En route to Telluride. Just landed in Denver and am waiting for my little prop plane to take me the rest of the way into Telluride.
I’m looking at seven days of full-on mountain painting. What I live for. Starting at around 9ooo feet, and hopefully going up to 11,000 or 12,000 feet if my rental car is plucky enough. And if it has enough ground clearance to keep the oil pan on.
On the way out of the studio this morning, I pulled a book on Carl Rungius off the shelf and threw it into my carry-on for some in-flight inspiration. If you don’t know who Rungius was you should check him out. He was a grandaddy of all North American wildlife artists today, but also a magnificent landscape painter in his own right:
Carl went deep into the bush to collect field notes, essentially it was plein air work at the sizes we commonly see today. Between 8 x 10 and 16 x 20 inches. He would keep that work and use it as reminders for larger full-scale work in the studio. Some of those field notes he kept and used for decades. Never selling them.
I purposely left the Edgar Payne book at home because Rungius’ book is in full color. Payne is great, awesome even, but his prose is difficult to decipher.
If you ever pass through Jackson, Wyoming, be sure to stop and visit the National Wildlife Museum locted between the town itself and Teton National Park. The museum is merely an excuse to house many of Rungius’ works. Absolutely phenomenal stuff to see in the flesh with little or no comparison. His surfaces are amazing. Rich. And you can get up close and stick your nose into them. The museum also has lots of his gear, and a recreation of his studio.
If you’ve never heard of Carl then I am happy to have introduced you to his work. A vastly underrated painter outside the wildlife art world. The man deserves far more recognition than he gets.
I’m not looking forward to the landing in Telluride. It will be bumpy since the town is essentially located in a steep box canyon. I hate descents for the same reasons I don’t like roller coasters. I’m a wimp. I prefer my stomach stays firmly attached to my diaphragm and not try to claw its way up my throat.
Gonna paint tomorrow. Whoohoo! If I can get my hands on the gear I shipped to the Sheridan Opera House. I’m told Telluride Plein Air will stamp any canvas so long as the paint is still wet. I’ll slap some wet stuff on right before stamping time if I have to. Anything to get started…
That’s all for now.