Carbondale, CO Exhibit

These are some of the oil paintings on display

Twenty four of my plein air and studio paintings are on exhibit at the Village Smithy restaurant in Carbondale Colorado from now until December 2, 2018. The Village Smithy is a long time feature in Carbondale where folks go for good food and also to see the revolving exhibits of local Western Colorado artists. I am fortunate to have my second year showing my paintings there. Its on 3rd and Main.

3 plein air paintings with a studio painting, all oils

Many of these paintings were created en Plein Air (outside in French) and done Alla Prima (all in one session). Several are studio, some done from Plein Air studies.

These paintings are perfect gifts for the holidays for your loved ones. Or even those you don’t love but like and need to get a special gift for. Just a bit of my silly humor, there! All are specially priced to make gift giving a pleasure. Give a gift of fine art from a local artist!

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Tree Hugging Cowgirl, part 10

I’ve been busy getting ready for my exhibits coming up in December in Paoina and Crested Butte. I’ve put in the press release I’ve sent out below. Also here are some of the images of the paintings that will be in the shows.

No Public Access, oil, 16″ x 20″

Tucked In The Trees, oil, 6″ x 8″

Tree Hugging Cowgirl

Heidi “Cedar” Keshet was raised in El Paso, Texas/Sunland Park, New Mexico. She spent many hours in the desert of southern New Mexico, near her family home, on her horse, with a sketchbook in the saddle bag. The light, colors in nature and huge expanse of sky was being infused into her artistic psyche as a young person. Keshet feels a deep connection with the land. She received her BFA in 1999. She has been creating art since she was five years old.

I paint as a way of distilling the feelings of completeness and joy I experience from the landscapes of the Western United States. When a viewer of my work feels a connection to place, then I have succeeded in my work. I believe that painting the beauty of the West documents and supports these lands. I hope this will move others to recognize these amazing places and advocate for them as well.”

Keshet live in western Colorado where she creates art, rides horses, hugs trees and dabbles in Biodynamic farming.

Keshet is collaborating with the Western Slope Conservation Center in Paonia on this series of paintings to raise awareness about the parcels of land that are up for a lease sale by the BLM in December that are in the area where she and her family live, the North Fork of the Gunnison River in Western Colorado. The WSCC has helped her with technical details and information about where and what the BLM has planned for these parcels of land up for oil and gas production lease sales.

Keshet has gone to many of the places that are up for lease sale by the BLM in December. These leases are for gas and oil drilling a.k.a. Fracking. They are very near to her home and studio in Paonia. There are already many roads and fences installed even before the permission has been given to purchase the oil and gas leases. She speculates that the oil companies follow the adage that its easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

Cedar wants to document what the areas are like before they are forever altered by fracking. She has referred to a map from the BLM which shows the areas up for lease sale, much of the area is already under production. She relates that makes her extremely sad and keeps her from sleeping at night when she thinks about the environmental damage done to many of these beautiful areas. She plans to raise people’s awareness through this series of paintings and her posts on Facebook and Instagram at Plein Air Cedar. She is also blogging about her experiences while painting this series.

Keshet is using many of the plein air studies as references for larger paintings to be created in her studio. Both plein air and studio pieces will be in at the December 2018 exhibits in Paonia at the Cirque Cyclery and in Crested Butte at the Piper gallery in the Crested Butte Center for the Arts. The Western Slope Conservation Center will be joining Keshet at the Cirque. The exhibit at the Cirque in Paonia opens on November 30 and runs through the month of December. The Piper gallery exhibition opens with a reception on December 7th from 5-7pm and closes on December 30th.

I hope I get to see a lot of you at one or both of the exhibits in December.

Tree Hugging Cowgirl, 9

Today I went where I could barely see the area where parcel 8138 is located. FrackMap

I pulled off at a campsite to do some painting. It was smoky today from a fire somewhere around here. There were lots of busy trucks zooming by up on the road. A few minutes after they passed by a layer of dust would drift over me and settle on all my stuff.

9BusyTruck

This truck’s driver is in a hurry, he’s zipping by in a cloud of dust.

This area is mixed aspen groves and meadows with oak brush stands. 9AspenGrove and meadow    Its pretty from above looking down but I know from riding horses and hiking experience that its a challenge to get through those thickets. But the deer and elk have made their historic trails and manage just fine.

