Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Emerging from the Fog - Painting Trip to Telluride

Last week our little family went on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Telluride. It was no small thing, packing up and making the 6-hour drive, but we had already lived in Colorado for a month and still hadn’t been into the mountains! And those mountains… well, they were the closest I’ve ever seen to Switzerland in the U.S. They were breathtaking. It was just what I needed to help spur me back into painting, after taking over a month off for our move. I couldn't wait to do some plein air painting, even though I was really out of practice. I am most happy with the two paintings I did from our hotel balcony (below).

"Telluride Clouds" - 8x10 - Available

"Last Light in Mountain Village" - 8x6" - Available

I caught up with some Texas artist friends, Carol Devereaux and Suzie Baker, who were painting in the Telluride plein air event that week, and I made some new friends, too. Arkansas artist John Lasater was also painting in the event, and I met him at the artist reception (he is awesome - check out his work!). The next day, I had the opportunity to join him and his daughter for some nocturne painting. It felt strange, being out after dark. I can’t remember the last time I did that! It was even stranger trying to paint a nocturne, as I had never done it before and couldn’t see my colors. When John finished his painting, which was a beautiful rendition of Telluride's city lights from above, we went down into town to start another one. I painted alongside him, and had no clue what I was doing. His looked luminous and convincing; mine will definitely need some work in the studio to correct the values! But it was so much fun, and I loved talking art and faith with a like-minded person.

John Lasater  doing a nocturne painting (with my easel to the right)

The altitude affected all of us for the first couple of days, but Cece handled the trip really well. She enjoyed the hiking, since for her it meant riding high on Daddy’s shoulders. On Friday we even did a 9 mile hike! I didn’t have a pack, so my body handled it okay. Steve was exhausted though! :-)

Speaking of bodies… 14 months postpartum, I am finally starting to feel like my old self again. I knew that having a baby would change everything, but I didn't realize how long it would take to really make the adjustment. While parenting is a joyous and integral part of my life, I still find myself having days where I'm frustrated because I didn't get to paint as much as I wanted, if at all. Other artist-parents have advised me to paint a little, every day - fight for that studio time. I haven't followed that advice as much as I'd like, but as my daughter gets older, things get a little easier. I am beginning to emerge from the fog and find my bearings again. The hard part is to stay motivated, with projects that keep me interested and passionate. Whenever you take a big chunk of time off from something, it's hard to get back into it. But I must. Art is ingrained in my being, and I have to keep painting, no matter how "rusty" or unmotivated I feel.  

It will help to have my new studio completely unpacked and set up for painting (which will be soon, hopefully!). I stretched and primed a bunch of new canvases, so I have no excuses now! :-)

New works coming soon. Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip.



  1. Clouds!! I love your clouds!! That's some nice red on the mountains, too.

  2. Also, yes it really does get easier as they get older. Except that it is a constant reminder that you are getting older too.... I'm a single mom by myself with no family, I work full time, this has always been my parenting experience. And I will never ever stop painting. I'm a lot slower than I would like, and motivation is in very short supply, but there will always be room for paint and a child. You are amazing, don't beat yourself up for anything, ever. It takes AT LEAST one entire full year for our bodies to return to pre-pregnancy. And by that time the kid is walking and you have to rearrange your house and run after them constantly. You are superwoman and you have a lot of support. And a cool dog. :)


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