Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008. The Show

The Estes Park, PAINT THE PARKS '08 Show opened on Saturday afternoon, award winners were named and it was pretty much time to relax a bit. The two galleries hosting the event, Earthwood Collections (the gallery that represents me) and the Cultural Arts Council opened simultaneously, and during the course of the evening we walked between the galleries to get a look at all the amazing work entered into the show. Two of my pieces sold at the opening; that's a first and a pleasant surprise.
Thanks so much to Ron and Ann Wilcocks, their staff at Earthwood Collections, and to Lynda Vogel at the Cultural Arts Council who put on a GREAT plein air event.
And Thanks to Rick Frisbie who took this photo and the others with me in them.

Estes Park 2008. Quick Draw Saturday

The Quick Draw is my favorite part of any plein air event and probably the only time all of the artists paint together. There is a little bit of nervous energy but once the whistle blows everyone gets right to it.

As a consequence of painting in the shade my acrylic under-painting took a very long time to dry so I used the time to take photos of other artists. At the top, rick Frisbie breaks his concentration for a moment to give me a wave; Scott Freeman is painting the model. Deb Robinson, in her signature cowboy hat, is painting a view upstream and you can tell the morning is cool; she still has a sweater on. Teri Gortmaker is working in pastels and you can see her tray of pastels laid out on the french easel. The last photo is of KC Benson, a watercolorist whose work I admire. He has work in the Link Gallery in Cheyenne, who also represents me.
Click on the photos to see them larger.

Estes Park 2008. Quick Draw Saturday

A lot of artists paint the model at the quick draw; not my cup'o tea- or maybe I'm not brave enough. The model is seated in a wicker chair on the right, facing the painters.

Estes Park 2008. Leslie Allen Paints Me

Well, this was fun. Leslie Allen (a fellow member of PAAC) was set up behind me, and unbeknown to me, used me as her quick draw model; and a sweet job she made of it. I would have loved to have bought it at the auction but knew better than to get in the middle of the bidding - which got rolling quite quickly. In the end my friend Damon, a gallery owner form Columbus took it home. - Sigh. . .
Take a look at the hat; so expressive, so terse and decisive. Check out more of Leslie's work at www.allenfineart.com.

Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008. My Quick Draw

In the last 2 years at the quick draw, I have done more intimate views, of the stream or a group of trees. Today I painted a long view looking over the park, parking lot, and all of the activity, to Long's Peak through the trees.
There is something about a quick draw, the pressure and the energy which helps me cut loose and paint more freely. There is not time for second guessing or tedious care taking. Most plein air painters can do the job handily in the time frame but usually prefer a more finished look. That would not be me. I would be the one actually trying to make my daily paintings look more like the quick draw paintings.
The piece didn't seem to suffer at the auction. After some active bidding, this one sold for the highest that I have ever had a quick draw go for.

Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008. Friday, Day of Truth

Friday is the day we turn in our paintings; stressful but also a bit of a holiday. Most of the artists have, hopefully, finished and signed their paintings; then picked out 3 to enter in the competition. This is always a little hard; I think the better you are the harder it could be. Me,- I had my top 3 no problem. Rick gave me some good feed back and I also gave some opinions to what I thought were his top 3. These choices are subjective, of course but also very personal. I have to remember that my faves are rarely anyone else's.
After the rush to turn in work by noon, then we have an afternoon to do - NOTHING -Yay! Here I am with a drill pointing to my painting in the gallery window (top right). I can't explain the drill; it belongs to Eldon Warren who was using the gallery as his personal framing space. This is a dispensation given to the 'Big Guns"; no problem, He's earned it.

Estes Park PLEIN AIR 2008. Dawn on Thursday

Here's Dawn Normali with her finished painting of Hallett Peak. Dawn has great style and this was one of my favorite pieces.

And what was I doing all afternoon? - Since I have no painting to show. . .
While looking for a view to paint I struck up a conversation with a couple from California, who as it turned out, live very near where I came from 5 years ago. She teaches at the elementary school where my son went, knew many places and people that I knew. It was one of those those unexpected and serendipitous conversations based in common threads that turned into something more, about art and faith and life; a conversation worth giving up a painting for.