Friday, September 26, 2008

It's All About Art -- Well Almost!

The Glenwood Springs Fall Art Festival is in full swing from September 24-28 this year. This annual event held in the lower level of the Ramada Inn in Glenwood Springs, CO is in its 46th year. When the founding members of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild began the festival, they never envisioned it would grow to the largest non-juried event in the state with 375 artists participating. Each two-dimentional artist or sculptor is allowed two entries and pottery artists up to five. This alone would be a major project, but there is a separate contest by the Chamber of Commerce to pick the winner for the annual Christmas card and a separate category for Guild members to paint to a theme which this year is "Me and My Shadow." There are probably 20 of each of these, but also there is the Bargain Bin, an area where each participating artist can enter 6 or 8 (if a Guild member) more paintings. In the Bargain Bin the highest price is $125 and there are many fine paintings to choose from at this price and less.

The event is judged by three judges which come from different genres themselves. There are categories for amateur, advanced and professional artists, and awards are presented in each medium allowed in the show. At the end of the week there is an awards banquet, but one of the things that makes this show special is the Art Purchase Patrons who have agreed to purchase at least one work of art from the galleries. A special dinner early in the week is held for these wonderful supporters of the art community, and then, with their Purchase Award ribbons clutched tightly, there is a stampede to the galleries as they are simultaneously let loose to run and claim their prized piece of art.

In 2007 over $120,000 worth of art exchanged hands during the festival. That is one thing that keeps the artists coming back, but perhaps the most important fact is that this festival provides support to 22 area schools, plus substantial scholarship awards are given annually to the lucky scholarship award winners who will go on to the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver.

Come to the art show, and then enjoy the marvelous hot springs pool. This wonderful facility, located within walking distance of the Ramada Inn and along the Colorado River, is 600+ feet long of pure pleasure for swimmers and soakers alike. The temperature in the big pool is 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the therapy pool is 104 degrees. The site has modern shower facilities, restaurant/snack bar and a gift shop for all your needs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Miniature Horses - Cute Animals

A year or so ago I took some photos of the tiniest horse I have ever seen with the thought in mind that one day I would paint it. Such a precious sight, it was the cutest baby, only a few days old, and with its mother at a street fair in Colorado. A little child had reached out to make friends with the foal, and because the little boy was unsure, he kept his left hand on his outstretched right arm as if to pull it back if the horse took a nip. It was a cute sight, and both of the babies (horse and human) were delightful to watch.

I had seen miniature horses before, but never a baby one. This horse was so incredibly small, yet exhibiting perfect, yet tiny, characteristics of a horse and acting like quite like a horse and not any other species, even though it was the size of a dog.

According to Wikipedia, "The American Miniature Horse Association AMHA was founded in 1978 and was dedicated to establishing the Miniature horse as a distinct breed of horse. In the AMHA, Miniatures cannot exceed 34 inches at the withers (which the AMHA defines as located at the last hair of the mane). There are two divisions in American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) - the "A" division for horses 34 inches (86 cm) and under, and the "B" division for horses 34 to 38 inches (86 to 97 cm).

The AMHA standard suggests that if a person were to see a photograph of a miniature horse, without any size reference, it would be identical in characteristics, conformation, and proportion to a full-sized horse.

According to the AMHR, a "Miniature should be a small, sound, well-balanced horse and should give the impression of strength, agility and alertness. A Miniature should be eager and friendly but not skittish in disposition."

I was painting animal pictures one day this week, and decided to paint this little one. You can find more information about my painting by clicking right here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Driving Around Colorado

Over the weekend we were delighted to have a visit from some Florida friends, and we all did some driving around Western Colorado. I am sharing with you, this morning, some of the sights as you travel around here in the early Fall.

Shown at left are rafters near Glenwood Springs. With record snows this past season, there is still plenty of water in the rivers for rafting and kayaking.

At right is a stately Cottonwood tree on the banks of the beautiful Colorado River.

Next is what's left of a dinosaur, I think. Most of his backbone covers the top of this ridge.

Of course there is this luxury housing found near Eagle, at right below.

Scrub Oak is very common with its acorns now, but just a few weeks away these small trees will turn magnificent colors for a very short, short time before turning brown and dropping their leaves.

This is just a glimpse of Colorado's sights, and it all reminds me that I must get busy and paint.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ACEOs Come To The Blog

OK, I'm following the leaders and have started creating ACEOs. There are many shop owners on Etsy creating ACEOs, and it really does offer an inexpensive way for a buyer to start collecting art. The ones in this post are the first I've done on Etsy.

The ACEO acronym stands for Artist Cards, Editions and Originals. The only rule for making your very own ACEO is that it be exactly 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches or 64 x 89 mm (which is the same exact size as are baseball cards) . ACEOs grew as an offshoot of Artist Trading Cards which had the stipulation that they be traded and never would any money change hands, in fact, trading face to face was the desired means of transfer. However, this is the real world, and reality is that the real world is a commercial pig, and somebody started selling them. Soon they began "trading" on eBay, and the rest is history.

Actually, before I ever heard of Artist Trading Cards or ACEOs I find I've made very similar cards only a quarter inch smaller in each direction for the Glenwood Springs Art Guild for quite a few years. We use these as place cards at our annual banquet. A stand-up tag is applied to the back of each, and it's always fun to walk around the tables and see who got who's mini painting. At the end of the evening we take our place card home if we wish, and we have a new piece of art.

There are oodles of ways you can use these mini pieces of art. You can find frames which are magnetic and put them on your fridge, or you can put them into a larger frame and hang it either alone or in a grouping of your ACEO artwork. They can be put into plastic sleeves made just this size in an album and display it on your coffee table for guests to enjoy. You can scrapbook with them, use them to decorate your handmade book covers, and the list goes on.

I've joined in the fun of the Great ACEO Swap Thread on Etsy started by Trinkets Treasures, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what my swap partner (Rustic Diva Designs) will send me.

Just click on any of the above ACEOs to get more info about them.

My Workspace

My Workspace
On The Pier At St. Simons Island

New Art, New Techniques, Hints, Thoughts, Photos and More

Stay tuned! For purchase information about any of the artwork, check out my Etsy store -- DreamON or send me email (conversation) by pressing the contact button at