'12 Western Light Show, Estes Park, CO

August has just flown. I was in Nebraska last week, Frasier Colorado before that, Westcliffe Colorado before that and painting out morning and evenings with my class all of July and August. It never feels like enough, tho'. All the places, all the paintings that get stacked in the studio for future fiddling - sometime between gigs. . .
Speaking of,
Sunday, Sue McCullough and I will head up to Estes Park, CO to paint for a week as a lead up to the 2012 Western Light Invitational Fine Art show.  YIPPEE!!  This is a highlight of the summer plein air season and we spend most of the week painting our way around Rocky Mountain National Park!
The '12 Western Light show will open on Friday night August, 24th, 6-9 pm at Earthwood Collections in Estes Park, CO.  If you are in the Denver area, it will be worth a drive up to the mountains and beautiful Estes Park for the evening.
The show will feature the best work of western artists from Colorado, California, Arizona; a perfect hurrah for the end of summer.
These 2 pieces if mine will be part of the group of pieces that I will have in the show.

Class Notes: Plein Air in the Hood

My plein air classes wrapped this last Thursday; at least until September.
We parked ourselves in a lovely grassy spot behind the  local Safeway and found more than enough that was interesting and paintable.
The Adams State University campus is only a block a way, charming houses poke in and out of trees and flower gardens are blooming. This is the time to be painting neighborhoods, when trees are leafed out and serve to frame shapes and create compositional ideas.
Painting ideas are everywhere: a row of trees that frame a dappled
sidewalk, flowers against a fence, - my personal favorite is
trash cans waiting for pick-up.
The motto is: simplify, simplify, simplify.
Focus on a
simple scene,
simple shapes,
and simple brushwork.
Then ask the really hard question: What is this painting about?

Choose one idea and stick to it. Look for large shapes of light and dark and create a composition/sketch where you can figure out ways to connect those lights and darks like you are putting a puzzle together.