French Impressions, The Sequel
I just returned from a second trip to France, this time spent exclusively in paris and the village of auvers-sur-oise. i can truly say now that spring is my favorite time to visit paris - flowering trees, sunshine and cool temperatures, and less tourists. I was lucky enough to tour the Notre-Dame one week before the fire, and i cherish the photos i took of the inside of the cathedral (see one below). as charming as paris is, i admit to being more of a country gal, so my time in the small village of auvers was truly special. this is the village where van gogh spent his final days, and is buried, and i was able to take the "chemin des peintres" trail through the village on foot to view all the locations where vincent painted and stayed. just a fantastic experience to recognize many of the locations, virtually unchanged from the time (130 years ago) when vincent walked the streets. I've added a couple photos below.
Just back from a fabulous trip to Paris and Normandy, France. My dream trip as an artist - spent a few days in Paris, including a day in the Musee d'Orsay viewing the Impressionists and Van Gogh paintings, then traveled to Etretat on the Normandy coast, where Monet made so many studies of the dramatic cliffs, then Le Mont St Michel, Giverny, and finally Auvers Sur Oise, where Van Gogh spent his final days, and is buried. Hundreds of photos and memories...here are just a few:
The Mountains are calling...
Summer is here! I am ready to head for the hills, in search of opportunities to paint some of the most beautiful landscapes in Colorado - all within an hour or two drive of my home! Last week I painted in an aspen forest just outside of Crawford, and now that Kebler Pass road is open, I'll be headed up and over to Crested Butte in search of some fabulous vistas there as well. Ridgway, Telluride and Ouray are on my list as well. Can't wait! In the meantime, I'm posting here some "work in progress" pics of my latest painting of Pearl Pass (just outside of Aspen, CO), as well as pics of my latest aspen plein air...thanks for looking, and here's wishing everyone a great summer!
To the sea...
Just back from a trip out to San Diego. A four day pilgrimage back to the place I grew up, and a re-connection with the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. I brought my painting supplies, and though hesitant at first, I was determined to try to paint a seascape or two. A bit different from painting those still, silent mountains of Colorado, I enjoyed all the immediacy and spontaneity of the crashing surf and sounds and smells of the wind and water. I stayed in La Jolla, just a five minute walk from Windansea beach - pristine coves and small sandy beaches with occasional seals and surfers...heaven!
Just finished a new painting I have titled "Safe Passage", based on a scene I witnessed in September. I was taking a hike through the Maroon Bells Wilderness here in Colorado, and I happened upon a doe and her fawn silently moving through the forest, with the sunlit aspens behind lit up like a stained glass window. I felt honored to be there, and to be tolerated by these beautiful creatures. I have never attempted to paint an animal before, but I had to put this on canvas, if only to put myself back in that sacred space again.
On Eagle's Wings...
Such an amazing honor to paint in Dennis Weaver Park in the beautiful town of Ridgway, Colorado last week. I gathered with 26 other talented plein air artists for the Annual "Paint in the Park" Event, held this year on 7 October - a crystal clear beautiful day in the park, where there are inspirational views of the snowy San Juan Mountains and the Uncompahgre River, amidst sage and cedar and coppery golden light. Below are some photos of the day, including an image of the beautiful eagle sculpture in the park, with prayer stones all around. A special, spiritual place that I'll be revisiting again and again. Thank you so much, Rick Weaver, and all the volunteers who treated us like royalty! I'm so excited to be presenting my first place painting to the Ridgway Town Council next month, and see it hung in the permanent collection at the Town Hall!
I just returned home on Sunday evening from a week in Aspen, participating in the 2017 Red Brick Plein Air Festival. After catching up on some sleep, I've had time for reflection on a most satisfying and memorable time spent amongst all the natural beauty of the Aspen area, along with the special camaraderie of being with a group of 18 other like-minded painters. Wow - probably one of the best weeks I've spent in years. Much gratitude to the folks at the Red Brick Center for the Arts, and to the Aspen folks in general - everyone was so friendly and interested, and genuinely helpful. Thanks also to the folks who purchased my work - without patrons none of this would be possible! Here are some photos from my fabulous week:
Summer en plein air
With just two weeks to go till the Aspen Plein Air Festival, I've been madly painting outdoors 3-4 times a week this summer in preparation, and I think it's paid off. I've learned so much by painting in all kinds of light, in all kinds of weather, and with and without mosquito repellant (I'll spare you the gory details!).
Here's a small collage of my experiences:
Work in Progress
On my easel today is my latest work in progress...inspired by a smaller plein air painting I did last September on the road to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The chamisa was in full bloom that day, and the clouds in the intense blue sky seemed to mirror the blooms. This piece is a 24x30 view with the sky and blooms taking equal attention. I'll post the finished painting when it's complete, but I like looking at the different progressions along the way...hope you do too!
It's Still Life
Though I most enjoy painting the landscape, I figured it's about time to give still life its due here. During the winter months, still life is my go to for honing my powers of observation. It is especially nice in that it's aided by my complete control of the environment - I set up the arrangement and the lighting, then can come back to it, if need be (as long as it's nothing too perishable - haven't tried fish yet!). I've decided to add some of my still life paintings to my portfolio, and am including a few here...see what you think.
Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog! I aim to write as often as possible on my creative process, with current "on My Easel Today" updates on current works.