This is a truly beautiful show that has been assembled. We have work by 24 Front Range artists in this juried show and wow, what a mix of work. The members who hang our gallery shows were very excited to see all of this art.
We asked these artists four questions:
1) In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself.
2) What does making art mean to you?
3) What has inspired you for this show?
4) Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
Below are their responses.
I have always been told that I have an "eye for photography". I purchased my first Canon DSLR in 2010 and have been studying digital photography on my own ever since, with the help of a few inspiring hands-on workshops. My other passion is studying wildlife behavior. So naturally my "focus" is wildlife and nature photography. A year ago, I moved to Colorado where I have begun to expand my focus to the majestic Rocky Mountains, fascinating wildlife and beautiful flora of this area.
I love being in Nature and capturing it's beauty so I can share my visual images with others.
Flowing water in the high desert is not as plentiful as in other part of the country that I have lived in. Any chance I get, I capture its smoothing flow and am excited to shear my images in this show.
Here is where you can find my images:
Facebook: Alan Boucher Photography
Local Store: Bella Art & Frame
My grandmother was an artist with an appreciation for the environment. Growing up around her creative influences pushed me to pursue art at a young age. It started with just a pencil, then I continued with color throughout high school and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a BFA. I have been painting for about 10 years, focusing on landscapes and environmental awareness.
I like telling stories with a visual platform for the viewer to understand my interpretation of environmental issues. These statements will hopefully plant a seed to make people think more about their impact.
My love for the ocean. These two paintings are directed towards our acidic oceans bleaching coral reefs, our plastic problem and overall pollution to our lakes and rivers, which eventually lead to the ocean. We all live downstream!
"Sometimes I spend hours applying paint on a canvas before I feel Like I'm painting". Hedy DuCharme
Painting for me pure is relaxation and a challenge mentally and spiritually. My soul needs to create and express itself to be content and alive. It's a wonderful feeling to be totally absorbed in creating something from the mind and heart, even if it doesn't become a "best ever" creation.
My interest in art began in High School back in the 60's. It was the first time I was exposed to art: drawing, color, paints, clay, ink drawing, and learning to see.
I went on to study art and art history at Michigan State University and graduated with a BFA. I went on to teach art for 5 years. In high school and college I learned that I was most interested in painting. I love working and creating with color.
My favorite period of art is the Impressionists with their loose brushwork, textured paint, nature themes, natural light, and creating their own interpretation of a theme or scene.
For the past 10 years I have had much time to devote to painting more confidently, regularly, and with a more sincere passion then I previously had.
I was a docent at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center for 13 years. I had the opportunity to be immersed in great art not just locally but in museums around the country on docent organized trips. The ongoing training in the docent program kept me engaged with art principles and theory on a regular basis, which kept me learning, and discussing art on a regular basis.
During this time I became more inspired to create my own work and appreciate the art of many local artists. I had to challenge myself to enter juried and non-juried shows to expand my abilities, to be challenged by new themes, and to become part of the local artists community. Traveling to the great museums in Europe has been a huge inspiration to see some of the greatest art, architecture and artists from all over the world.
Many of my paintings are created from photos I have taken around Colorado, New Mexico, Europe, from my garden and gardens I have visited.
Submitting paintings for this "Water" themed show was a good challenge because water is such an important part of our everyday life, we can't live without it. And we enjoy water visually in the mountains—lakes, streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rain. We enjoy swimming in water, fishing, snorkeling in oceans, and walking a beach. There is life in water. We see reflections in water.
Water is many colors and no color making it a challenge to create on a 2-dimensional surface. I wanted to expand my use of using a sponge instead of a brush to create softer lines, layers of colors, and smooth edges, and more use of my hands than a paintbrush allows.
To see some of my paintings and current shows I'm exhibiting in I post them on my Facebook Page under Hedy DuCharme.
Locally I have exhibited at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, The former Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (docent show), Chapel of our Savior, Academy Art and Frame,, First Presbyterian Church, Discovery Church, The Bridge Gallery, and currently The Little Wine Barrel.
I’ve had a love for photographing nature since childhood. While attending church camp in the summer, instead of coming home with pictures of new friends and fun times, the whole role of film would be filled with chipmunks and forested area. The passion has always been there, but it wasn’t until around 2005 that I decided to start sharing my work. There is beauty all around us, and I want to share God’s masterpieces with others.
To me, making art means being able to share something unique with others. I want the viewer to feel that they are in the photograph ~ that they can feel the cold, or smell the flower, or touch the tree.
Water is a powerful force on different levels. Whether it's the vastness of an ocean, or the intense momentum of a waterfall, they can equally make one feel like they're a minute part of our universe.
You can find my work at Facebook.com/ANobleTouchPhotography
Julia L. Wright
My love of Nature and being outdoors has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. Creating art in many forms has been the basis of my life starting with theatre when I built sets and directed others in High School and college. I created fiber-based crafts ranging from macramé plant hangers or unique wall pieces that included found objects and woven elements. Feathers have always been part of my art creations. Mandala style feather wall hangings evolved into my creating feather masks. Creating those masks still is very fun! Creating earrings, hairclips and pendants was a natural progression to ways to create artful accessories using feathers and found objects.
I have taken thousands of photographs on my hikes and in many gardens. About six years ago I started using my realistic nature and other photos to illustrate my books and journals. And more recently, I began to use my realistic photographs to create different types of decks of cards for children and adults.
Three years ago, I “fell down a rabbit hole of creativity” and began using my Nature photos to create abstract, kaleidoscopic and mandala style images by taking a little part of a Nature photo and playing with it in PhotoShop. Currently these can only be seen online. Original versions of my photographic Nature-based images can be seen in this show and express my love of Nature.
When I am in my studio or sitting at my computer, I get totally lost in the process and my imagination can run pretty wild thinking about how to take the images I captured and create something totally unique and fun or hone in a specific element found in a photograph, such as water. It uplifts my spirit to honor the beauty of the amazing places I get to hike and glorify Nature in various artful ways.
Working in my feather studio or on a computer or taking photos on my hikes always has my creative juices flowing. I am constantly looking for some new way to use the materials at hand to create a bit of awe and wonder when someone sees the finished art.
Nature is my most powerful inspiration. When hiking or passing a beautiful garden, I often stop to take in the amazingly beautiful natural creations that surround me. A driftwood stump or a rock formation or a bit of moss can be as enticing to my eye as a beautiful wildflower. The reflection of a mountain or rock formation or clouds in water can stop me in my tracks to look deeper into that fleeting image. Each one makes my heart sing and my spirit soar with joy when I take the time to really look at the beauty others pass by each day without noticing it.
The normal concept of a photograph is a translation or transformation of a scene onto a two-dimensional surface, and most photographers leave it at that. Back on my computer, I become immersed in the process of creating something new and visionary from what I saw to create a unique view and transform that image into an artistic composition.
Some of my photos get used as they were taken, or maybe have sections highlighted. Other times, the process of transformation starts when I notice some interesting element in a section of a Nature photograph. Then I will start to transform that photograph by modifying a section of the image in such a way that it becomes something totally new and uniquely changed from its original shape.
The idea of using my Nature photos for card decks for children came from seeing too many instances of how little respect people have for the natural world and can only hope that by showing how beautiful and fragile wildflowers can be starting with a card game that might inspire more kids to get out and search for them and find other reasons to respect their natural surroundings.
My books have very practical advice and have come from my own experiences and based on creating a more sustainable art festival and natural solutions for health. And I recently updated my tree squirrel book and created a new one about ground squirrels in which I express my love of squirrels and teach children a bit about them.
My journals are based on specific themes, but they are not just “blank books”. They have practical advice in the introductions and some photographs related to the journal’s subject. Each one has prompts for a person to fill in the blanks relating to that prompt and can be used to write down their thoughts and have pages to sketch on or color designs in some of the books.
All art involves an artist taking up some media and transforming it into a new form or image that comes from their vision and imagination. I try to transform what most people see as ordinary into something extraordinary with a unique way of seeing the world.
Often when hiking, I, Julia, stop to take some time to look at a bit of Nature. Sometimes it is a part of a tree; maybe a root, a stump or a burl. Looking towards the ground I may spy a uniquely shaped mushroom or flower that catches my eye. Sometimes moss growing on a tree or on a rock causes me to stop to look closer at a section of it. So I take a photograph.
Reflections seen in water have always captured my imagination. I am often surprised when I look at a photograph on the computer to see a reflection of clouds or shoreline plants that create a lovely addition to the landscape that I was seeking to capture.
