New Class Session Starts November 6th and 8th

The last Class Session of 2018 soon:
Tuesday Evening November 6th, 6:30 to 9:30pm and
Thursday Morning November 8th,  9am to noon.

As the days shorten and the cold weather sets in we get a bit of energy from the anticipation of the "holidays" and Advent seasons still ahead. I want to channel that energy  and stir it up even as the year winds down.
Tuesday Evening Class will continue with the focus of WILDLIFE study.
Thursday Morning Class will emphasize the idea of "Gift Giving" - in ART.
There is always something to be learned and something to share.

If you are not in our area-
and feel your creative energy draining away with the fall light - look for a class or a group that meets to paint, craft, draw or even a book club or Bible study, that meets weekly.  Don't let winter drive you to the TV for consolation.
For many artists, a good plein air season creates new ideas and sows seeds of inspiration that can fill the studio over winter.  And for many of us - doing it with others is really important; not just the work, but the connection.

Colorado Showcase 2018 in Parker, CO

These 2 pieces: Ghost Rider, 40x30 in acrylic, and Winter Park, 24x30 in acrylic, were both accepted in to the Colorado Showcase 2018 juried fine art exhibition that will open Friday, November 2nd, 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
This show features the best of Colorado in painting and sculpture and awards will be presented at the opening reception on November 2nd,  hosted by the Parker Artists Guild and The Parker Arts, Culture and Events (PACE) Center in Parker.


Stories of Fall

Every plein air season has it's own character, and in Colorado the seasons are very distinct: Cold, Wind, Rain, Color.
In the winter, a foot of snow is easier to deal with than wind in the Spring.

Summer brings showers and fabulous sunsets,  and the Fall. . . . well - how do you top that time of year when the  mountainsides light up with color?
Our Painting Class painted OUT all Summer and Fall and we have had
a good season.
I so appreciate the "regulars" who come out every week, excited to see what the location will hold;
and "Thanks" as well to folks like Debby and Fred who come to the valley only for the summer and join the class to enjoy the best of the painting season.
I set a couple of goals for myself this year: - more varied subject matter and less "fixing" in the studio.
So - the chickens, at right, are my first chickens - ever.
Carol's Chickens.
And just for the record - I did about 8 small, Sharpie sketches of the chickens in different poses - as they ran around the yard.


Estes Park Workshop

Last week I had the privilege of teaching a 4 day PLEIN AIR workshop in Estes Park. What could be better? - beautiful views, Rocky Mountain grandeur, fall color, Elk bugling, - we had it all - plus some. . . .
Four days of falling snow -

This did not dampen our fun or keep us from painting out.
These determined ladies braved the cold - and snow - to be better designers, better color mixers, more confident painters -
and at the end of the day made some crazy good dinners.
I got to hang out with an amazing group of women who were determined to make it work and not about to let a little weather stand in their way.
Thanks All for a really great time.
Let's do it again next year - except I will be puttin' my order in for a day or two of sunshine.


Saturday in Manitou

I was honored to have my plein air painting used to promote the annual  MANITOU PAINTS fall plein air event happening this Saturday, October 6th. This event is special because it was open only to artists represented in Manitou Galleries.
I am represented by the TracyMiller Gallery, at 16 Ruxton  Ave.,  and I will be on the street on Saturday starting at 11 am.  Come out and enjoy the fall weather and see artists represented in other Manitou Galleries painting all over the downtown area.
Besides myself, some of the other artists on the street will be Tim Deibler, Tracy Miller, Mark Day, to name a few.
There will also be an opportunity to buy the paintings done during the day at a live auction  at 2 pm at the Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Avenue,
Manitou Springs, CO 80829 . Hope to see you there.


2018 PAAC Show in Durango

Plein Air Artists of Colorado  22nd National Juried Exhibition opens this weekend,
Friday night, October 5th, at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango and highlights some of the best plein air painters in the country.   I am honored to have 2 pieces in this show and my painting "Fall Reflections" is featured in the flyer above.


Old Friend/ New Space

An old friend came into my studio recently - "Wow! Do I know you?"
Actually, it was this painting - purchased over 10 years ago by our local hospital for their conference/ education wing.
At that time I was ecstatic but could not afford to have it framed - so it appeared like a large picture window looking out into the woods - and thus named "Into The Woods".

This past Spring the curator of the hospital collection notified me that it would be the feature piece for the new Oncology waiting room.  I felt very honored, to say the least but it was also my chance to do a little restoration and have it framed properly.
Having this piece back in the studio was fun, and interesting - looking closely at something that I had put all I had into - back then.
Also interesting, was how compelling the desire to change or "fix" it;
 maybe a little  update, bringing new skills to bear  . . .

