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.

Upcoming Group Show –

I have 3 paintings in the upcoming group show through the Hotchkiss Fine Arts Association. The exhibit will be from February 5 until March 14 of this year. It is being held at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia, CO. There will be a dozen artists featured in the 2D and 3D show.

I’m inviting you to attend the opening on February 5, 2016 from 5 to 7 p.m. Stop by, view some art and say hello to us artists.

Print

Winter and Art

"Snow Supper", oil on canvas board, 8" x 10"

“Snow Supper”, oil on canvas board, 8″ x 10″

I like painting outside in almost any weather. Spring, summer, fall and even some winter days. I have all the right outer wear and gear, my paints can handle the cold, and I have been known to go out painting in February along a frozen river. But dark snowy late afternoons in winter when the temperatures are dropping into the single digits are not the best time for me to do Plein Air painting.

My friends still have to feed their equines and I’m glad to have a photo of this crew having their supper. Stormy the mini horse, Blue Barney the donkey and Sooner the horse were all tucking into their hay despite a snow storm covering their thick fur with snow. They are pretty tough critters and beautiful as well! I’m glad I got to paint this scene.

In order to prepare for winter days where I can’t go outside, I’ve done a number of studies. I have gone en Plein Air painting earlier in the year and have a stack of little field studies or “notes” as I call them. These small paintings help me remember the light, value and color a photograph doesn’t share. They remind me of how the day was hot and humid with birds calling and bugs flying into the wet paint. What the light felt like and the way the air smelled. In short, all the things I love about being outside painting.  Along with some good photos, I can construct larger studio works from these notes.

"Elk Hay", oil on canvas, 18" x 24"

“Elk Hay”, oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″

“Elk Hay” is a prime example of a scene in my neighbor’s field where he has stacked old hay that is smoldering apart. Its best use so far is as a model for me! The farmer doesn’t even cover it or put fence panels around it but lets the elk and deer rip it apart. I painted a small field study and took some photos of this scene during the fall. Inside in the studio I recently painted this larger canvas of the haystack.

For me, winter is a good time for getting outside and doing some plein air painting. And its a great time for making art in the studio!

Back in the saddle and riding like hell…..

In progress 1

In progress – the value under-painting

I’m back home in my studio in snowy Colorado and painting like a dervish. I’m back in the saddle again, as they say.  I started this little 8″ x 10″ oil of my friend Marla’s equines. Its a bit too cold and snowy to be out for very long so I am using a photo.

In progress 2

In progress 2 – almost there.

I have to finish this before I go in for shoulder surgery on my right shoulder on the 18th. I’ll be unable to paint for at least 6 weeks because I’ll be in a cast and immobilizing that arm and shoulder.  After that, its getting back in the saddle again….

Gift Galleria at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts

Gift Galleria.

Small oil paintings at the Blue Sage Gift Galleria.

I have nine small oil paintings at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts Gift Galleria in Paonia, CO. The exhibition of local fine arts and crafts runs from November 3, 2015 until Christmas Eve. My paintings are of landscapes and horses. They are 6″ x 6″ and 6″ x 8″ in size. That is perfect for a small gift for a loved one or friend.

section of the gallery

A section of the gallery at the Blue Sage.

They are reasonably priced, too. The 6″ x 6″ are $75 and the 6″ x 8″ are $100. Part of the money from the sale of my paintings goes toward the Blue Sage. Help support two good causes: The Blue Sage Center for the Arts and Me!

Happy Holidays from
Cedar Keshet

Draft Horses and painting them

Kit and Kat

Kit and Kat, Oil, 14″ x 18″

Yesterday I completed the oil painting called “Kit and Kat”. These gals are Belgium Draft Horses. They were our models during a workshop given by Lindsey Bittner Graham through the Evergreen Fine Arts Gallery, Colorado. They were just down the highway from the gallery. We spent a day painting and photographing them and their handler, Collin. All the excitement of a bunch of camera clicking artists threw the team into a bit of a frenzy but Collin settled them down right away with kind words and re-direction. When they were being driven in front of their cart, they were full of energy and really focused on their task of working for this fellow. When he stopped them, it took them a minute to figure out their job was to just stand there and look pretty. Then they applied their work ethic to standing.