I have a great respect for the pristine waters that flow down from mountains in rivers and creeks and form ponds and lakes I discover along hiking trails. It saddens me to see trash collecting in them and have never understood why if someone can carry in a heavier item, when it is empty, they can’t carry it back out . . . I am always careful to be sure the area I visit is not burdened with any items I bring in and pack them out myself. I have the hope when people view photos expressing the beauty of Nature, the might become a bit more aware how they can take actions to keep where they travel as pristine as when they arrived.
My work can be found at:
Manitou Art Center in the First Amendment Gallery
My books are also on Amazon under the name of HieroGraphics Books.
kj becker is a manitou springs-based artists with a unique set of skills and over 22 years of combined experience in the areas where there are deficiencies in the social system for the expressive arts and how we connect with marginalized populations, such as, military veterans, sexual assault survivors, and differently-abled folks. kj has been an artist all her life and received a bfa in studio art and psychology from the university of illinois in 2007 after 5 years of active duty in the air force as a mental health technician. kj went on to manage the arts of life in chicago and then worked for the va doing expressive art peer support. today KJ is a full-time professional artist.
for kj, artmaking is all about the process. having physical disabilities and ptsd from her time in the air force, kj has found the physicality of artmaking is most beneficial compared to traditional therapies and medications that are commonly prescribed.
"adored" is an artistic expression of kj falling in love with her partner in the summer of 2018. contrary to previous works that were more about the physicality of the art piece, rather than concept, kj is just starting to explore what her "story" is, as she has felt invisible for decades.
current residency at art111, the manitou art center, library 21c, and a solo show in april 2019 at goatpatch brewery
As with all life-changing shifts, I did not come to art gracefully or willingly. I received a channeled message in Jan. 2014 that I would be used as a conduit to create paintings that contained energetic messages designed to benefit humanity's evolution and that these messages would be embedded into the paint. The messages themselves would draw the people to them that needed those frequencies. My instruction was to "hold the brush and wait." I experienced tremendous discomfort and frustration in this process. It was 18 months before anything started to happen, before I felt any "click" while moving color on canvas or wood. I disliked almost everything I painted during this time. The one thing that made a difference, and that kept me squarely in the instruction, holding the brush while seemingly nothing occurred, was an earlier experience with receiving an internal intuitive message that also made no sense and was in direct opposition to my lifestyle, yet brought forth an outcome for me that consisted of success and happiness beyond my wildest dreams. At some time early on in this extremely stuttery, cranky-producing painting process, some dragon shapes started to appear in the paint that I had not created myself. They insisted on being seen and on being painted. They are in charge of this energetic process and bring joy to these paintings and to me.
The painting "Transformation: The Fire/Water Dance" is a channel or portal for balance. During the floods after the Waldo Canyon fire, I often thought about how what we perceive as an extreme negative event might just be the exact thing that brings about perfect balance. The dance of fire and water in our particular geography is ancient and, I believe, directly impacts our consciousness, even if we are unaware of these effects. Our fiery moments tend to consume us. Our watery moments bring forth more fluidity in our moment to moment living. We are integral to our landscapes and our landscapes continuously offer us their blessings, even when they come disguised as catastrophe.
The dragons and I are eternally grateful for all opportunities to express, fulfill, and serve as conduits for any who are drawn to the energetic gifts of the galactic light art paintings.
Paintings can be viewed at http://www.galacticlightart.com and at Movement Arts Community Studio, 525 E Fountain Blvd, Ste. 150, Co Spgs: http://www.movementartscs.com.
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired to begin exploring my artistic abilities. Luckily I was able to retire early, and after experimenting with many media, including clay, mixed media, alcohol ink, jewelry, etc., I found my true passion in fused glass. I enjoy experimenting, and particularly enjoy creating 3-D pieces in the kiln. This requires a number of firings at varying temperatures, all taking between 9-20 hours, with 4 or 5 hours of cool-down time. My inspiration comes from nature, including both the mountains and the sea, having lived near the beach in Florida for 12 years. I have been working in fused glass for 14 years, I have three kilns, and have taken over every inch of available space in my house and garage for my studio! I’m looking forward to adding a fourth, larger kiln to my collection so that I can create taller and larger pieces.
Creating art is the most important thing I do. It makes me feel like I am contributing something of value, and it brings me much happiness, both in the process of creating and in the end result.
As stated above, the sea is a huge source of inspiration. All of the colors found at the sea shore are my favorites, and the beautiful colors of art glass lend themselves perfectly to this theme. I try capture the whimsy and movement of the sea, so I can remind people of how they feel when they are on the shore and in the water.
My work can be found on my Facebook page, LoLo’s Paloozas (www.facebook.com/LoLosPaloozas/), and is currently sold in the Strictly Guffey Gallery in Guffey, Colorado. I exhibit at many other venues in the Colorado Springs area including the MAC, the Modbo, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and others.
These works represent a technique I discovered quite on accident over a year ago but have only more recently started to create actual pieces. I use a variety of surface material and then combine water and tissue paper to create texture and color. I control the color and design for any piece. They are then finished using a high gloss urethane. The water adds a fluid and abstract nature to the works that changes the color, light and perspective for the viewer.
I grew up in an artistic family and have always been drawn to creating, designing and working with color and pigments. My father was an interior designer and I learned much of the foundation of my knowledge in textiles and design from him when I was growing up. I later attended Denver University where I studied Interior Design and the Instituto Allende in Mexico where I studied the fine arts and sculpture. As an adult I studied French Interior Design and French Culinary Arts in Paris.
I have lived in the Cascade area now for over 35 years permanently. These last 5 years I have enjoyed studying and experimenting with many different mediums, creating my own, directly from plant-based pigment. I photograph natural color from food, flowers and birds. And study light. The only element that creates color. I cook. And eat. And enjoy life, from a different perspective these days. And always creating. And designing.
You can see more of my design work by visiting my website at: DeramusDesigns.houzz.com linkedin.com
Rhonda Van Pelt
I grew up in an artistic family: my dad worked in wood and my mom painted. I earned my bachelor’s degree in art (painting emphasis) in 1980 at the University of Southern Colorado, where I studied with Lew Tilley, Robert Wands, Ed Sajbel and Orlin Helgoe. I’ve been a working artist ever since and have combined that with my love of writing to work as a graphic designer and as a journalist with various publications.
For me, a day without being creative is a wasted day. I am excited and inspired by nature, other artists’ work and simply walking down a street and being observant.
I love the patterns I see in nature. I manipulated photos I took at Monument Valley Park to make them abstract and then, for the first time, had my photos printed on metal. I think it’s especially appropriate and effective for this subject matter.
I mostly show at the Manitou Art Center and Academy Art & Frame Co., but in March, I will also have a solo exhibit in Colorado Springs City Hall. Also see: rhondashouseofcreativity.shutterfly.com.
As a child I was always making stuff with no concern about whether or not it was art. I simply enjoyed it. Born and raised in central California, I attended Fresno State College (BA Degree and General Secondary Teaching Credential), followed by graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley (MA Degree with Specialty in painting). Further studies were undertaken at the University of California at Los Angeles, the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and overseas at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria.
Before moving to Colorado Springs in 1995, I spent 29 years as an art teacher with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Germany and Belgium. Extensive travel, including photo safaris to East Africa and scuba diving trips to the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Hawaii have been rich sources of inspiration for my art, which has appeared in local, national, and international shows.
Here in Colorado, I was a studio artist at the Manitou Art Center for 4 years, a member of the Commonwheel Artists Co-op for 10 years, and taught ceramics part-time for 12 years at Pikes Peak Community College. Now I enjoy working in my own studio at home.
Art, in whatever form it might take, is something that I must do, and I’ll keep doing it as long as I’m able.
Fifteen of the most exciting years of my life were spent as a scuba diver, exploring the undersea world in such faraway places as the Mediterranean, The Caribbean, and the Red Sea, as well as the Indian Ocean and the Hawaiian Pacific. It was like entering another world of coral reefs teeming with life beneath the surface of the water, and with an underwater camera was able to capture some of it on film.
Now that I no longer dive, I can relive those fabulous adventures by scanning a few of the many slides I’ve collected. Each has a story to tell. These old photos can be reworked and improved by enlarging, cropping, repositioning, and enhancing in various ways. The possibilities are endless. My goal is that these pictures have artistic value and are more than just snapshots. For me, a clay artist, this is an exciting new creative adventure into another medium that I’m happy to share with you, the viewer. I hope you enjoy these pictures.
