Art Adventures

Think unplugged. Quiet. Peace. Unscheduled days. Time to paint. Colorado.


View from Art Studio

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.


Painting in the Colorado Studio

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.


My painting desk inside the Art Studio in Colorado

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.



Artistic Retreat Studio

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.


7 Responses to “Colorado Artistic Retreat”

  1. jgroeber

    Love this! How utterly inspiring! The photos are stunning. You’re a mom AND you get to do this for a week? Please tell me the trick. Because I’ll start planning the retreat now, even if the kids have to be 21 or older by the time I go. It looks like pure magic with a coyote thrown in for good measure.


    • sbhansen2014

      Okay…secret? Just between you and I, my kids are teenagers! They are super cool and happened to go with me. Every day, they would get up early and go out to hunt arrowheads on the property! Crazy, huh? So it does get less intense. Plan on a little more time to yourself when the youngest is about 14 or 15. 🙂 It DOES happen! Then, if you are like me, you will be saying,”Wait, how ’bout hanging out with Mom for a bit?!” Coyotes, and even a Mr. Owl stopped by every night!


      • jgroeber

        So there’s hope? Yay! Because it’s 10 pm and I’m only now considering if I can snag a minute to get some artwork started. And I don’t work outside the home! I only have 11 more years to go. And I know it’ll fly by in a hurry. 😉


      • sbhansen2014

        Yes! There is hope! And you are doing an AWESOME job, by the way, from what I can see. Keep on carving out a minute here and there (and sometimes not at all…) and it will all add up. Plus, it keeps us sane!


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