Aspens

I’ve recently realized that Aspens are a lot of fun to paint. They’re a good subject to keep me preoccupied between bigger projects and they’re easy to try out new styles with.

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Up through Aspens. 2015. Acrylic on Canvass. 11×14

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Aspens Color. 2015. Acrylic on canvass. 8×10

Christmas Commissions 2015

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The Superman Years. 2015. Acrylic on canvass. 12×12.

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Becky’s Pup. 2015. Acrylic on canvass.

Commissioned pieces are hard enough, but those that hold sentimental value create even more pressure. I hope I did these some justice.

Copper Peeking

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.

copper peek sketch

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.

Copper peak Copper Peeking. 2015. acrylic on canvass. 20×24

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.

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Summit County Aspens. 2014. 4×4.

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

Pitkin tent

Indian Peaks Campsite. 2014. 4×6.

Rediscovering the Ballpoint pen

Since I’ve still been struggling to find motivation and patience to start a new painting, I’ve at least satiated my hunger for making art by sketching. To make things more challenging (yet a good exercise) I’ve been sketching with ballpoint pen (and even at one point a sharpie). That way, when I screw up, I have to figure out how to work with that misplaced line/shadow/splotch rather than letting the left side of my brain take over and erase that “mistake”. Work with what you’ve got!

I’ve been doing ballpoint pen sketches here and there for a couple months and I just kept adding them to my previous post about sketches. Since that was starting to get a bit long I decided to create this new post for your viewing pleasure:

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Never Summer. 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

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BroLine. 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

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Smitten Kitten. 2014. Ballpoint pen on paper

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ABasin. 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

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Indian Peaks Tent. 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

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Untitled Skier. 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 8×11

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Snowboard Chick. 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

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View from Copper. 2015. ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

Keep checking back because I’ll inevitably just add more pictures to the end of this post rather than writing a new one each time.

Christmas Paintings 2013

As I’ve gotten older, (and perhaps a bit more Boulder-esque) I’ve grown to appreciate holidays for spending time with family/friends and not the commercial aspect. Don’t get me wrong– I like giving gifts, but now I prefer to make gifts as to buying things since it means a whole lot more.

This year’s lot:

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Gift for my Brother: Frankenstein and His Bride. 2013. Pencil on paper. 9×12.

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Gift for my future sister-in-law: Cat’s Squirrel. 2013. Acrylic on Canvass board.

This squirrel was actually was a lot of fun to paint! I poured myself a glass of wine (or two) and just went to town. Using a lot of paint on my brush I acted fast to be able to blend colors on the canvass. I love how this one turned out because it’s more “artsy” than my usual work.

Vance

Gift for my sister and brother-in-law: Sir Vance. 2013. Acrylic on canvass. 9×12.

I always love painting in black and white and enjoy it even more when it’s doing the folds of clothing. I heard how much my brother-in-law loved Carl so I knew I had to do a piece like that for Christmas, except with their cat, Vance.

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Flatirons. 2013. Acrylic on canvass sheet. 18×20 (?)

 I’ve always wanted to paint the flatirons, but have never had the motivation to attempt them. They may look simple, but are actually very challenging especially since I see them every day and haven’t perfected painting rock yet. I thought the flatirons would be a good choice as a gift for my parents. Perhaps it’ll motivate them to visit some time.

 

When Bored, Make Art

We’ve been slow at work. Normally when bored at work, I peruse the internet looking for inspiration. Last week I decided that a better idea would be to exercise my skills and sketch. So I grabbed some scratch printer paper, a bic pen, and a couple pictures I plan on painting eventually.

coffee sketch

“Ridge line Scout” 2013. Ballpoint pen on paper

Krieg hike

“Colorado Daydream” 2013. ballpoint pen on paper.

Rossy

“Skier’s Climb”. 2013. Ballpoint pen on paper

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“Skinning” 2013. Ballpoint Pen on paper.

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“Powder Trees” 2014. ballpoint pen on paper. 8×11

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“Summit Selfie” 2014. Ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

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February Daydreaming. 2014. Ballpoint pen on paper. 5×7

Stay tuned for more sketches and eventually paintings based on these pictures.