My ceramic work and photos can be seen by appointment at my home studio in Colorado Springs. I can be contacted by phone at 719/592-0984 or online at email@example.com. Also, I have a few ceramic pieces in Commonwheel’s online store at www.commonwheel.com.
I recently moved from Delaware to Colorado Springs to pursue my photography career. I got my first DSLR camera when I was 18 and have loved taking photos since. My junior year of college I officially declared my major as photography and dove in head first. Landscape, nature, and wildlife photography have always been my "jam" as I like to say. I have been taking small steps to further my career since moving to Colorado and I could not be more excited to see what the future holds.
To me, making art means I get to show the world the way I see and feel it. One of my favorite things about photography is that no one else sees the world exactly like I do or feels exactly what I felt in the moment that I create a photograph. It is fulfilling and profound to create something that makes you happy no matter how simple, or complex, it may be.
Being from Delaware I grew up surrounded by water - ponds, lakes, the bay, and the ocean. It has been a common subject of my photography since I first started out 8 years ago. There is a huge draw to water for me, whether its capturing a reflection on a still lake, or the rushing waters of a river.
Instagram: @ amyshortphoto
Gallery: Colorado Creative Co-Op in Old Colorado City
I've been drawing and painting as long as I can remember! I was the "artistic" kid in my family, even in elementary school. I majored in graphic design in college and worked in that field for 20 years. Although I took some painting classes in college, I'm mostly self-taught. Throughout my teens and adult years, even when working full time as a commercial art, I continued to paint - always in watercolors. I started showing and selling my work in local and regional art festivals about 15 years ago. I feel that my artwork enjoyed a significant "growth spurt" in quantity and quality a few years ago when I was able to devote more time to painting.
To me, making art is one way that I interpret the world that I experience, and one way that I "archive" an experience in a tangible form. Art is a recording of my experience and an invitation for the viewer to share that experience.
I was inspired to start painting water scenes because, frankly, it was a challenge, and I like to take on painting "challenges" especially when others comment "oh, that's SO hard to paint!". I'm especially drawn to interpret and portray local water scenes in my paintings, because water is so precious and so scarce here. I painted the 'Blue Mesa Reservoir" scenes from photos I took there on a cold, very windy day. The rocks and whitecaps made me feel like I was at the ocean, and I tried to capture that feeling.
I belong to the Mountain Artists in Woodland Park, the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, and the Western Colorado Watercolor Society. My work can be viewed on the Mountain Artists website, and in various exhibits that they sponsor in Woodland Park, including the Mountain Arts Festival.
A 1998 graduate from the Colorado Institute of Art, I found my love for photography at an early age through the appreciation of geometric angles and in 2013 evolved to underwater photography...
Underwater photography should take you to another realm, a world that people can experience through my imagery.
Challenged by the unpredictable element of water and weightless gravity, the outcome produces some of the most visually unique images - human forms unlike any found on land, free flowing of fabric, no worry hair and an unearthed world that is created.
I am Underwater Conceptual Photographer
I have always had a love for the water from the sound to touch to even the smell. When I see underwater imagery there is a kind of purity and freedom. By putting people into an environment that human life is not generally pictured, a whole new world of imagination can be created. There is such natural beauty within the source of water. We are surrounded by water internally and externally and combining the two shows the strength that water is composed of and how it truly is a source of life. Water can be interpreted in many ways, it is up to the audience to decide what they see and how it moves them. I love the unpredictability of the outcome, both for myself, the subject and the audience.
I was motivated to take my photography further upon moving to this beautiful state of CO from the Midwest. I am a self-taught photographer and have been taking photos professionally for 7 years now but photographing as a non-professional for years & years prior. I work full time in corporate America but photography is my passion and the pastime in which I lose all sense of my surroundings and time. I can completely submerge myself into the act of photographing and love to spend a day doing nothing but shooting.
Making my art is an opportunity to capture, with a lens, & share the extreme beauty I see in this world, painted all around me. My hope is to inspire others in some way or to give others the chance to see something they may not ever have the opportunity to see with their own two eyes.
My inspiration for this show was the amazing beauty of Grand Exuma Island in the Bahamas. I saw water in colors I had never seen before and every where I turned were spectacular landscapes and amazing sea life.
You can find my work in the Commonwheel Co-op Gallery in Manitou Springs, in the Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City, and online at http://tinarodholm.zenfolio.com. You can also follow me on Instagram @hisbeautifulcanvas and on Facebook at "His Beautiful Canvas"
My art is in photography, from shooting to processing, framing and printing. I can't call it a career since I did that in the electronics field, and am retired. My quest is to take decent pictures and process them with an intent to capture the beauty or other fascination that was observed at the moment each was taken. I am highlighting the third dimension by distorting the print in various ways. I have been at this now for six years.
My great pleasure is in seeing the printed image “come to life” as I do my work. Sometimes the added value is amazing, other times perhaps marginal, but I am inspired after working with each one to continue making them “better”. It means a lot to me when others can see and enjoy my finished work.
I keep looking for opportunities to display my pictures and since I have some that fit into the category of “Water in the High Desert” there was no hesitation to enter. I was pleased to have two accepted. In fact, those two were a new design I just began, using a 5”X7” Shadow Box frame to display a couple of my 3-dimensional ideas. It allows me to use a distance gradient on the print (it is slanted back toward the rear of the picture) as well as a form of embossing the surface to further emphasize that phenomenon.
I have a lot of pictures on Fine Art America, but you won't see any 3-D on the website since that part of the process takes place on the print. firstname.lastname@example.org I have entered my work previously at Commonwheel for the “Autumn Colors” event, at Tri-Lakes Monochrome Photography gallery and at the Academy Art and Frame Gallery where one photo placed second and another got honorable mention in their Miniatures event.
To promote my work further, I have rented a hallway room at Cottonwood Center for the Arts for the months of March and May and will also have work on display at Boulder Street Gallery and Framing during the month of April, 2019. I registered my photo business as Richard's Photo Craft in Colorado, working in my home. Contact me at email@example.com.
We had 27 artists submit almost 100 items for the jury for this show and accepted 60 works from 21 artists. All these artists were asked to tell us a little about themselves and their work.
Here are their responses.
I am 19 and a senior at the University of Northern Colorado, and I’m studying Graphic Design. I’m graduating this December and I’m so excited about it! I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. I really enjoyed writing fictional stories when I was 5 or 6 years old, and I liked to illustrate my made-up stories with detailed drawings of my characters. From there stemmed my interest in drawing, and after placing 2nd in an art contest when I was in 2nd grade, I knew this was something I was passionate about. Up until the age of 16, my main media I worked in was pencil; I enjoy drawing photorealistic drawings of people and occasionally landscape sceneries. For my 16th birthday, I received a camera as a birthday present, and that opened a door to a whole new world. Photography very rapidly became my primary media. I love photographing nature, from landscapes to close-ups of flowers to shots of wild animals. To this day, photography is still my favorite and best-developed media to work in; however, since coming to college, I have discovered I really enjoy acrylic painting as well, and also like to paint sceneries and objects.
My photographs often reflect my love for the outdoors; I love hiking, camping, kayaking, anything out in the mountains. I have to time the weather, lighting, and location right in order to catch a good photograph, but it is well worth the tedious efforts. Autumn and winter have proven to be the most opportune times for me to photograph; the colors of the trees in the autumn, the snow, and the frequently cloudy skies create the perfect photo environment.
The particular piece being featured in the “Autumn Glory” exhibit is a photo I took in October a few years ago. I was driving back through Independence Pass from a trip to the mountains for a couple days, which consisted of mostly photography opportunities for me. I saw this specific spot in the distance and immediately had to stop; the pop of the yellow aspen trees amongst the dark pine trees was captivating to me. Additionally, a storm was starting to form above the mountains, and the clouds were creating the perfect lighting. Yellow is one of my favorite colors, so this piece is a favorite of mine because of the splash of bright yellow among the earth tones.
To see more of my work, please visit my website: www.courtneybobo.com
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired to begin exploring my artistic abilities. Luckily, I was able to retire early, and after experimenting with many media, including clay, mixed media, alcohol ink, jewelry, etc., I found my true passion in fused glass. I enjoy experimenting, and particularly enjoy creating 3-D pieces in the kiln. This requires a number of firings at varying temperatures, all taking between 9-20 hours, with 4 or 5 hours of cool-down time. My inspiration comes from nature, including both the mountains and the sea, having lived near the beach in Florida for 12 years. I have been working in fused glass for 14 years. I have three kilns and have taken over every inch of available space in my house and garage for my studio! I’m looking forward to adding a fourth, larger kiln to my collection so that I can create taller and larger pieces.
