Recently I was given the opportunity to paint a 20 foot long mural inside of the Riverhorse on Main restaurant here in Park City, UT. Over three days before Thanksgiving 2016, I sketched out and painted this graphic black and white mural of pine trees heavy laden with snow. The mural is located inside the restaurant's lounge space as soon as you enter the upper dining area. I'm so pleased with the final results and hope that the folks over at Riverhorse enjoy having it as much as I loved painting it. Read on to see how this mural came about.

The idea for the mural originated with this small pen and ink sketch in my sketchbook. I was inspired by an old picture of mine and wanted to see if I could make a reasonable representation of pine trees with snow on them. I was happy with the results and was even more pleasantly surprised when I received a lot of likes when I posted this picture to Instagram. I kept thinking about the sketch and really wanted to see it on a large scale. What would it look like if it were BIG?

With the help of Maren Mullin and Gallery MAR here in Park City, we found a venue for the mural. Riverhorse on Main was excited to have me and my art and I was thrilled to be able to work in such an amazing space (and the food is even better!). This is a digital mockup of the room and how my pines would look.

Starting on Sunday, November 20th, I went to work. First I drew some reference lines on the wall, then projected my image and lined my grid up with the lines on the wall. From there I traced the white splotches so I knew where to paint. 

Then for the next two days I painted. And painted. And painted. It became meditative, which is how most of my work really is, even with my encaustic. It was fun for me to work in a new space as well as have people come by to visit and watch as I worked. My studio work is not much of a spectator sport, but mural making is and I think that might be good for me to get out.

photo by Riverhorse on Main
photo by Tanzi Propst at the Park Record

The completed mural and a selfie. In total the mural measures 20 feet long and 10 feet high in spots. I used regularly indoor latex paint and only painted the black. 

I love how the mural looks with the light fixture in this lounge space. I also think it would make for a great backdrop for pictures. If you go eat at the Riverhorse and take a photo, please tag me! I would love to see it. If you want to see me in action, check out this video.

I know you're not supposed to have favorites, but this is a favorite from the show. En Masse - 47x 20 inch encaustic.

On Saturday, we went into Zion National Park to check out the 2016 Zion Plein Air Art Invitational and see many plein air artists in action on the lawn of the Zion Lodge. I am fortunate to have met a number of these talented artists and even luckier to consider a couple friends. I hung out for a bit with George Handrahan, an award-winning painter, and worked on my own plein air painting of the cliffs in Zion. I did the main watercolor painting while sitting on the lawn, but completed the pen lines after I got home. It's always great to get out in nature and paint. Big thanks to George for letting me pester him with questions.

The show is done! All 18 paintings are ready to hang and are wrapped up waiting for their debut at Gallery MAR. My newest show, "Under the Same Sky" opens November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving and I couldn't be more excited. I am really happy with my new work and have enjoyed the colorful, saturated paintings I have made. This one above, "Come Together" is based on a day of skiing over in Little Cottonwood Canyon at Snowbird. The color in this was a big stretch for me, but the feeling behind it - universal. It was our last run of the day and Snowbird funnels you down into just a few runs at the bottom where everyone ends up in the same plaza and enjoys some downtime and music before heading home. I have such fond memories of skiing with friends and enjoying the moments at the end of an awesome day to celebrate and be in each other's company. This view reminds me that at the end of the day, we can all come together to celebrate our days.
Every encaustic painting starts with a hike, or a ski, or a mountain bike ride, or just being outside. From there I play around with composition, maybe adjust a tree or two and come up with a sketch. From the sketch comes the watercolor study. And here laid out like taro cards are all my watercolor studies from my Under the Same Sky show.
"Two As One"
15 x 22 in; November 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint

"All Together Now"
28 x 50 in triptych; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint
"Tightly Knit"
15 x 47 in; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint
47 x 15 in; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint
"Fire & Ice Aspens"
watercolor, gouche, pen on paper
11 x 15 inch; October 2016

Need something to cheer you up? How about this sunny encaustic and my aspens changing their colors. This 30x18 inch encaustic painting is called "Same Wavelength" and is part of my upcoming show, "Under the Same Sky" opening at Gallery MAR November 25th, 2016.
38 x 20 in; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint
"Vital Network"
28 x 28 in; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint

Fall just seems to keep going and going. The leaves are done at our cabin above 8,000 feet, but they are still going off lower down in town. Here is a picture from a gorgeous grove we rode through this week.

For Inktober, I've been playing in my sketchbook with some fun results, like this snowy pine tree landscape. It took some time, and my hand was cramped up afterwords, but I was really pleased with the results.
"Assembled & Ready"
26 x 60 in diptych; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint

We've been getting a few little snows this fall, which has been strikingly beautiful with our changing aspens. These orange and gold aspens made me think of fire and ice and inspired me to paint them in my sketchbook. Which do you like better - real life or the art?

"Stronger Together"
54 x 36 in; October 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint

My new show opens the day after Thanksgiving, November 25th, at Gallery MAR here in Park City, Utah. I am so excited about the new work and feel like I've tapped into something new this fall and I cannot wait to share it with you all. Here is a sneak peak of my largest painting for the show, which is titled, "Under the Same Sky," and is also the name for my show.

This year has been challenging - the news, the politics, global catastrophes, disasters. It feels scary a lot of the time, but we're going through the same mess. We are in it together and living under the same sky. Rather than spend time discussing our differences, I hope we can focus on our similarities and work together to make a stronger, better world. And rather than get sucked into the 24 hour news cycle, let's spend time collaborating, making art, being with friends and family, and enjoying this beautiful world we all inhabit. And just like the trees in the forest, let's work together to create a strong, stable, healthy, uplifting ecosystem that we can all enjoy.
 "Same Wavelength"
30 x 18 in; September 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint

Yesterday on our way home from St. George, I made matt take a detour into the Fish Lake National Forest to go find Pando, the world's largest living organism. It's a giant aspen grove and I was hoping it would be changing colors for the fall. We were in luck, as it was at its peak and perfectly golden.

We were unsure if we actually found it, but I think all the trees to the SW of the lake were it. Sadly scientists think Pando is dying from disease and infestation. Restoration is ongoing to encourage new sucklings to grow and flourish.

Located in the Fish Lake Basin in Central Utah, Pando is a giant clone of roughly 50,000 trees. Spread over about 106 acres to the SW of Fish Lake, the aspen stand all shares the same DNA and weighs nearly 13 million pounds.

Pando was named for the Latin Word that means "I Spread." The single organism is thought to be 80,000 years old or even older, and started from a single seed that spread by sending out new shoots to expands its root system.

The only way to know for sure you're in Pando is to see this fence and sign near some young and baby aspens. Then fence was put up by foresters and researchers in hopes of protecting new sucklings from being eaten by deer, elk and cattle, so they could have a chance to grow into mature, healthy trees. Pando is located 1 mile southwest of Fish Lake on Highway 25 in central Utah.
One of the best parts of my job is that I get to be out in nature. And when it is stormy out, I go fog hunting. This is where I get my inspiration from - when the clouds surround the mountains, when the fog drapes over the trees and when the rain washes the hills. It may seem nasty to go out during inclement weather, but it's really quite magical.

"Under the Same Sky"
38 x 60 in; September 2016
Encaustic + Milk Paint