October 26, 2014

WEstcliffe views- continued

After our morning of music with the Governor we broke for a quick lunch. Those who wished could gather at the Third Street Gallery. Curt Gillespie would lead us caravan style out to the Grape creek area on the east side of town toward the Wet Mountains. WE met around 1:00. The site to which we were going was on private propery. Let me say the SAG, Sangres Art Guild, gave us a map when we arrived with sites designated and named where local people would allow us to paint on their property.

The creek area had  a variety of scenery to choose from. It had streams, trees, shade, rocks, vistas with mountains and blue skies. So we wandered around searching out good spots. I found a place on a rock put up my easel, chair, and pastel boxes. I have a Heileman box as my main box, filled with mainly Terry Ludwigs, Schminke's and Senneliers  (all the wonderfully soft pastels). I also have boxes of nupastels and my prize Roches all divided into various value and hue groupings. Had to struggle to get my umbrella slanted just so to provide the shade I wanted. I wanted both my pastel surface -Wallis board. and my pastel box to be shaded. Finally, this did not go smoothly and took some time.

I began blocking in with nupastels, using primarily the complements of the hues which I saw. If I saw green I would use a variation of red. I blocked in 3 values primarily the deepest value, medium value and the lightest. Just as I was getting into the rhythm a gust of wind came up and turned my large box of pastels upside down on the ground. I now had many broken pieces of pastel with which to work and had to quickly reorganize my box and get myself set up. A plein air painter races the changing light and must just go with whatever the environment throws at them. I raced time and finally resolved some issues and finished. I had perhaps 2 hours of painting this view with my wrestling with my equipment.

Thus ended Friday. We were to select 3 of our  best pieces, frame them and bring them to the Third Street Gallery Saturday morning to be judged by Mark Daily. Saturday late afternoon awards were to be announced.
We finished our day as we began it- being serenaded by our singing cowboy as we ate dinner.

Westcliffe Arty adventures continued

We awoke to Friday- a day which we could, if we wanted, paint a model at the local train museum. But wait-- our location is changed to the Third Street Gallery-- Why?? Surprise Governor HIckenlooper is campaigning in the valley and what is happening? Art, Our event! Governor Hickenlooper is scheduled to come to the gallery in the morning to see the artwork we had completed in one day and to see us painting Tim our cowboy guitar, blues-playing model.
Also Tim was a Yoga afficianado and had interesting stories to tell as he modeled.
Then a little bit of a flurry occurred and in came Governor Hickenlooper and his crew. He walked around looking and chatting.
 When Gov. Hickenlooper saw Tim he said "Say I once had a guitar like that and I gave it to a college girl friend of mine"Here
"Well sure said "hick"", He took the guitar and truly began to play and regaled us with a rendition of 'Corina, corina".  What a Governor ,he won my heart.

More arty adventures to come!!

October 25, 2014

Discovering more Colorado Beauty

In early October an arty friend ,Jeanne, and I decided to try our luck at an Alla Prima event in Westcliffe. Neither one of us had been there before and it sounded like a cool event. We both knew of artists from the Denver area who had participated and we hoped were going to participate. A big plus was that Mark Daily was the judge, (he is a well respected artist from Denver).
We packed up our gear and headed out -http://www.sangresartguild.org/3rd-street-gallery/calls-to-artists/alla-prima-westcliffe-2014-prospectus/. Not knowing the wonderful beauty we were to encounter. What a treat!! Westcliffe is located between the Sangres de Cristos and the Wet Mountains. It is not on a well traveled highway but tucked away. So it has a simplicity and unspoiled beauty of a small town tucked in between 2 mountain ranges.
We took part in a 4 day event with 25 artists from across Colorado
and from nearby states as well (Kansas). What a find! Many artists had been participating year after year.
The town had an Arts Hullaballoo which included a parade on Saturday.
On Wednesday, our windy/rainy first day. We(Jeanne Echterenacht, Jennifer Riefenberg and myself)painted from inside the Third Street Gallery looking out. In the evening the event planners had us bowling and it was fun to meet up with the other artists who had been painting all over the valley before the bad weather started.

 Thursday we painted an old school house in the morning, which had been refurbished by the historical  society. An Amish carriage was pulled up outside by Stormy the stalwart and patient horse/model. We had sun  it was windy and beautiful.

 In the afternoon I got another painting done and just in time as that evening was the "Wet Wall event". So called because those who painted in oil had paintings which were still wet. We artists had  brought a supply of empty frames with us and framed up our art to be shown that night at the Brookside Gallery.
 My Painting _ "School's Out". A little blurry as I took a photo in the gallery.

Jeanne's http://jeanneechternachfineart.com/wonderful painting won first prize. I had the fun of having one of my paintings purchased. It will be going off to Texas eventually. There is more to come--!!

