There are places we return to paint again and again. This is one of those places. Away from the hustle and bustle of town, tucked behind the hogbacks, Bobcat Ridge is quiet and serene. Fall lingers here, holding onto color until this snow flies. Tucked into a curve of the road, the sun warms the earth and the leaves glow. The beauty of fall stands in proud glory.
10×8, oil on canvas
Beside Still Waters
Mist hung in the air. Clouds filled the sky. I rounded the corner, and was startled by the blaze of fall color. The trees seemed lit from within. I was drawn to the tumultuous contrast of rioting color against the mirror like smoothness of the river. As I painted, stillness hung in the air. Two fishermen worked their way up the Poudre River, calling out as they cast and caught fish. Completed en plein air.
8×10, oil on canvas panel
Next Stop: Feed and Grain – Loveland, CO
It was hot! At 9 am, the ambient temperature was already reaching 90+ degrees. I searched for a spot in the shade, where I could focus and not fry my skin. Spying a level, shady spot next to the train tracks, I setup and began to outline the lines and angles of the old building. Not long into the painting, a train roared past, carrying shiny new windmill blades. Where once we were fed by the trains that carried grain, now the trains carry windmills to feed our hunger for energy. Although abandoned, the building will soon undergo a renovation and be transformed into a home for artists and galleries.
Along my favorite hiking trails, I look forward to seeing particular trees. I’m drawn to their shapes, the curvature of their limbs, the shade they offer, or the feeling they invoke. Over time, I feel like I know them, and that they know me. I’ve had my eye on this particular bend in the trail. I like the way the tree leans over, toward the bridge and the rock, greeting those that pass. Just as people are unique in their character, so are trees. As I painted this tree’s portrait, I felt like I was painting an ‘Old Friend’.
en plein air
Fall Along the River
Watching fall arrive along the South Platte River in Colorado is a special treat. The water drifts past, placid and gentle. The cottonwoods shift from green to shades of orange and bright yellows. The grasses glow, almost iridescent in the sunshine. Yet, in the shade, the air is cool and refreshing. While sitting on a log, painting this scene, I watched flock of wild turkeys fly across the river, minutes later, a pair of doves drifted past. And, while I didn’t see them, I know that deer, beaver and muskrat are nearby, busily preparing for winter.
en plein air