I’ve been working on my series, Tree Hugging Cowgirl, and have been doing a few paintings of these green gates that keep popping up in the areas of forest and grazing lands near where I live. The gates are always these big green ones and there are welded pipe fence on either side of the gates. Some of the pipe fences go for a long ways, others go for 20 feet or so. Either way, these are expensive. Ranchers might put up a gate but it would be a stretched barbed wire gate over a cattle guard. With a little side gate where a truck, ATV or people on horses could get through. They just don’t fool around with fancy expensive gates like that. Who belongs to these gates? And why do they seem big enough to let a semi trailer carrying extraction materials through? A lot of them have new wire fences with a really wide road cut running along it and disappearing into the forest or over a ridge. These and other questions are needing answers.
My plein air and studio paintings were scheduled to be show in Paonia and Crested Butte during December (yes, that is less than 3 weeks away). However the owner of the space, The Cirque, where I was supposed to hang about 25 paintings and have an opening on November 30th called me earlier this week to say she had made a terrible mistake and double booked the date and space. We had agreed about a show early this summer and I’d kept going in there, measuring wall space, asking questions, etc. She had already signed a contract with the other artist just recently and didn’t know what to do. I suggested that the other artist (who makes willow stick frames with a piece of flat rock with a petroglyph painted on it inserted in the center of these stick frames) collaborate with me. We could hang half our works, each taking 1 of the 2 wall spaces. We could do that in December and in January switch wall spaces and bring in the other half of our work. The other artist refused to collaborate. And the owner of the Cirque told me I could have January or a month during the summer instead. I had already started marketing for the show and was glad I didn’t give the go-ahead on any printing or ads. I have been working with the Western Slope Conservation Center, they helped with maps, suggestions where to go, and were excited to be a part of the opening and exhibit. I was also going to donate a percentage of the profits to them from the sale of the paintings during the run of the exhibit. I was pretty upset but figured when live gives me lemons, I just make a Kamikaze.
My new showing will be one night only at WSCC’s offices in Paonia. Here is the press release with the details. It was great that the staff and the Board of Directors from the Western Slope Conservation Center jumped into help. And my friends were very encouraging as well.
Cedar Keshet’s “Tree Hugging Cowgirl” series explores the impact of fracking and other events on the environment. Her plein air and studio oil paintings follow her journey this past year (2018) going to sites that are up for oil and gas exploration in the North Fork of the Gunnison area in Western Colorado. This series also includes her journey from Colorado to British Columbia & Alberta and back and the fires she experienced while on this journey. Cedar collaborated with the Western Slope Conservation Center in this series.
Join Cedar on Friday November 30, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Western Slope Conservation Center’s offices, 206 Poplar in Paonia. Artist’s Talk will start at 6 with WSCC information and Q&A to follow. Light refreshments will be served. 50% of the profits from this one night’s exhibit will be donated by Keshet to the Western Slope Conservation Center.
I hope to see a lot of you on Nov. 30. That is also our town’s Final Friday, so other galleries will be open. Including the Cirque where I was supposed to be exhibiting. Not like I’m bitter, but just saying its been a challenge. Glad I am a positive person and have found a way to share my art adventures with the community.
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.
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!
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 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.