Almost daily painter, traveler and art lover
It's all about art, what else is there?
@lisahutart on instagram

Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 265 Biking the Highline

Here's the Highline Canal from last weekend, just west of the Flyin' B. It was early in the morning and the light was low and so very pretty. What a beautiful spot to walk, bike, paint and enjoy the rustling leaves. I'm wondering how I can block off even more time to get outside and paint, it never seems I have enough. I've certainly enjoyed the unseasonably warm October. I have a few fixes to do on this painting, will repost after I touch it up.

Biking the Highline
11x14 pastel

Day 264 Window View #3

Self explanatory, yes? Those leaves are coming down quickly.
I spent yesterday framing and packaging up art. For over 8 hours and I'm maybe halfway done. I had a couple friends come over on Friday to look at art and was embarrassed that they had to shuffle through piles in boxes, under tables, on tables and scattered just everywhere. Oils and pastels all mixed up, and many pastel paintings not protected under plastic or glass.
A least the oil paintings were dry.
So, time to get all that work organized, protected, priced and easier to go through.
Next time someone comes over I won't have to feel bad that they are leaving with little multi-colored pastel smears on various parts of their body. A look I'm pretty used to ... but you may not be.

Window View #3
8x10 pastel

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 263 Bike, Paint, Bike

Today was an awesome day. I have a new plein air setup. It's not an easel, pochade box, backpack or even new paint. It's a bike! I rode my several decades old mountain bike this morning and really wished I had a rack on the back for my paints, that it was 20 lbs. lighter, and that all the gears would work. It's listed as vintage online. I've been resistant to getting back on a bike but once I realized it could involve painting, I changed my mind. I can do that. My husband couldn't get me to the bike shop fast enough.
Other things I don't really want to do, but would, if it included painting:
-riding in a hot air balloon, I could paint there
-jury duty, I could sketch
-going to outer space - wouldn't that be fun?
So now I'm the proud owner of a new hybrid bike and this afternoon I headed up Waterton Canyon. I carried a small box of pastels, paper and my small REI folding chair. After riding several miles and dodging 5 male big horn sheep - I found a great spot to paint the South Platte River. I'm excited to get to more spots to paint and now also hoping for a light snow year.

Bike, Paint, Bike
pastel 5x7

Most excited about the bike rack and a perfect bag to fit my paints and pastels!

3 of the 5 Big Horn Sheep we saw hanging out in Waterton Canyon

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 262 Window View #2

I painted this one last week from my studio window. I have quite a bit of art that I haven't posted because they just aren't quite finished. Maybe I'll spend the weekend in town for a change and get caught up in the studio and be more consistent on posting? Then again, it's so pretty outside maybe I won't stay in until I have to ...

Window View #2
pastel 8x10

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Day 261 No Takers

It's pretty darn warm here for October. Not complaining. I forgot to mention that the humidity in Utah was something like negative 50 on my weekend hike. Temperature was in the 70's but felt very hot. The crows were silently circling above us. Hopeful, I image, that I might trip and provide a nice meal for them to pick at before there was time for anyone to rescue me.

When I hike with my girlfriends we talk the whole time - whether they like it or not. When I hike with my husband, he's pretty quiet so I have to entertain myself.
I occasionally imagine dramatic headlines like "Woman, eaten by crows after tripping AGAIN"
or " Fluke death of 50 something year old woman hiking a trail she had no business being on".
That kind of stuff.
Anyhoo - the crows went unfed and I got back to the picnic table to paint this teepee. It was available to rent for $35 a night. It was 2 camp spots away and I'm pretty sure the salamanders had easier access to the teepee than my tent. Sooo ... I'll stick with my tent thank-you-very-much.

