Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Rock" Star!

And the "tour la plein air" continues and if I don't hustle and keep up, I'm going to miss some great stories to tell you!!

I started my 1100 mile weekend road trip Friday afternoon when I headed to Boulder Mountain to hook up for a great weekend in the Bryan and SueLyn family cabin on Boulder Mountain.  With no phone or internet coverage, it is pretty secluded and remote.  Luckily, Jade had been keeping Doug company and giving Doug someone to talk to, who doesn't talk back, besides the cows and wild turkeys in the field.

Jade got some privileges that she normally doesn't get.  She got to go on a motorcycle ride tucked inside Doug's backpack and turned around so she was "sitting and facing" front!  With her head poking out of the back pack and the 60 mph winds blowing in her "smiling" face, Doug got many nods and thumbs up as he passed tourists traveling the Boulder mountain terrain.

She also thoroughly enjoyed being "perched" on the front porch holding ever so still watching for the slightest movement in the pine trees.  Watching her head jerk back and forth as she'd see movement from a squirrel or bird kept us in stitches.

I'd almost forgotten how much fun Doug and I have when we get together and we're not stressing about "getting stuff done" in the day-to-day routine.  Just chillin' and relaxing was great fun and we laughed all weekend!

His paintings reinforced his title of "Rock Star" literally.  He paints rocks like nobody's business!

"Modern Day Cowboy"
Love how he showed the magnitude of the mountains by putting in a vehicle driving along that skinny road.  A nice couple stopped to see what he was painting and sent him this picture they snapped of him along the way!  


"Base Camp"
Up on Boulder Mountain, the hunters are starting to scout out their places for the big hunt.  This is a typical sight on Boulder Mountain.  Love it!!!

"Boulder Roller Coasters"

The week of plein air painting ended with him receiving a "your-painting-is-ALMOST-the-best-painting-here Award!"  He was, however, fortunate to share one of the two "Merit Awards" with Clay Wagstaff for a close second!

There were some great painters there and we had a great time rubbing shoulders with them.  Listening to some great music, including some very talented locals, including the amazing Mecham Sisters, Quinn and Doneen Griffin, one of my favorite people and cousin, Raymond Shurtz, a playright and phenomenal singer, and fellow artist, Lynn Griffin, (and ALSO a cousin) and his lovely wife Judy.  Also congratulations to Bill Cramer who took home an honorable mention as well as the "artist's choice" award!  This is the painting Doug submitted for the competition.

"Eye Candy"
This painting was done in Torrey - Doug can't get enough of the red hills and desert. 

Here are a couple more paintings he did in Spring City - these are some that didn't make it home with him so he didn't get pictures.  Thanks to friends who sent them to us!  

"Numerous and Varied"

"Tractor Parking"

Doug and I finished our 1100-mile treks (going separate ways) as he headed back north to gather things for his Helper Workshop while I headed even further south to take a painting to Zion's for the Zion's Invitational which we BOTH will be able to attend the first week in November.  

I got to spend a day with my wonderful dad who lives in St. George.  We made the always-familiar trek to Mesquite for a prime rib dinner and dropped a few nickels in the machines!  As we leave, we always are reminded of a saying my grandmother used often!  With a sigh, and as if for a loss of words, "Well, that thare, there'll be some happy ones and some sad ones . . ."  This great phrase was used when referring to a wonderful Christmas morning, a devistating loss on the Price is Right, or at the end of a close Jazz game!  Grandma's sentences, whether the thought was finished or not, always ended in another sigh, a long pause, and then " 'n that thare . . ."  And that was the end of the conversation.  

So I'll stop for now  . . . and we'll talk soon . .  and . . . well . . . . . .  'n that thare . . .  see how that works, really, it's brilliant . . .  


PS - Love to have you share this post with others!  Links below to repost on facebook, twitter or email!  Thanks friends and family!  You're the best!  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wet Paint and the "Tour La Plein Air!"

Well the two weeks of separation brought a very fun weekend in Estes Park!  After picking me up at the Denver Airport, and a wonderful recommendation for dinner from the kind gentlemen sitting next to me, we enjoyed some fabulous food and shopping!  Seriously, Doug was so burned out from painting that he very willingly (but not overly enthusiastic) shopped with me up and down Elkhorn Drive and even carried my "goods" while we "milled around" the Art and Craft fair!  Bless his little heart!  

