“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.
I know some artists who don’t like the public to see their unfinished works. Its supposed to convey a sense of professionalism to only display the finest and finished products and leave the public in a state of mysterious awe and wonderment. But I like for people to follow the drama, work, soul and transformation that a painting goes through before the artist (me) deems it complete.
In that vein of thought, I am showing a couple of my unfinished paintings I did while on my plein air slash camping trip through Nevada, Oregon, Washington, back through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and finally back in Colorado. The first one is a little creek, Clear Creek, in the Malhuer National Forest. It was along a road to a state park. Weather was clear and temps were mild, perfect!
The next one is of Silver Peak just north of Ketchum near Easely hot springs. Again a great day, slight breeze, cool temps, sunny with some fluffy clouds chasing by. Enjoy!
Clear Creek, work in progress
Silver Peak, work in progress
Hiking out along the Harriman Trail near Easely Creek, ID.
The day after we got together with the McKelvy family, I got to do some painting! Tova and I hiked out into a field with a great view of Silver Peak.
Me, painting Silver Peak
Tova has a certain distinct style of assisting me when I’m painting. I am documenting it.
Tova, en Plein Air assistant!
We are visiting our friends, Dave & Marjie in Wenatchee, WA for a few days. I’ve been Plein Air painting and Allen has been riding his bicycle.
Early yesterday morning I went to the Ohme Gardens and did a painting of the lovely hillside where lots of ferns were glowing in the morning light.
Today we went to the Columbia River Park park near the Pybus Market. Allen rode 50 miles while I did a painting along the river. Tova got to swim with her new friends and retrieve tennis balls from the water.
Here is a brief view of the paintings I’ve done so far on my trip:
Dave’s workbench with my paintings on it.
Tova, riding in a crazy oversized wagon in Oregon, on the trail of course.
On our way through Oregon, we camped at Malheur National Forest on the South Fork of the Burnt River. So did a whole town of people on OHV’s and in RV’s with loud generators. I did a little sketching of the trees as lots were over 100 feet tall.
Clear Creek in the Malheur National Forest, Oregon.
In the morning we headed out to look for a quiet spot where I could paint and a wide shoulder where Allen could ride his bicycle. I managed a nice painting of some cows in a flower filled field and a creek in the morning.
Tova, guarding the cattle guard and the Plein Air gear.
After an early lunch, I did another painting of some young Douglas Fir trees. I even managed to rig up an auto sun shade on my Strada easel which worked very nicely.
Painting in the Malheur National Forest.
The auto sun shade in action on my Strada mini.
Thanks to Kim Casebeer for the tips on that one! Tomorrow we are on our way to our friends house in Wenatchee, Washington and more Plein Air painting.
Pronghorn antelope at a cattle salt lick, NV.
The next stop was Wild Horse Crossing campgrounds in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, still in Nevada. Again rain stopped my painting so I turned to my sketch book while hunched under my umbrella. But the winds and hail drove us into the cab of the truck. We left in the morning, taking a Forest Service road through some wild lands and got to see pronghorn and wild horses.
Allen photographing an antelope
Threatening skies kept us going to our next stop in Oregon at the Malheur National Forest.
Snake Range with a storm rolling in.
Allen & I have started our camping trip by staying the first night at the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. It was a beautiful location. Lower in elevation the weather was warm and at the higher elevations, it was cool. The weather was a bit fickle as it rained every afternoon and evening. I got rained on several times.
Wheeler Peak, NV in the Great Basin National Park with my easel and painting
Plein Air Wheeler Peak, NV
One time we had to pack up the painting gear in a big hurry when a dangerous lightening storm blew in extremely fast while we were at the Nevada Land Trust Ranch exhibit. There was a shelter to paint underneath, but it was all metal with a metal roof. We high tailed it out of there fast!
Painting the Snake Range, Nevada.
Tova, holding down the shelter’s floor.
Thanks to the Nevada Land Trust for that great exhibit and the awesome shelter!
Me and my Strada mini easel!
Who would have thought I would so serendipitously run into a Plein Air event in Meeker, CO? I sure didn’t but was glad to find it. This week Allen and I went to Meeker so I could do some Plein Air painting and he could do a ride. He had read about an easy 30 mile uphill from Meeker to Buford, CO. The elevation gain wasn’t too bad, he said, only about 2700 feet in 30 miles. He said the easiest part would be the 30 mile return downhill trip. I have never put “easy” and “30 mile uphill” in the same sentence but some of us are more hard-core than others….
We stopped at the Meeker Chamber of Commerce for some insight as what to do and I found the brochure for the Plein Air Meeker 2016. I happened to land right in the time to register and paint. I was also planning on meeting a few other artists from the Western Slope PAAC group. I got a couple canvases stamped and we headed out to our campsite about 30 miles away in the White River National Forest at the North Fork campgrounds.
I started a painting at our campsite but as I was almost done, the rain came, forcing me to jump inside the cab of the truck and finish up. The next day dawned bright and hazy so we headed for town and Allen started on his ride and I met with other artists along the White River. I set up under a spacious pavilion with a couple other artists even though the skies looked relatively dry.
Others painting at Circle Park
My plein air assistant and set-up
I finished up a painting just as the lightening and thunder started. So I packed up and headed out of town to find Allen. I had visions of him being pelted by lightening and hail. I saw him about 3 miles out of town and pulled over. He was just a bit soaked. I held the umbrella over us as he strapped his bike to the back of the truck. It was raining and hailing on us fiercely. I’m glad I found him when I did! He managed to ride 61 miles and was in good spirits.
“Looking up the White River Valley” Oil, 9″ x12″, $150
I turned in the above painting after the rain let up to the Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to Trudy for all her help. Also, thanks to Gary another PAAC painter who helped me get the painting framed and ready to go. I am happy with the results and hope it sells and makes someone happy.