December 29, 2010

One last Atelier Voyeuristic Peek

Prior to the Winter Solstice when the days were the shortest of this year, and I and probably you were running about attempting to be "in the spirit"and making the best use of ones time and energy, I stopped running and visited a studio of a fellow artist friend.  Jeanne was having an open studio, showing her work and place of work. Jeanne Echternach is a generous artist who lives in the southern end of Denver.  Her studio has superlative double views- one of the Rocky Mountain Range and the other of the skyline of Denver.
I recall when Jeanne began her dream of creating her studio and increasing her artistic output. She has done both, now let me show a few shots of her studio and some of the work in her studio.
Jeanne's paintings can be seen at her website and at The Framed Image Gallery in Denver and the Colorado Mountain Gallery in Georgetown, Colorado.

December 13, 2010

Balancing Act

This is the season when I can feel like I am trying to balance as delicately and precisely as the young woman in Picasso's "Acrobat on a Ball" ,1905.
It is the time of the Solstice the days are shorter and our/my lists are frequently longer. Today I have my feet poised before I go gliding off into the week BEFORE-- All the fun! For a little present look to the right side of this blog and check into the blog labeled "Rough Ideas". The artist Catherine White has found the energy to share her thoughts about Solstice in a drawings, and clay, for each day of the Solstice. I am inspired, which, of course - this season is about.

November 14, 2010

Artist Michelle Torrez, master oil painter represented by Saks Galleries...

Last month a remarkably colorful exhibit occurred at Saks Gallery here in Denver. Although it is over and another cool exhibit is mounted (more about that in a coming post) I couldn't let the month go by without giving you the opportunity to hear Michelle Torrez talk about how she thinks about color. Take a moment and listen to Michelle and then look at some of the images she has created with her passion for color.

Artist Michelle Torrez, master oil painter represented by Saks Galleries...

November 10, 2010

The First Snow!

"The snow came down last night like moths 
 Burned on the moon; it fell till dawn,
 Covered the town with simple cloths."
by Richard Wilbur from "First Snow in  Alsace

Not to worry, we have had many a snow in the High Country. It is here below the foothills where we have had extended summer - we got SNOW! Then of course we had immediate melt, just as we do here in Colorado. It was the melt that was so dazzling and diamond-like, and I wanted to share this sight with you.
Do you see the icy pearls?
Ah the yellow, the sun, the shadow- tonight we get more snow. At last November is here!

November 3, 2010

Bringing the Outside In

Starting in September as the promise of leaves turning occurs I begin to bring inside objects from outside. A friend sent these 2 lovely pattypan squash. What beautifully formed phantomes they have been sitting next to the Cinderella pumpkin, rescued from the garden. Then came the glorious fall we are currently experiencing and in came branches and color.

Looking at all this glorious color made me turn to look at some of my favorite artists who were also inspired by Autumn's which they experienced.
"Pont de Charing Cross-Vers 1906",Huile sur toile, Andre Derainm Musee d'Orsay, Musee d' Orsay
"Restaurant de la Machine, a Bougival-1905", huile sur toile, Maurice de Vlaminck, Musee d' Orsay

These artists brought us IN to the world they interpreted OUTSIDE. Coming up next week will be an exhibition of Colorado plein aire artists Once again you will have an opportunity to look at the OUTSIDE and bring it IN.

November 1, 2010

Round ripe autumn shapes

I've been looking at the shape of things this Autumn. I've been especially motivated as I'm working with a group of 5th graders helping them to focus on shapes and how artists use shapes as they make their art.  all October I kept noticing round shapes and took photos of them. Before November marches too far along I want to share some round things.
The first round shape I noticed was the beautiful round shape of the fig.

Can't you imagine these lovely colors used in a dining room for wall If I were Donna Frasca of I could quickly tease 3 major colors which could be used in your interior. Check her out to see her magic.
I however looked at these luscious figs and made a fig clafouti. Because I knew my friend Eugenie (who reads this blog) would ask "What is a clafouti ?" I am going to include a recipe and pictures.  You need 16 to 18 small and/or medium figs. I like a variety. If you have medium ones you halve them, or if you have large ones you quarter them and set them aside while- you bring
 marsala wine, 1/4 cup
and 1/4 cup of brown sugar,
plus 2TBSP water to boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let your figs soak in the liquid for 15 minutes,turning them.
While the figs are soaking, preheat an oven and butter a baking pan. Use either a round 12" or rectangular 12"x18". I of course used neither mine was square.
Now you make the batter. Combine in a mixing bowl- 1 cup milk
                                                                                       1/4 cup heavy cream ( remember this is French)
   1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    3 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/8 tsp salt
     2/3 cup flour sifted
     Beat w/an electric mixer until frothy, about 5 minutes.
Pour enough into the baking dish to the bottom about 1/4 inch. put in the 350 F oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully arrange the figs evenly over the batter. It is fun to vary them some up, others down, etc.. now pour the remaining batter over and around the figs. Bake the clafouti until the batter is puffed and brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes more at higher altitudes. Serve warm from the oven and you might sprinkle it with powdered sugar.       Tiens Voila! 
It is quite delicious. I think I will save my other round observations for my next Post. 

Right now I am going to have a little piece of warm clafouti -ummm!

October 27, 2010

Celebrating Autumn, Exposition, Exhibition

"12x18", "Tournesol, Nature de Mort"
One of the best flowers to herald fall are sunflowers and Friday, October 29 is the opening of a "Sunflower Invitational". It is here in Denver at Aum Gallery which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  Just a peek at some sunflowers which I will have on display.
8" X11", "Backyard Sunflowers"
These are teases as there are many more.  On both sides of the street galleries are celebrating 20 and 25 years of success. Fridays are good art nights in Denver.  5PM to 8 PM, at York and Colfax.

