A few weeks ago I went to Steamboat Springs for a Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Paint Out we had there. There weren't too many of us who had attended making it an intimate group. I actually stayed in a small little community about 26 miles from Steamboat called Hahn's Peak. It consists of about 100 people or so near Steamboat Lake. The fall colors were absolutely stunning and made for some great fodder for painting. The Elk Creek runs north and south through the area and provides some excellent water scenes. Cottonwoods and Aspens provide much of the color as do the willows and other foliage. I painted with fellow artists Keith Bond and John Taft, both whose work I admire greatly. The three of us stayed in a very cozy homey little cabin during the week and our evenings were filled with anticdotes about other painting trips and the inspiration we derive from our heros and mentors.
Fall is so magical and at times overwhelming. As we approach the termination of the year and nature will soon be asleep in the throws of Winter, what glorious announcements nature makes in bellowing to our senses of sight, sound, and scents. Elk bugling echoes through the mountain side. Is there no greater sound in nature than this? The sound of aspen leaves rustling in the wind sounds like applause giving an ovation to the colors. They seem to sparkle and glow like jewels against the sunlight, until the leaves give themselves up and fall to the groud creating an earthly carpet of oranges, yellows, reds, and ochres. There is a certain scent in the air that is so Autumn. I cannot describe it fully. You have to smell it for yourself, but it's different than Spring or Summer.....it's just Fall. Maybe it's a combination of corn, pumpkin, leaves, and atmosphere. How alluring and how sensual. There is a golden glow that permiates the aspen forests all the way up to the sky that is bathed in a cerulian blue. No doubt the sights of fall are abundant and we can become so overwhelmed we don't know where to begin. As I am out trying to locate a scene to put down on my canvas, my ADD nature comes to full throttle and I don't know what to do first. It's all so beautiful, I want to do it all. I am forced to narrow it down to what inspires me the most and remind myself I can paint again tommorrow. Tommorow will provide more opportunities to bottle this season that is so short lived onto my canvas, so that others may visually sip from the canvas bottle through the long gray winters and continue to remind us what we live for.
8" x 10"
Oil on canvas
The Elk River near Steamboat Springs
8" x 10"
Oil on canvas
Mountains west of Steamboat Springs