Big Marks and Small Marks- Save the Date for September 11th

At Adams State University, Alamosa, CO - in the Cloyde Snook Gallery
New Date:   August 31- September 30 - 2020

You are invited to the Artist Reception, September 11,  5pm- 7pm

How often are we given a GIFT of time?
Initially disappointed at having my show cancelled, or even postponed - I am now excited at the possibilities presented by a gift of 5 months.  I do believe that good things come to those who wait.
And it has been months of waiting,
 and well over a year of painting- and more months of waiting, and waiting- for the other shoe to drop.   The show will open August 31st,  the reception will be on Friday, September 11th and will hang until September 30, in the beautiful Cloyde Snook Gallery on the University campus in Alamosa.


WOW! News from the Outback

A word from Alamosa - a small backwater in southern Colorado.
This week, as in other parts of Colorado, almost everything has closed: no Recreation center for painting classes or walks on the track - no Pickle Ball - What?
This is a place of small businesses and a (very good) small town attitude about what it means to take care of your neighbor.
In case anyone wondered, or even had time to think about it . . .
Yes- my show at Adams State University IS canceled.
At first we thought we would HANG it and wait things out but the school is now closed indefinitely to on campus activities.
Yes, well. . .  I'd be lying to say this is not a disappointment but - we all have bigger fish to fry and there are people making much bigger sacrifices.
As to the show - this may not be the LAST word but for the moment let us think about taking care of each other, being kind when people are nervous, afraid, or acting out of fear.
Here in Alamosa, we have no reported cases of Coronavirus - but it's no time to pat ourselves on the back -  it's time to call our neighbors; do they have enough toilet paper, or more importantly - food?  Maybe they just need a word of encouragement.
It snowed last night.  March can be a rough month for cold weather here and certainly our folks living homeless or in shelters will suffer.  Pray for them, and the good people in the community who are on the front lines worldwide.
And be a hero -
if you can, stay home and mind the hearth.


Solo Show at Adams State University

Big Marks and Small Marks/Postponed, stay tuned

In the Cloyde Snook Gallery, in the Art Dept on the campus of Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado.
What WAS to happen March 24th- April 16, has been postponed until August 31- September 30.

You are invited to the Artist Reception, September 11,  5pm- 7pm

I was excited and honored to have been invited to have a solo show at Adams State University.  That was in December 2018 and here we are.
It has been a year of painting- that turned into OVER a year of painting.
Stay home, stay well, be good to each other.


Studio Move

There has been a lot going on in my life this year, and not all of it ART related - but something that was HUGE (in my small world) -  was my studio move.
I  worked happily for 12 years under the same roof as Husmann Plumbing in Alamosa and they were good landlords to me but this summer they were looking to expand their business and it was time for me to move on.  Fortunately, I found space rather quickly and on August 1st moved down the road to 6800 Hwy 17.

I have both "gallery" space and studio space,  wonderful landlords, and my drive to work is beautiful- coming and going.   After 3 months, I am beginning to feel at home.
The Studio is across the street from the Alamosa Farm Park and tucked in nicely beside Automotive Concepts.
Big "Thanks" to Matt Beckner at ION Graphics for the signage.


Sunset Season

This has been a summer for crazy/incredible sunsets;
way too big and always too glorious to paint but just watching them unfold over the course of an evening is one major perk of plein air painting and one of the best ways to soak up our precious Colorado summer.  I confess, on the evening shown above, we painted in an on-off rain for quite a while but were also treated to a complete double rainbow opposite the sunset that was certainly the brightest I have ever seen. What a show.

There is still 2 months of plein air painting ahead.
If you are a painter, but never painted in the landscape . . . . .
or a beginner wanting to learn something new - come paint in and around Alamosa.

Join us on Tuesday Evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm
or Thursday Mornings, 9am to noon - or both.
Register at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center -719-589- 2105
or register at the first class meeting.
New Class session starts this week:
Tuesday Evening - August 6th  -  6:30-9pm.
Thursday Morning-  August 8th - 9am- noon
The first meeting of each class will be at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center. We will do a little landscape practice and I will pass out class schedules- so that everyone will know WHERE to go each week.
Painting locations will also be posted on this BLOG - over to the right.

2 ways to attend: pay for the entire session at the first meeting, or pay as you go.
If you register and pay for the entire session, for either Tuesday or Thursday's class - you can attend both the Tuesday and Thursday classes for no extra charge.
Otherwise it is $15 a class:  pay me on site with cash or make cks out to City of Alamosa.
Here in Colorado our summer is so fleeting. Enjoy the beauty, the majesty, the pleasure of it - just a bit more - by actually being out in it.
Hope to see you in the landscape.


An Evening with Carl Judson, AKA Guerrilla Painter

Tuesday Evening, June 25th - our special guest will be Carl Judson, AKA Guerrilla Painter, traveling plein air guru and THE Judson behind the famous Judson’s Art Outfitters - supply/lifestyle catalog for all things PLEIN AIR.
I met Carl a few years back while painting at the Sedona Plein Air Festival - and invited him to Alamosa to visit with the San Luis Valley Painters. He travels all over the country visiting artists and inspiring painters in the Plein Air Life, while dispensing wisdom and encouragement from over 30 years of plein air painting.
We had such a great time when he was last in town -  I have looked forward to having him back in our area.

