The Sneffels Range in the Morning

Sneffels Mountains in the Morning

I got up very early to paint one last Colorado scene from a favorite viewpoint that includes the meadow, pond, and Sneffels Range. The lighting at dawn changes rapidly, and this sketch shows the sun as it lit up bits of the clouds, snow, and vegetation.

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Be Safe, Dear Cabin!

Be Safe, Dear Cabin!

I have been at my brother’s cabin in Colorado for the past week. Even though it has been a wet year, fire prevention is always on everyone’s minds. Every year, the area close to the cabin needs to be raked clear of burnables such as pine needles, cones, and branches. This morning while the others were raking and burning the rubbish, I made a quick sketch of cleanup action. May all the work keep the cabin safe another year!

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The Meadow’s Edge

The Meadow’s Edge

The shapes of the juniper trees which line my brother’s meadow are delightful. I spent the morning trying to get them just right.

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Shortly Before the Thunderstorm

Shortly Before the Thunderstorm

I was standing in the woods painting as the color of the sky and forest began to change because thunderheads were forming. So I tried to capture the feeling of a coming storm.

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Leaving Canyonlands

Leaving Canyonlands

I had a good run painting at Canyonlands and this sunset is the last one I completed there. This compositional structure (buttes on both sides that contrast with interior canyons which recede into the distance) became on of my favorites. It somehow feels right that it is used in my first and last Canyonlands paintings.

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For Aunt Mary

Aunt Mary Rides that Final Wave

My father and his two sisters shared some wonderful characteristics. They delighted in their families, lived with intention, and got a chuckle out of the ordinary pleasures of their days.

Aunt Mary, who was the youngest and longest-lived, passed this morning at 96. I was influenced by her because I admired her spunk and the way she lived. She was a woman who used cloth napkins at each meal, climbed ladders to pick blackberries well into her eighties, read widely, enjoyed a good discussion, stomped her feet when she crossed a footbridge with her grandchildren so that the trolls who lived beneath would be too frightened to come out, swam in the icy waters of Tomales Bay, and had a cheerful word for all the many people who came her way. She was an architect and carried this orientation to design, structure, and optimization into her life. She loved her family, friends, profession, nature, swimming, and all the serendipity that gave her life zing.

Aunt Mary lived with joy and goodwill and will be missed by all of us who had the incredible fortune to know her. This painting is my interpretation of what happened to her as she rode that final wave into the universe this morning.

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Between the Buttes

Between the Buttes

The Canyonlands is a complex system of rocks, water, earth, and air. The landscape changes dramatically, depending on which mix of these elements is present. The greens here follow Indian Creek, and the yellows are dried grasses. I like the sweep of this particular combination from butte to butte.

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