Happy Mother's Day to you Mom!

I want to dedicate this Mother's Day post to my mom, who is the greatest.
Thanks for encouraging me to get back to painting by leading the way and for always being the best Mom and Grandma. Love you!


Farmington Museum in Farmington, New Mexico presents
Gateway to Imagination,
a National Juried Competition that opens this weekend with a reception from 7- 9 pm., at the Farmington Museum, of course.
This juried show draws artists from all over the country so
I was very happy when the 2 pieces below were accepted for
this national competition and exhibition:
Golden Day, 12" x 16", a plein air piece in oil, and
Autumn Way, 16" x 20", in oil.
The show will be on display in from May 7 - July 10, 2010.


"Food As Art" at the SPACe Gallery

This is lovely LaVeta, in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks.
Eight members of the San Luis Valley Painters entered work in the "Food as Art" Show hosted by the Spanish Peaks Arts Council and Saturday evening, 7 of us went up to LaVeta for the opening. In keeping with the FOOD theme the featured ART was the party food, catered for the event by Teresa Quiroga. Bravo!

The food got a lot of attention but eventually we got around to looking at the art: painting, fiber work, photography, as well as 3 dimensional works were featured. My vote for ARTIST's Choice went to the party food. Very Nice!
Thanks to the SPACe Galley for hosting the event and kudos to all the San Luis Valley Painters who entered.
Don't forget - Coming in June is the Colorado Expressions Show presented by the SPanish Peaks Arts Council. This Juried event always draws top artists from all over Colorado. May 22 is the entry deadline and the form for that can be found at their website. Click here.


3 Painters, 3 Friends, 3 Points of View

The San Luis Valley Brewing Company in
Alamosa, Colorado Presents
paintings by Coni Grant,
Susan McCullough, and David Montgomery
through May 30.

David Montgomery.

Lifelong painter, conservationist and interpreter of the landscape, David creates work that highlights the glory of nature and is a celebration of the harmony found in that natural world.

Susan McCullough.

With a passion to see and reveal
the landscape en plein air (out doors),
Susan paints the West with the
eye of understanding that
only comes from a lifetime of
focused observation and inspiration.

Coni Grant.

Primarily a plein air (outdoor) painter, Coni uses her design background, together with innovative color ideas to express a view of the landscape that is distinctive and contemporary.

David, Susan and Coni all maintain studios in the
San Luis Valley that are
open to the public.
Their work can also be
viewed on line at:

So much for the Press release.
We got together on Monday to hang this show at the San Luis Valley Brewery and rewarded ourselves with an early tea-time. I recommend the Alamosa Amber but this pub also makes one of the best Rootbeers - ever. So if you are anywhere in the neighborhood - that would be within 200 miles - take in the show, 3 Painters, 3 Friends, 3 Points of View, and enjoy lunch or dinner at the San Luis Valley Brewing Company. The brew master is a woman - that's why the beer is so good.


Class Notes: Seeing Color, Mixing Neutrals

It has been awhile since my students have seen this white cup; not everyone's favorite. It has a few quirks I still wrestle with: the ellipse at the top and red painted rim, the rolled metal handle, etc. . .
This week it served to help us see and mix "grey's" or neutrals.
I have been trying to stop using the terms "grey" or "brown", because they are useless descriptors, giving no real indication of the character of what you are seeing or mixing. Instead, I want to learn to see color,
say color, paint color.
See it, give it a name, such as a warm neutral, or to get more specific -
a red, pink, or orange neutral; conversely, a cool neutral, such as a violet, blue or green neutral. In reality there is very little absolute neutral grey, (a black derivative) in nature.
In the case of this white cup on a white cloth the challenge was to see the whites as color. The enamel cup has a very warm cast and the table cloth took on a cool cast. Before mixing that ubiquitous GREY
try SEEING what you think is just grey, as a color and mix accordingly. Your work will take on a much more colorful life.

ps. I once asked Eldon Warren, one of my favorite painters, how he managed to paint so many wonderful, vivid and sophisticated greens. He told me that as he drives, he looks at the greens he sees and names them to himself: a gold-green, a red green, a silver-green and imagines how he would mix them.
He SEEs them, he names them, he paints them. Check out his website by clicking here.


Tools of the trade - or as I call them
TOYS of the trade. How we love them. New brushes, a slick and tiny brush washer that just fits in the plein air box or. . . bigger toys like a studio easel. This one came in my Easter basket; Woohoo - Way better than a chocolate rabbit - or even peeps.
The Klopfenstein Professional; I fell in love with this easel at Adams State during grad school - no fussy knobs, weights, or anything resembling a Venetian torture device. It has a small footprint but unparelleled canvas size limits and is made to last a lifetime. I think it could also double as a jungle gym.
My new favorite toy.