Carl will be our special guest on Tuesday Evening, June 25th, 6:30pm at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center. Don't miss it!
This will be fun for painters of all persuasions - and open to all; NO drop-in fee.
I think we will all be inspired.


Special Thanks to San Luis Valley Health

I have to give a huge "THANKS"  to the San Luis Valley Health Foundation for supporting ART in our valley, for recognizing it's importance to the health and well being of our entire community,  and for backing up that philosophy with the purchase of REAL art from local artists.
This past spring the Conejos County hospital did a much needed upgrade to the hospital entrance and the emergency wing, shown above in the last stages of completion.
Part of the renovation involved the purchase of ART for the lobby, front desk and hallway areas.  Above, you can see my piece "Last Lights"- 48x 24, leaning against the fireplace wall. Works by David Montgomery and Charles Ewing were also purchased for the Conejos County Hospital space.
Kelly Gurule, long time head of the San Luis Valley Health Foundation has championed artists in the valley by encouraging the symbiotic relationship between ART, HEALTH, and the local artist community.
This is not just a nice idea but a philosophy that the Foundation has backed with serious $$.
I know from travel to other areas of the country, and into Canada that large corporate health care facilites  seldon spend "a nickle" to support anything like local or REAL art but expect artists to DONATE work; under the guise of getting "exposure".
This practice devalues both patients and artists.
Nuff said- I will get off the soap box.
Thanks, again to the SLV Foundation for the purchase of "Last Lights".
The Conejos County Grand Opening and ribbon cutting will be on Saturday, June 22.  The community is invited.


We Live for Summer

There is a light breeze, clouds pile up in a huge sky,
snow tops  Mt Blanca to the east and San Juans to the west,
these are the days we live for.
Plein air painters go out even in the snow and rain, but a summer morning spent enjoying the out doors reminds us why live in Colorado.
The piece above is my 6"x 8" done last week from the Recreation Center in Alamosa.

This first week of the Plein air Painting classes brought ten painters out into the landscape.
The laundry, the dishes the yard work will always be with us , but these summer days are very fleeting.
Give your self the gift of a few mornings to enjoy them.
If you are an artist and want to join the class, or if you are visiting the valley for the summer, or even if you are just passing through and would like to join a group and get some instruction - contact me through my website at ConiGrant.com.
I can let you know when and where we will be meeting.
OR if you check on the right hand side of this article the painting location should be posted each week.
Drop-in fee is $15, paid at the location with cash or check made out to the City of Alamosa.


Carl Judson, the GuerrillaPainter, will be visiting our class on Tuesday Evening, June 25th at 6:30 pm at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center.
Carl is a long time painter and front man for Guerrilla Painter,  world wide supplier of all things "plein air".
His presentations on outdoor painting are always entertaining and insightful. You won't want to miss it.
Invite your friends;  NO drop-in fee for this class.   Join us.
Check out more about Carl, his company and his travels at


Plein Air- My favorite season.

 May has been a bit chilly in Colorado; a little snow as Spring blew through BUT summer is coming and I am looking forward to going outdoors. Plein Air season is almost here.
Two great opportunities to paint outdoors this summer:  
Tuesday Evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm, starting June 4th.
and Thursday Mornings, 9am to noon, starting June 6th.

If you are a painter, but never painted in the landscape . . . . .
or a beginner wanting to learn something new - come out and paint in and around Alamosa this summer.

We will have our first meeting of each class at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center and do a little landscape practice. I will also pass out the class schedules- so that everyone will know WHERE to go each week.
Locations for WHERE we will be meeting each week will also be posted on this BLOG - over to the right.

Many of us will spend a lot of time doing chores this summer, and taking care of business.
Take some time to enjoy the beautiful Colorado landscape.

Join us on Tuesday Evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm
or Thursday Mornings, 9am to noon - or both.
Register at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center -719-589- 2105
or register at the first class meeting.


2019 Painting Classes

 We covered a lot of territory this winter in the Painting Class:
we explored different under painting ideas, negative painting, and also things more concrete - like how to paint glass, metal and flowers.
The top 2 photos, painted from the same reference show one on a black under painting, the other on Magenta.  Changing up an under painting is an easy way to give a piece just a little bit different vibe.

The Pear and the Cardinal were both exercises in Negative painting. Notice the LARGE dark and light shapes in both pieces. This is where negative painting, or painting around shapes, creates detail by breaking up the shapes in a way that is often more sophisticated than layering paint on top of paint in a positive or additive way.
This is a technique used a lot by the best watercolor painters.

The bottom photo shows our study of glass
and things massed together using both positive and negative painting.
Flowers are great practice for painting things that are grouped,
and that have a lot of detail.
My goal is to create a sense of massing and detail with out actually painting that detail but by allowing it to appear in the eye of the viewer by using negative painting to break up the large and small shapes.
Click on any of the photos to view them larger.