Taste of Creede Quick Draw

 Memorial Day weekend in southern Colorado can only mean
"The Taste of Creede".
Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains, this is one of Colorado's most colorful and classic high country mining towns and Creede loves tourists and artists. The Memorial weekend party is dedicated to Food, Culinary Arts, and Fine Art.  Sunday's 1 hour Artist's Quick Draw attracts some of the best artists,  and buyers come from all over the country.
This is my 5th year attending and it is one of the most fun events I do all year. Artists gather on Main Street in front of the Stephen Quiller gallery and paint from models, sketches, memory or the view. And tho' this year we painted in less than perfect conditions, everyone had a good time and all the work sold. Colorado painters are hardy and their buyers - very determined.
In the photos Steve Quiller paints away calmly while Sue McCullough finishes her piece, and Karen Bonnie and Kris Gosar ignore the rain.
At the bottom is my piece, painted from a sketch done on a small pond in the Conejos area of Colorado.   8"x10 " is my standard QuickDraw size and very doable in the 1 hour time frame.

Some of the artists attending: Steve Quiller, Susan McCullough, Peggy Stenmark Morgan, Kris Gosar, David Montgomery, Karen Bonnie, Charles Ewing, Jan Thompson, Frankie Will, Gail Frasier, Jessie Crock, and myself - to name a few.

Known for holiday partying, Creede also hosts the National Small Prints Show currently hanging at the Creede Repertory Theatre. Another good reason to visit Creede.
Thank You to Stephen & Marta Quiller and the Creede Chamber of Commerce for putting together a great event.

David Montgomery DEMO in Class

We had a special guest in class Tuesday evening, David Montgomery, noted landscape painted who is based here in Alamosa.
David is known for his dramatic and epic scenes of the Western landscape and is currently showing work at 2 prestigious venues: the Colorado Govenor's Invitational Show in Loveland, and the Plein Air Painters New Mexico Juried Exhibition in Santa Fe.

There is so much to be learned by watching a master walk through his process. Dave brought a piece of photo scrap and a charcoal sketch already completed. Click on photos to enlarge them.
Dave and I paint together in the landscape a lot and tho' our styles differ dramatically, our process has many similarities; the sketch being one. The sketch is where we make decisions about what to say about said photo - or the view before us. Amazingly, this is a step most ignored by beginners.

Dave is a classically and academically trained painter with a refined sense of technical expertise. His unique style has developed from a bent to follow his own "voice" and not painting fad or fashion.  His techniques and tools always stimulate lively discussion among my students.
WHAT was the size of that brush??????
In about 2 hours Dave touched on the history of impressionism and plein air painting technology, painting from reference, using a sketch, working out composition, color theory, edges - brushwork, and what fascinates me most about watching a pro, WHY they do what they do.
He did not consider this piece "done", but will take it home to his famous freezer.  Later,  after a short rest, he can look at it with fresh eyes to judge if the piece has become what he intended or if it needs some tuning. This might mean resolving edges, it might be adding detail to bring the important points out, or it might be simply adding the signature.
Thanks Dave for sharing your work and your process with so much generosity. Read more about David Montgomery and his work - just click here on his name.