Spring in the Indian Peaks

cdiivide Twice a year my favorite art shop has awesome sales. I came across this huge 24×48 canvass about 2.5 years ago and it was a bit of an impulse buy. It’s not very often that you find a canvass this big for under $50.

Buy now, find inspiration later.

This canvass has seen 3 different starts. First it was going to be the golden gate bridge as a gift for someone. Then I realized that was stupid and gessoed over it. Then I started a black and white piece of snowboarders hiking a ridge at silverton. That sat for almost a year and a half before I broke out the gesso again.

I found my final inspiration after completing Indian Peaks Campsite. I really liked the simplistic, almost cartoon-esque feeling, that small piece had. I decided that I wanted to do a bigger version like that and really push myself out of my usual aesthetic. I tend to do very detailed, realistic pieces– usually working too close to the canvass. But with this large of a canvass I couldn’t allow myself to do that. I wanted to focus on brush strokes and movement in this piece and not get caught up in the fine details. It was more about the journey and less about the destination. Now I just need to find wall space big enough to hold it.

Third time’s the charm.

Spring in the Indian Peaks. 2015. acrylic on canvass. 24×48

Working Small

Most paintings require multiple days or weeks to complete and sometimes most of the time I am just too impatient. Sometimes I just need to feel like I’ve accomplished something and that I’ve exercised my artistic muscle.  I’ve discovered the best way to accomplish both those things is by doing mini paintings. I found some awesome little 4×4 canvasses at Michaels and some old canvass sheets that I can use for painting practice.


Summit County Aspens. 2014. 4×4.

mini wilson

Mini 14er. 2014. 4×4. Christmas gift for my mother.

Pitkin tent

Indian Peaks Campsite. 2014. 4×6.

Maroon Bells Unfinished

The Maroon Bells are probably the most photographed peaks in Colorado so when I decided to do a painting of them, I was pretty much setting myself up for failure. Not only is everyone familiar with what they’re supposed to look like, but just the nature of the rock face is really hard to paint. After a certain point, I realized that I was free to take artistic liberties with it.

mb undone

I started from the top of the canvass and worked my way down. I liked the way the paint met the canvass on the right side so I thought I’d leave it for a while as I filled up the left side. After completing the left side (and after getting really sick of painting trees) I decided to leave it as is. I tend to make pieces too realistic at times, and I thought it’d be nice to mix realistic with artistic. I thought maybe I’d “finish” it after taking a few weeks away, but after letting it hang on my wall for a month I’ve decided to leave it.