This year’s Telluride Plein Air invitational was a blast. I had to arrive a couple of days late because this year’s Artwalk in Salida overlapped the beginning of the event. I got there late on Sunday having missed three of the painting days and thanks to Michelle Cramer, Bill Cramer’s better half, whom earlier had fought off countless campsite vultures in town park to score me a camping spot until I could arrive. I dropped off “The Starry Starry Night”, my toy hauler casita camper I recently lifted and made some modifications to earlier in the Spring, and got in touch with Bill Cramer and Susiehyer. (click the links to visit these very fine artist’s websites)
I joined them over by the Schmid Ranch near the base of Mt. Wilson across the valley from Telluride. On meeting them, I was able to paint with a few of the other talents in the show as well. Carol Swinney, Kathy Anderson, Kelly Kotary, and Michele Byrne were all there painting. We had many laughs together and I so enjoy the comradery amongst artists in the plein air events. In the shortened length of time I had to paint, I made the best of my time and was all over that box canyon. Bill Cramer and I took a four wheel drive excursion up Imogene Pass to the Tomboy ghost town in the Savage Basin. We also found a little time one morning to do the Via Ferrata. This is Italian for Iron Way. It’s a trail/climb across the North wall of the box canyon, and there are places along the trail where you are secured by a harness, but climbing across anchored Iron rungs 200-300 feet and certain death above the craggy canyon bottom. A real thrill!!
The show sales were a bit down for me this year and I attribute it to three things. The location of my booth was a little funky (a risk of doing this show as you never know where they’ll put you and your booth), and for some unknown reason the Sheridan Opera House, the organization that runs the show was under the impression that having the first day of sales on the Wednesday, the day before the 4th of July, would be a good idea. Logically, people taking off work to enjoy the 4th would have taken from Thursday, the 4th, through the weekend off, NOT the weekend prior through Wednesday, or Wednesday through the weekend. No brainer, anyway.. sales suffered for more than just me on this off day, and we lost a valuable day of painting as it were. This added to the smaller than usual body of work that I like to produce. The 4th was better and there were a lot of buyers out. I also did not have the business model I did last year which was to appeal to the masses attending the 4th festivities with a lot of small affordable paintings. But I still did well considering these problems, and it is always a highlight of my year to be in Telluride for a week. Above is the body of work from the Festival in no particular order..ENJOY!