No Takers
pastel 5x7

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day 260 Needles Hike

I hiked last weekend through Lost Canyon in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP. It was a 9 mile loop hike, we opted for the Squaw Canyon trail on the way back.
See, I tried this hike with my friend Lori earlier in the year and I choked a mile in. I couldn't get up the nerve to traverse that slick rock. I had a panic attack. Voices were telling me I would certainly die if I tried to cross that section of rock. I then watched several hikers pass me and walk easily across. While chatting. But it was too late, I was frozen.
Fear is what keeps us alive. You need to have the right amount, don't cross a street when cars are coming ... but not so much that you never go near the street again, right?
Looking back, it was the right choice at the time. The hike had many spots with even worse exposure. Lori would have had to drag me or send back search and rescue.
This time, I was mentally prepared. I knew I needed to conquer this particular hike. My boots were working, no slipping or tripping. Also, once you go so far you kinda have no choice but to keep going to get back to the car. The car never looked so good.
It's been a year of immense personal growth for me - painting, conquering fears, striving for balance. Not falling on my ass in more ways than one. Being mentally prepared and trusting my own judgement.
This painting is a view of the Needles in the distance from our campground, just outside the park entrance. To you it's just a painting, but to me so much more.

Needles Hike
pastel 9x12

Scary exposure but stunning views make it worthwhile!

Day 259 Campground Host

On camping last weekend ... I was pretty happy for our last chance spot in the Canyonlands. Not normally a place that we would have picked but it worked out just fine. No trees, and only one small bush next to our fire pit with a big hole near it. And a lizard that lived in it.
This guy was waiting for us, he watched me unpack. I called him Henry. It's less scary when you have a name, right? All I could think was if this dude ends up in my sleeping bag I will scream as I've never screamed before. We made a deal that I would tolerate him hanging out, and darting around constantly as long as he did not enter the tent.
I got used to him (and several of his friends) and painted this little bush along with the hole that our smallest "campground host" lived in.
If I think about it too long I can't believe I didn't sleep in the car. Did I mention the sign on the bathroom door asking to keep the doors shut to keep out the snakes and mice? Now that I wrote all that and think more about it, I may never camp again.

Campground Host
pastel 5x7

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 258 Elephant Hill

I just got back from a long weekend in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. We headed down to the Needles area to camp, hike, bike and paint. We learned the hard way that you can't really show up on a Friday afternoon at 4 pm and expect there to be available camp spots in the park - especially when it's fall break. Whoops. We snagged the last spot outside the park in a private campground, otherwise it was going to be dispersed camping on BLM land.
I'm kinda tough, but I need amenities ...

This little painting was done in the parking lot near Elephant Hill while I was balanced on a tiny camp chair. My pastels lined up nicely on the cars running board. See, I forgot my tripod. Dang. I had hoped with experience I'd quit forgetting stuff. Ed also forgot his tripod, for the camera ... maybe just to make me feel better? So, I still painted, we hiked, he biked and it all worked out. Colorado is still my favorite place in the world but Utah runs a close second.

Elephant Hill
5x7 pastel

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 257 Window View #1

These cottonwoods are right outside my studio window. I love the new studio, the widow is big, it faces east and has fantastic light. I've wanted to study a single scene and paint it during the changing seasons. So here is my first attempt because how easy is that to just head to the studio and look out the window and paint? I've stared at these trees lots (when I'm home) and look forward to some winter landscapes next. This is also home to more than one owl, they have been very vocal the last few weeks. I wonder if they will hang out here all winter? I'll keep you posted.

Window View #1
pastel 9x12

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 256 Three Times A Charm

I walked with a friend in the Park Hill neighborhood today. The sound of the crunching leaves and watching the wind blow them off the trees is really lovely. The color. Mmmm. I hope I can appreciate the snow season when it comes.
Yes, I've painted this one a couple other times - always trying to say something else with my brush. I'll get there. Take the time to watch and listen to the leaves even if you don't paint them. So much better than TV, right?

Three Times A Charm
24x24 oil

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 255 The Casita 87510

This is the home I stayed in at Abiquiu, NM last week. Dictionary definition of casita:
1. A small crude dwelling forming part of a shantytown inhabited by Mexican laborers in the southwestern US.
2. A luxurious bungalow serving as private guest accommodations at a resort hotel especially in the southwestern US or Mexico.