In order to create a fused glass piece, you must start by designing the piece flat, and you must fuse it at a high temperature, between 1400 and 1480 degrees, depending on the effect you are hoping to achieve. If the first firing is successful and does not need additional work and another firing, the piece is cleaned, and dried. Many times there is cold working that must be done after the first firing, which smooths out sharp edges and points. Another firing, called a fire polish, is often necessary to remove any cold working marks left on the glass. The piece can then either be slumped into a bowl form or draped over a mold to make a vertical, 3D piece, as with Glimmering Aspens, the piece I created for “Autumn Glory“. The temperatures of these other firings are much lower than the original, full fuse.
I am only exhibiting one piece in this exhibit, so this is my favorite! This is one of my Aspen Grove series that I designed, and I enjoy making variations on this theme.
I have always loved Commonwheel Co-op and have been a customer for many years! It is the quintessential retail art gallery, and I have always wanted to enter one of their exhibits. Additionally, I love the theme as trees in general, and aspens in particular, are my favorite things in nature, and autumn is my favorite season of the year!
My work can be found on my Facebook page, LoLo’s Paloozas (www.facebook.com/LoLosPaloozas/), and is currently sold in the Strictly Guffey Gallery in Guffey, Colorado.
I fell in love with fused glass art about 10 years ago when I saw someone wearing a dichroic pendant and took a class to learn to make my own. I love the beauty of art glass and the infinite combinations and reactions that can be achieved. I love that the melting glass changes form and defines itself. The anticipation of opening the kiln to see the new creations is really exciting.
My fused glass landscapes are created over several days in multiple kiln firings by melting layers and pieces of sheet glass between 1200-1500 degrees. First, the basic layers are built and completely melted to form the base, then, painterly details are added with smaller pieces, grains of glass and glass powders. When all the layers are complete, the glass is cut with a wet saw to make nice edges that allow the light in to the glass. Finally, I paint lithograph style details and fire one last time to polish the cut edges and cure the paint. Glass must be heated and cooled slowly. The entire process takes about a week to complete a picture.
My favorite piece accepted in the event is Maple Blaze. The piece incorporated several experimental processes and turned out stunning with so much depth, complimentary color and interest. It is a very deliberate, happy accident.
My favorite subjects in glass landscape are trees and Autumn truly is a glorious time with so much inspiration.
My work can be seen online at https://www.facebook.com/TigerLilyStudio/
As an elementary art teacher, my students and their sense of wonder in the world constantly motivate me. The beauty of our Colorado landscape and wildlife inspire my mixed media paintings and my love of nature as a gardener, skier, mountain biker, and hiker is reflected on my canvas. I create whimsical imagery and form in my aspen tree paintings that combine my formal training as a botanical illustrator and collage work using trail maps found on my travels. The assortment of materials I use transport you to my outdoor playground of colorful whimsy and realism and offer a moment of peace to consider our paths.
I was given an Olympus OM-10 by my father that I carried in my backpack through the Sierras, Olympics and Cascades long before the luxuries of digital cameras came along. In the 90’s I made my home in the Rockies and attended The Art Institute of Colorado to study Interior Design. I prefer to work in one click, one frame. I see my camera as meditation, an opportunity for peace and stillness. Rather than layering or stacking frames I chooses to step into the stillness offered in the silence created within my camera lens.
I try to “work” every day. But calling is work makes me giggle. Quite simply, for me, my camera is meditation. Working is spending time with the sky, the birds, and the flowers. It may mean I am on my patio with snowflakes or hummingbirds. If I am lucky it means my husband is my driver and I am wandering our beautiful country with our camping gear looking for a peaceful spot to wake up in. Because my work process involves being in the right place, at the right time—hopefully with the right light. My “work” is helping learn patience. Without it I would have lost focus long ago.
The Story (above) is my personal favorite in this show because it is my story, it is the story of all of us. It is why I take the photos I take. It is The Story I attempt to tell with each photo. It is what I wrote when I first opened my site to sell my art - Life is a cycle. We plant seeds then nurture them as they struggle to find the sun and bloom. It is the purpose of all living things to reach into the earth and find the power to bloom again and again. I don’t pose photographs, I capture them. She is, in my mind, the perfect capture of The Story – and she tells it beautifully exactly where she fell.
I love Commonwheel. I can’t image many places it would make me happier to see my pieces hang. It really is that simple.
My work has been shown locally at TwentyOne8, Colorado Springs Annual Fine Arts Exhibition, and Gallery 132. I was also a featured artist in the 2018 Fusion Garden Art Show in Palm Springs. You can follow me on Facebook at Sheila Fuller Photography on Instagram at SheilaFullerPhotography or visit my website: http://sheilafullerphotography.com
What is art? To me, art is beauty, though beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As a child I enjoyed coloring, cutting out paper dolls and clothes, reading, putting puzzles together (still do). I loved looking at pretty pictures. Maybe I was born with this love of putting things together, of seeing a swan in a lake and painting its likeness to the best of my ability, of making a story come alive in MY eyes, through painting. Or maybe I just inherited it from my Mother who started painting after I left home, or my Father who was a carpenter and loved making beautiful things. Even though I didn’t know it as a child, I’ve always been interested in art. I am a realist artist, oils being my choice of medium. I love the Old Masters and their proven methods of traditional painting skills and I continuously strive to learn and practice these skills.
I love plein air painting – portraying the beauty of the landscapes and wildlife as I see it; striving to make the viewer feel the water flowing, see the flowers blowing in the wind, feel the snow falling, feel the energy of the animals romping in the fields or the birds flying. I also love painting in my studio using my own photos as reference material. The painting, Elk in the Water, is a combination of my imagination for the background and a photo of the elk. I drew the elk first, making sure I had its features correct. Then, using acrylic paints, I partially painted the elk, so I would not cover up the drawing as I painted the background. As the background is not as detailed as the elk, I didn’t draw it in but just started painting the sky. Then the mountains and background trees. Then came the small island on the right side, water, and left bottom land, painting around the elk. Next came the island trees (trunks only) on the right and bottom left. Leaves then completed the trees. Right now, I am still working on this painting. The elk has to be completed and refined and the elk’s legs need some splashing water around them. Then I will put the painting away for maybe a week or so. At that time, I will decide if I am happy with it, or if it needs more work. As acrylic dries as you use it, I will be able to spray this painting with an acrylic conservation varnish to preserve the painting from dust and light. Then comes a most important decision, the frame. I must use a frame that will enhance the painting, not detract from it. The color must agree with the colors used in the painting. Voila! A new piece of art.
My favorite piece for this Autumn Glory Show is, Elk in the Aspens. I used my favorite medium, oils, because it flows easily. I had fun doing it and I think it turned out great. It portrays my love of the beauty of this country, its fauna and its wildlife.
I love to show my work and I happened to have on hand a few paintings that fit the theme of this show.
My work can be found on my website: www.yessy.com/artbyellen
Fine Art America (Ellen E Hinson)
World Artist Directory
AERA (Association Embracing Realist Art
Since I was young I've been interested in art, and because my mother is an artist, there were always materials available for making art. I've drawn, painted, collaged, and sewn since early grade school. I began oil painting seriously only recently, in January 2016, first taking lessons with Erin Gillespie at Bemis School of Art, then painting with her weekly in my home from April 2017 until present. Oil painting captivates me because it allows for such freedom of expression in both color and stroke.
Subject choice is both emotional and intended to challenge me to grow as a painter. In the painting of pumpkins, I was excited to capture a magical day with my kids at the pumpkin patch, as well as to paint the pumpkins and aged wheelbarrow - two subjects I had not painted before. Each painting starts with a sketch, either in graphite or charcoal, followed by a wash of oil paint thinned with mineral spirits. Once the wash is dry, thicker layers of paint are put down, with highlights being added last to make the painting sparkle.
While I love the vibrant and voluminous pumpkins, the painting of grain harvest in Afghanistan is my favorite for several reasons. The idea for painting the Afghanistan countryside came when I heard a former military service woman on the radio talk about how meaningful the rural parts of war-torn Middle Eastern countries are to many soldiers since they spend months and years in these areas getting to know the people and landscapes, areas not widely featured in media coverage of the wars. I grew up on a farm in the high desert of Northern California, a rural region with a landscape that is very meaningful to me, so I can relate to a little-known landscape holding such personal import. In addition, my father grew and harvested grain himself, so the light coming through the partially harvested grain evokes especially fond memories, and this particular painting features interesting rock formations not unlike those found in my own home region. I also loved the idea of painting a scene of peace in a region most commonly associated with political turmoil and war.
