Tree Hugging Cowgirl, 9

Today I went where I could barely see the area where parcel 8138 is located. FrackMap

I pulled off at a campsite to do some painting. It was smoky today from a fire somewhere around here. There were lots of busy trucks zooming by up on the road. A few minutes after they passed by a layer of dust would drift over me and settle on all my stuff.


This truck’s driver is in a hurry, he’s zipping by in a cloud of dust.

This area is mixed aspen groves and meadows with oak brush stands. 9AspenGrove and meadow    Its pretty from above looking down but I know from riding horses and hiking experience that its a challenge to get through those thickets. But the deer and elk have made their historic trails and manage just fine.

While I was painting a worried deer kept snorting at me. She was about 50 feet away. Tova was ignoring her as she is a well behaved old dog. I wondered if that doe had a fawn bedded down somewhere close to where I was. I didn’t stay too long for that reason and also because the storm clouds were building up. I heard some rumbling and as I was in a pretty open meadow, along the edge, I thought it would be prudent to high tail it out of there.

On the way down the road to home, I took some photos of the areas 8390 and 8391 from up above. You can see some new roads carved into the oak brush on the right side of the photo.9GoodOverview

Keep up with the latest on Tree Hugging Cowgirl on my Instagram page at Plein Air Cedar


Tree Hugging Cowgirl, 5

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.

Tree Hugging Cowgirl, 2


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.

Drinking in the Creek

Drinking in the Creek Oil, 9" x 12"

Drinking in the Creek
Oil, 9″ x 12″

A couple years ago, I did a painting of my friend on his mule in Escalante Canyon, Colorado. The mule was drinking out of Escalante Creek. At the time I was going to paint over the painting but my friend saw it and purchased it, he wouldn’t let me say no. Finally I got it back and got rid of it. We were riding the other week and I snapped a new and improved photo of he and his mule. I then did a much better painting of them and will varnish and frame it and give it to him soon. Persistence paid off!

Zion National Park

Zion Sentinels Oil, 18" x 24"

Zion Sentinels
Oil, 18″ x 24″

Allen & I went to Zion National Park. It is stunning and amazing. Really, words can not describe its grandeur. I did some Plein Air paintings while Allen rode his bike through the park. Back home in the studio, I got out a big canvas and did the following painting, “Zion Sentinels”. It was a great trip and we hope to go back there soon.

Plein Air workshop in Utah

Tall Juniper Oil 9" x 12"

Tall Juniper
Oil 9″ x 12″

I took a Plein Air workshop in St. George, Utah from Plein Air painter, Brad Holt. He was a great instructor, giving us lots of tips and advice. He also took us to a neat overlook to paint one day.

This painting, “Tall Juniper” was done during the workshop when we were inside on one of the afternoons.

Escalante Canyon, Colorado

Walker Cabin Watchtower Oil, 10" x 20"

Walker Cabin Watchtower
Oil, 10″ x 20″

I have been in the studio painting since the cloudy and cold weather has moved in during fall and winter. But before that I joined the Plein Air Artists of Colorado and went to Escalante Canyon for a paint out. The painting in this article is a result of that trip.

Here is a painting I did called “Walker Cabin Watchtower”. The study was done in Escalante Canyon between Delta and Grand Junction, Colorado. The landform was adjacent to an area where there were several small cabins cut into and out of the stones around 100 years ago. The hardy people who lived there had a great setting.

Research in and analyzed about en Plein Air painting assistants

I (The Researcher) have compiled enough research now to determine that my dog (The Subject) has a unique yet well thought out and executed pose she assumes when she is assisting me en Plein Air painting.

Tova in Great Basin NP, NV

Tova in Great Basin NP, NV

The data shows the subject positions herself with optimal focus on the rays of the sun as compared to the angle of the shade. The subject also points herself in alignment with the researcher’s position during painting so as not to miss any movement on the researcher’s part.

Tova at Wild Horse Crossing, NV

Tova at Wild Horse Crossing, NV

The subject’s closed eyes are helpful so she can concentrate better on listening and smelling where the researcher is and also if the researcher is eating something the subject may want.

Tova at McClure/Kebler junction park

Tova at McClure/Kebler junction park

The subject’s relaxed position is her way of conserving energy so if she needs to spring to the researcher’s rescue or just quickly follow if the researcher moves, she can in an instant, mobilize.

Tova at Easely campgrounds, ID

Tova at Easely campgrounds, ID

This pose, named “Dead Dog” for its resemblance to highway fatalities, shows it is repeated in all instances where the subject goes out en Plein Air. Her use of “Dead Dog” pose in 99.99% of all recorded events shows it is highly effective in maintaining the subject’s ability to sharply monitor whereabouts of the researcher yet conserve her energy at the same time.

Tova at Lost Lake Slough

Tova at Lost Lake Slough

“Dead Dog” is effective due to its flexibility in being deployed in a variety of locations and situations, from driveway and gravel landscaping to interiors of vehicles.

Tova in Wanatchee, WA

Tova in Wanatchee, WA

Tova in the back of the Honda

Tova in the back of the Honda

The subject is very cunning in her nonchalant manner but the research shows its highly calculated.

Tova in the Sawtooths, Id

Tova in the Sawtooths, Id

It may seem that she is just passed out but she’s not.

Farm to Fiddle Fine Art Show – I have 3 paintings in this show.

Chamisa and Sage, Plein Air Oil, 6" x 8", $100

Chamisa and Sage, Plein Air Oil, 6″ x 8″, $100

Come join me at The Farm to Fiddle Festival Premier Fine Arts Show at the Creamery Arts Center, on the main street, 165 W Bridge St., Hotchkiss, August 5-26, 2016.

Orange Door Shed, Plein Air Oil, 8" x 10", $125

Orange Door Shed, Plein Air Oil, 8″ x 10″, $125

I have 3 paintings in this show. Stop by and vote for one of mine for People’s choice! Thanks.

First Snow on Lamborn, oil, 14" x 18", $300

First Snow on Lamborn, oil, 14″ x 18″, $300

Here is the schedule for the show:

Public Opening: Friday, August 5, 5-8 pm
People’s Choice Voting: August 5-11, 11 am- 6 pm
Reception and Awards: Friday, August 12, 5-7 pm

This art show takes place with the Farm to Fiddle Festival and the Delta County Fair happening during the middle of this show’s run. Perhaps people will stop by all of these events to take in fine art, fiddle and other music as well as giant hogs, turkeys and the ranch competition. Who knows. The Festival and Fair run during the weekend of August 12 & 13.

Plein Air Painting Trip: Blogging with no electricity, Internet connection or cell service.

No cell service!

No cell service!

We were in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area for 4 days and 3 nights. The was no electricity, Internet connection or cell service. So I didn’t do any blogging, checking emails, phone calls or texts. And no art marketing. I was sketching and painting. So don’t feel bad for me. It was great!