October 14, 2014

More Plein Aire Arty Adventures

Continuing on in this past summer's plein air adventures.__ Working plein air is so important for my craft. Solving visual problems in a 2 or 3 hour sign is invigorating. It forces me to  make rapid decisions, because the light is changing, and I learn  to trust my artistic judgement about color and line.
Last year Henry Meininger offered his ranch to the painters enrolled in the Colorado Plein air event. I was unable to take advantage of his offer because I was out of town. I heard it was a good event and looked forward to being able to participate this year.
Henry Meininger and his store Meininger's is well known in Denver. His store is the primary art supply store in Denver. Henry donates and supports the artistic community in many ways. One way is to offer his families cabin for a day of painting. The land which surrounds the cabin offers so many interesting views.
Artist's Painting a view

There are rock walls,(nature formed), rushing icy water, meadows and forest views. We artists wandered around locating where we would like to plant ourselves for a 3 hour stint.

Some artists found the color they wanted near the parking area. 

I found my view across the lane from Henry's and through the trees. I can't wait for next year and I would love to tackle those stones and water. Unfortunately for us gray clouds , wind and sprinkles halted our afternoon plans. All in all a glorious day in the life of a sometimes(fair weather) plein aire painter.

September 5, 2014


I continue to attempt to take a true photo of my art work. Yesterday I tramped around the garden with a sheet draped over a ladder. I finally found a good location in a shady area. The most success of the day.  I read a very interesting article this morning in FASO on my quest http://faso.com/fineartviews/80108/i-need-a-good-photo-of-my-artwork and thought to share it with you all in case you have the same quest.
So here is my more successful effort as well as a slightly modified piece of art work.

So this pastel which I entitle- "There is Gold in Them Thar Hills" is going to be on view somewhere in the Colorado State Capitol. I entered it in the "Honoring the Capitol Dome Exhibition" and received notification that it was accepted. It will be on view from the first of October until March 15. I am needless to say honored and delighted.
Ah I would like to make a slight change in some information I gave on an earlier post about the discovery of gold in the state of Colorado. My historian husband noticed I said the discovery of gold here was about 100 years ago. In fact it was around 155 years ago.
I will let you know where this piece goes as  time progresses. So tomorrow it goes to the framers!

September 4, 2014

Venturing Out

Yesterday was one of those glorious days to be a Plein Aire artist. So my friend Sherri and I took advantage of it and headed out to the beauty  of Castlewood Canyon.
 I was first introduced to Castlewood Canyon this past July. I attended a workshop given by the artist Albert Handell and this is one of the locations we ended up painting. Albert loves rocks and his shared love gave me a renewed appreciation. The other bonus was to learn about the beauty of and existence of Castlewood Canyon on the start of the eastern plains near Castle Rock Colorado. It is a National Park and really quite a wonder. My friend Sherri bought a National Park Pass and we took advantage of that wonderful day to paint.
This is a photo on top of the region before the rim of the Canyon. These pines are tucked in around and on top of the Canyon.

 This is the 18"x12" Pastel which I made of the spot where we were.  We were on top of the canyon under some pine trees. We caught a lovely gentle breeze,just enough to keep us cool while we painted.

Here is Albert giving a demo in oil . He works both in oil and pastel. I will include a link so that you can have an opportunity to see his work. I found him a very good teacher and would highly recommend him to you. He is very knowledgable and has a wealth of good info for the working artist.

September 2, 2014

Ritual , lost and Found

I woke this morning to read a post from my friend and fellow artist Jeanne Echternach http://jeanneechternachfineart.com/blog/80391/day-1-of-30. Ah it inspired me for my own personal challenge. 
I am a pastellist, sometime blogger, always wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother!, gardener, reader, traveler-- you get the idea!! Now I thought I will do a painting a day this month. Great challenge, --but I won't be around my stuff every day this month. I will be thinking about and building my art practice and I thought I can take that challenge and post that.
So yesterday I finished a pastel and spent the day trying to take my best photo of it. Some say photo it in the bright shade- some say NEVER in the bright shade but always in the bright light.
 Some say with white behind it. So if you were walking by my garden yesterday , you might have seen me leaning  a 19 by 29 inch painting up against chairs, hanging it on walls, in the sun and shade and shooting the pastel with several different settings.
Finally I got one I liked.

This piece is about the Colorado Capitol Dome which has just been re gold- leafed. The gold came from the Cripple Creek mine and then was sent to Italy where it was made into gold leaf.  Most of last year or rather the past 2 years the dome has been shrouded in plastic and fabric as the gold was applied. Now it is on view in all of its glory. Rather perfect for  a state which largely came about for the gold found in its hills about 100 years ago.
Check out more of my pastels at cbuschmannart.com
Hopefully my new ritual will be reporting daily on my art practice, ideas, thoughts and adventures!!
Posting Ritual #1


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