Plein Air Painting on a Trip to Hillside Colorado

Hillside Colorado is one of my favorite places to visit. Located just east of the northern edge of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range and west of the Wet Mountains in a sublime valley. It almost pains me to give away the location of this magical spot, but it is too good to keep to myself. If you would like to stay there you can find information here.

Sangre de Cristo Range from Hillside Coloroado

Sangre de Cristo Range from Hillside Colorado, 16″x 28″ Water and Drawing media on Paper.

So why would a non-representational / abstract painter like myself be drawn to doing a landscape. Well, it was there and it was transcendental. I love making all types of work outside of my primary work. It makes my abstract work so much better. Having other forms of visual communication makes for more informed abstract work. It helps to experience the work and be able to reflect on it, and use that energy to drive my primary mode of expression.

Just before a storm, Sangre de Cristo Range from Hillside Coloroado

Just Before a Storm, Sangre de Cristo Range from Hillside Colorado, 16″x 28″ Water and Drawing Media on Paper

I love to work where ever I go. I took up way too many supplies to work while I was in Hillside and on the great driving trip from Denver to Hillside via 285 though Salida Colorado. But I was glad to have all that I needed to make some Plein Air works on paper that came out pretty nice. I have not done much Plein Air works in the past, not thinking much of it. I made a great discovery that working in the environment is far superior than working from an image. Just like working on a real subject, it becomes more tangible, I felt that I could gather the experience of being there.

On the way to Hillside I stopped in Browns Canyon National Monument for a great hike up with my art gear to do a Plein Air work of the Collegiate Peaks that are just to the west across a valley from Browns Canyon.

On the way back I took a drive to St. Elmo to the west of Browns Canyon down a road that cuts in between to mighty peaks of the Collegiate Range, the same I was painting a few days earlier. It was a super drive cutting between mountain streams, groves of aspens and a ghost town.

Collegiate Peaks seen from Browns Canyon

Collegiate Peaks seen from Browns Canyon, 16″ x 28″ Water and Drawing Media on Paper.

It has always been a great joy of mine to have grown up in Colorado and live in Denver. There are so many places to see and experience in the state.

2 thoughts on “Plein Air Painting on a Trip to Hillside Colorado

  1. As an artist who has been doing plein aire for the last 3 years, I am really impressed. The work represents the area, yet is loose enough to be abstract. The colors are clean. Good job on saving those important whites. What do you want for the 1st piece?

  2. Excellent work. I find it very useful and helpful to step outside of what you “normally” do with your art , not only is play good but I find it to be a great way to inform your “serious” art work.

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