I was hoping for #2. I'm happy to report it was the perfect combination of the two - small (not crude) old historic building (among the locals) that had been upgraded and was quite comfortable.

The owner sent directions with several maps including an aerial view. I barely glanced at the directions and thought, I'll just put the address in google maps. Ha. They must have something against addresses in New Mexico because everything I tried to put in maps wouldn't come up. Even Bode's the local store. When I googled several addresses I got "close to" or "near 84" as an address. Huh.
Thankfully, I had another artist with me to help navigate through the small town of Abiquiu. The road was pretty rutted and if it was raining hard I'm sure I would have slid back down the hill.

Abiquiu does have a zip code -- so next time I head down, and I will -- I'm headed to 87510.

The Casita - 87510
pastel 5x7

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 254 Ghost Ranch View

I just got back from a short painting trip to Georgia O'keeffe country. I stayed in Abiquiu, NM within walking distance of Georgia O'Keeffe's house in a little casita and visited Ghost Ranch. So, I was painting in front of the visitor center, when this bug appeared inches from my hand. I let out a little (maybe medium sized?) scream then flicked him off the easel with my roll of paper towels.

I looked behind me to a crowd of people staring at me with concern. Like a couple dozen ... because a tour was about to start. whoops. I sheepishly said "it was a bug, it's OK, just a bug ..."
I glance back over my shoulder after a few minutes and feel the judgement.
I defensively blurted out "It was a really, really big bug." That bug was big enough to carry my canvas off to his bug-house for decoration.
They still looked at me like "seriously?"
I mumble to myself about how big it was and that it startled me ...
I know, I'm in New Mexico, I'm OUTSIDE - there are bugs. I think I've screamed over a salamander in South Carolina, an inchworm in Montana, a curious moose in Colorado and now this monstrous thing crawling across my paintbox in New Mexico. If you think painting plein air is easy ... it ain't!

Imagine my surprise as I reach down for a touch more orange on my brush

Didn't I tell you he was monstrous? This is a regular roll of paper towels.
Love nature - hate bugs.
I'm working on not screaming when I get startled.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 253 Crisp Fall

I'm vowing to appreciate the small moments of beauty that surround us everyday. Yesterday, I was at the hair salon and a little girl was having her long hair cut for Wigs for Kids. I watched as her hair (over 12" long) was cut super short. She had been growing it for over 2 years. She was adorable, excited and rightfully very proud of her accomplishment. I cracked up when she said "It's kinda strange seeing my ponytails, not on my head!" She's probably not worried about politics, global warming and health insurance. I'm gonna pretend to be 8 years old for now.

Here is a small fall abstract, inspired by the cool, crisp air and an indian summer.

Crisp Fall
oil 5x7

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 252 Freeze Watch

The white stuff has already dusted the mountain peaks over the last several weeks. I was hoping for a good aspen tree -- snow photo but haven't found that yet. So, I've given the orange paint a break for today. It's time for overnight freeze watches. The squirrels and chipmunks have thousands of pinecones stored in every possible nook and cranny at the mountain house. Maybe millions.
They will fare the winter well.
The mice on the other hand will try to sneak in to the garage. Lazy. It doesn't end well for the mice.

Freeze Watch
12x24 oil

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Day 251 Last Chance

I'm happy to report there are still "Cad Orange" trees out there to paint. I enjoyed them as much as I could, it felt like my last chance to see the Aspen this season. I won't be back up to the mountains for a few weeks and by then all the leaves will be gone. Driving home this afternoon I was astounded by the fall colors everywhere; rust colored bushes, ochre grasses, oranges everywhere ... so pretty. I may try and find some pumpkins to paint, should not be too hard.

Several of my friends are painting Tuesday - Friday in the Jefferson County plein air event this week - check out their art if you can this weekend.

Last Chance
11x14 oil