Happy New Year 2019

Wow!   2018 flew by and I painted right up to the end of the year. It was not the
quiet holiday I had hoped for but sometimes that is how it goes.
I trust you had wonderful and blessed holiday season.
It is SO cold here in Alamosa - the temptation is to stay bundled up in front of the TV - but there's no time for that. I am grateful to have several commissions waiting in the studio. Tick - Tock - nothing motivates like a deadline.

If you are looking for some post-holiday motivation, or just an excuse to get away from all of that left over Christmas candy- do something good for yourself in 2019: take a class, get together with other people, learn new skills- or hone the skills that you have.

Painting Classes start up next week here in Alamosa at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center.
The Tuesday Evening Class starts on January 8th, from 6:30pm to 9:30 pm, and will continue through February 26th.  The evening class will focus on birds and wildlife in the landscape.

The Thursday Morning Class starts on January 10th, 9am to Noon and will continue through February 28th.  We will focus on fundamentals while painting landscapes, flowers, and wild life.

All classes meet at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center in the art studio. Beginners are welcome and all classes address foundational skills of composition, color mixing and painting technique.
Call 719-589-2105 for information or registration.

Class Notes: The GIFT of Art

In class we have been talking about giving away our work - using it as a gift. After all, this is the season of giving.
Responses to this idea have been mixed.
It occurs to me that creating "art" that is intended to be a gift - puts the artist into another head space.
It can be the "I'm not worthy" head space.

A first response could be, "my art is not good enough to give away - no one would want it",
but I see art sell out of galleries all the time that I don't think is "good enough".  What does that even mean?

When someone buys art from a shop or gallery- they have deemed it worthy by spending $$ for it.
When we GIVE art - WE say that it is worthy - but because no $$ has changed hands we don't get the benefit of $$ as an affirmation.
I have been selling "art" in public since I was a kid - with no expectations; it was all gravy, - very anonymous,  - but giving art -  is not anonymous.
AND creating ART that will become a gift adds pressure to the act of creating.

The simple act of creating a piece of art, then gifting it - is an act of, what. . . ?
Trust?  Ego?  Generosity?  Is giving ART a good thing? Should we do it?

For most student artists the step between creation and GIVING is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Or worse, we give our work away with so many disclaimers that the recipient wonders why we are unloading it on them - instead of tossing it into the dumpster.

I hope you are not waiting for feelings of "worthiness" to finally catch up to you, because they never will.  Share your work with joy and you will be surprised how much joy your gift will bring.

This is not exactly a new idea but something I try to do in life and business,  is look for, and think of ways that I can bring art, and crafts, and the joy of creativity,  into areas that don't seem to get enough of it.


New Class Session Starts November 6th and 8th

The last Class Session of 2018 soon:
Tuesday Evening November 6th, 6:30 to 9:30pm and
Thursday Morning November 8th,  9am to noon.

As the days shorten and the cold weather sets in we get a bit of energy from the anticipation of the "holidays" and Advent seasons still ahead. I want to channel that energy  and stir it up even as the year winds down.
Tuesday Evening Class will continue with the focus of WILDLIFE study.
Thursday Morning Class will emphasize the idea of "Gift Giving" - in ART.
There is always something to be learned and something to share.

If you are not in our area-
and feel your creative energy draining away with the fall light - look for a class or a group that meets to paint, craft, draw or even a book club or Bible study, that meets weekly.  Don't let winter drive you to the TV for consolation.
For many artists, a good plein air season creates new ideas and sows seeds of inspiration that can fill the studio over winter.  And for many of us - doing it with others is really important; not just the work, but the connection.

Colorado Showcase 2018 in Parker, CO

These 2 pieces: Ghost Rider, 40x30 in acrylic, and Winter Park, 24x30 in acrylic, were both accepted in to the Colorado Showcase 2018 juried fine art exhibition that will open Friday, November 2nd, 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
This show features the best of Colorado in painting and sculpture and awards will be presented at the opening reception on November 2nd,  hosted by the Parker Artists Guild and The Parker Arts, Culture and Events (PACE) Center in Parker.


Stories of Fall

Every plein air season has it's own character, and in Colorado the seasons are very distinct: Cold, Wind, Rain, Color.
In the winter, a foot of snow is easier to deal with than wind in the Spring.

