Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Denver-based Works

Mounting Fear (oil on canvas, 18" X 24")

Morning Escape (oil on canvas, 18" X 24")

I've been getting my Colorado on the past few weeks. It is a long-deferred dream finally activated through the logistical and spiritual support of Ms. Sonia Begonia. Denver is brimming with galleries and public enthusiasm for art. There are fifteen galleries just in our Santa Fe neighborhood and many more in other art districts around the city: First Friday here is a very festive, folksy affair, far wilder and on a grander scale than First Friday in Washington, DC. And the Denver Art Museum (DAM) has a dynamite collection of strong contemporary painters, plenty of American chestnuts, and a thrilling show of Nick Cave's latest productions.

The View West (oil on canvas, 11" X 14")

The landscape is BIG and HIGH, like Vermont on steroids and hallucinogens. Scorching heat, wildfires, and the constant threat of rattlesnakes make plain-aire work more punishing than I had anticipated. I've had two very close encounters with rattlesnakes already, not to mention two other encounters that were less death-defying. Really shoulda gotten bit the second encounter when I didn't see him till after I'd stepped over him (literally) and Sonia cried out. I couldn't see the first one. He was in the shrubbery next to the trail (next to my left foot) at a switchback. He rattled his eerie rattle and I crept away, moaning and whimpering like a four-year-old. Coulda-shoulda got bit both times, really. Getting my nerve up to get paintings started in pre-dawn light, but breakfast at Wimbledon has become irresistible. And our balcony (from which The View West was painted) is shaded and snake-free. That's Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans (tallest in the state) we see on the horizon.

Begonia Afloat (oil on canvas, 22" X 28")

Wild Ride (oil on linen, 16" X 20")

Dome and Pines (oil on linen, 20" X 16")

Painter's perch across the canyon from the Dome

Begonia just below the summit of Mt. Bierstadt

Painter on lead, North Table Mountain

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Adirondack Sojourn

I arrived to Keene Valley for Memorial Day weekend and to celebrate my mother's birthday. Various paintings from last summer greeted me in various states of incompletion or unsatisfactory completion. Filled with fresh mountain spirits, I knew just what to do and in a flurry of inspiration during a stretch of rainy days I repainted one after another, mostly heightening contrasts of values and hues and outlining forms to lend heft and a more sculpted presence.

Pool of Yesterday's Tomorrows, 20 X 16"

Ann's Young Pine, 48 X 24"

Awaiting Irene, 12 X 24"

Batholith Ablaze, 24 X 36"

Brook Nymphs, 12 X 24"

Chapel Pond North, 16 X 20"

Northern Hourglass #1 (Chapel Pond), 24 X 36"

Northern Hourglass #2 (Chapel Pond), 40 X 60"

And these are some new incomplete projects started that week.

Harry's Watchers with Marcy, 22 X 28"

Sunblast on Chapel Pond, 16 X 12"

I am in Denver, Colorado for June and July, getting my Western spirit revived and gearing up to rock out a Begonia-based series here.