Artists gathered at the home of Mike and Rebecca Barrett (owners of the LINK Gallery) for food and art talk. I met Victoria Brooks a wonderful plein air painter from California. She was looking for someone willing to meet up before dawn to catch the early light on the mountains in the Rocky Mt National Park. I'm game- who cares about sleep, I'll probably be to wound up to sleep anyway.
After a very restless night I gave up sleeping and drove up in to the Rocky Mt National Park to meet Victoria Brooks. It took a while and a bit of driving in the dark to get my bearings but I finally found Sprague Lake. We were set up to paint by 6:30am when the "alpenglow" was right at the peak. This view is very compelling but I was looking for something a little more intimate and found what is shown here.
'Morning at Sprague Lake', 10"x8"oil can be viewed at the Link Gallery in Estes Park.
Victoria wanted to do something with figures and the father and son who had been fishing near us suddenly up and moved - alas, so she painted me painting a 6"x 8"of hikers stopping on a little bridge looking towards me as the sun rose over them.
On the right is my painting of 'Hikers at Sprague Lake', 6"x8" oil $150.
Tuesday morning we met at Wild Basin entrance to Rocky Mt National Park, took a dirt road a couple of miles to the Finch Lake trail head and hiked less than a half a mile to Copeland Falls. This is a beautiful area and there are two sections to the falls, upper and lower. Starting at the upper falls, Victoria painted away from the sun as it rose and lit the white water. I painted looking downstream as the water disappeared over rocks into the dark forest back lit by the rising sun. It wasn't long before we were joined by fishermen hiking upstream, casting in pools along the way. I would really like to do that.
Up before the birds, as usual, we went to the Estes Lakes, which you drive over as you come into Estes Park. I never thought they offered much scenic value but we found several really beautiful views: the Stanley Hotel reflected in the water just as the sun rose and illuminated it, and in the other direction, a really beautiful sunrise over the water and a family of deer drinking at the lake's edge. At one point a group of Elk crossed the lake in front of us; they didn't even get their ears wet. By 11am I had two pieces finished so I knocked off to get an espresso at the shop next to my gallery.
The morning had gone by without a cloud in the sky but as afternoon came on clouds began to rise over the mountains (called the twin Owls) to the north above Estes. I was in my groove so painted this piece from the Riverwalk and finished up by 2pm. It was a good day.
'Drama in the Afternoon',10"x8",oil. This painting can be viewed at the Link Gallery in Estes Park.
This little party: two bear cubs and their mother were shaking down a tree under my window Thursday morning; fun to watch but I was so glad not to have seen them while painting in Rocky Mt.National Park.
Thursday is Media Day and all of the artists paint on the Riverwalk that winds down though the shopping section of Estes. It is quite beautiful so not hard to find a good view, of something. This is our chance to mingle with the public, answer questions, make contacts and encourage people to come to the Show Opening on Saturday. Media Day is not everyone's cupa-tea but I enjoy it and even talked with folks that I met last year in Estes Park on the Media Day. Best of all I was happy with my painting of the twin owls over Estes. Unfortunately, it began to rain about 1pm so there was no time for a second painting. 'Amazing Day', 16"x12"oil. This painting can be viewed at the Link Gallery in Estes Park.
All the Artists were required to turn in their 3 entries to their respective galleries on Friday, by noon. Most of us spent Thursday night, till all hours, signing, framing and generally suffering the consternation of having to choose which 3 to enter.
Friday was beautiful and I snapped a few of the "locals" strolling around town. Elk are everywhere but you really never get used to seeing them in traffic.
Karen LaValley, a painter from from Ohio, who I met last year- we indulged in a bit of shopping and capped the day with dinner outside, by the river at Poppies. Victoria Brooks, from California and Lori Putnam, from Tennessee joined us. All three of these women are wonderful painters and worth looking at. Google them to see their work.
Saturday morning all the artists gathered in the park for the "Quick Draw". There were 2 models and lots of landscape opportunities. We painted from 9am to 10:30am when, at the sound of a whistle- everyone put down their brushes and had 10 minutes to frame and run the wet work up to the auction table where it was sold off to the highest bidder. I felt great when my piece sold for more than I was asking.
'Quick Draw Aspens in Riverside Park', 10"x8", oil, SOLD.