October 20, 2010

Pierre Bonnard

Felicitations to a Colorist!

Growing up drawing and looking at line was encouraged and important in my family life. I lived in the middle of the country surrounded by strong winds, extremes of temperature and closeted by familial love. Museums of great art were not in my landscape. Dreaming was encouraged, looking in books at pictures and actually creating ones own observations. The artist whose original art I saw was that of the Swedish artist Berger Sandzen. His painting and prints were hung in every local school of my home town. They were a part of the background through which I moved.
As you can see from this painting Sandzen was well identifed as a colorist. I absorbed these colors and didn't realize until much later how this work was to lay the groundwork for the love of color. When I was a college student I finally went to a major art musem the Nelson Museum in Kansas City. It was not until I went on an arty trip with fellow lovers of line and color to the Chicago Art Institute did I bump into a resounding colorist and fall hopelessly in amazement and admiration. We took the train up from KC to Chicago and went on a walking/awakening tour of the architecture of Chicago, we went to the print room of the Chicago Art Institue and looked closely at original drawings and prints. But it was not until I walked into an exhibit of Pierre Bonnard's work did I understand how much I valued emotional and expressive color.
"The Breakfast Room". (c.1930-31) Oil, 62 7/8 x 44 7/8 ". The Art Institute of Chicago, Clyde M. Carr Fund

Did you notice the  size, the color and yet the intimacy which draws you in to Bonnard's world?  Well this is the birthday month for Pierre Bonnard. I will during the course of this month bring you more opportunities to look at the beauty created by one of my favorite artists.

October 13, 2010

Autumn Found!

   Wandering around Westerly Creek in Stapleton I bumped into new evidences of Autumn and some new sculptures which I will share with you. These late sunflowers which I spied are those old wild Kansas sunflowers. They hang on some of them until after the first snow and can be found even in alleys growing between cracks.  They are tough and hardy.

I know, I know everyone else wants the autumns with changing leaves I am  drawn to grasses and vistas. Above is part of a series of concave terra cotta forms which have been arranged over 3 or 4 acres in groups of 5, 3 or more. Their color and rough exterior enhance the land, I will have to find out who the artist is that created them. To me they seem a good choice for this land which not only tolerates bipeds and their pets during the day but the wily coyote and the ungrateful prairie dog. So here is the beginning of Autumn for me and it seems I am not alone as I spied other autumn admirers looking at the land and the vista that day.

October 6, 2010

Searching for Autumn

I know it has been awhile since my last post. I have been searching for Autumn. Even though the light did become a little softer it is still very warm.  I visited my friend Bev and her husband to see the color and light play around their garden. They are two colorist's and are always thinking of new ways to engage the eye in their garden.
Do you think this blue bird has seen the colors of Autumn in his garden?
                                                                                                                                                                                       Here in nooks and crannies color has been tucked. So that as you walk you can spy red, teal, green in a myriad of shapes.
If you look up you can see the studio beckoning through the leaves.
Color is found painted on pots and on eyes that watch you as you walk through the garden.

September 19, 2010

That Golden Glow

Summer ended with a golden kiss of promise. That kiss for the future was imbued in the ochre light of the autumn which was coming on. 
Ochre like love is an ancient color and has been used by humans since the earliest of times.  In a cave in northern Australia predating the caves of  Lascaux yellow ocher was used. Since Neolithic times humans have made yellow to describe, and symbolize their days. In Pharonic Egypt, yellow was used to depict the sun, gold, and to differentiate the complexion of female from male in sarcophagi. In 2500 BC the Egyptians developed a yellow color called an  orpiment a natural yellow pigment derived from arsenic sulfide. This wonderful warm dangerous golden tone was used by the Greeks and many other cultures.  Cennino Cennini warned painters not to soil their tongues with this dangerous paint. Finally its use was banned in the 19th century. So then in trying to capture golden tones, Naples yellow, a color which contained lead was invented, Rubens used  it when he painted fleshtones.
Venus at a Mirror, 1651, Liechtenstien
All over the world ancient peoples worked on capturing that golden glow. Cosmos and dahlias were used by the Aztecs to create a dye, Turkey used chamomile, western Africans the kola nut and golden rod was used by some native Americans. Then of course that essence from crocus pistils, saffron makes the most expensive yellow dye of all. 
This color,  yellow, which I associate with September and the heralding of fall in the Rocky Mountains,
Steamboat Spgs, Colorado, Fall 2009
is a color I will be watching as it unfolds  in the topmost trees of our urban forest in Denver and reaches high to the tallest peaks of Colorado. What better way to herald the passing of the sun and its embrace of the land than in the golden warmth of young promise.

September 8, 2010

The Best Weekend Ever! Part 1

Since December when my daughter Johanna became engaged,( You can check this out at a slow rhythm has been building and it finally came to a crescendo last weekend. A beautiful crescendo- Nature obliged and the hot muggy weather, that part of Kansas can have- on Labor Day weekend - never occurred. Instead still, calm quiet graceful days unfolded into a beautiful family occasion for a celebration for a young couple with a fresh and open style.
We all assembled at The Circle S Ranch
It was a family affair, cake and pie stands were donated by family and friends.

Pies made by family members, Jams made with Colorado fruit by me, decorative swags sewn by Johanna and hung by all. Flowers were locally grown and decorations made and donated. So this post is about the ambiance and a later post will be more about the event.
                               Flowers were picked from the roadside and used to decorate the altar.  
 While the Bridal  Party got ready and photographers prepared to take photos family members hung out, talked, played croquet, bocce, badminton and enjoyed the day.
The Bridal Party
The Groom, Ryan and Bride Johanna and Bridesmaid Kate (sister of the Bride)
The Bride and Groom


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