Fall is my favorite season and provides such inspiration in terms of colors and light.
I do not yet have a website, but some of my paintings can be found on my personal facebook page, Arin Holecek. Other works have been displayed at Carnelian Coffee, Ute Pass and Fountain libraries, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and here at Commonwheel Artists Co-Op.
I started painting when I was 10 years old. My mother was painting on slate at the time as a hobby and was self-taught. She allowed me to explore with her paint set and I did my first few landscapes on cloth. After producing them, my family saw I had a talent for art. My medium of choice is oil on canvas. I love the rich, smooth texture of oil paints and the ability to blend colors easily. High school and college seemed to fly by, and it was after college when I really started to explore different styles of painting in my free time. I always had an interest in metaphysical and other worldly themes and became highly impressed when I discovered Salvador Dali. Thus, in my twenties, I experimented with the depth of my mind and imagination. It had become tradition for me give away my paintings to friends and family. I moved to Tucson, Arizona at the end of 1999 and became involved with the artist community there. Tucson was home to so many talented artists who represented a variety of mediums; it was there that I felt comfortable experimenting with various styles and themes within my work. For the most part, I still painted for joy and not with the idea I would ever sell my artwork, but eventually I was commissioned a few times and sold pieces in auctions where the proceeds went to charities. As time passed, I really fell in love with painting trees. My style moved away from the psychedelic and more so into painting landscapes and trees. I also found joy in turning photographs into paintings, as to capture elements of emotion and real memories transferred onto canvas. I moved to Colorado Springs in April 2018 and am continuing my journey as an artist. I am excited to share this next chapter of my growth with my new community here in Colorado. It has been an honor to meet some of the local artists here and become involved with the talented artist community in the area.
My process with painting involves uncovering the layers of my mind. Painting is an emotional process for me. I find peace in the strokes and each layer speaks to me in way that are hard to put into words. In the case of doing a landscape or a tree, such as Curly Tree, the background goes on first. I find skies to be wondrous and soothing. The background for Curly tree is simple. A blend of shades of orange and yellow creates a golden tone often sought out in early dawn or dusk by photographers for its glowing effect. This sky needs no clouds, as the color inspires the autumn feeling of a new season arriving. The floor of the background is done in soft grass for this piece. Once the background is on the canvas, it's all tree from there. I personally love trees. For me, they bare symbolism of rooted growth. Curly tree is strong, it's rooted, and it's fun! The outline of the tree goes on first, with its strong trunk and beautiful curvaceous branches, and then the branches are filled in with several shades of brown for the textured effect of the bark. After the browns are put in, it's time for the finishing touches. Abstract leaves provide the fall colors and little fallen tree branches and fallen leaves provide the final layer for the floor covering.
Curly Tree is my favorite accepted piece for this event because it's fun, glowing, and all over the place - like the artist!
I was inspired to apply for “Autumn Glory” for a few reasons. One reason is that I love trees. Once I heard about the theme for the show I felt like I'd be right at home creating and submitting my work for a theme I already enjoy. I also love the Autumn season and the colors it boasts. Painting with autumn shades is a pleasure. Additionally, I really like the vibe at Commonwheel and I like the artwork being displayed there, as well as the layout of the store. Manitou Springs is a great place for local talent to showcase their work, and places like Commonwheel, that have character, are a joy to be involved with.
Website is at www.Cristina-Manos-Art.com and I have a Facebook page at Cristina Manos Art.
I’ve had a love for photographing nature since childhood. While attending church camp in the summer, instead of coming home with pictures of new friends and fun times, the whole role of film would be filled with chipmunks and forested area. The passion has always been there, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that it really developed. There is beauty all around us, and I want to share God’s masterpieces .
My artistic process is simple. Whether I’m headed to the Colorado mountains or out of state, my camera is always with me. I shoot scenes that speak to my heart and take several shots, bracketing them at various angles. It’s amazing how different a photo can look with a slightly different viewpoint. Additionally, I do my best to capture how the scene truly looks and use very little Photoshop, if any, to modify my pieces. My motto is Have Camera, Will Travel.
Easter Frost is my favorite piece accepted for this event. That Easter morning was bitterly cold, and everything had a heavy frost attached. The area was so serene and peaceful. Though my hands were frozen, I wanted to capture this majestic scene for those who wouldn’t see it in person. It was too beautiful not to share.
My family and friends are a wonderful support system who continually inspire me. Having said that, I am drawn to photographing trees. Their symbolism of strength, stability and perseverance is always inspirational.
I am just beginning to show my work publicly. You can find me at A Noble Touch Photography on Facebook. Thank you for attending this show and supporting local artists.
I am a runner. About three years ago, my running obsession came to a halt because of health reasons. I needed a new obsession and outlet. My friend and fellow artist, Eric Fetsch, invited me to one of his watercolor workshops. I knew how to draw and sketch but didn’t know how to put color onto my drawings, plus I was intrigued by the magic and beauty of watercolors. I took my first watercolor workshop and was hooked. After several more workshops with Eric, I set out to learn as much as I could about the properties of watercolor, color theory, and composition. I was a woman on a mission to become an artist. Painting nearly every day and putting miles on the brush for the last three years has helped me hone my technical skills and artistic ability. I am primarily a self-taught artist who has also done several workshops with fellow artist’s Randy Hale, and Sterling Edwards. I started out painting still life’s and landscapes, transitioned to a more funkified realism style, and now am obsessed with total abstract expressionism. The artists who inspire me are Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Willem, de Kooning, Kandinsky, and Georgia O’Keefe. I enjoy creating art that leaves lots of room for the viewer’s imagination and interpretation. I primarily work in transparent watercolor on paper and acrylic on canvas.
I believe art should be fun and my goal is to convey a sense of fun and playfulness in my work. Negative painting is a key element in highly stylized and abstract art. It is incorporated into nearly all of my paintings. It’s fun to paint the space around an object instead of the object itself, then create multiple layers, adding depth to the piece. It’s almost like solving a puzzle. I also use a limited palette of color and ground most of my work in soft neutrals and put pure color near my center of interest. I try to create a variety of soft edges so that your eye can move through the painting and hard edges where I want your eye to linger a bit.
My favorite piece for this show is Changes. I wanted to show aspen leaves differently. This piece was done on Fabriano Artistico cold pressed watercolor paper with several washes of transparent watercolor. Then, I negatively painted the leaves. To make the transparent watercolors more vibrant, I negatively painted several layers of opaque gouache. Once the piece was dry, I mounted it onto 2” board and finished it with several coats of varnish to protect it. Changes was a fun piece to do and a different way to showcase the beauty of Colorado’s aspen leaves.
First, Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love the cool crisp air and the change in colors of the landscape, especially in the High Country. I am an emerging artist and would like to share my art and hopefully brighten someone’s day with my artwork.
You can find my work at www.susanrandolph.com <http://www.susanrandolph.com/> and Susan Randolph Fine Art on Facebook and Instagram. I am the November guest artist at Boulder Street Gallery on Tejon Street. My work was also accepted into the Parker Art and Music Festival, the Pikes Peak Studio Tour, and The Fine Art and Craft Market in Monument.
My life has involved wearing many hats: wife, mother, science and math teacher, naturalist, traveler, and now painter. Taking up watercolor painting after retiring has been rather life changing. Finally, I'm exercising the right side of my brain! And it feels so good. Being a longtime Coloradan, my inspiration comes from my local surroundings and travels. I immensely enjoy the challenge of plein air painting as well as translating photos into watercolor art back in my studio. I can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m a major bibliophile. I read books, I teach books, and I write books. I’ve even worked as a mender of books. Loving books first led me to love the process of printing. The reproducible page is such a compelling and rich medium. That said, I love bold and wild art of any medium, and love throwing myself into a new process.
Carving a linocut is a quiet but savage procedure. The lines are sketched, and the plan is transferred, but all can change with the twist of a wrist. I love the visible movement of the carving in linocut.
My favorite piece for this show? That's a tough choice! The aspen trees were particularly fun. The colors of the aspen in Colorado are so changeable and vibrant. I had a good time mixing the ink for these prints. But, most of all, I love the faint lines of wind in Wind.
The tree is a great theme. There is something so appealing about making art of something so fundamental.
You can follow me on twitter: @mj_rilling.
