Autumn brings splendor to the mountains of Colorado. The mount mahogany shifts to deep purple, the cottonwoods burst forth in gold and orange. The grasses pulse in waves of color. Set against the red sandstone hogback, fall creates a bouquet of color.
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Walk through the foothills of Colorado in the fall and the world alights in yellow, orange and gold. This pastel painting was inspired by a walk through Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. Located in the foothills of Fort Collins, I return again and again for inspiration and the display of fall color as the leaves turn from green to orange, yellow and gold.
Winner of the Guerilla Painter Award – 2016 Pastel Society of Colorado Mile High National Show
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
A simple moment caught in time. A young girl sings a song and twirls an umbrella. A cell phone camera captures the moment. That moment is shared among friends. The artist eye sees that moment and the urge to paint is there.
I can see the painting in my mind’s eye. “Sure!” Mom says. “I’d love to see you paint this!”
We talk about what the painting could be, i throw out some ideas. Then, back in the studio, I dive deeper into the image and realize that so much is said in so little.
Doggie in the Window
Located in the heart of France, there is a village built of red sandstone with roofs of slate, covered in lichen and moss. As I strolled through the village on a crisp fall day, I spotted this little “Doggie in the Window”. He was so excited and happy. He clearly wanted to come out to play.
Collonges la Rouge, France
A popular climbing area in Vedauwoo, Wyoming, Reynold’s Hill, a monolith of 1.4 billion year old granite, stands proud and strong. Surrounded by its court of lush aspen trees and meadows of willows, it reflects on its image in the still pool.
You Sing to My Spirit
Just as the sky began to lighten, I wound my way up the Thompson Canyon, and bounced over the well worn highway to the Wild Basin turnoff in Rocky Mountain National Park. Meeting other painters, we started up the trail with our 30 pound packs. About a mile in, the trail became steep and covered in snow. We carried on, and the reward was well worth the effort when we reached the tumbling Cascade Waterfalls.
Lazy Day at the Poudre
Not far from the city, along the Cache la Poudre River, there’s a fishing hole that’s popular with anglers seeking trout. Originating in the northern range of Rocky Mountain National Park, the ice cold water quenches the thirst of the residents along its path before joining the South Platte and traveling to the Gulf of Mexico. The water gurgled past, the trees were just beginning to turn, and I wished I’d worn my bathing suit for a quick dip in the river.
en plein air
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!
9×12, oil on panel