Art show to portray Colorado’s four seasons
Sky Hi News Intern
In a state where the unofficial motto is “if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes,” nine artists took on the challenge of capturing a moment in each of the ever-changing Colorado seasons. Opening at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, the “Four Seasons of Art” Show at the Elk Horn Art Gallery in Winter Park will display their interpretations of these scenes.
From portraying a snowy scene in the springtime to the challenge of catching aspen leaves changing color before the wind blows them away in our all too short autumn, the artists strive to capture what it means to be outside in Colorado.
The beauty of the show, explained Gary Coblentz who runs the Elk Horn Art Gallery, is that there weren’t any restrictions on specific painting theme or size – only that the artists each did four paintings, and that they represented the four seasons. This allowed the artists, who all paint landscapes, to freely choose what they would depict. It enabled the artists to pick something that stood out to them as beautiful, and gave them a medium in which to display their inspirations.
Tom Lockhart of Canyon City, Colo. finds inspiration most often from water. Water being such an important element in the west, he values the drama of it and, also, its ability to “invite the viewer” into the work. Being red/green colorblind, he faces a challenge in painting the seasons, and enjoys painting winter most.
However, his colorblindness never affects his passion for the outdoors, whether chasing aspens in autumn and avalanches in spring, or pulling over on the side of the road simply to catch water breaking through ice in a river.
When he finds something particularly inspiring, he will stay to paint it for a while, even in sub-zero temperatures. On a windy day, he’ll opt for a quick sketch to save for later.
Lockhart explained that people in Colorado take life at a different pace. In his work, he always strives to paint “beauty, relaxation, simplicity and that special moment that gives people peace.”
Karen Vance of the Winter Park area looks beyond the simple beauty of the scenery, thinking of the scene as a “vehicle for the orchestration of the [artistic] elements.”
Karen chose to paint the Grand County seasons rather than the calendar seasons, inspired by her local natural surroudings. In her summer painting, entitled, “Morning Chasing the Night Air,” Vance painted Byers Peak on an August morning, depicting the steady decline of summer’s warmth in favor of cooler days and incorporating the dawn’s quiet, foggy air.
Though she doesn’t typically have a theme as she begins a painting, focusing more on the technical aspects of the scene, occasionally she finds a deeper meaning when the work is complete.
In her large autumn painting, depicting a scene overlooking Stillwater Creek, she noticed that she had painted a few pine trees that had apparently withstood the pine beetle epidemic. With these trees, she felt that the painting had a larger meaning: survival. And with today’s economy, Vance explained, survival is a theme that resonates with everyone.
Beauty or technical elements aside, Granby’s Stacey Peterson has a simple answer as to why she paints landscapes: she loves the outdoors. Spending a lot of her time in nature, Peterson gains inspiration from the scenery she sees everyday.
Her autumn painting was painted from the Edgewater community on the outskirts of Granby, and the scene is complete with railroad tracks running through it. Peterson explained, she was just “captivated by how peaceful it was.”
To see the works by these painters and others, including Pem Dunn, Clive R. Tyler, Jake Gaedtke, Cydney Springer, Tricia Bass, and Lori Forest, join the Elk Horn Art Gallery from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m on Aug. 14 for the “Four Seasons of Art” opening. In addition to the opening, select artists will hold demonstrations on Friday, Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 14 in Winter Park.
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