Except for minor restoration and varnish, I let it go untouched.
I see it like a moment in time, my time - but for the folks viewing it for the first time- it is a whole new experience.
Over the years the hospital foundation has purchased many of my paintings; I am so grateful for their support, and grateful to be a part of the community of artists represented there.
Thanks to the San Luis Valley Health Foundation for supporting ART in our valley, for the purchase of REAL art, and for recognizing it's importance to the health and well being of our entire community.


New Work at Earthwood Gallery in Estes Park

Thanks to Ron and Ann Wilcocks at Earthwood Gallery in Estes Park for hosting a Friday night opening on August 3rd for my self and another Colorado painter, Margaret Jensen.
I make a regular pilgrimage to Estes Park every August with new work, curated specifically for that gallery.
Margaret and I have both shown work in Estes Park for over 10 years and it is always fun to open wine,  put out the cheese cubes and mix it up with gallery visitors & buyers, old friends and other local painters - at an opening that specifically celebrates our work.

See the entire show at Earthwood Collections Gallery at 141 E. Elkhorn Ave. in Estes Park, Colorado.

Ghost Ranch Plein Air Workshop

My Ghost Ranch workshop in July was a highlight and I hope as much fun for my students as it was for me.  13 students - all with the "go for it" attitude that makes teaching such a pleasure.

This iconic New Mexico landscape and the Ghost Ranch legacy brings people from all over the world and it was exciting to be a part of the Summer Ghost Ranch Arts Fest that included classes in art welding, jewelry making, ceramics, dyeing, weaving and art quilting - to name a few.
At our week's end Ghost Ranch hosted an art show and sale which brought a very satisfying close to a wonderful week,
but like the ending of the best summer camp, leaving everyone to go home to the "real world" - it was a little sad. . .
Thanks to Ann and Carly, Jeanette, Michelle, Annette and Jessica, Mary, Faith, Barbara, Suzanne and Chloe, Randi, and Andrea.
Keep Painting!
I will be at Ghost Ranch again - October 6 - 12, 2019 - and looking forward to it.


Taste of Creede- Memorial Day Fun

Sunday in Creede was made for Artists and Spectators. A (no snow) beautiful day and crowds gathered before noon to watch preparations for the 1 o'clock Quick Draw where artists create a painting in 1 hour.
There is always a lot of good energy and high spirits as artists work and spectators wander in and around the action to hone in on pieces that they will want to bid on at the auction immediately following.
I was able to finish a painting in the morning before the quick draw and a second during the Quick Draw - BOTH sold to the same buyer. Thanks so much to these great folks who came to the Taste of Creede, all the way from Lawrence, Kansas.

Creede is such a fun, beautiful and quirky town, - one of Colorado's best.  Artists who come to this Quick Draw do it for the sheer fun of camaraderie,  and in support of the town that supports ARTS all year around.
Creede is also home to the Quiller Gallery that features the work of Stephen Quiller, the Creede Repertory Theatre, and the National Small Prints Show.
Stephen Quiller, David Montgomery, Peggy Morgan Stenmark, Charles Ewing, Tracy Miller, Kris Gosar,  Morris Sowards, Sharon McCoy, Jesse Crock, Gail Fraiser, and Jan Thompson and myself, were just a few of the artists who painted on Sunday.


Creede Quick Draw on Sunday at 1pm

It is Memorial Day weekend and if you are looking for a day out  - look no further than Creede, Colorado, a town known for throwing a great party- no matter what the holiday.
Located in the beautiful San Juan Mountains, Creede is a destination town and the site of one of Colorado’s most famous high-country mines. They love tourists and artists in Creede, support several galleries, have the Creede Repertory Theatre and also host the National Small Print Show that opens there this weekend.

I will be in Creede on Sunday for the Artists Quick Draw on Main Street at 1pm.
The Quick Draw Event draws artists from all over Colorado and several surrounding states, and also attracts collectors who come for a chance to bid on paintings done by top artists.  Some of the artists participating : Stephen Quiller, Kris Gosar, David Montgomery, Jesse Crock, Charlie Ewing, Jan Thompson, Peggy Morgan Stenmark Morgan, Tracy Miller, and myself - to name a few.
We will have one hour to create a painting and then there will be a live auction immediately following.

Saturday, May 27th  at 2pm is the Silver Chef Competition and at 4pm the National Small Print Show opens in the lobby of the Creede Repertory Theatre.
Sunday, May 28th - the Artists Quick Draw on Main Street starts at 1pm- in front of the Quiller Gallery. A live auction will follow.
Come for the weekend or come for the day, but don’t miss the Quick Draw at 1pm on Sunday.