First of all, I am a pretty old guy that continues on living after already living a full and rewarding life. When I entered into this new domain, I decided to improve on my hobby in photography. I take pictures of things I like, especially if they include natural beauty - (in my opinion). To me, the flat print of my pictures does not represent all the "beauty" of the scene. To overcome this, I have been developing my own technique to restore the feeling of presence to the print. I call it Photo Craft, since it combines two disciplines.
This has been my passion now for 4 years and has evolved through many stages. The process today has four basic steps: 1) Take a photograph (or select one from my files), 2) Photoshop process the image into a JPEG file, 3) Print the image, and 4) Add crafting. Framing considerations are kept in mind throughout.
The "craft" part of the process consists of poking, bending, stretching and manipulating the physical print in places that alter the appearance of the photograph. When these distortions to the paper print are made correctly, the picture has a new dimension and is more interesting to view.
My favorite picture for the Autumn call was the only one that was accepted - Independence Pass Gold. It was taken after a visit to the Maroon Bells, and on the return drive we stopped for this photo-op. At the base of Independence Pass in autumn, you look back to see a wide panorama of hills and mountains with nuggets of golden aspen groves. Lake Creek, which feeds into the Arkansas River, also adds to the view, and the picture lends itself nicely to my craft technique.
I was inspired to enter my work because of the opportunity to have it viewed in the art community. I love crafting the photo prints and seeing them come to life. Needless to say, I have a house full of "bent up" pictures now but am doing my best work today.
I have photographs on my Fine Art America website: http://richard-risely.pixels.com/ and have a few on ETSY under RichardsPhotoCraft. Of course, the craftwork doesn't show on a computer screen, which is like a flat print.
At this time, photos that include my craft work are only available from me. I will be on wall space At Cottonwood Center for the Arts next year in March and May, and at Boulder Street Gallery in April, and hope to more active with Commonwheel.
I have been doing batik since I was an art education major in college. But it wasn't in a fibers course. Rather it was a workshop in a non-western art history class. It was only set up for a week, but I was there every chance I could get. Now, I use every space I can get, including my classroom at Patrick Henry Elementary where I'm blessed to have a full-time art teaching job. The need for that space has been especially true ever since my son was born 2 1/2 years ago and my studio became his nursery. But the joy he brings to our world is more inspiring than any other masterpiece I've encountered!
Batik is a fairly involved process. I like to summarize for those who want a quick answer that it's "glorified tie-dye". But that's a simplified answer by far. I start with muslin and either brush on or use a tjaunting tool to drip on hot wax to any areas I want to keep white. The whole cloth then goes into the lightest color needed for my design, e.g. yellow. Then.... wait: lots of dry time is involved. I usually have many designs going on at once because I can only complete one step in a day. The next day, I isolate the parts I want to keep (yellow) and then choose the next darkest color to dye. At the end of all the many days of dyeing, the whole cloth is sealed in wax, crumpled, and placed in black or dark brown dye to achieve a crackle effect throughout the piece. That's my favorite part! Then, all the wax is removed (not as fun). But it's so worth it to see my artwork come out from the obscurity of the wax! Every time there's something that happened that wasn't entirely intentional or clear to me during the days and layers of the process. It always stretches me since I'm more naturally an artist who would rather be 100% in control. Even so, batik is my medium of choice without hesitation.
Who doesn't love Autumn? And especially in Colorado? I've been inspired since my very first hike out here 10 years ago! Last year I made Path of Reflection as an extension study of my smaller piece, Aspens in Autumn that was done a few years ago. This show was a perfect fit for these pieces. I am elated to have the perfect opportunity to display it with other artists who have been encaptured by this magnificent season!
On Facebook I can be found at Gestalt33
Rhonda Van Pelt
I don't remember when I wasn't interested in creating and looking at art. Both of my parents were creative (my dad with woodworking, my mom with painting) and so it seemed natural to take art all four years of high school and then major in it in college. I have worked in just about every medium there is (except glass), but currently I take photos; sometimes I print them on fabric and create a quilted, embellished wall hanging around them. Since I'm very, very busy, photography works well for me - I can socialize with friends and take photos as we hike. Multi-tasking!
Basically, my process is to carry a camera nearly everywhere I go. I make sure that I observe as much as possible around me, whether I'm in the mountains, at the seashore or in a city. I look up, look down and look back - there's so much more to life than what is right in front of us.
Delicate Dance is the one that was accepted, and I do think it was one of the best I submitted. It illustrates one of the things I most enjoy about being an artist - finding something remarkable that other people might dismiss as ordinary, if they see it at all.
Autumn is glorious, and Colorado's autumns are among the best. It's as if nature gives us those warm colors to ease us into monochromatic winter.
I post photos on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rhonda.vanpelt) and this site: rhondashouseofcreativity.shutterfly.com, but I haven't had time to update it lately. I also show work at Academy Art and Frame and at the Manitou Art Center.
We asked the artists selected for our “Recycled Art” Show the following questions:
1)In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself
2)With your recycled materials, tell us about your process. Walk us through the steps to achieve one of your works from sourcing the materials to completing the work for display or use.
3)What is your favorite piece for sale at this event? And why?
4)What has inspired you to apply for this show?
5)Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
What follows are responses we received and images of some of the work you’ll see in this show.
It all started at my daughter's Wedding Shower when I created 4 gifts: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. For the “something old”, I found an old skeleton key. I put it on a chain and called it the Key to Happiness. Little did I know then that the Key to Happiness was meant for me too!
A short time later, I looked around the garage and realized just how many construction materials either end up in a landfill or are just sitting around in everyone’s garages collecting dust. Suddenly, every latch, hinge, drawer pull, keyhole, plumbing elbow, washer and wing nut was calling to me, begging to be upcycled!
That was 7 years ago, and I’ve never stopped being inspired. My Key to Happiness comes from allowing my customers to experience quality handcrafted jewelry from recycled hardware and feel good about their environmentally-conscious choices. Saving the Planet one piece of hardware at a time!
The production process starts with a creative vision of what a piece of attractive recycled hardware jewelry could be. Some of the recycled materials I use are: Vintage Garter Hooks, Fishing Lures, Latches & Hinges, Drawer Pulls, Vintage Dog Tags, Snaps, Hooks & Eyes, Shade Pulls and Saddle Hardware. All of these materials are hand-picked by me and not mass produced.
I have a small home studio where I create my products with hand tools. Some materials such as drawer pulls require the use of a grinder and a drill to create smooth edges and chain attachment holes. All of this labor is done by me and not outsourced. Recycled hardware jewelry is my passion and all this labor is pure therapy for me!
My favorite piece for sale at the Recycled Art Show has to be the Antique Garter Strap Necklace and Earring Set. Let’s face it, these recycled vintage garter hooks represent a time when holding up your nylon stockings was complicated and tortuous.
My Boomer customers find the garter hook jewelry a welcome upcycle from their original purpose. These garter hook pendants and earrings are handmade with 1 cup of mid-century nostalgia and a tablespoon of naughty!
Did you know that metal can take thousands of years to biodegrade in a landfill? Every day Americans discard tons of hardware, often simply because it doesn’t match their furnishings!
Savvy Reclamation’s inspiration comes from a need to promote sustainability and prevent usable hardware from ending up in landfills. My most rewarding moments come when my customers are drawn to a piece on display that they saw from a distance. Then when I tell them what the piece is recycled from, they love it even more!
I am a local Colorado Artist and run a Woman-owned business called Savvy Reclamation. You can find my unique recycled hardware jewelry designs at the Olive Tree Traders in Old Colorado City. I have an Etsy Shop and a Handmade at Amazon shop on the web. Follow my Savvy Reclamation Facebook page to see my 2018 Events Schedule. Ask me to make a custom piece for you!
Handmade at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/handmade/Savvy-Reclamation/
I have been crocheting since my grandmother taught me when I was a little girl. My interest was reignited my freshman year in college when someone in my dorm held a crochet class. Crochet and knitting are my happy place, my therapy, and my social outlet. Quality yarn can get expensive, so reclaiming yarn from other projects and sweaters is an economical way to use nice fibers.
Aside from some supporting features, my work is made from yarn reclaimed from sweaters found at thrift stores. I generally choose sweaters made from cotton or wool, as these fibers are easier for me to work with. Sweaters must have the seams sewn together instead of serged since serging cuts the yarn into short, unusable lengths. After taking the sweater pieces apart, I ball the yarn, and it is ready for use.
