Granby / Art: Retirement provides new canvas for painter
Sky-Hi Daily News
The lively colors of artist Berta Post’s canvases are the focus of a reception in her honor at the Streamside Art Company tonight in Granby. The public is invited to meet the artist and enjoy her oils and acrylics.
“I believe color is my strength in painting,” said Post, who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. An uncle who lived in the cultural town of Taos, N.M. was also an oil painter who studied the masters and encouraged her interest early on. Now in her sunset years, which seem as vibrant as the Western landscapes she captures on canvas, retirement from what she said was “an interesting career in another field” has made it possible to return to art as her “primary interest and passion.”
Post loves the depth of color that oil painting allows, but she has also worked with pastels and said she enjoys that medium for figurative work. She has also studied art history to “quite an extent and continue my desire to learn.” Most recently, she’s been attending a life drawing class at the Colorado Academy of Art in Boulder and “find pencil and vine charcoal excellent choices” for that.
The Boulder resident has been a frequent, “happy visitor” of the county, with her daughter living in Winter Park for almost 30 years.
She said several areas in Colorado inspire her, with Grand County “being tops among them.” Other inspirations come from the work of artists Mark Rothko and Joaquin Sorolla, which Post says are “very energizing” and that she also admires “many of the young Western artists working today.”
A friend has described her style as “intuitive” and Post said she guesses “that’s a pretty good description.” She likes to work alla prima, finishing a work in as close to one sitting as possible. If it takes more than one day, she feels the painting gets overworked.
“I prefer ‘suggesting’ shapes rather than fine detail,” she said. “I do, however, appreciate all styles and the work of traditional and representational artists.”
Her paintings capture the life of flowers (especially tulips and irises), mountain and Western scenes, the light and serenity of many beaches and shorelines, and she has, of course, painted all five of her grandchildren (at play rather than in portraiture).
She also has gathered inspiration and motivation from several trips she’s taken, including one to Italy. Most recently she returned from a trip to Ireland where she was “especially taken with wanting to do paintings of the sheep and animals in the fields.”
Next on her travel docket is a trip to Maine, where she hopes to see some lighthouses and seagrass-strewn beaches.
She can’t say that she has a favorite subject matter, usually painting what interests her at the time she sits down at her easel. Oft times, although it can sometimes be a challenge, she’ll switch back and forth from realism to abstract. Most all her work averages around 11 x 14 with the abstracts and landscapes usually lending themselves to larger formats.
To continue what she learned from her uncle, she hopes to pass along her passion for art to at least her oldest grandchild who has shown some artistic talent, “and I hope others will be interested as well,” she said. Post said she always wanted to teach and she currently is working with two oil painting students.
The accomplished artist imagines she’s created around 300 or so paintings, saying someday she hopes to complete a list of those people who have a work of hers in their homes. She’s looking forward to the reception tonight and said she especially likes talking to the visitors about her work.
“Greeting friends and making new acquaintances is the most important aspect of the reception,” she said. “Hopefully, someone will like a painting enough to buy one.”
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