Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008. Who really needs more than 3 legs?

Later still, Rick and I drove back to town to meet up with friend and fellow painter, Eleanor Scott Meyers who, during the day had gotten separated from the keys to her little camping trailer. Her afternoon had not been a pleasant one; she and a ranger had tried to track down a locksmith then physically removed the trailer door and lock assembly to avoid a $100 locksmith house call fee. With the lock assembly wrapped in newspapers we made the hand-off, found the locksmith's home and were able to deliver it (I felt like we were transporting a live organ to a surgeon). The locksmith made short work of it all while we made friends with Bandit, his very cool 3 legged dog.
Later still, we drove back up into the Park and Rick helped Eleanor put the door back together. This is us enjoying the moment inside her little 'Scamp' trailer.

Eldon's Ten Minute Wonder

At the end of the afternoon Eldon pulled out a bunch of 5x7 canvases and I challenged him to do one in 10 minutes. This was the result; a sweet little memoir of a really wonderful afternoon, simple and direct; and Eldon gave it to me. Thanks.

Thursday Late at Sprague Lake

After grabbing a late lunch bite, several of us headed back up to Sprague Lake for the late afternoon. These are the best times; relaxed and fun, just painting, chatting, letting the day take its way. To the right is Dawn Normali and below Rick and Eldon share a view and a bit of discussion; no media here, just friends.

My Media Day View

Below is my media day view, looking over the river to a nice big spruce tree and the little lamp post in front of it. You can see I edited out the bridge and played up the angles of the building in the background. This is the kind of 'screamer' painting that gets noticed in public but may never see the light of day again. I did not enter this one into the competition or even into the show. Plenty of people remembered it tho', so in a way it had already done it's job.
This is a slight nod to an earlier discussion with Scott Freeman about performance art but for now I will leave it for another day's philosophical musings.


Thursday. Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008.

Thursday is Media Day and painters spread out in downtown Estes Park, mostly along the Riverwalk and there are views in every direction. We talk to tourists, the media and basically advertise the Plein Air Event. I always enjoy the Media Day and try to do 2 paintings somewhere in town. This day tho', after painting on the Riverwalk, I met up with Eldon Warren and his friend Peggy Hill, a poet along for the ride (check out his blog, poetry included, at www. Eldonwarren.wordpress.com), Rick Frisbie and Dawn Normalli a painter from Estes and we headed up to paint the afternoon at Sprague Lake. Funny, how certain spots get to you. Sprague Lake is one of my favorites; morning or evening.

Long's Peak on Wednesday

This was the most beautiful day, in the beginning, but clouds began to form ahead of us and at the same time we kept watch on a storm approaching from behind us. A storm sandwich, to be sure and when we saw the lightning on ridges directly behind us - it was time to bale. Before we even reached the appointed lunch spot/coffee shop, it was pouring. There is something so nice about about meeting, eating, in a dry haven while wild weather takes over the landscape. About 12 PAAC folks swapped stories about painting, weather, wild animals and the 'one that got away'. Leslie Allen waxed eloquent about painting the Algonquin Park in Canada... sigh.
Soon, the storm passed.
I did not enter this painting into the show for lack of a frame but I was not sure if it was done. When in doubt, leave it out.

Wednesday, Painting with the PAAC

The Plein Air Painters of Colorado (PAAC), many of whom were in the Estes Event, met up in MacGregor Ranch, above the town of Estes Park on Wednesday. Rick Frisbie and I took a spot in the shade of some huge pines and from there had a wonderful view of the Estes Valley and Long's Peak.

Tuesday in the Mosquito Grove

My view was not toward Andrea but to the right and toward the valley below. A little Pine Marten, whose borrow was very near, popped out to squeak at me, several times (this is not my photo, alas, but he looked just like this). I am sure he was making pithy remarks about my painting.
And of course, there were the mosquitoes- everywhere. Two huge bites on my neck are just now beginning to heal. Ha! Vampire mosquitos. Obviously, artist lovers, but not ART lovers.


Tuesday Morning. Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008

Tuesday morning I slept in - sort of; I met Andrea Gabel, a painter out of Greeley, up in the park around 8am. This seemed late compared to the pre-dawn painting of yesterday. We both had wanted to paint in, around or by a group of aspens. Andrea set up looking into the aspens and I set up looking out of them. In the end, I paid a high price for that view. The mosquitoes there were man-eaters and I took a couple of serious hits even tho' I covered up, sprayed up and swatted like crazy.

Monday PM. Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008

After all the moose fun at Sprague Lake, Rick and I caught up with Eldon Warren and headed up to Endo Valley. In the background you can see a beautiful little water feature- which I chose to ignore but Eldon and Rick finished with nice pieces. I was captivated by a rather singular tree which held the light as the sun set - on a long but perfect painting day.

Monday Early. Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008

It just doesn't get much better than this. My photography does not do it justice but the pre-dawn glow (alpenglow) in the peaks is truly amazing. The sun is still about 15 minutes from rising but the mountains get it's pre-dawn blast. Painter, Rick Frisbie, from Kansas and myself were up in the high country about 5:50 am, to see the moon set over a perfect image of the mountains on Sprague lake; another -"This is why I live in Colorado moment."

MOOSE in Estes Park. PLEIN AIR 2008

This may be out of order- blogging is crazy that way but this is Monday late morning; amazing how the light changed. The really big news here is, of course- THE MOOSE. Even the rangers told us that there were NO moose on this side of the park. This pair were probably art lovers because they hung around for over an hour.
By the bye- I did a painting while gawking at the moose. It was not to be one of my entries into the competition but it did sell at the show opening. YaY!

Monday AM. Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008

The alpenglow on Sprague lake lasts all of about 5 minutes, that might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. Compared to the photo taken earlier, you can see behind my easel how the sunrise has changed the light on the trees.

Sunday Morning in Estes Park. PLEIN AIR 2008

Sunday morning I was up in Rocky Mt.Nat.Park and tho' the morning was fair it clouded up really fast and I just had time to paint this and chat with some tourists. In the end, this piece went into the show and it was the only 9x12 that I liked.

Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008. Whoa! Snow.

Well, I got home from Wyoming and had what seemed like ten minutes to go to the dentist, register the kids for school, do laundry and pack the car again and head up to Estes Park for the PLEIN AIR 2008, PAINT THE PARKS event. -Read about it at www.EstesArts.com.- Fortunately, I was doing my laundry while it was snowing in the Park. Toooooo bad. NOT!