"Road Trippin' " at the Tracy Miller Gallery in Manitou

"Road Trippin'"
at the Tracy Miller Gallery in Manitou Springs will hang through June.
This wonderful show features all the things implied - like painted road signs, vintage car paintings,  Route 66 paintings, vintage motel signs and of course - a couple of TRIKES. These were my entries into the "Road Trippin' show.
"Ghost Rider" 40"x30" in acrylic, and below is "Zoom, Zoom" 29"x34",  also in acrylic.

Catch one of the most fun shows goin' on. That would be "Road Trippin'" at the Tracy Miller Gallery, 16 Ruxton, Manitou Springs, Colorado - through the end of June.
Call at 719-650-0827. Tracy Miller is a knowledgeable and helpful curator who carries some of the best work in the state; including mine.


Birds with Words

Over the last months, my classes have studied, painted, examined and - gotten inspired by animals and birds in the landscape.
This went beyond a general look at reference material, we have spent several months looking at anatomy, how feathers grow, how the feet/talons work.
That's the great thing about pursuing something specific to study - you also get
 inspired by it.
Birds got me excited: songbirds, raptors, birds I have never even looked at before.
In a previous post I included photos of Magpies we did in class;  - back at my studio I tried to add more character to my sketches.  Magpies are full of personality and I wanted to push that idea a little bit.
Each bird I sketched seemed to have something to say and the conversation became even more fun when I put several birds together.
. . . . . and it all started with taking a look at something new - in this case birds.
Of course, many of the students did more realistic birds- and I did a few of those too. Either way,  we are all looking at birds with new eyes.


"On the Wing" Reception March 18th

The San Luis Valley Painters present "On the Wing" - on display at Milagros Coffee House-Gallery all of March.

Sunday, March 18th we celebrated with a reception and every one had a chance to vote for the Best in Show painting.
Congratulations to Richard Luckemeier who's piece "Persistence" was voted BEST in SHOW.
Congratulations to Theresa Atencio who took 2nd in the voting.

This is one of our best shows ever, featuring the work of 15 artists: Theresa Atencio, Yvon Boss, Dee Bartee, June McDaniel, Barbara Rayburn, Lara M. Demlo, Coni Grant, Judith Greenwood, Richard Luckemeier, David Roepke, Bill Madrill, Josie Ulibari, Margaret Jones, Linda Droeger, and Kari Christoferson.

Birds and wildlife are the theme of this show which will hang until the end of  March in Milagros at the corner of State St. and Main Street, in Alamosa.
A portion of all sales go to La Puente services that serve the San Luis Valley.
Congratulations to all of the artists who participated.


Class Notes: Painting Birds

In the New Year, my class focused on painting birds.  Many of my class painters are birders and the subject has become a bit of a passion. As I write this - I am thinking of many painter friends who are serious bird painters - and I give them all respect.  I would never put my self in the "serious" category but I sure have had fun.
In class we have studied, practiced and painted what we are learning:  bird anatomy, how it affects movement in a given situation,  - but also honing painting skills of design, negative painting, simplifying shapes and directing the viewers eye.
After all, the painting IS the end goal and even perfect draftsmanship does not guarantee that.
The pieces shown here are class demos and the top one is actually painted over an old landscape of trees.  In the upside down version (at the bottom) you can clearly see the previous painting. I find it fascinating how the eye believes what it sees in context.
The second painting was an exercise in negative painting. We sketched in the Magpie first and then painted shapes in white, directly over the under painting, to created the illusion of branches and distance.


Tracy Miller Guest Artist

We had a treat in class this week - Tracy Miller, artist and owner of the Tracy Miller gallery in Manitou, gave a demo and talked about her exuberant style animals - painted in acrylic.
I have painted with Tracy in different events around Colorado and am represented in her gallery in Manitou, - but I have never been able to sit and just watch how she puts it all together.  Her colorful animals are finding their way to posters, bags, and accessories in venues like TJ Max and U Gallery, an on-line source for original artwork.
The film festival poster above is testament to the kind of attention her work is getting and she is a generous and active member of the art scene in Colorado Springs.

Using a small piece of reference, Tracy painted the little Cardinal shown above;
then using a simple compositional idea of OUR choice, she created the bison. Tracy has been drawing and painting animals for so many years that she can pull almost any animal out of her head and paint it in a way that communicates.
What a fun morning! I love to see artists work in styles so different from my own, pushing boundaries and inspiring ideas about WHAT is possible.
It is like a breath of fresh air. 
Thanks so much to Tracy for sharing with us.