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.

Glimpse of an Art Show

I’ve been busy lately, and now finally have the time to do some reflections.

The closing weekend of March, I co-hosted a pop up art show in Oklahoma City in a residential space. The two night show showcased my recent bodies of work in a more approachable environment, a home, a location with different context from a gallery.IMG_0684.JPG

Leading up to the event was the usual preparation of transportation, media releases and signage. This time around, I too took on the goal of building my own frames for my paper works. The inspiration came from my recent acquisition of oak flooring from a 1920s bungalow in my neighborhood. The wood needed some work but was beautiful to work with. The smaller frames also features glass from windows reclaimed from houses in the neighborhood. Hence the radio silence. Take a look at how the show came together.

Check of the bodies of work here

New Abstractions – Dialogues with Modern Perception

Observational Reactions – Studies in Light Dynamics

I think that words are extraneous to what I do.

Words are the English disease, they come between the painting and the viewer.

Howard Hodgkin

I’m an working Denver artist and I can’t get away from having to write and talk about my work, despite it being troublesome. I know that the viewer wants to know what I’m thinking and why I’m painting, just as much as they want to understand why they are interested in my work. But most of the time, these things can’t be described in words.

There are things that can’t be communicated in words, and there are people who can’t communicate in words. There are deeper meanings to things. There are deeper understandings to things.

New Editions of Continued Investigations

As I spend more time in the studio and reinvigorate my body of work, I’ve found I spend a lot of time with my own thoughts. About the piece I’m working on, about my process, the process of making in general, and that of the artists I know.

Watching other artists work is like osmosis, without a direct transfer of technique. I am sure I have picked up on mastery of my teachers over time. One of my most influential teachers was taught by Richard Diebenkorn, and I sometimes wonder what, if any, of his techniques have made their way into my work…

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study-in-light-dynamics-4-22x30-drawing-media-and-ink-on-paper-by-phillip-potter

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Get Your Phil of Art: How to make a canvas stretcher for paintings.

Here is a silly instructional video about how I put my canvas stretchers together. Shooting alone got the best of me on this one. Let me know what you think.

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Also, please check out my Etsy and favorite my shop (it would help me out a bunch). I wound stop you from buying any while you where there too.

 

Williamsburg Oils

In my latest Get Your Phil of Art, I spend a quick moment sharing one of my preferred materials. Here I’d like to spend a little more time sharing what I love about Williamsburg Oil paints. As a non-representational artists that working primarily in the movements of color and composition its important to have stand up colors. I think my work speaks to that.

The pigments are outstanding, it’s really easy to mix and blend colors. You can tell the quality of the product just by the feel. I’ve been using these materials for over ten years. I used to have to order them direct but now I am able to find them locally as well. I also enjoy that these are made in US, knowing that the company making these has not sacrificed any quality.

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If you find this video interesting or entertaining, consider following me on youtube.

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