Doug had a very productive week--with not much else to do, due to a very slow internet connection at the quaint little hotel) so his routine was pretty much paint, eat, read and sleep!!  So here is some wet paint from Estes Park!  This first one is one of my favorites--click on it to see it bigger if you can.  The paint strokes are amazing.  I always say with Doug's paintings that they're a "buy one get one free" type deal!  It's a different painting from far away.  Almost photographic!  (he will not like me saying that!)  But up close, you see the big rich strokes and every stroke counts!  Not too many--just enough!


Next one was the wonderful Highwaty 36.   Every road leading into Estes Park is beautiful.  The rocks were amazing.  I'm from Southern Utah and I thought there were no other "cool" rocks around - but this has some pretty amazing stuff!  Every turn we made, I was wowed!  (Wesley, is that a word?  May I use it this once??)  haha  

"Highway 36"

And then our favorite little town of Ward, where last year we did the process painting and are still laughing about our experience there.  Great little town with a handful of people, a Sheriff (only because he wears a sheriff's hat) and I think, more dogs than people!  Notice the traffic jam there in the middle of town!

"Rush Hour in Ward"

The show in Boulder on Saturday night was great and Pearl Street in Boulder was a riot!  It's a "walking" street with lots of wonderful shops. ahhh, I was in heaven  Almost like a mall except it's outside!  The weather was perfect and the "kiosks" down the middle included dozens of college students sharing their talents for your "spare change!"  We enjoyed everything from violin music to juggling to a contortionist who "folded" himself into a small square box.  Crazy!!  

Thank you to Ron and Anne and the great staff at Earthwood Gallery for hosting such a great show!  The paintings looked amazing and we had a great "gallery stroll" crowd!  Thank you, especially, to some fabulous friends who made a great effort, some coming 70+ miles, to show their support--Lynn and Lyn, Amy and Rick, Cozan and Lonnie, and Lou and Maggie!  Thank you thank you for your support!!  Lynn and Lyn, hope you are enjoying Mt. Side Cohorts!!  

The weather was perfect.  We enjoyed being outside most of the day and took a great evening walk around Lily Lake, but hiking up the mountain at about 8,500 feet, I had to take a break about every 20 steps!  But amazingly so, everywhere we stopped was a gorgeous view which invited a candid phone shot by me!!  It took me five tries to get Doug into the picture!  hahaha   It was a perfect way ease a little bit of the stress of our lives--even if just for a weekend! 

The drive home started out by enjoying the beauty of the Park following a river for almost an hour.  Going through small towns was great, stopping for kettle corn and jerky from a "fruit stand!"

Then disaster struck!!  Unbelievable.  Like night and day.  Yes . . . we came to the dreaded turnoff that heads west and jumped onto I-80 and, well, the yawning began!  I curled up and found my pillow--sleeping peacefully until I was rudely awakened by a "whistling" windshield--which happens when winds are coming at you at 60 mph!  Well, the rest of the 8+ hour drive into the wind included my reading out loud--a new Harlan Coben book and doing crossword puzzles that I cut out of the pile of newspapers that had built up on my front porch!   We made it home without incident and found the house still standing and in beautiful order!  Thanks, boys! (and all the neighborhood who, I'm sure, were there to help eat the food in the fridge)  I love ya all!!    

Doug got 24-36 hours of "home" before jumping back in the Element and heading to Spring City for the plein air competition.  With phone service only available on the corner of Main and Center in Mt. Pleasant, we didn't get to talk much!  But Doug enjoyed his time immensely--some of the greatest people we know!  Big thanks to Susan Gallacher, one of our favorite painters, for a place to stay--thanks to Dorothy, our "adopted" sister, for a lunch-date for Doug, and great big thanks to Chris and Allyson Anderson for providing such "food of plenty" during the week!  You guys are an amazing support to the arts, and please know how much you are appreciated!  I'm sorry I couldn't have been there.  

Here are some of Doug's paintings from his stay.    

"Ebbs & Flows"

"Hit & Miss"

"Imaginary Boundaries"

So Doug's "tour la plein air" I totally made that up, seriously - it sounds so legit, huh? continues this coming weekend as he heads to Escalante - which is MY stomping grounds, by the way, where Doug is the husband to Jeanette Griffin!!  yeah, right, that ended about 6 years ago!  ugh!  I'm still not over it . . .  Hoping to see some of you down there.  After that, Doug goes straight from Escalante to Helper to teach his fall workshop!  Last workshop till next summer--if you need some motivation to paint through the winter, you better call me and get a spot!  Or call and tell me which painting above you can't live without!  Or  . . . just call me!!  Maybe say "hey, let's go golf!!"  I will love hearing from you for whatever reason!!  Have a fabulous week!!  

We shall talk soon!

and remember, this is all just from my perspective . . .