Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Estes Park Plein Air 2008

Estes Park is a small friendly town just outside the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. A week long painting event ending with a Quick Draw on Saturday morning, Aug. 23rd. Artists had 90 minutes to pick your spot, paint and bring up your painting for auction. Alot of artist's take issue with these quick draws, I find them fun. It forces you to make decisions, good or bad, the public enjoys seeing the paint fly and I hope it give them a bit of courage to give painting a try. Besides lots of pine trees and mountains around us, there were a couple of still lifes set up. I chose a huge bouquet of sunflowers. This piece is a 12" x 12" oil and can be found at the Earthwood Collections on Elkwood Ave in Estes Park, along with 5 other paintings of the area that I completed during this event. The weather was crazy with even some snow fall and alot of rain. Everything was vibrant greens and there were still many summer flowers to be found in the meadows. Check out to learn about this gallery in Estes Park and also their gallery in Boulder, on 1213 Pearl St. You can now find my work at this location also. This link explains the event very well:
The scenery at the RMNP is amazing, snow on the peaks, spruce, huge ponderosa pines, aspen, waterfalls, elk walking around in town, moose, fox and peace and quiet. It is about 80 miles from Denver and so worth a trip to see. Oh, and the cute little guy up in the photo? He was the local art critic who walked over my wet painting, leaving his comment and foot prints in the wet oil. I had to dig out is "remarks" before framing and turning in the painting. All part of the fun of painting outdoors!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Estes Park Painting

Here I thought we had wacky weather in Arizona. It rained non-stop for three days here in the Denver area. Then it actually snowed on the peaks above Boulder & Estes Park with a high of 46 degrees in Estes. This Wed. the temps will be in the high 80's. This country from Boulder up Hwy 36 is unbelievably beautiful. I painted at a rest area overlooking Boulder and the peaks to the north. The sun trying to get through the clouds revealed gleaming snow on the peaks. Cars on the highway actually slowed with people pulling off to take pictures. I was able to finish an OK piece there, with a few nats mixed into the paint. After all that rain they were out in force. Yesterday I headed up the road in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Hwy 34. Along the roadside was a heavy flowing waterfall. Tumbled with sticks and large rocks, aspens on the edges and wildflowers getting caught up in the water. Painted there for about two hours. I notice that paintings will often seem to have a strong start with strong values, then get weak as I blend too much, then finish strong when I go back to the strong value contrasts. Now if I could only get rid of the dull part and learn to leave well enough alone. I will post those pictures as soon as I resize the images. I have two paintings done ready for frame and need one more. They will be in the gallery in Estes , Earthwood Collections, see for more info
Seems like late August is a good time to visit this National Park. There are lots of camping spots and the trails are busy but not like they were two weeks ago. Once the kids all get back in school the roads open up and the weather is still nice. Be ready thought for change, as I found out, sunny warm then wham in comes a big cold front. Check out the website for the latest images of weather patterns. REAL helpfull, and up to the minute information. Also check out the webcam on . These cabins are reasonably priced, very clean and just outside the entrance to the Park and close to town. Very quiet at night since it is located on the road going into the Park. This Park and the town of Estes Park is a great location for a getaway. Wonderful views, fun shopping, good food/brewery, hiking and overwheming painting views.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Estes Park Plein Air Paint-out Colorado

I have been preparing my paint boxes getting ready to head up to Colorado for the Estes Park PLein-Air Paint-out. This little 6"x8" thumb-box is one of my favorites made by Gorilla box and sold by Judson Art Supplies Also coming along is the same box but 12"x16" and also a thin Open Box M , Each has it's special purpose. Since I have a van I can bring them all along and use the one that suits the situation. If you haven't picked out a box check out these two companies. They both have great customer service and good products. The artists in this event have from Aug.9th to Aug.22 to paint, frame and turn in their pieces. The QuickDraw is on Sat. the 23 so is the reception and the announcement of the award winners. Having been there last year I do know where I want to go back to and set up and a couple of new spots to check out. Sometimes I dump all my previous plans when a great scene opens up in front of me. Estes Park is just outside of the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park and a neat little town. My paintings will be hanging at the Earthwood Collections Gallery. These folks really treat us artists nice and are very supportive the whole time. I look forward to having a go at the vibrant greens of the pine trees and the grasses, and trying to do a better job of the sharp rugged mountains. Even in August there is snow on the peaks. If you have never been to Colorado try to make a trip there. It is a great road trip with scenery that changes the whole way. Check out the webcam on the link
to see some great views of the mountains. At you will see info on the hosting gallery. will give you a glimpse of what there is to see. Waterfalls, clean clear streams, moose, elk, and lots of green.