Think unplugged. Quiet. Peace. Unscheduled days. Time to paint. Colorado.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I spent the first week in July this year in Colorado, near where I grew up. It was a place of rejuvenation and feeding my beast. No Wi-Fi! Being unplugged, I spent a good amount of time walking, painting, and reading. The views were open and unhindered by other homes. I could see the San Juan Range to the South, and Grand Mesa to the North. In between lay the area in which I grew up. These were my stomping grounds! My parent’s place is amazingly quiet. At night, all I could hear was the occasional cricket. Maybe a coyote or two. Seriously! Nothing. The silence whooshes in the ears like a pulse. I LOVE it. I crave it every year.
I usually take some painting projects when I go, and this year was no exception. I had prepared many drawings on plexiglass and paper, which, along with photos, provided hours of work in the lazy, hot afternoons.
This was no luxury retreat. We are talking bare-bones, back-to-the-basics stuff here. In fact, as hot as it was in the studio in the afternoon, I perched the door open to establish a (hot) cross breeze every day. I did not, however, invite the lizard in to run across my feet. Eeek! I love lizards, but COME ON! No running across the flip-flop feet!! I guess he wanted to take a peek at the paintings and offer up a critique? How ’bout a glass of iced tea, Mr. Lizard?
Anyway, as you can see in the studio photo, I worked hard at a few small paintings and a couple of 11×14 paintings on plexiglass. When I took a break, driving around the country inspired me to take photos of…mailboxes! Future painting alert! Do you realize how utterly beautiful rural mailboxes are? Seriously, they are amazing and poetic in all their rural-ness. When I lived here, I didn’t appreciate the simple beauty that surrounded me.
My mom and I also took a drive down to a friend/neighbor who owns Mattics Orchards. They were generous enough to allow me to walk their orchards (a guided tour by their two young sons, who ended up shoving each other into the sprinklers) and take photos of pears, apples, crab apples, and apricots, as well as some zucchini, cabbage, and peppers. I am SO EXCITED to begin some amazing paintings from all the photos taken during my retreat. Such inspiring, nostalgic photos. Check my blog again soon (or better yet, follow me!) to see my Colorado work.