Women of the West 2012

Tomorrow night, Friday, September 7th, I will be in Boulder, Colorado at the opening of Women of the West 2012, featuring work of the women represented by Earthwood Gallery in Boulder.
Join us for food and art at Earthwood Gallery on the beautiful Pearl Street Mall, just a short drive from the Denver metro area.

This show comes right on the heels of a week of painting in Rocky Mountain National Park that culminated in the Western Light show that opened on Friday, August 24 in Estes Park and will hang through October.
Paintings hung in these two shows represent my very best work from this last Spring and Summer.

Highlight of the Week!

All Spring we, Sue McCullough, David Montgomery and myself, have been talking about hiking in the high county during out time in Estes. Our show, Western Light 2012, opened the night before, so with most responsibilities behind us we headed up to Loch Vale, a high country destination about 3 and 1/2 miles in from the Bear Lake trail head. Dawn Normali, friend and fellow painter joined our merry band and we headed UP from the trail head at 9,475' to 10,465' - where you see us in the photo above. I am not sure where Dave found the air to play that flute.

What's a Painter to do?

I am all for documenting what's in front of you but find very little to inspire in layers of grey atmosphere. With such smokey air quality in the whole area we found ourselves looking for short views and more intimate scenes - like: canyon waterfalls, small streams, tree groupings, and the lily pond below- complete with koi.

We went out Moraine Park (part of RMNP) one morning  and I painted this aspen group. On another day in that same area we spent time spying on a huge herd of Elk not 20 feet from us. They did not seem bothered by the air quality but it sure put a damper on my inspiration.
Copeland Falls was another kind of "short view" and we perched our easels on a big flat rock and painted the upper cascade. David Montgomery's painting and easel are there on the left. Sue McCullough had already closed her box and put her piece safely away, and my unfinished piece is on the left.

Are We Even on the Same Planet?

The time painting out in Estes Park this year was, - I hope, unusual. These 3 photos were all taken at very nearly the same location, early in the morning, high in Rocky Mountain National. The top 2 are from years past and the bottom one is the view that met us on our first morning out. The area around Sprague Lake was almost unrecognizable. Smoke from fires east of Colorado made for less than ideal painting conditions and I found myself looking for more intimate scenes like the trail that through the woods and around this huge Ponderosa Pine.