Reflecting on Sneffels

Ever since I saw a picture of Mount Sneffels, I knew I wanted to conquer it. Labor day this year, I finally got my chance. After driving all night long (roughly 6.5 hours from Boulder past Ouray into the San Juans) we reached as far as the truck was going to take us up the dirt mountain road. We stole an hour or two of sleep before starting our hike about 4:30am. The San Juan mountain range was unlike any other range I have previously adventured in and Mt. Sneffels has been, by far, my absolute favorite peak. It was intense and at times really scary, but it was the most exciting and the most beautiful yet!

 I figured it was only fair to share a couple pictures even though this blog is about my painting and not all my awesome mountain activities (if that were the case this would be updated at least once a week). 

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At one point during our return from the summit, I turned around to look back at the mountains behind us and I caught a reflection of a peak in the puddle we had just passed over. I immediately took a picture and then instagrammed it once I had cell phone reception.

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I knew I wanted to recreate that black and white photo from my hike, but I have a long list of paintings I need to complete before Christmas so paintings for myself have been set on the back burner. When I was back in WI in August, a family friend commissioned a piece of her grandchildren. I don’t know how I was convinced to take on this endeavor. I hate painting people. It frustrates me more than anything else, but I digress. I decided an outlet for the frustration caused by this portrait would be working on a side piece that would keep me happy i.e. the picture from Sneffels.

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I’ve got to be honest. The piece is called “Sneffels”, but the peak in this painting is not mount sneffels. It’s just some shorter peak that’s visible on the hike up to Sneffels.

I’m really happy with how this piece turned out. I love black and white and I love painting trees so it was a perfect piece to calm frustrations. The puddle was definitely the most intimidating part, but I’m proud of the finished work.

sneffels2013  Sneffels. 2013. Acrylic on canvass. 14×14.

Some Beaver Creek for Beaver Dam

I finished the second piece I promised my mother! I feel like I should pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate, except for the fact that I still have a hefty to-do list ahead of me and Xmas will be approaching faster than anticipated… and the minor fact that I don’t have a bottle on hand.

This time around, I decided to do a piece that would be truer to my “Across the Divide” collection and closer to my style than the previous piece I did for my mom. With that said, since it is more my speed, I have my toes and fingers crossed that she likes this one too. artist dinner

Some times I like to pretend that I’m channeling the great artists of the past when I have wine, cheese, and bread for dinner. This tends to be the best fuel for getting work done. I figure if it worked for Matisse and Van Gogh then maybe it could work for me, right?

yuki

Living in a new home means painting in a new environment. My roomie’s dog, Yuki, kept me company while painting over a couple saturdays and sundays. It was nice having a painting buddy… except for when she decided to get up and pant her stinky doggy breath right into my face

.BC3      close up ski

A close up of the little skier dude. Personally, I prefer snowboarding, but I couldn’t find any good snowboarder images to paint. I wanted someone in a fairly normal/easy position to paint proportionately as well as cool shadows to work with. So I ended up with this guy.

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“Beaver Creek Larkspur” 2013. Acrylic on Canvas. 18×24

Sending a piece of Colorado back to WI

So my mom has been asking for a piece for a while now. I haven’t been ignoring her request, but my mother and I have very different taste in art. She likes Thomas Kinkade. I personally can’t stand his stuff. I’m more into modern/abstract art. So I’ve been struggling with how to do a piece for my mother that 1. I don’t despise 2. I could enjoy doing and if I’m really lucky 3. reflects who I am as a painter. One sunday after conquering La Plata Peak (14, 336ft) I felt especially inspired and decided that painting a mountain peak could at least fulfill two of those requirements.

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Gathering up the colors to paint some Colorado autumn trees.

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After a few weeks of marathon painting and numerous glasses of Malbec I managed to cover the canvass.

IMG_20130718_204507 How do people keep track of their paintbrushes without a ponytail? A vast majority of the painting was done with maybe 4 different brushes. Rather than having them rolling around on the floor, getting lost, I’d stick them in my ponytail.

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20130719_083304 A close up of the Aspen trees in the lower right hand corner, where I also always sign my name once the piece is entirely finished. After an immense amount of time and frustration, I finally felt it was complete the night of July 18, 2013 (paint hit the canvass on June 30th).

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Fall beneath the Peaks. 2013.  Acrylic on Canvass. 20×24