While I was painting a worried deer kept snorting at me. She was about 50 feet away. Tova was ignoring her as she is a well behaved old dog. I wondered if that doe had a fawn bedded down somewhere close to where I was. I didn’t stay too long for that reason and also because the storm clouds were building up. I heard some rumbling and as I was in a pretty open meadow, along the edge, I thought it would be prudent to high tail it out of there.

On the way down the road to home, I took some photos of the areas 8390 and 8391 from up above. You can see some new roads carved into the oak brush on the right side of the photo.9GoodOverview

Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar

Tree Hugging Cowgirl, 8

I went near the parcel 8390 and also 8391 today. There were a lot of new gates and fences put up since spring. I know it wasn’t ranchers because they don’t waste their money on clearing every thing that is living away from a fence for 25 feet. There were big piles of bulldozed bushes all along the fence lines. Many of the fence lines went up and over the hills and disappeared in the scrub. And there were the ever present “No public access” signs on the gates.      7NoPublicAccess

To get to that area, I had to drive through an area that already has been subjected to extractive industry, namely coal mining. The mine is closed down now but its effects will continue. They put up these signs along the road as it could collapse at any moment from all the mine tunnels underneath it. 8MiningWarning That is going to happen pretty much forever. What are the long term negative effects of oil and gas drilling going to be on us who will still be here after the boom and bust cycle is in the bust phase?

There were some ranchers checking on their cattle. They were not friendly and in fact downright rude and to be honest, real shits. I know that speeding drivers have run into and killed a number of mother cows on that road lately but they don’t know me and I was not doing anything but pulling over and checking out the view. I drove off to another spot after they rode away on their horses. My guess is that lots of people are in that area due to the fracking roads drawing ATV drivers and 4X4-er’s. And they like to go fast when ever they can.

8cattleThree

These curious cattle will come over and pester me when I set up to paint and am not paying attention to them.

I did find there were grazing cow calf pairs everywhere. My experience with cattle is that the cows are super curious and come up to you when you least expect it – like really concentrating on part of a painting – and knock over you and your stuff. And they freak out when they see my dog because she reminds them of a little angus calf, being a black lab. So I didn’t even want to deal with that. I just took some photos today and will do some studio paintings of that area.

Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar

Tree Hugging Cowgirl, 7

I went with to another location, parcel 8140. But it was on private land in the middle of the National Forest land. That type of land ownership is not that unusual and its called Checker Board. But I was able to set up really close to that parcel and do a painting. Iwas near the road that goes from McClure Pass to Overland Reservoir. It was very busy with lots of big white trucks loaded with all sorts of equipment driving by us. I noticed the existing drilling sites that had storage tanks painted green. There were also gas and water pipelines buried along the roads and trailing up hill and dale.

This is only part of the tanks that I saw.

I got a good view of the Ragged Range with Chair Mountain being prominent. I also saw all the way over to Capitol and Snowmass peaks. I knew we were up high but despite the altitude, it was pretty hot outside.

Me, painting away

Some of the big trucks stopped to ask me what I was doing. When I said “I’m an artist, I’m painting” the drivers smiled and drove off. I think I did not seem threatening to anyone. Probably because a short old lady painting isn’t the archetypal villain. But there were threats to the environment up there. There was a shop for oil and gas activities with lots of trucks and equipment.

Here is the fracking shop.

There were lots of tanks, big dark green affairs with posted signs with threats on them regarding trespassing. Every time I spotted a set of tanks and then it went out of view, another set came into view almost . It was depressing.

And people are not the only thing that are threatened up in that area. Some one or several ones have been shooting cattle.

What kind of idiot shoots random cattle?

And not just cattle are being shot according to the warning on the sign. I was glad to finish up my little painting and leave that area.

Here is the quick little color study I did.

Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar

Long time gone … Plein Air Fall 2017

I’ve been gone at Plein Air events for the last 3 1/2 weeks. We traveled and parked our camper at great people’s houses who were so hospitable to us. It made the events even more fun! Below are some shots of my work. Why am I not in any of them  you wonder? Well because Tova wouldn’t take a photo of me, she was busy snoozing.

Tova is holding down that rock at Fisher Towers, UT

This is at the Escalante Canyons plein air event. It was 11 days long! Whew

Painting hay fields in Escalante Utah. Red rocks, too!

The ones below are at the Colorado National Monument Plein Air, near Grand Junction, Colorado. That Plein Air event lasted almost a week.

Coke Ovens in early morning light.

Painting in full sunlight is tough on the eyes! Independence Rock

The 3 below are from the Red Rocks Arts Festival in Moab, UT.  That Plein Air event lasted over 8 days! Wow. I did a lot of painting in all types of weather from wind and snow to wind and sunshine.