As an artist I found I was relating to them totally as to being focused on what my job is. At first, just like the team, I was some what distracted from what I was there to do. I was happy to pet and kiss their big (really big) noses and they were happy to get the attention. I took some photos and set up my plein air gear and started to focus on the task at hand. I got a great color/value study that morning with the guidance of Lindsey plus another one of them without their traces in the afternoon. The critique at the end of the day was great, too. I related that to the horses being un-tacked and groomed before being turned out into their pasture.

This painting is a studio piece of the work I did that day last month. I am happy with the way it feels. Kit and Kat are great teachers, too.

Horses, horses, horses!

I LOVE horses. Mules are pretty lovable, too. I love painting horses, drawing horses, riding horses, mucking after horses, feeding horses, kissing horses, grooming horses. I’m horse crazy.  I’ve sketched my mule but a painting is coming soon. Because I love equines so much, I thought it would be appropriate to post a few paintings I’ve done with them as subjects.

Sheep Wintering Ground Ride, 11" x 14" oil painting

Sheep Wintering Ground Ride, 11″ x 14″ oil painting

This painting documents when I went with my friends DeWitt and Roy and another guy, Don, for a ride on Fruitland Mesa out in Crawford. Don road a mule, the rest of us were on horses. It was cold and dry. We rode through some BLM land where sheep are wintered. PU is all I can say, it smelled like the camels at the zoo. And there weren’t even any sheep around.

Elane and Nick, 11" x 14" oil painting

Elane and Nick, 11″ x 14″ oil painting

This painting has my friend Elane and her Haflinger, Nick as subjects. We rode in Escalante Canyon two springs ago and it was very hot. I remember how bright and toasty it was and wanted to get that feeling across in my painting. Nick is a big moocher and is always sneaking a nibble of something whenever he can.

Saddle and Shade, 6" x 6" oil painting

Saddle and Shade, 6″ x 6″ oil painting

This is my friend Michele’s horse McClintock, well his rear end anyway. We went for a Mother’s Day ride on the rim of Escalante Canyon with a few other women and lots of dogs. I think the dogs outnumbered horses and humans. It was a warm day and the horses were squeezing into any available shade under the juniper trees.

Did You Say Hay? 12" x 9" oil painting

Did You Say Hay? 12″ x 9″ oil painting

This is my friend DeWitt’s horse Hank. He is a Missouri Fox Trotter that DeWitt rescued and rehabilitated. Hank had foundered and was near death’s door. But with corrective shoeing, conscientious diet and exercise, Hank is in good shape. He still wants to eat all the time. His biggest fan is Marla who says Hank has the “eye” he gives to people. I tried to get that look and I think I succeeded.

Me and Foley at a show last year. We got 5th in halter.

Me and Foley at a show last year. We got 5th in halter.

And here is me with my pal Foley. That was when he wasn’t so fat, but so far this summer he has lost about 30 pounds of the winter blubber he put on when he was out on pasture. 200 to go….

Did I mention I love equines?

Hazards of Plein Air Painting: Horses

These horses are curious about what is happening.

These horses are curious about what is happening.

Today I went over to my friend’s hay and horse farm to do a little plein air painting. I thought I would set up my easel in the dry lot with the horses. They all know me and are not afraid of me. You can see in the above photo they are looking at me but not running away. In fact, they were really happy to see me. They wouldn’t leave me alone.

Cookie, the black horse with a white blaze came over to me and stuck her nose on my nose for a sniff while Silkie, the bay horse with the white star, was behind me nibbling on my pony tail while I was fooling with my camera. Pretty soon I had 6 horses and a mini-mule around me, close, way too close. Not the safest place to be so I shooed them away and decided to set up outside the dry lot.

This horse is too close!

This horse is too close!

I am also a horse trainer and I know and ride most of these horses. Silkie is my lesson horse and listens to my verbal commands very well. My advice is not to go into a horse pen and paint with nothing separating you and the horse. They could step on you, kick or bite you or otherwise harm you. And they would want to sniff and play with your easel and otherwise get in your stuff. They are worse than dogs when they get curious. In my case, they would kill me with kindness as pretty soon one of them would decide to chase the rest away to monopolize the attention. That results in biting and kicking and a lot of running around by the herd. So stay on the other side of the fence and paint. Much safer and more productive, too.