Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Telluride Plein Air Day 2

Aspen Trio
Triptych- each panel 8 x 6

OK, so first-I am sorry about the quality of images I'll be posting this week. Trying to do this on the go doesn't always yield great results. Here's my fist effort- a trio of aspen paintings at afternoon, evening and night.

Last night's artist orientation was thankfully a bit shorter than previous years. It was great to see everyone returning and also to meet the new artists who are here for the first time. For a list of the participating artists and more info about the event click here.

Although everyone has told us about how much rain and cool weather Telluride has had this summer, today was sunny and warm. I've got the aspen triptych finished and most everything else in various stages- from underpaintings to first glazes. I'm using a bit more opaque paint than I usually do just so I can get the work done in time. This year we have one less day to paint (only three full days plus two partial days) so there is more pressure than ever.

Time to head out for evening light......

Monday, June 29, 2009

Telluride Plein Air Day 1

We arrived yesterday afternoon after spending the night in Placitas NM (where we lived for five years) with our friends Ted and Linda Heath. The drive through northern New Mexico, our old stomping grounds, was beautiful as always. Then, we traveled through Durango to Delores, winding through the mountains to Lizard Head Pass and finally Telluride.

First stop was to drop off frames to Jill Carver who was painting from this spot above Telluride.

That's the village at the end of the box canyon. I've painted two nocturnes from this spot in previous years, but this year, as I did last year, I plan to focus in on some more intimate scenes. Next, we stopped at the Sheridan Opera House so I could get my canvases stamped, then on to our hosts' home on the edge of the village.

This morning Steve headed back down to south of Lizard Head Pass to fly fish while I organized my stuff and tried unsuccessfully to get my ancient laptop to cooperate. Later we found a spot on Leopard Creek to fish and paint .

Tonight there is an artist orientation -but not until 8:30- so there will be plenty of time to take advantage of late light and the rising moon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On the Road to Telluride

Telluride Dusk
20 x 20

We're heading out Saturday morning for Telluride. This painting is one I am taking for the exhibition which hangs while we paint en plein air next week. The insurance company finally authorized the repairs to my car and a rental, so we'll be driving a spiffy mini van with lots of room for frames, painting gear and other essential stuff.

Painting Telluride is always a challenge for me- much cooler light and big, spectacular views. Its the poster child for what the Hudson River School painters would have called "sublime". But these days, I favor more intimate settings, so I'll be looking for a clump of cottonwoods or a stand of aspens.
I plan to blog throughout the week, so check back in- and wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Daisy, Dixie, Archie & Emma

Its finally hot. The dogs like to lie in the yard and bake their little brains (except for Emma who is perpetually on the hunt). While they are sunbathing we, however, are in high gear. We leave for the Telluride Plein Air Invitational on the 27th. This will be my 4th year in this show (I blogged about it last year here). We have several orders of frames to finish before we go and I am working away on a painting for the "Masterpiece" exhibition (the one studio piece we can bring which is exhibited during the week we are painting en plein air - I really wish they would change the name of that!)

And, of course my car is a total wreck (literally) so we have all sorts of logistical issues to resolve. My inlaws arrive on the 24th to house and dog sit while we are gone (thanks Lois & George!). So, no dog days here!

Oh, and just a few spots left in each online painting class.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Last Light

Last Light
24 x 30
Available at Hildt Galleries, Chicago

This is one of those paintings that just refuses to be photographed properly. Actually, a lot of my paintings are that way, because of the glazes I suppose. I tried this one in all my usual spots and nothing seemed to work, so finally I just gave up and clicked. The foreground is too red and the greens in the trees (which balance the color harmony) can't be seen. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow and if I hold my mouth just right........

In other studio news, while I was out having my near miss last week, Steve was working on the studio to surprise me when I got home. We still have a lot left to do, but the storage area is finished and completely filled.

And the study area in the studio (which Steve refers to as the employee lounge) got a coat of paint and the bookshelves installed (they still need to be stained).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Near Miss

Evening Sky
10 x 10
Private Collection

Friday I drove over to a small town about 60 miles north of Dallas to judge an art show at the local art center. It turned out to be a very enjoyable experience- I was impressed with the facility, the staff, the artists and patrons and their passion for bringing the arts to this community. About 7:30 I started home- the full moon was rising over the fields of north Texas and I was anticipating the drive home at my favorite time of the day.

Then a pickup truck headed in the opposite direction did a U turn and pulled out right in front of me. I swerved, avoiding hitting him broadside, struck a glancing blow to his front bumper, flew off the road, mowed down a road sign, careened down an embankment, through a barb wire fence and into a pasture. It was all over in a few seconds but its amazing how many thoughts go through your mind in that short period of time-most of them fairly grim. When I finally came to rest in the pasture, my first thought was how surprised I was to find myself still holding onto the wheel and ok, albeit sitting in a front seat covered in glass (the sign had flipped up over the hood, smashed the windshield and then the sunroof). Cade, the other driver, an eighteen year old on his way to high school graduation, was also ok. The story could have ended much differently- I could have broadsided him, or the sign could have hit the windshield six inches lower and ended up in the front seat with me, or my car could have rolled. But, as it happened, Cade will pick up his diploma and head off to ag(ricultural) college in the fall and I was in my studio this morning- counting my blessings.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Evening Primrose
10 x 10
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art

A few weeks ago I posted the start of this painting. I didn't touch it for a while, and when I started back to work on it, I really struggled with the balance between just enough and too much. I opted to leave a lot of the underpainting visible and just a whisper of paint on the flowers and leaves.

Lynne Windsor, a good friend and terrific artist, has started a blog. She is primarily a landscape artist but lately has been painting some lovely birds and nests. Click on over to see her work!