Beautiful JUNE

Usually, by this time of the year,  I have lots of plein air paintings to show for the previous 7 months; pieces that document the cold Colorado winter right into raging spring.  Instead - this year I dedicated months to preparing for the WILDLAND-WILDLIFE show in Colorado Springs which meant a specific focus on large work- ALL studio. For years I have complained about not getting enough studio time - Ha! Be careful what you wish for.  In the end, I managed to complete 8 new oversize paintings- and learned a lot; that's the upside. I got in touch with my cranky side as well.
Going OUT - is my tonic, my meditation, my inspiration - even if the work is crap - I gotta go out.
So, here it is already June; I feel like the fist half of the year has passed me by - but there is no better time to step out into the Colorado landscape, than summer - it is what we live for.
So this week, Sue McCullough and I went out to Zapata, an amazingly diverse area on the western slope of Mt. Blanca where aspens are in the first flush of green. We painted in a grove of Aspens surrounded by Cottonwoods and Spruce.

Later in the week, we met up at Sue's ranch along the Rio Grande river.  This is one of my favorite places to paint at any time of year because of the huge cottonwood trees, views of the river and mountain ranges off to the east - and the west. I took this photo looking west toward the San Juan Mountains at noon when big storm clouds were forming, but when we arrived several hours earlier the skies were clear and I chose to paint looking eastward into the sun toward the Sangre de Christos.  I love it in the morning when the mountain shapes are very flat - like they have been cut out of colored paper and placed on top of the sky. This piece still needs some edge work and a signature.

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