"Where the Wild Things Grow", oil on canvas panel, 5x7 © Nelia Harper
Where the Wild Things Grow

During a trip up the Cache la Poudre Canyon, I came across this field filled with aspen trees.  Although I wasn’t able to paint it that day, I knew a return trip was in order and soon the opportunity arrived.

Upon my return, the small aspen grove had filled wildflowers.  As I set up my easel and began to paint, I felt as if anything could stumble up out of the river or through the grove of trees.  While it would most likely be a deer, I couldn’t help but think of the children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are” and my imagination went wild.

oil on canvas panel, 5×7

painted en plein air

$125.00 Add to cart
"Bobcat Oasis", Oil on Canvas Panel, 12x16, © Nelia Harper
Bobcat Oasis

How many times have I pulled on my backpack and headed for a nearby park to hike, think, look and ponder?   Whether I have a lot on my mind, or I just feel the need to get out into nature, Bobcat Ridge Open Space is a ‘go-to’ spot. There, I am free to wander, wonder and ease back into myself.

As I painted this cottonwood against the backdrop of the hogback, I thought of napping under the tree or having a picnic lunch.  I reflected on the number of hikes I have taken through this park, and how it has become an oasis for my spirit, as well as an opportunity to connect with nature and myself.

oil on panel, 12×16

en plein air

$450.00 Add to cart
Sold
"Peach Study" 5x5, Pastel, © Nelia Harper
Peach Study in Pastel

I’ve been looking forward to summer and doing a peach study in pastel for a larger painting.  Each year, Morton’s Organic Orchards sets up their fruit stand at the nearby farmer’s market. They begin with cherries that are so deep and dark in color, flavor and sugar that I feel ‘drunk’ after just a few morsels.

Following on the heels of the cherries, the peaches arrive. Clingstone peaches appear first – small and sweet. Then, giant freestone peaches arrive by the truckload, covered in peach fuzz. They line up, ready to be turned into pies and jams and in my case, ice cream and smoothies.

These little orbs of sweetness are surprisingly solid. I wanted the viewer to feel as though they could be picked up and held, as well as eaten.

pastel, still life, 5×5

$65.00 Read more
"Tributary", Oil on Canvas Panel, 16x12, © Nelia Harper
Tributary

I have driven by this area countless times and never knew a gem was hidden away.  We started the day at the break of dawn.  From camp, we drove a short distance from our campsite, and hiked out to see what we could see.  Following what I later learned were skunk track, I fell in love with this picturesque spot.

The sun was just coming up over the cliffs and began to filter through the trees. I listened to the hum and throb of the water, and watched the light shift and change, as I painted a perfect summer day.

oil on canvas panel, 16×12

en plein air

$425.00 Add to cart
"Across the Pond" oil on panel, 9x12 © Nelia Harper
Across the Pond

There are hidden gems everywhere.  At a regular painting spot, the calm water created a perfect opportunity to paint this red barn reflecting off the water.  The trees were in full summer foliage, creating a perfect pastoral scene…water, mountains, trees, a red barn, everything a painter could want!

oil on canvas panel, 9×12

completed en plein air

$250.00 Add to cart
"Fall Glory" oil on canvas panel 9x12 © Nelia Harper
Fall Glory

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.

Oil on canvas panel, 10×8

completed en plein air

$225.00 Add to cart
Fall Afternoon, Oil on Canvas 8x10 © Nelia Harper
Fall Afternoon

Each fall the trees beckon.  “Come and paint me”, they call.  “Look at how beautiful I am.  Do you see how inviting it is in the cool shade of my canopy?”  Inspired by a plein air painting session at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area just outside Fort Collins.

Oil, 8×10

$225.00 Add to cart
"Beside Still Waters" Oil on Canvas 8x10 © Nelia Harper
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.

Oil, 8×10

en plein air

$225.00 Add to cart
Follow Cow Creek, oil on canvas, 16x20 © Nelia Harper
Follow Cow Creek

It was a cool brisk morning in early spring. The snow had melted and the sun was shining down. The promise of summer was in the air. After a long hike, I returned to this scene. The light was perfect.

“Follow Cow Creek” was part of the “100 Years of the National Parks” juried art show in Estes Park, CO in 2016.

oil on canvas panel, 16×20

$650.00 Add to cart