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.


Outside Painting this summer!

Grand Mesa Visitor Center

“Grand Mesa Visitor Center”, Oil, 9″ x 12″

I’ve been doing a lot of plein air painting  this summer.  Despite the rain and mosquitoes in my surrounding areas, I have gotten out a lot. I also took a couple great workshops this summer.

Here is our instructor, Dave Santillanes, helping a student. We took an exciting drive up Mt. Evans and painted for a good part of the day. Later, back at the Evergreen Fine Arts Gallery, we had critiques and a demo by Dave. I recommend his workshops as he was super helpful, instructive and also a real down to earth kinda guy.

Dave Santillanes & Student

Dave teaching us up on Mt. Evans

Yellow Rock

“Yellow Rock”, Oil, 11″ x 14″

I did this one in Dave’s workshop. We were standing on the edge of a cliff about 1000+ feet high. Dave commented “Wow Cedar, that is a really yellow rock” I mentioned he told us not to use white. He started laughing and said he never told us that. All around from the woods lots of voices piped up saying “yes you did!” Well, he did say that if we used white, to warm it up with yellow. I guess I wasn’t paying that close attention but I did get a yellow rock painting and its not half bad.

So now its fall and the Super Blood Lunar Eclipse Moon. Stay tuned for more paintings as I am about to go into a retreat and paint, paint, paint!


Wild areas help me recharge my battery.

I just returned from a long weekend of camping in Utah with dogs and friends. My mountain rescue team I belong to held a training in the slot canyons of the San Rafael Swell. I opted to paint and hike rather than rappel and squeeze.

The break was great, I enjoyed the relaxed pace. The plein air sketches and exercises I did are going to provide ideas and inspiration for studio paintings for a long time.  Little road trips like this to wild areas are a balm for my spirit. My internal battery needed the recharge.

Looking north from the campsite.

Looking north from the campsite.

It was a fun drive (translation = rough) on 4WD roads to our meeting point, but the Tacoma was a champ. Our training leader provided us with a highway map pdf, some directions off a website and GPS coordinates. The destination was about 5 hours from home.

The road into our campsite. The left side road is behind and the right side road is in front.

The road into our campsite. The left side road is behind and the right side road is in front.

We had a view of an area called Sinbad country from out campsite.


The view from the campsite.

It was very remote but that was fine with us! We are a hardy group.

I hiked with my friend and our dogs before she set out on an explore of the canyons, with all the required gear and knowledge. I painted all day. She returned mid afternoon and joined the plein air fun with her watercolors.

Shade is at a premium in the San Rafael Swell, McKay Flat, UT.

Shade is at a premium in the San Rafael Swell, McKay Flat, UT.

The wind was pretty strong and even with extra tent stakes and lots of big rocks, the umbrella was not an option, so standing in the meager shade of a juniper was my plan. Seems like the dogs had the same idea. The rest of the team returned early evening after 18 miles or so of canyoneering and hiking.

Just a small portion of the pictoglyphs in San Rafael Swell, UT

Just a small portion of the pictoglyphs in San Rafael Swell, UT

The next day we drove around in the swell, which is an ancient reef and uplifted seabed, and caught some glyphs and hiked around Goblin Valley State park. We then traveled to Erby canyon and started a hike up it but the weather with rain clouds threatening a flash flood changed our minds for us. We drove out of the very sketchy road just in time for the downpour.

Me & my climbing dog at Goblin Valley State Park, UT

Me & my climbing dog at Goblin Valley State Park, UT

We ended our weekend at a whitewater rafters’ hang out in Green River UT for burgers and fries and headed back to cooler Colorado.


Plein Air Paintings from around Taos, NM

Chamisa & Sage, plein air oil, 6" x 8", $100

Chamisa & Sage, plein air oil, 6″ x 8″, $100

Here are some of the paintings I did en plein air in the Taos, NM area the middle of March. Almost all of them have a bit of the landscape in them, ha ha ha. I like the way this painting above captures the light of the morning I painted it. That is one of the great things about plein air painting. It can’t be beat.

"Seco Church", plein air oil, 8" x 10", $150

“Seco Church”, plein air oil, 8″ x 10″, $150

This is my rendition of the La Santisima Trinidad adobe church in Arroyo Seco. Its really a great building, built in the 1830’s. The sun was coming in and out of the clouds and the sky was undecided, occasionally spitting rain. The frost had not yet melted on the grass as I sat inside the cab of my truck wearing my ski pants, wool socks & cap, fingerless fleece gloves and warm jacket. Did I mention my mug of hot tea? Finally the day’s weather tanked and I drove into Taos, about 5 miles to see if it wasn’t raining there.

Cholla & Rocks, plein air oil, 6" x 8", $100

Cholla & Rocks, plein air oil, 6″ x 8″, $100

This painting was done near Pilar, NM. My new artist friend, Shelia O’Malley and I went there and painted early Sunday morning. The weather was great! Warm enough not to wear a jacket or cap or even wool socks. The rocks are so beautiful down there. The cholla was just starting to bloom. For those of you who are not familiar with cholla catus (pronounced Choy-Ya), its a tough branching plant that is prolific in the right environment. It was everywhere. The light was coming from behind making the top stems seem alight with gold.

I also shot lots of good photos for studio inspiration. I can’t wait to start painting some of those!