





Color is not coming out right in the photos. Will get it fixed by the time
I post the finished piece, hopefully very soon.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Carrying ON

Sad news, my class ended - abruptly - sometimes life happens to YOU 
and you have to accept it DOES to others, as well!  
Anyway, I have learned so much and my learning curve 
has jumped by leaps and bounds!!

I have such confidence going forward - I feel like I can tackle anything portrait wise
and that was exactly what I was looking for.

Here are a few of further works developed in the past few weeks.
BTW, have been painting the outside of my house along with this.
It is looking great, waiting for some new exterior shutters for the front
and am going to attempt a little bit of landscaping to improve it's drab
existence up to this point in it's life.

Charcoal done from a source photo provided from unsplash.com

This is Jake - my cousin.
Done in charcoal, and Dr/ Martin's No Bleed white.

I loved doing all the beard and hair and one of the
joys of using photos of people with sunglasses, is painting them 
and trying to capture the abstract
light or objects of what is reflected in them.  What made
this most fun was capturing his character
and I think I nailed it.