I used a few different crochet techniques to make these fascinators. With the green fascinator, I used freeform crochet. The white fascinator is made of three triangular doily shapes seamed together. The beige fascinator is comprised of Irish crochet style motifs. The pieces of the fascinators were wet blocked with fabric stiffener, then assembled once dried.
My favorite piece is the beige fascinator. I have a special appreciation for the art of Irish crochet, and I feel the motifs on this fascinator are a beautiful example of that.
The most important thing I learned at a past gallery show I was a part of is that I should not be afraid to push myself. This call for entry gave me a great excuse to do just that.
My pieces are generally not for sale because I create for the enjoyment of creating. I often share my work on Instagram and Facebook.
I have been a woodworker all of my life, even during my active 35-year business manager and consultant phase. I made my earliest furniture starting in 1973 because my wife and I needed furnishings in our early married life. I discovered live edge or natural edge woods about four years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. This style incorporates the natural edge of the wood into the design of the piece making each one unique. Once I discovered live edge wood, I knew that I could start crafting unique products for craft fairs and art galleries.
Most wood harvested in Colorado ends up as firewood. However, there are sawmills in Colorado that save the trees for a more beneficial use. All of the woods, which I personally choose, have been responsibly harvested along the Colorado Front Range from dead or dying old growth. My main sawmill is in Ft. Lupton, CO, and while I buy most of my wood there, I also go through the debris pile. Sawmills toss the bark and outer cuts into a pile for locals to use as fire kindling. I have found some of my most interesting, recycled pieces in this way.
The choice of materials is really the key. I try to find pieces of wood with unique colors, shapes, patterns and grains. At times I know exactly what I will make; with other pieces, I store the wood in my garage until I get inspiration. Most of the wood that I use is only rough cut, so a lot of physical labor goes into bringing out the richness of the wood. If the bark is still on the piece, I decide whether to keep all or part of it or remove it totally. The insects that thrive on live trees live just under the bark. By removing the bark, you can see the homes, tunnels and feeding areas of these insects on the "live edge".
While I try to maintain the natural look, most of the wood has to be cut to size for the table or hanging that I am making. I have three different electric saws that I use for this process. Then, using two different electric sanders, I start a long smoothing process. I will change the grit of sandpaper five to eight times, moving from the toughest to the finest grits. Along the way, I repair damage like cracks or holes with the sawdust from the same wood and glues. Some pieces incorporate gem stone inlay to repair damaged knots or to repair cracks. I normally use chrysocolla or turquoise for this process. Other areas of insect damage such as small holes or tunnels are left alone as a "distressed" look and feel. When I am pleased with the smoothness, I apply finishes to protect the wood. I use a combination of oils that bring out the richness of the colors, grains and patterns in the wood.
For my tables, I order steel legs made by one-person shops around the country. These crafters utilize either recycled steel or new, U.S. steel.
The Maple Burl Cluster Accent Table has the most unique wood I have ever used. Pulled out of the debris pile, it was covered with dirt and sawdust. However, I knew from the edges that there were burls in this piece. A burl is a deformed growth both in the interior and exterior where it is filled with small knots from dormant buds. The burls produce interior pressure that forms unique swirling patterns and colors. The piece for this table top has seven separate burls that produced this truly unique piece.
I have visited Commonwheel for years, as well as attending their arts and crafts show over Labor Day weekend.
I regularly check the websites of galleries which I respect looking for relevant shows. I was lucky enough to find this one. Since almost all of the wood that I use is recycled, I knew that I wanted to enter this show.
My main site is on Facebook where I post all of my new work and where it is going: www.facebook.com/LiveEdgeWoodcraftsColorado/
I have been represented at 45 Degree Gallery in Old Colorado City, 2528 West Colorado Ave. for the last 2-1/2 years. I am also a member of the 40 West Arts District in Denver metro, and I exhibit at their gallery frequently: 40 West Art Gallery, 1560 Teller St, Lakewood, CO 80214.
I grew up in Manitou, my husband (Kirk Gamez) and I along with our 2 children (Kaleb Games and Joshua Stewart) went to Manitou schools. My mother Georgia Edmondson was a water-colorist and encouraged me though out my childhood. After attending Colorado Institute of Art in the early 80's I have worked for several large corporations as a graphic designer. I worked at Hewlett-Packard for 10 years before moving to Current. I then switched from graphic design to primarily web design and have a free-lance business at present doing both graphic and web design. I started painting about 8 months ago and have found it very therapeutic. We live in such a beautiful area, I have enjoyed sharing it with my art.
After being given some old windows a friend and my sister-in-law suggested I paint pictures on them. When I paint, I have to paint backwards on the frame, so the front side is the clean side of the glass. It's a little tricky.
The piece I love and is attached and is one of the first frames I painted on. I love the color combination- the original red painted frame with Pikes Peak.
I have always loved Commonwheel—wonderful works of art! I am very honored to be chosen for this show!
I am on Etsy, but I will have a website soon.
I'm a life-long artist. I am now retired, but I worked in video production for 35 years. I have always worked with oil and acrylic paint and worked with wood—both new and rescue for the past 10 years.
I seek out materials everywhere—on the curb as I walk the dogs; in yard sales; at music and antique stores; I've even tried ads in Craigslist. Over the years I’ve accumulated various handles, knobs and trim bits and I let the main component of the piece guide which direction it's metamorphosis will take.
The Colorado jewel box is my favorite of the two because it's more colorful and since its 3D it took more work.
I really appreciate recycled and upcycled art, and I am very glad that Commonwheel is highlighting this medium. So naturally I wanted to contribute!
I'm not very good at sales and marketing, so I don't have a website or anything. I just try to find shops and sales which might appeal to folks quirky enough to like my work.
While working as a health care professional for many years, I have had many affairs with different arts and crafts. I was always on the lookout for the one that would captivate and challenge me—my one true love that would balance out my very left-brained, non-creative chosen profession.
I’ve found all this and more with glass, and along with my newly empty nest, I’m experiencing a Renaissance.
My current body of work includes small glass mosaic pieces (light switch covers) and fused glass work utilizing recycled glass (tempered glass shelving, automobile glass, shower doors, etc.). I love the green aspect of using “glass with a past”. They take on a renewed life and character of their own. Each piece is individually designed in my Colorado studio with special attention to color, flow and functionality.
Whether I’m working on a mosaic piece, or trusting the kiln gods with a fused glass creation, I am learning to appreciate the magic and alchemy that transform a simple material that had been headed for the landfill, into a glorious piece of art.
For my fused glass pieces, my goal is to never actually pay for glass, and with so much going to landfill every year, that's not very difficult to achieve. I have been known to pick up glass by the side of the road left on trash day and my neighbors know me as their local dumpster diver. I have come home on occasion to find pieces of glass on my front porch. I also have a brother who restores classic cars and he saves me rear windows. My favorite way to source glass is to go to a junkyard and bash out windows with a sledge hammer. Talk.about.therapy. Trust me, at that point it becomes performance art as well.
When I get the glass home, it's cleaned and left to dry. After that, it's just a matter of finding the right mold (I am currently experimenting with making my own from paper clay), loading the kiln, and saying a prayer to the kiln gods. Some of my pieces take one firing (approximately 13-16 hours in the kiln), and some take 2 firings (30-40 hours in the kiln). After that there is cold-working and possibly epoxying if I'm joining pieces together that I can't actually fuse in the kiln.
The bases for the light switch covers are usually found at a Goodwill store or a Habitat for Humanity Restore. Most of the glass I use came from another artist who wasn't doing stained glass anymore and needed to get rid of it. I gladly took it off her hands. The process I use is mosaic, meaning the pieces are glued on and then grouted. I can do any color, and any configuration. They make wonderful house warming gifts and new baby gifts. They turn out to be little pieces of jewelry for your walls.
My favorite piece in the show is the large blue bowl. It was made from a former computer desk that I found by the side of the road for the trash man to pick up. At first I thought it was a smoky color, but after I got it home and started working on it, I realized it was a gorgeous tealy blue color. It melts beautifully in the kiln, and I have made several pieces with it.
I was inspired to apply to this show because it was a perfect fit for the type of work I do.
My work can also be found at Shadow Mountain Gallery www.shadowmountaingallery.com in downtown Evergreen. My website is www.IndigoMesaGlassworks.com, and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/indigomesaglassworks/
This is post 1 of 3. More artists and their work will be featured in the next 2 articles!
by Leti Wesolowski, blog contributor
Artist’s Reception, Friday, October 20, 5-8 pm
Show ends November 12th
“Playing with fire” is a joint show between Laura McCracken, Josie Quick, and Karen Simkiss opening October 20th at our Creekside Gallery. The three artists have created their own artwork using heat (or fire) as their main forming element.
