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
So this has been kind of depressing for me, going out to areas up for lease sale and plein air painting. I paint and think about fracking and destroying our environment and the disrespectful treatment of our Mother Earth.
I have decided to share some images of some of the silly things that go on when I go out to paint. I had to wear a bug net at one place because the mosquitoes were so thick. Then later on in the morning, I had to tuck my sleeves into my gloves to keep out the biting deer flies.
My dog is my best plein air assistant anyone could ask for. She has been faithfully laying on my gear and in the shade of my umbrellas for years now. She is getting kinda gray but with that comes her experience. And of course, being summer in Colorado, there is always some road construction. But a look in my rear view window shows more than a long line of waiting vehicles. There is a great view of the Ragged Range.
Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar
I went plein air painting near lease sale area 8320. The end of the road was not very welcoming so I went back to the Hawsapple campground by the Paonia Reservoir. It was empty of people. The boat ramp was closed and I did see one person with a fishing boat driving out as I was going in on the road. But the water was so low in the reservoir that I don’t think it was safe for boating, thus the closure.
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.
I went plein air painting up Hubbard Creek. It is near lease sale area 8389. No one was there that morning. But lots of people had been. There was a big rock that was shot up at close range. That kinda freaked me out. But I plan to return to paint Hubbard Creek. We did have a big storm with flash floods and I think the one sketchy part of the road may have been washed out. I’ll take the truck up there next time to make sure I can get by that part.
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.
“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.
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.
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.