8.05.2019

Sunset Season

This has been a summer for crazy/incredible sunsets;
way too big and always too glorious to paint but just watching them unfold over the course of an evening is one major perk of plein air painting and one of the best ways to soak up our precious Colorado summer.  I confess, on the evening shown above, we painted in an on-off rain for quite a while but were also treated to a complete double rainbow opposite the sunset that was certainly the brightest I have ever seen. What a show.

There is still 2 months of plein air painting ahead.
If you are a painter, but never painted in the landscape . . . . .
or a beginner wanting to learn something new - come paint in and around Alamosa.


Join us on Tuesday Evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm
or Thursday Mornings, 9am to noon - or both.
Register at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center -719-589- 2105
or register at the first class meeting.
New Class session starts this week:
Tuesday Evening - August 6th  -  6:30-9pm.
Thursday Morning-  August 8th - 9am- noon
The first meeting of each class will be at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center. We will do a little landscape practice and I will pass out class schedules- so that everyone will know WHERE to go each week.
Painting locations will also be posted on this BLOG - over to the right.

2 ways to attend: pay for the entire session at the first meeting, or pay as you go.
If you register and pay for the entire session, for either Tuesday or Thursday's class - you can attend both the Tuesday and Thursday classes for no extra charge.
Otherwise it is $15 a class:  pay me on site with cash or make cks out to City of Alamosa.
Here in Colorado our summer is so fleeting. Enjoy the beauty, the majesty, the pleasure of it - just a bit more - by actually being out in it.
Hope to see you in the landscape.







6.19.2019

An Evening with Carl Judson, AKA Guerrilla Painter

Tuesday Evening, June 25th - our special guest will be Carl Judson, AKA Guerrilla Painter, traveling plein air guru and THE Judson behind the famous Judson’s Art Outfitters - supply/lifestyle catalog for all things PLEIN AIR.
I met Carl a few years back while painting at the Sedona Plein Air Festival - and invited him to Alamosa to visit with the San Luis Valley Painters. He travels all over the country visiting artists and inspiring painters in the Plein Air Life, while dispensing wisdom and encouragement from over 30 years of plein air painting.
We had such a great time when he was last in town -  I have looked forward to having him back in our area.

Carl will be our special guest on Tuesday Evening, June 25th, 6:30pm at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center. Don't miss it!
This will be fun for painters of all persuasions - and open to all; NO drop-in fee.
I think we will all be inspired.

6.15.2019

Special Thanks to San Luis Valley Health


I have to give a huge "THANKS"  to the San Luis Valley Health Foundation for supporting ART in our valley, for recognizing it's importance to the health and well being of our entire community,  and for backing up that philosophy with the purchase of REAL art from local artists.
This past spring the Conejos County hospital did a much needed upgrade to the hospital entrance and the emergency wing, shown above in the last stages of completion.
Part of the renovation involved the purchase of ART for the lobby, front desk and hallway areas.  Above, you can see my piece "Last Lights"- 48x 24, leaning against the fireplace wall. Works by David Montgomery and Charles Ewing were also purchased for the Conejos County Hospital space.
Kelly Gurule, long time head of the San Luis Valley Health Foundation has championed artists in the valley by encouraging the symbiotic relationship between ART, HEALTH, and the local artist community.
This is not just a nice idea but a philosophy that the Foundation has backed with serious $$.
I know from travel to other areas of the country, and into Canada that large corporate health care facilites  seldon spend "a nickle" to support anything like local or REAL art but expect artists to DONATE work; under the guise of getting "exposure".
This practice devalues both patients and artists.
Nuff said- I will get off the soap box.
Thanks, again to the SLV Foundation for the purchase of "Last Lights".
The Conejos County Grand Opening and ribbon cutting will be on Saturday, June 22.  The community is invited.




6.14.2019

We Live for Summer

There is a light breeze, clouds pile up in a huge sky,
snow tops  Mt Blanca to the east and San Juans to the west,
these are the days we live for.
Plein air painters go out even in the snow and rain, but a summer morning spent enjoying the out doors reminds us why live in Colorado.
The piece above is my 6"x 8" done last week from the Recreation Center in Alamosa.

This first week of the Plein air Painting classes brought ten painters out into the landscape.
The laundry, the dishes the yard work will always be with us , but these summer days are very fleeting.
Give your self the gift of a few mornings to enjoy them.
If you are an artist and want to join the class, or if you are visiting the valley for the summer, or even if you are just passing through and would like to join a group and get some instruction - contact me through my website at ConiGrant.com.
I can let you know when and where we will be meeting.
OR if you check on the right hand side of this article the painting location should be posted each week.
Drop-in fee is $15, paid at the location with cash or check made out to the City of Alamosa.

SAVE the DATE:

Carl Judson, the GuerrillaPainter, will be visiting our class on Tuesday Evening, June 25th at 6:30 pm at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center.
Carl is a long time painter and front man for Guerrilla Painter,  world wide supplier of all things "plein air".
His presentations on outdoor painting are always entertaining and insightful. You won't want to miss it.
Invite your friends;  NO drop-in fee for this class.   Join us.
Check out more about Carl, his company and his travels at
GuerrillaPainter.com

5.19.2019

Plein Air- My favorite season.


