Saturday, July 18, 2015

Wise Family Photo Shoot

Patrick Saunders and I had the pleasure of creating a family shoot with this wonderful bunch a few weeks ago. We have come to just adore these people - they are great souls and such fun. Working with them is endless collaboration and laughter, just like I like it. Patrick and I are shooting Mom and Dad's vow renewal this fall - they will be celebrating 25 years of marriage!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Telluride Photography

I haven't even begun to go through all of the photos I shot in Telluride - so much beauty everywhere, so much to try to capture in so little time. Here are just a few of my favorites from this very special trip. I look forward to spending more time in this area in the future - it's the perfect place to summer in an Airstream.

Sunrise on quivering Aspens near Mountain Village in Telluride. I was circled by three deer while shooting this sunrise - they were annoyed with me because my presence was making them nervous about making their way to a salt lick set out for them by our gracious housing hosts. They bounced around me for about 15 minutes, and when I finally got what I needed and started moving away, one of them threw me a loud snort. I read later that this is what they do to show disgust with humans who get too close and/or annoy them. Plus, apparently we smell really bad to them as well, so they just really don't like our presence all the way around. I stayed calm while shooting, but the power of their movements startled me because I could feel the vibration of their jumping through the earth under my feet. I really wanted the shot, but also came to realize that if one of them had charged me that would probably have been it for my camera gear, and maybe serious harm for me. They seem so gentle and quiet from a distance, but when you are close to them and they move suddenly, you quickly learn to respect their strength.

An old mining shack on Highway 145 into Telluride.

Keystone Gorge Loop, Telluride, Colorado

Friday, July 10, 2015

2015 Telluride Plein Air Festival

Patrick Saunders was one of only 31 artists asked to participate in the invitation-only Telluride Plein Air Festival this year. We thought we were pretty familiar with Colorado, as we have family and friends there, but we had never been to Telluride. It's a bit of a long and slow two-lane highway drive, but well worth it. Telluride has its own airport, so you can fly in, but the runway is a little short for our comfort - like a brief shelf on the side of mountain. The Telluride area is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been in this country. All of Colorado is fantastic, but Telluride is truly breathtaking. Something amazing to look at and photograph everywhere you look. Endless inspiration for plein air painting. A town that is as charming as it gets, and almost chain store free - only Patagonia has been allowed to set up shop there. From the mountains to the falls, to the protected elk herd that passes in and around Telluride every day, you just can't ask for anything more. We will definitely head back there. It will be an excellent area to slowly work our way to with the Airstream - at around 8,000 feet, the summer days are warm but not blazing - perfect weather for RV life. These are just a few of the photos I took of the event, starting with the auction after the quick paint on Thursday, and the artist choice awards later that evening. Patrick Saunders won third place! I'm so proud of him for doing so well at his first national plein air event.

The Telluride Plein Air Festival is a fundraiser for the historic Sheridan Opera House.

All of the paintings from the quick paint Thursday morning were auctioned off immediately after the competition ended.

Carl Bretzke won first place with a great painting of an iconic structure that is the first thing you see on the way into Telluride.

Patrick Saunders won third place with his painting of the Cornet Falls Creek. Cornet Falls is a beautiful fall on the north edge of Telluride that runs through the bordering neighborhood. Quite a few people in Telluride have creeks for front or back yards. You can hear the sound of rushing water from many points throughout the town.

Patrick, Carl, and second place artist choice winner John Lasater.

The talented watercolorist Mat Barber Kennedy won the audience choice award at the end of the event. We were thrilled - Mat is a great, funny guy and a talented artist - you should Google him and check his work out - it's very distinctive.

And a big thank you to Telluride residents Heather and Charles Norris, who invited us to their home for the 4th of July fireworks in Telluride, which we have to say is one of the best fireworks displays we've ever seen. It was like the Telluride area itself: unique, beautiful, and creative. Telluride is a place where you can expect the unexpected, from the land and the people.