Artist Laura McCracken does fused glass and her unique artwork is created by cutting and layering glass over molds, then fusing them together by heat in a kiln. Different temperatures and several firings create a variety of textures and forms that Laura uses in her decorative mosaic wall panels, coral webs, and other kiln-formed glass pieces.
How did you get interested in glass and how long have you been doing it?
I taught elementary art for 20 years (17 at Manitou Springs Elementary). I have been showing and selling my art since 1999. It has always been important to me to be a working and showing artist, as a positive example to my students. I have been working in glass since 2008.
What does making art mean to you?
Art is my solace. I work through trying times by working within the comfort of my studio. The studio is where I find quiet, away from the busyness and noise of the world. I find joy in trying new techniques and developing my knowledge in the medium of glass.
What has inspired you for this show?
For me, "Playing with Fire" is a celebration and triumph over setback. After overcoming injury, I cherish the simple things in life. I have rebuilt my life around my art-making.
Tell us about your fused glass process and the steps you take to achieve one of your works.
Fused glass is a process that involves cutting glass cold, layering, and heating in a kiln. Various heat levels produce differing results. I find comfort in the repetition of glass cutting. I move from thoughts grounded in reality to a daydream when working. This is a moving meditation of sorts, my creative flow.
What emotions or reactions do you want to cause on the public looking at your artwork?
I enjoy watching people move closer in to inspect my artwork; to look at how it's made or displayed. I feel that glass holds energy. It has a presence that is visually seductive.
What is your favorite piece for sale at this event? And why?
The series: "While Away..." is a trio that represents my recovery from injury and getting back into the activities that bring me joy. Picture attached: "Along the Path"
Where can people find more of your work?
Laura is currently a member artist at The Bridge Gallery, Colorado Springs, and 40 West, Lakewood. More of her artwork can be seen displayed at Pure Colorado Event Center, Lakewood and at the Holiday show of the Center for the Arts in Evergreen, CO.
Josie Quick is not only a professional violin player but a skilled ceramic artist creating signature Zen pots inspired by primitive art.
Josie: tell us about yourself and your artistic career. How long have you been doing ceramics?
I have been interested in art my entire life. I would always rather draw than do my schoolwork. I would dig the clay out of the irrigation ditch and make pots. I was torn between a career as a graphic designer or musician, and I chose music. I am professional violinist, I teach, freelance, and perform with my jazz ensemble, Perpetual Motion. I am also working on a CD project with another band, The Coyote Poets of the Universe. I think what drew me to throwing clay is the rhythm of it. I can hear the music of it in my head, they align for me. I don’t like to listen to music while I work, I’d rather listen to what’s in my head. I’ve been working with clay for close to 25 years, and making my “zen pots” for around 20.
What has inspired you for this show?
I call my work “zen pots” because creating them is meditative, I enter a state of zen when working on them. One needs to be centered in order to center the clay. If I am scattered, not present in the moment, not mindful, I can’t center the clay. So the act of centering puts me in that meditative state, and I carry it through when doing the hand building portion. The designs have no plan, they are created in the moment. It’s a way of practicing mindfulness.
What does making art mean to you?
I often create my designs as a way of working through something, very often it’s grief. Many of my stamps represent people or events to me, and when I am missing my parents I make a pot in their memory. The hand building is my therapy.
Walk us through the steps of your flowing creativity to achieve one of your “Zen pots”.
There are many aspects of making (them) that I love. One is the combination of throwing and hand building, I start them by throwing a mold on the wheel, paying particular attention to the shape of the inside of the pot. This is tricky, and has taken me a long time to refine the shape. Most pottery tools are designed for shaping the outside, and I’ve made a few of my own tools specifically for shaping the inside. After the mold has dried to the leather hard stage I roll out slabs of clay and use my handmade stamps to make impressions. My stamps are all of my own design, usually of animals but I have a few flowers and leaves. I use stylized images, like what might be found in primitive art. I place the slabs inside the mold, and fill in the spaces in between with coils, creating geometric designs. After I have finished filling in all the spaces I peel the mold off, leaving the hand built pot. This part is fun, it’s like discovering an archaeological dig. Then I throw the top portion and attach it. I use classic vase shapes. I enjoy the juxtaposition of thrown and hand built, classical and primitive, refined and rough.
What intentions or emotions do you want to express in your artwork for this show?
I am always on the lookout for inspiration, in art and in music. I love primitive art, and look for designs in African and South American cultures for ideas. I look for geometric patters and ideas and stamp ideas everywhere. My work for this show has been an extension of finding new patterns to use, new stamps to make, and refining the blending of classic forms and the primitive look of the slab and coil work.
I also like to branch out and try new things from time to time. There are a few pieces that are not zen pots, sometimes I need to do something else and come back. Keeps me engaged.
What is your favorite piece for sale at this event? And why?
It’s so very hard to choose favorite pot. They all have an emotional connection for me. This blue turtle pot has been in my living room for a while, so I can enjoy it before parting with it. I was a leap forward for me in terms of a refined shape, and I love the color.
Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/PotteryByJosie and my website is www.josiequick.com
Karen Simkiss is a retired art teacher who has taught many different subjects such as photography, print-making, drawing and painting. Currently she is focusing in encaustics, a process that consists of painting with wax, pigment and heat.
Karen, tell us a little bit about yourself and your artistic career.
As a young child I had a neighbor who was a professional artist. I have many memories of sitting watching him work. I felt his talent was magic and I wanted to be able to draw like Joey. Saturday mornings was always a problem…I would get up to watch John Nagy “Learn to Draw” and my brother and sisters wanted to watch cartoons. I cannot remember a time I did not want to be an artist. My dad started me in private lessons in 3rd grade and it went on from there. I attended El Camino College, California College of Arts and Crafts, and California State College at Dominguez Hills. We moved to Colorado in 1978, I raised two boys and finally graduated from UCCS. I have taught private lessons for 40 years. I have also taught at Bemis School of Art, UCCS and for the last 14 years at St. Mary’s High School. As I was the only art teacher at St. Mary’s I taught everything and my own work reflects that. I am currently working in Encaustic. I incorporate painting, collage and drawing in most of my current work. Printmaking, handmade paper and photography also work their way in to many of my pieces.
What does making art mean to you?
I retired this year and someone asked me if I was also going to retire from art? I cannot imagine what life would be like without art. As I always try to teach my students that art is a way of seeing and a way of living. It isn’t always about the finished product. It is more about the process of looking at life and being so awed by everything around you, you have to respond in some way.
What has inspired you for this show?
The work for this show is primarily inspiration from my life here in Colorado. I live in the mountains and spend much of my time outside working in my garden or hiking. The work in this show is reflective of the concept that nothing is simple and there are always layers to every story. I am trying not to focus so much on details but on the layers and colors that build the story. While I am not working in a new technique or theme, I try to make each piece an experiment with the medium. My latest challenge is adding drawing to different layers of the painting.
Walk us through the steps to achieve one of your encaustic works.
I fell in love with encaustic when I saw the work in a show. It is so rewarding to work with. You need to be a “process person” to enjoy the medium because it does take a lot of work and patience. Encaustic paint is a beeswax based medium. You heat together the wax and resin to make the basic medium. Then you add pigment to create your color pallet. I have 2 large hot plates on which I keep my waxes hot while painting. No matter how quick you move, the waxes start to cool as you apply it and leaves you with a lumpy surface. This is where the magic happens. I use a heat gun or a torch to reheat the wax and let it settle and bond with the other layers of wax. Depending on how close you hold the heat to the surface you can control the movement of the wax. In many cases you do not want the wax to actually move so you place the heat farther from the surface to slowly bond the layers together. One painting may have anywhere from four to ten layers of wax. The transparency of the wax allows the under paintings to show through. After the wax has completely cooled I polish the surface to a glass like finish.
What intentions or emotions do you want to express in your artwork?
The encaustic medium is so beautiful to look at. I try to create work that you cannot just walk past. The surface draws you into the work and then you notice all the layers that underlie that surface.
What is your favorite piece for sale at this event and why?
For this show all my pieces were started with a map. My favorite piece in this show is “Parakeets and Love”. I started with a map and then waxed down my photo of two parakeets as a starting point. The Dalia is the flower of love and was painted in many layers with dried grasses over the basic collage. The depth of the wax and the collaged pieces created different surfaces and I believe adds interest to the piece.
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