Of course the famous Fisher Towers are behind me.

It was a cold and windy day but I kept on painting and the sun peaked out for a bit.

A smoky Dead Horse Point State Park!

I’ve cleaned out the sand and grit from my gear and have been resting the last day or two. It is good to be home but I’m ready to paint outside again. Just not so far from my bed and kitchen, ha ha ha!

 

"Mrs. Norris' Root Cellar" Plein Air oil, 9" x 12"

“Mrs. Norris’ Root Cellar” Plein Air oil, 9″ x 12″

I’ve been painting up a storm lately. Tomorrow we head out to Meeker for the Plein Air Meeker competition. Its in conjunction with their “Range Call” which is Meeker’s way of celebrating July 4th.

"Rocks and Wyethia" Plein Air study, Oil

“Rocks and Wyethia” Plein Air study, Oil 6″ x 9″

I’ve have lots of studies from places around Paonia so I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and alpine vistas in the White River National Forest and Flat Top Wilderness area.

"Pipe Organ" Oil, 8" x 15" en Plein Air

“Pipe Organ” Oil, 8″ x 15″ en Plein Air

I did paint at the Colorado National Monument on Friday, so I had a change of scenery for a couple days. But this is yet another change. Stay tune for more posts about the week in Meeker! Although I don’t know how I’ll be able to compete with the Meeker Massacre Pageant, Meeker Bank Robbery Reenactment or Jon Wangnild Memorial Shoot. Painting versus shooting weapons and pretending to kill people? Hum? At any rate, I am leaving for Paonia before Range Call to join in my town’s own July 4th celebration, Cherry Days, which honors the first fruit of the season to be ripe. Yep, shooting people or eating cherry pie, eating lots of ripe sweet cherries and drinking hard cherry cider,  my choice is for the cherries.

Cedar’s work in May at the Village Smithy

Back wall in the Village Smithy Restaurant

My work is in Carbondale, CO at the Village Smithy Restaurant, 3rd and Main, during the month of May. If you’re in Carbondale, grab a bite to eat from 7-2 and check out my paintings. Its a pretty setting and very vital and happening. And the baked goods are yummy!

This is the main wall in the Village Smithy Restaurant.

Alternative Exhibition Space

Q: When is a tattoo parlor an Art Gallery?
A: When its an empty retail space in Paonia.

The front from the street

The entire storefront from the street.

The former tattoo parlor at 237 Grand Ave has been unoccupied for a while as are several other retail locations in our town’s two block downtown. They look like missing teeth from an otherwise beautiful smile. I approached the property owner and requested permission to hang some of my paintings in the front window until he rents the space. He graciously said yes to my idea of an alternative exhibition space. I got this idea from my friend Charlie when he told me what the town of Helper, UT did to its vacant storefronts.

Right side of the storefront.

Right side of the storefront.

I didn’t want to overstep any boundaries so I decided not to use any electricity for lighting. The front windows are west facing and pretty bright. I measured and graphed out the window space to display my paintings. I framed lots of really good ones. Allen & I got the supplies we needed to hang them with minimal expense and work. Then we set to work putting up the exhibit.

Left side of the storefront.

Left side of the storefront.

I am glad to have my paintings up and able to be viewed by lots of people. Paonia is a busy little town and people were walking by as we were hanging the paintings. I also hope to sell some of the paintings as every artist wants to be able to pay for their supplies sooner than later. I am happy that people will be able to understand what I do all day when they walk by and see the products of my labor of love. And my paintings are a lot happier being in the light than wrapped up in the “Vault” (that is what we jokingly call the shelves in the garage where I store art).

Left side window.

Left side window.

So stop by when you are in Paonia to 237 Grand Avenue and take a look at some of my paintings. You can go across the street to the Blue Sage Center for the Arts after next week and see a couple more of my paintings. I also have 2 in Grand Junction at the Art Center there. I hope to be hearing from some of you soon!

Right side window.

Right side window.

Drawing is the bones of painting

Drawing is the bones of painting. Good placement and composition, correct value and beautiful images start, for me, with a good drawing foundation. I have been building up my foundation this winter. I just finished reading and going through the exercises in Juliette Aristides’ “Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier”. It was challenging yet so much fun. I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book to all artists who have been drawing a while. Its the next step after Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the right side of the brain”, in my opinion. The following drawing is the last image I created in this DIY self-improvement workshop on drawing.

Coyote Skull

Coyote Skull
Graphic and white chalk