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SHARING THE JOURNEY – DAY FIVE

The Dallas Divide – near Telluride, Day Five – “A most wonderful feeling!” My goose bumps almost made me faint. Here I am in this most beautiful place, a painter, and even after 30 years – It feels so good to feel like this, to paint, to create.

Don Sahli's easel with drawing for the plein air painting of the Dallas Divide.

Easel with canvas at the Dallas Divide

As I was finishing this painting, a mountain bluebird landed atop a fence post. He was almost cerulean in color not cobalt as I had seen before. He waited for me to paint him in! Incredible, thank you!  The moment this happened, the light for the rest of the day failed… bright sunlight and colorful shadow – faded to grey. It was at this moment that I realized… “I am a painter, I am a painter… say it three times – I am a painter!”

Don Sahli plein air painting of the Dallas Divide near Telluride, Colorado

Delicate Touch of Spring Dallas Divide 24 x 30 ©Don Sahli

My painting trip has been a great adventure to this point…Driving over the Dallas Divide was so inspiring! Painting the Dallas Divide – early spring in the high mountain air. Then the grey sky and wind were back on the scene. Wind is not a plein air painter’s friend. My large canvas becomes a sail catching the wind. As the conditions were not good for painting, I found myself wandering in the grey cold.

Then it happened! Out in the middle of a lost aspen forest I found a couple friends. These old trucks had been at rest in this forest for many years. They were both covered with thick dust and leaf mold. I dusted them off and painted them. Both Chevy trucks with wonderful chrome grill work, one orange and one green.

Don Sahli painting of 2 Chevy trucks abandoned in an aspen forest near Telluride

2 Trucks Telluride 24 x 30 ©Don Sahli

This was a crowning achievement to my painting trip! As I painted in the wind and sleet, the aspen trees groaned and cried, even screamed as the wind made them rub together. For a quiet, still lost place – there was much noise and a great ruckus of sound and fury. Behind the background of aspens lay the great snowy mountains – hidden but found. Now time to head home.

PART 5 of 5-Part Series
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Don Sahli’s Plein Air Painting Trip Continues

SHARING THE JOURNEY – DAY FOUR On my last day in Crested Butte, I painted on Elk Avenue again, this time in the sunshine – but still cold! I choose the old white gas station with green trim, an odd shaped building, now a museum. A passerby took my photo as I painted and sent [...]

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Don Sahli’s Plein Air Spring Painting Trip Day Three

SHARING THE JOURNEY – DAY THREE Crested Butte – Day Three  Morning painting – plein air – after the snow storm,  Barns and Mount Crested Butte in background. Chilly, cold, crisp – blinding sunshine and blue shadows. A 30 x 36 to start the day of painting! My adrenalin rushed and heart pounded as I [...]

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Don Sahli’s Plein Air Spring Painting Trip – April, 2013

SHARING THE JOURNEY – DAY TWO Crested Butte – Day Two, it snowed all night; and I awoke to much white stuff all around! I set up to paint main street (AKA: Elk Avenue).  I worked fast trying to capture the street before it became mushy and brown with muddy dirt – and I had [...]

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Don Sahli’s Plein Air Spring Painting Trip – Crested Butte & Telluride – April 2013

SHARING THE JOURNEY – DAY ONE As soon as I arrived in Crested Butte, I stopped to paint the first thing that interested me – (instead of wasting time roaming around, thinking a better view was around the corner) – a wonderful, old leaning barn in the backyard of Shaun and Dawn Horne, owners of [...]

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The Quick Studies – Viable Paintings? – Answered!

In the last 2 weeks you’ve read about my creation of Quick Studies; first, Golden Willow, then The Tetons.  These lead to a posed question still yet to be answered, “Are these works, done so quickly, viable paintings?” One last stop before the answer…Shrine Pass in Colorado and a view of Pyramid Peak off in [...]

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Textures and Color! – Meet French Artist Edouard Vuillard.

I remember my teacher, Sergei Bongart, telling me that one of his favorite artists was Edouard Vuillard. Vuillard grew up surrounded by women at work.  His mother and sisters were all seamstresses who worked at home.  Many of Vuillard’s paintings were of interior environments with figures sewing amongst colors and various textures.  The walls of [...]

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The Quick Study – Continued – The Tetons

In last week’s post you read about my creation of two quick studies, which lead to a posed question, “Are these two works, done so quickly, viable paintings?” Let me continue… I found myself painting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – home of the Tetons.   I had painted all day long, from sunup to sundown, [...]

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Museum Field Trip – Barge Haulers on the Volga

Today’s Museum Field Trip takes us back to The State Russian Museum of St. Petersburg, with Russian Master Ilya Repin and his grand painting, Barge Haulers on the Volga! The men in this painting are peasants, a part of a class of a caste system they will never leave.  They will work to the end [...]

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The Quick Study

I am a plein air painter, and doing so, over the years I have developed the knack of painting fast and furiously!  Calling it a knack is somewhat disrespectful?  It has more to do with many years of training and miles and miles of canvas laid out in front of me. In this blog entry [...]

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