Summer brings showers and fabulous sunsets,  and the Fall. . . . well - how do you top that time of year when the  mountainsides light up with color?
Our Painting Class painted OUT all Summer and Fall and we have had
a good season.
I so appreciate the "regulars" who come out every week, excited to see what the location will hold;
and "Thanks" as well to folks like Debby and Fred who come to the valley only for the summer and join the class to enjoy the best of the painting season.
I set a couple of goals for myself this year: - more varied subject matter and less "fixing" in the studio.
So - the chickens, at right, are my first chickens - ever.
Carol's Chickens.
And just for the record - I did about 8 small, Sharpie sketches of the chickens in different poses - as they ran around the yard.


Estes Park Workshop

Last week I had the privilege of teaching a 4 day PLEIN AIR workshop in Estes Park. What could be better? - beautiful views, Rocky Mountain grandeur, fall color, Elk bugling, - we had it all - plus some. . . .
Four days of falling snow -

This did not dampen our fun or keep us from painting out.
These determined ladies braved the cold - and snow - to be better designers, better color mixers, more confident painters -
and at the end of the day made some crazy good dinners.
I got to hang out with an amazing group of women who were determined to make it work and not about to let a little weather stand in their way.
Thanks All for a really great time.
Let's do it again next year - except I will be puttin' my order in for a day or two of sunshine.


Saturday in Manitou

I was honored to have my plein air painting used to promote the annual  MANITOU PAINTS fall plein air event happening this Saturday, October 6th. This event is special because it was open only to artists represented in Manitou Galleries.
I am represented by the TracyMiller Gallery, at 16 Ruxton  Ave.,  and I will be on the street on Saturday starting at 11 am.  Come out and enjoy the fall weather and see artists represented in other Manitou Galleries painting all over the downtown area.
Besides myself, some of the other artists on the street will be Tim Deibler, Tracy Miller, Mark Day, to name a few.
There will also be an opportunity to buy the paintings done during the day at a live auction  at 2 pm at the Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Avenue,
Manitou Springs, CO 80829 . Hope to see you there.


2018 PAAC Show in Durango

Plein Air Artists of Colorado  22nd National Juried Exhibition opens this weekend,
Friday night, October 5th, at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango and highlights some of the best plein air painters in the country.   I am honored to have 2 pieces in this show and my painting "Fall Reflections" is featured in the flyer above.


Old Friend/ New Space

An old friend came into my studio recently - "Wow! Do I know you?"
Actually, it was this painting - purchased over 10 years ago by our local hospital for their conference/ education wing.
At that time I was ecstatic but could not afford to have it framed - so it appeared like a large picture window looking out into the woods - and thus named "Into The Woods".

This past Spring the curator of the hospital collection notified me that it would be the feature piece for the new Oncology waiting room.  I felt very honored, to say the least but it was also my chance to do a little restoration and have it framed properly.
Having this piece back in the studio was fun, and interesting - looking closely at something that I had put all I had into - back then.
Also interesting, was how compelling the desire to change or "fix" it;
 maybe a little  update, bringing new skills to bear  . . .

Except for minor restoration and varnish, I let it go untouched.
I see it like a moment in time, my time - but for the folks viewing it for the first time- it is a whole new experience.
Over the years the hospital foundation has purchased many of my paintings; I am so grateful for their support, and grateful to be a part of the community of artists represented there.
Thanks to the San Luis Valley Health Foundation for supporting ART in our valley, for the purchase of REAL art, and for recognizing it's importance to the health and well being of our entire community.


New Work at Earthwood Gallery in Estes Park

Thanks to Ron and Ann Wilcocks at Earthwood Gallery in Estes Park for hosting a Friday night opening on August 3rd for my self and another Colorado painter, Margaret Jensen.
I make a regular pilgrimage to Estes Park every August with new work, curated specifically for that gallery.
Margaret and I have both shown work in Estes Park for over 10 years and it is always fun to open wine,  put out the cheese cubes and mix it up with gallery visitors & buyers, old friends and other local painters - at an opening that specifically celebrates our work.

See the entire show at Earthwood Collections Gallery at 141 E. Elkhorn Ave. in Estes Park, Colorado.