 May has been a bit chilly in Colorado; a little snow as Spring blew through BUT summer is coming and I am looking forward to going outdoors. Plein Air season is almost here.
Two great opportunities to paint outdoors this summer:  
Tuesday Evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm, starting June 4th.
and Thursday Mornings, 9am to noon, starting June 6th.

If you are a painter, but never painted in the landscape . . . . .
or a beginner wanting to learn something new - come out and paint in and around Alamosa this summer.

We will have our first meeting of each class at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center and do a little landscape practice. I will also pass out the class schedules- so that everyone will know WHERE to go each week.
Locations for WHERE we will be meeting each week will also be posted on this BLOG - over to the right.

Many of us will spend a lot of time doing chores this summer, and taking care of business.
Take some time to enjoy the beautiful Colorado landscape.

Join us on Tuesday Evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm
or Thursday Mornings, 9am to noon - or both.
Register at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center -719-589- 2105
or register at the first class meeting.



5.08.2019

2019 Painting Classes

 We covered a lot of territory this winter in the Painting Class:
we explored different under painting ideas, negative painting, and also things more concrete - like how to paint glass, metal and flowers.
The top 2 photos, painted from the same reference show one on a black under painting, the other on Magenta.  Changing up an under painting is an easy way to give a piece just a little bit different vibe.


The Pear and the Cardinal were both exercises in Negative painting. Notice the LARGE dark and light shapes in both pieces. This is where negative painting, or painting around shapes, creates detail by breaking up the shapes in a way that is often more sophisticated than layering paint on top of paint in a positive or additive way.
This is a technique used a lot by the best watercolor painters.


The bottom photo shows our study of glass
and things massed together using both positive and negative painting.
Flowers are great practice for painting things that are grouped,
and that have a lot of detail.
My goal is to create a sense of massing and detail with out actually painting that detail but by allowing it to appear in the eye of the viewer by using negative painting to break up the large and small shapes.
Click on any of the photos to view them larger.










UP and Coming

 Last week, my beautiful daughter Curran Grant, graduated from Azusa Pacific University  in California with a degree in Studio Fine Art. These are a just a few of the 15 paintings featured at her Senior Show titled "Seventh Sense" which examines the world of Korean popular music and the way the KPOP industry objectifies its stars. It is an ugly reality communicated in a beautiful way.  Click on any of the photos to view them larger.


Technically strong and sensitively handled, these portraits communicate, in a graphic way, the intersections of fame, humanity, greed and the universal need to be loved.
The work is all acrylic,  painted on 16"x 12" canvas panels. To say I am proud of her is a huge understatement.




The artist talking about her work and taking in some celebration with friends.







1.01.2019

Happy New Year 2019

Wow!   2018 flew by and I painted right up to the end of the year. It was not the
quiet holiday I had hoped for but sometimes that is how it goes.
I trust you had wonderful and blessed holiday season.
It is SO cold here in Alamosa - the temptation is to stay bundled up in front of the TV - but there's no time for that. I am grateful to have several commissions waiting in the studio. Tick - Tock - nothing motivates like a deadline.

If you are looking for some post-holiday motivation, or just an excuse to get away from all of that left over Christmas candy- do something good for yourself in 2019: take a class, get together with other people, learn new skills- or hone the skills that you have.

Painting Classes start up next week here in Alamosa at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center.
The Tuesday Evening Class starts on January 8th, from 6:30pm to 9:30 pm, and will continue through February 26th.  The evening class will focus on birds and wildlife in the landscape.

The Thursday Morning Class starts on January 10th, 9am to Noon and will continue through February 28th.  We will focus on fundamentals while painting landscapes, flowers, and wild life.

All classes meet at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center in the art studio. Beginners are welcome and all classes address foundational skills of composition, color mixing and painting technique.
Call 719-589-2105 for information or registration.

Class Notes: The GIFT of Art

In class we have been talking about giving away our work - using it as a gift. After all, this is the season of giving.
Responses to this idea have been mixed.
It occurs to me that creating "art" that is intended to be a gift - puts the artist into another head space.
It can be the "I'm not worthy" head space.

A first response could be, "my art is not good enough to give away - no one would want it",
but I see art sell out of galleries all the time that I don't think is "good enough".  What does that even mean?

When someone buys art from a shop or gallery- they have deemed it worthy by spending $$ for it.
When we GIVE art - WE say that it is worthy - but because no $$ has changed hands we don't get the benefit of $$ as an affirmation.
I have been selling "art" in public since I was a kid - with no expectations; it was all gravy, - very anonymous,  - but giving art -  is not anonymous.
AND creating ART that will become a gift adds pressure to the act of creating.

The simple act of creating a piece of art, then gifting it - is an act of, what. . . ?
Trust?  Ego?  Generosity?  Is giving ART a good thing? Should we do it?

For most student artists the step between creation and GIVING is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Or worse, we give our work away with so many disclaimers that the recipient wonders why we are unloading it on them - instead of tossing it into the dumpster.

I hope you are not waiting for feelings of "worthiness" to finally catch up to you, because they never will.  Share your work with joy and you will be surprised how much joy your gift will bring.

This is not exactly a new idea but something I try to do in life and business,  is look for, and think of ways that I can bring art, and crafts, and the joy of creativity,  into areas that don't seem to get enough of it.