My housemates were so kind to indulge me by posing yesterday. They have been so kind to me and I wanted to give them this special gift. Fortunately they like the impressionistic style in which I paint.
This canal is part of the Cherry Creek spillway that runs behind the house where I live. I walked a half mile or so to this spot that seemed to glow in the winter sunlight. The square birchwood panel is nicely finished. I coated it with a clear varnish leaving the natual wood color to come through in some areas.
Evergreen, Co had a cold wind blowing and the artists didn't stick around very long. I painted on a Museum profile linen canvas. I used the natural color of the canvas, first coating the canvas with Damar varnish.
Denver Plein Air Painters met at Bluff Lake this week. You look around at the drab winter colors and think, how can I get a good painting out of this? Then you look closer and begin to see one or two outstanding spots of color. And as you settle in color begins to explode. It did for me in this painting. I can also say that the photo of the same spot doesn't begin to compare
My artist friend Laura gave us a tour of the Rocky Mountain National Park via Estes Park last Thursday. Cold as it was, with the wind whipping down through the mountain pass, we stood out & painted for a couple of hours.
The artist Jean Widman invited us to paint in her studio on Lookout Mountain this past week. My sister was visiting from Ohio and we thoroughly enjoyed the view and atmosphere. This is a view from the studio window.
Plein Air Artists Colorado met yesterday at the Audobon Center near Littleton. The day was overcast and the clouds swirled over the mountain tops. A chill wind blew. Still, the gold & oranges of the rabbit bush and foliage against the cool blues of the mountains was inspiring.
Yesterday PAAC was invited to demonstrate at the Mt. Vernon Country Club, Golden, Colorado. The Clear Creek Conservancy planned the event in to raise funds for land conservation. Artist Debby McAllister made a wonderful model to set off the purple mountain shadows & sun warmed highlights.
I met PAAC this Tuesday at the South Platte Reservoir. A friend suggested I walk a little distance to find a good view of the river (very shallow that day) & the mountains. There was so much information I could not begin to capture the day. Early afternoon the clouds rolled in and the cool front finally sent me home. Now, the more I look at the painting the more I am pleased with how it came together.
This week's first PAAC paint-out was in a lovely garden park SW of Denver. The artists were doing great paintings of the pumpkin patch and the distant mountains and little curved bridges. I walked the park over, but could not feel drawn to any view. Jon planned to paint near Lone Tree later, so I asked if I could trail along. Finally, I could settle. An artist can do a fabulous painting of anything, but, this place somehow felt more real.
The next day Jerusha & I drove west from Denver to Foxton then along the SW Platte River Road. They were doing a controled burn while we were there, which hazed up the mountains in the valley. We saw bear scat around where we painted, but were releived no bear appeared. When we left I realized I had left my sunglasses on, so not sure how true the color/values are. But, the sun shown bright on the red rock hillside and as the afternoon waned the purple shadows on the left crept in.
This past week another artist (www.jonholdredge.com) drove up the Guenella Pass to paint. We drove to the very top, where Jon told me that on a clear day one could see the peaks of four 1400 foot mountains, Gray's Peak, Mount Evans, & two others. The weather that day was a mix of snow, sleet, wind and rain, oh and at times the sun shown. We drove back down a few 100 feet to get a little protection from the wind. A study light rain continued mixed with sleet at times, only stopping and clearing in the mid afternoon when we were chilled through. For some reason passers by told us we were dedicated artists. What a great day!
Denver Plein Air painters met at Clear Creek Canyon State Park today. As usual I didn't find the group, but found a great place to paint. Turns out they were about 10 miles on up the canyon road. Jon & Leslie stopped by on their way back. Thanks for your encouragement guys.
I will have to dig out all my winter layers. It was cold up there.
Yesterday was the last day to paint in the Golden Triangle. The Grant-Humphrey's Mansion opened their doors to us and served lunch inside their beautiful dinning room. Twenty or so artists painted on the grounds, even though the day was overcast with an occasional sprinkle.
This is the final week of the Plein Aire Denver Festival. Painting on the 16th Street Mall was an interesting experience. Met some nice people. One woman asked why I was painting in this "old world" fashion.
Today was a lovely sunny day so I continued with the Plein Air Denver paintings. The park was listed for 7th Day, but who knows what will come up on that day. I went to Confluence Park a few days ago. I did not like the final result of that painting. Maybe I will try again.
