Thursday, June 16, 2011
Getting Ready for Telluride
I leave in about ten days for Telluride, Colorado. As regular readers know, for the last several years I've participated in the Telluride Plein Air Fesitval, an invitational event bringing about thirty artists together from around the country to paint in the beautiful San Juan Mountains in the historic town of Telluride. Artist paint in and around Telluride for five days, followed by a silent auction and then a public sale. For the last few years I've blogged about the event and you can read some of those posts here.
So, I thought I'd write a bit about how I get ready for this event. For a number of years I did many of these shows (Laguna Beach Invitational, Carmel, Sedona) but now Telluride is the only one I do. Over the last five years my painting techniques have changed dramatically, and it is always a struggle to adapt the indirect methods I now prefer to the demands of plein air painting in an event like this.
The painting shown above is a studio piece. We are allowed to bring one studio piece to show and sell at the public sale. This painting is a good example of how I prepare for the event. Although it is based on the landscape in Telluride, it is primarily painted from memory. Having painted in Telluride for five years now, I have a rich store of memories and solid knowledge about the landscape there. So, a few weeks ahead of time, I like to make a list of likely motifs that I might want to paint. Often, this list will begin with ideas I had last year, but didn't have a chance to paint or perhaps ideas I tried but couldn't make work in the time allotted. I think about what sizes and what kinds of compositions I want to paint, and even do thumbnail sketches based on memory of some of those ideas. Cottonwoods at Dusk started this way, based on a memory of a clump of cottonwoods in the valley.