Tuesday, September 28, 2010



I'm back, and I'm alive! I was hoping to blog each evening, but I quickly discovered that standing in the sun all day combined with the altitude wiped me out by the end of the day. It was all I could do to stay awake long enough to participate in some light conversation before crawling between the sheets and passing out.
   The trip was great fun though. We had long hours in the car, but it was offset by great conversation and some beautiful scenery.

Driving through New Mexico, we were treated to a rising full moon while it was still relatively light outside. We arrived in Westcliffe, CO late that evening but were up fairly early the next day to hang pieces for the show, and then we were off to search for good scenery for some plein-air painting.

Many homes were built in among the trees. I wonder which came first, the trees or the homes?

This one will definitely become a painting. I eventually figured out that the reason the grass was so green here was because it was soggy wet. The cows made "splurch" sounds as they walked through the boggy green zone.

My easel set up, ready to paint. Eventually I'll get an Open Box M, but for now it's a borrowed and broken mini Julian.
Fortunately you don't have to look far to find an incredible vista. The vibrant greens and yellows provided a great contrast to the blues in the Wet Mountain Range. There were also a lot of Aspens changing to brilliant yellows and oranges in the mountains.
   We spent a little over half the day on Friday and another half day on Saturday out painting and collecting reference. One thing I discovered while standing near fields containing hundreds of heads of cattle, is how often they defecate and urinate. Holy smokes.

Earnshaw snapping some shots of cows mugging for the camera.
The aforementioned cows
It wasn't all cows. There were some beautiful horses out and about as well.
While it was definitely a kick to be outside painting, my plein-air abilities are quite rusty so I spent lots of time scratching my head, turping out pieces, and making the cattle blush with my swearing. It's certainly a challenge, but one I look forward to besting in the future.

Joanne Hanson evaluating her piece. She ended up with three great plein-airs.
Joe Garcia putting the finishing touches on a great landscape.

Me, holding the brush badly, doing a 15-minute speed painting of a cow. I didn't even have time to set up an umbrella.

Our collected work from earlier in the day. From left to right it's Earnshaw, Earnshaw, Hanson, Hanson, me, Garcia.

The show on Saturday night was a lot of fun and I had a fantastic time talking with some great artists. Sunday morning we packed up and took the back-roads out of town where we came across miles and miles of incredible Aspen, changing to stunning, brilliant yellows.

This guy was surrounded by Pine Trees and so made a wonderful, yellow stand-out.
The variations of yellow were dramatic.
The back-roads drive didn't seem to last long enough as before too long we met up with a highway, then a freeway, and were on our way out of Colorado. Fortunately, we split the drive back to Arizona into two days so it didn't seem as long as the drive out.
   So now I'm back in the studio, catching up with work, and looking forward to the next trip. I'll also be announcing a new painting-a-day project with my mom, Adele Earnshaw, later today so keep your eye out within the next few days for some regular paintings being posted here again.

As always, thanks for stopping by!


Carol Blackburn said...

Wonderful post, Shane. Sound like you all had a wonderful time toghether and all of your paintings are lovely.

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