This view of the ten mile range is one of my favorite views from Copper Mountain ski resort. Every time I go to Copper, I take at least one picture of this view so it only makes sense to do a painting of it.
I started this piece in April 2015 and by June 2015, I hit a major painter’s block. Unable to decide how I wanted to complete this piece and unmotivated to figure it out I then let it sit, half completed, for an entire year until mid June 2016. After moving into a bigger home more conducive for painting, I was finally motivated to put my brush to canvass and once I made those initial strokes, the rest quickly fell into place.
I spent a lot of time at Copper Mountain this ski season and got a lot of inspiration. Now that the season is coming to a close I’ve had more time to recreate the views I enjoyed all winter.
This past week I received a promotion and therefore had an office to decorate. I really liked how my sketch (above) turned out and thought it would be a quick and easy piece to put on canvass to cover up a really ugly wall in my office. Considering I’ve been feeling a bit rusty and I did this whole piece in one sitting, I think it turned out well enough.
March was a rough month so I needed something to get me back on my feet. One tactic was running away to Copper Mountain as much as possible. Not only was the snowboarding great, but the views were fantastic. The weekend escapes definitely made for great inspiration.
The other tactic was finishing a painting. I wanted to do a smaller piece that wasn’t as highly detailed and just focus on the therapy of moving the brush around a lot. All in all this was a good exercise in preparation of some larger pieces in the future.
My Own Mountains. 2015. Acrylic on Canvass board. 8×10
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.
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.
I’ve gone back to my comfort zone (black and white) and I couldn’t be happier.
The best part about painting winter landscapes is working on capturing movement with brush strokes. This piece didn’t have as much movement as Whistler since it was more of a static scene, but I was still happy with how the snow and trees turned out. Trees have become a recent favorite of mine to paint, but the exposed rocks on the mountain ridge have proven to be a fun new challenge for me as well. It really makes me focus on shutting down my right brain and just letting the brush do what it may. It’s more about capturing shadows and highlights than trying to paint what a rock looks like. Meanwhile, trees are all about keeping the brush moving, using lines and the abstract to portray something real we see every day.
It took a while, but I finally managed to get around to finishing another piece for my Across the Divide collection. This time I mixed it up a bit with 1. color and 2. a non-winter piece.
The good thing about knowing tons of active Coloradans is the endless supply of inspiration. This fall I met a really fantastic group of adventurous spirits in Golden, CO. Not only did they inspire me to take on my own adventures, but they had some really great photos from their own trips that fell right into my wheelhouse of painting aesthetics.
The title came about from two different ideas. The most obvious reason behind the name is gear bag to the far left is the brand Black Diamond. The other reason gets a little more abstract: The hardest routes in snowboarding/skiing are labeled as black diamonds. The route this group is about to embark on isn’t the easy route, but they’re about to take on the hardest route, the black diamond.