Today I went where I could barely see the area where parcel 8138 is located.
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.
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. 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.
Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar
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.
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. 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.
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.
This is looking to the north.
Turn around and look to the south.
Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar
I went plein air painting up Stevens Gulch. That is near lease sale area 8390. There was a lot of trash and a couple of elk skeletons scattered about. But I got a pretty good painting. It was a great day, weather wise. No bugs or high winds and not too hot or cold. That helped lift my spirits. I was thinking about how people treat Mother Earth so poorly. I hope they don’t treat their biological mothers that bad, but I know some do.
This is a map of the BLM land up for lease sale December 2018. I live very near here. In fact my home is just off the bottom left of the map.
I want to document what the areas are like before they are forever altered by fracking. As the map shows, much of the area is already under production or will be. It really makes me sad and keeps me from sleeping at night when I think about the environmental damage done to many of these beautiful areas. I am doing what I can to raise people’s awareness through this series of paintings and my posts on Instagram. Follow me at Plein Air Cedar to see the latest place I have been plein air painting.
I am also going to go into the studio with the plein air studies and create larger pieces. Both plein air and studio pieces will be in my December 2018 exhibits in Paonia at the Cirque and in Crested Butte at the Piper gallery in the Crested Butte Center for the Arts. I also plan to include the Western Slope Conservation Center at the Cirque. I am still waiting for some one from Crested Butte to get back to me regarding the ranchland conservation plein air paintings I want to do there.
Do what you can to make our world a cleaner, safer and kinder place. Take some form of positive action, how ever you can. I paint and then blog and post on Instagram. I am hoping you will do what you can.
I have started a new series of paintings in a group called “Tree Hugging Cowgirl”. I collaborating with the Western Slope Conservation Center in Paonia.
I am planning on going to places that are up for a lease sale by the BLM in December. These leases are for gas and oil drilling a.k.a. Fracking. They are very near where I live in Paonia. I am also going to go over to Crested Butte and paint the ranchlands areas that are in need of conservation as well as the ones that are already protected.
Not all of these areas are welcoming.
This is up Steven’s Gulch
Obviously no one is welcome here
At least there is a trailhead at Hubbard Creek.
Not everyone is respectful of our outdoors
I haven’t been thrown out of anywhere yet. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even seen anyone at these areas. I am going to post when I go out on Instagram, hopefully I’ll remember to blog, too. But I do get busy and overwhelmed at times.
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″
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 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
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.
Plein Air Painting view of Mt. Lamborn
I’ve been painting every day the last couple of weeks to get in shape for the upcoming Plein Air painting season. On the 26th, I leave for Meeker, CO and the Plein Air Meeker competition. In August its the Red Brick Plein Air Festival in Aspen, CO.
I’m getting ready and will get my hat on, bug spray applied and set up my easel and umbrella and paint away!
Plein Air painting right near my house
Follow me on Instagram at Plein Air Cedar for the the latest news.
Q: When is a tattoo parlor an Art Gallery?
A: When its an empty retail space in Paonia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sketches are the structure on which I base almost all of my paintings.
Wild Horse Crossing Campground
I love to do sketches, even if they are tiny small thumbnail ones, of a painting before I begin.
Moses Lake baseball field, WA
So I sketch a lot.
Big Southern Butte, from Crators of the Moon National Monument, Idaho
I’ve included some sketches I did while on our trip through 5 states earlier this month.
Firehold Canyon Campground view, Flaming Gorge, WY