This is Bonanza Flats - it is 1,350 acres high up in the central Wasatch Mountains. It is my backyard and I love this place. Now, as a community, we have the chance to save this place and preserve it forever as open space. Otherwise it will be developed and become a private, luxury resort and no one will get to enjoy it. Will you help me save it? We need to raise $13 million to finish the purchase. Please donate via Utah Open Lands here: www.savebonanzaflats.org
We went for a tour up Mill B in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This was our first time up there, so we had no idea what the approach or the skiing would be like. Maybe not the best pow turns ever, but it was a glorious day above the inversion and we picked a nice lunch spot above Lake Blanche. And I had time to do a quick painting of Dromedary Peak in the sketchbook.
We've had over 10 feet of snow in the last week - I don't know if it's really a record, but it feels like it. Usually we have to dig down to the studio anyways, but maybe near the end of the season, like in March - not the beginning of January. We have been skiing and shoveling a lot - it's called the snow gym and we are getting fit. Don't worry though, the studio is now accessible.
I worked on a lot of paintings this year. I'm not gonna lie, they don't all turn out like I hope. But this one, this one turned out better than I hoped. United is 30x18 inch encaustic and is available at Diane West Gallery in Durango, CO.
We dropped off some lots of new work to my gallery in Aspen - Vickers Collection. Always love this gallery right in the heart of downtown Aspen. I snapped this great picture of my work in the background almost right next to my dear friend, Nina Tichava, who also shows with me at Gallery MAR here in Park City. It makes me feel special to have my art hang next to really talented artists (and friends!)
Such dreamy skiing at Deer Valley this morning. The trees were cloaked in this cold, cold mist that made everything look completely out of focus, like you had just woken up and your eyes weren't totally working yet.
My sweet, adorable, hysterical Grandfather passed away recently. He lived a good, long life surrounded by an huge and awesome family. Although I did not live close to him and only got to see him maybe once a year, every time I visited my Grandma and Grandpa was a delight. I loved his dry, wry jokes; his shiny bald head; and his huge smile. I am lucky to have Grandparents that lived into their 90s and am so grateful for the time I did have with him. He taught me to appreciate the rain. He showed me how gratifying it is to make things with your own hands. He helped me appreciate polka music, the joys of retirement, and sipping wine out of small glasses. I know he is still with us in spirit, but I sure do hate that he's not here with us anymore. I'll miss his laughter most of all.
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.
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.
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.