This is my third painting during the Plein Air Denver Festival. I am looking north on Broadway. After I had been painting an hour or so one of the many beggars in the city stood at this corner with his sign, "God Bless You". He seemed to spread the blessing indiscriminately with genuine sincerity. I wondered if he was my guardian angel in disguise.
The Plein Air Denver Festival is this month and next. We are to paint any scene we like within the "Golden Triangle" area downtown. This is a view looking north on 13th St., from behind the Denver Art Museum. The block where I sat to paint was fenced off because the other half was being graded and resurfaced. It was a hot day and a noisy street, but the view inspiring.
A few days ago I drove to Boulder to paint with the plein air group at the Teller Farm open space. It was an extremely hot day and one other painter was there. I found a new way to secure my sun umbrella, in spite of stony ground! This week I plan to join the artists painting in Denver Plein Air Festival at the downtown "Golden Triangle"
The wildflowers were lovely in this meadow at Newton Open Space where the Denver PA group met. If you look closely you will see Indian paint brush a little above the path on the left. Later I drove on down Kennedy Gulch Road to see the Platte River valley.
Joined the Castle Rock Plein air painters a few weeks ago. There was one bright yellow bloom left that day. I had only been set up an hour or so before a thunder storm came over and I had to pack up. I did return to work on it. Again a thunder storm chased me out.
The Denver Plein Air group met this past week at Prospect Park in Wheat Ridge. The creek was full, the water rushing from the snow melt in the high mountain ridges. There were wild sweet peas and large white thistle poppies in bloom.
Friends & acquaintances are always suggesting another lovely vista to paint. Jon suggested Mt Evans and Isabel suggested Echo Lake, which is on Mount Evans road, just before the park entrance. It was 20 degrees cooler than the Denver metropolitan area.
The Denver Plein Air painters met at Alamo Placita Park, which I read translates "little place of the cottonwoods". It is downtown and the section where we met was busy with gardeners. Peonies have always been one of my favorite flowers and the contrast of dark leaves and white flower drew me to them. The pink clump to the right had already been weighted to the ground.
It was my intention last week to meet the two plein air groups at this particular open space. I had such trouble finding the lovely hilltop everyone had left by the time I arrived. But the breeze was cool and a small shelter made a perfect shaded studio space. I may crop to bottom of the painting.
Today the Denver Plein Air painters met at Empire. It is quite a drive up into the mountains. It was cool and windy up there. I drove a little past the village and found this scene. It was a bit secluded and I wondered about wildcats and bears and snakes, but didn't see any.
The famous Iris farm is the place where the Boulder group met this past week. Yesterday was such a lovely day, so I looked it up. The people there were friendly and helpful. They have a wonderful catalog that is famous far and wide. It was thrilling to see the purple in the rows of iris blooms reflected in the mountain.
On this day I drove toward Eldorado Springs and stopped at an "open space" trailhead to paint. A set of six year old twins were very interested in my painting. They even mentioned Van Gough. They even brought out their own art work and then sat down to paint alongside me.
The Denver Plein Air Painters Met at Old South Gaylord Street last week. This area is the second oldest shopping district in Denver. It truly looked and felt like another place, far removed from this modern city.
This is a scene along a walking path near where I am living. The day was overcast so I decided not to go to the mountains. I walked about a mile to a little creek. This time I had a larger canvas and made a great start, but then a light rain began to fall. Not wanting to abandon the start and knowing it would all be different on a different day, I persevered. By the time I left I was shivering & stiff with cold. At least I don't think it is overworked.
When painting en plein air I’m drawn into a deeper sense of the beauty of the landscape. Capturing in paint some essence of God’s handiwork is an intriguing thrill. Shapes and colors change constantly via the elements, like a kaleidoscope turning as it is held up to the light. Sunlight and shadow, the movement of a breeze, makes painting en plein air so much more stimulating than painting from a photo.
I work to capture that flash of wonder the light reveals to me. Spontaneity contributes to the energy that comes through in my painting. My painting is a celebration of light and color. Light is a metaphor of Christ the creator. Light reveals color, exposing immediate substance. It reveals depth and detail. Light communicates relationships, revealing nuances that continuously change, yet have a timeless source. My Paintings are for sale in the sales gallery of Butler Institute of American Art & The Hoyt Art Center Gift Shop & on Etsy as "Pleinairimpressions". It is my privilege to be a participant in various juried artist shows, Denver Plein Air in Colorado, Ohio Plein Air Society, Butler Museum of American Art, & The Hoyt in New Castle, PA.