Wednesday, February 18, 2009


"November Stream"
Oil on Panel

I've been trying to spend some time looking at good art lately. Living in the mountains makes it tough to get to openings and shows on a regular basis, but I think it's good to get out and see what other people are doing, and get out of my own little world. I think it would be an understatement to say that it's always inspiring to see a beautiful painting - makes me want to shut myself in the studio and paint away.

For Valentine's Day, Nate and Aspen and I drove over to Steamboat Springs and checked out Clyde Aspevig's show at the Steamboat Art Museum. If I hadn't had a two year old with me, I would have spent all day there (actually, I'm planning to drive back over on my own someday soon - the show was THAT good). If you live in or near Colorado, you really need to make the drive to see this show before it's over in April. And if you can't see it in person, at least order the catalog, even though the images come nowhere near to the power of these paintings in real life. I just got lost in the layers of color and texture in the larger studio paintings that were in this show. I know I've said this before, but the guy is really a master - best living landscape painter out there. After seeing the show, I've been waffling between a state of inspiration and state of unworthiness (why paint when I have so far to go???) - hehe...

I also just got the catalog for the William Wendt show that was at the Laguna Art Museum this winter. I really wish I could have seen it in real life, but I just couldn't swing the trip to California while it was hanging. The catalog is fantastic though - 300 pages and packed with beautiful color images. Even though the California landscape is fairly foreign to me, I love the work of the California impressionists. There's just something about the bold color and brushwork of Wendt and Payne that makes me think that that's what a landscape painting should be - I love it! So, check it out - this catalog is definitely worth the $30 or $60!

Anyhow, just wanted to pass along a couple of things that have gotten me all fired up about painting lately. What inspires you?


  1. I honestly get inspired by checking out your blog along with 8-10 others on a regular basis. This along with going to first Fridays gallery walks on occasion is all I need to trigger that inner need to create something. Right now I am stuck in the rut about not knowing what to focus my work on.. which is surprisingly something I don't hear many artists talk about. I feel like i am pulled in 3 directions(illustration, abstract, and landscapes... but I know to get substantially better, I need to focus a bit more. (sorry for the long message)

  2. Hi Stacey, I've seen William Wendt's work in the Art Institute in Chicago and it really is amazing. I can't see where you lack inspiration from viewing your paintings. Your paintings seem packed with inspiring beauty. But I know that we artists are forever in a state of change.

  3. Your 'November Stream' is absolutely beautiful.Loved the colors in it.And I also checked Clyde's paintings.He's an amazing painter!

  4. I have to say if you don't see C.Aspevig as a living master one doesn't do that much research:>) That guys work is what you said and I have never met him, but he sees things about the land and the landscape the same way I do - that is my inspiration, is it bad to check his site daily to study different things?:>) Internet is the best thing on earth for studying and in college or assignments If we didnt study art online and write about we would not be good with the teachers!!! I would get a A+ times 3 these days!!!!!



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  6. I feel inspiration comes in many forms for me. I was fortunate enough to visit the Vatican Museum in Rome, the Louvre in Paris, and the National Gallery in London last summer. Layering on the incredible patina of Rome and the architectural grace of Paris made for an awe inspiring experience. The paintings were amazing and the students painting from the master's originals in the Louvre drew quite a crowd. Having spent much of my life in commercial art and marketing, I came away feeling rather small in the shadow of such great works. Oil painting had always been something I wanted to try, and with the help of a thoughtful father's gift from my son, I got started. I first saw your work in Breckenridge with interest as a collector, and stumbled upon your blog as an aspiring fine artist. You have been a source of inspiration as you have graciously shared your artistic journey, providing a compass for those starting out. I admire your drive and determination and most of all, your passion for your art. And finally, I find progress itself inspiring. In the infancy of my journey, I look for the small victories in each of my paintings to help me muster the energy to continue down the path. Thanks, and I am sure I will have one of your pieces on my wall in the not to distant future! BTW, Clyde is amazing and my wife and I plan to make the journey to the place of our honeymoon many years ago to to see his works at the museum.

  7. hi stacey, beautiful brushstrokes and texture in this painting. the stream is lovely!

    i too, find it inspiring to get out and see others works too, whether at galleries or museums. although, with a two year old i can't do that during the day and we don't have a lot of sitter options.

    i never thought about ordering catalogs, that's a great idea. i would LOVE to see Clyde Aspevig's paintings in person. i look at them a lot online, but it's not the same as seeing them in person.

  8. I think it was back in 2006 when there was a Clyde Aspevig exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. Living in Portland, I decided to drive up to see it. The whole trip up I was thinking to myself "Am I crazy to be driving all this way just to see an art exhibit??". Well, when I got there I was totally stunned and overwhelmed. I had never seen such beautiful paintings in my life. I quickly realized that the Aspevig images I had seen on the computer and in catalogs totally paled in comparison to the real thing. So, needless to say, in a few weeks my wife and I will be making the two day trip to Colorado to see the Steamboat Springs exhibit. Except this time, I won't be thinking this is crazy - for me it will be worth the trip.

  9. Your "November Stream" is inspring to me!

  10. Great work once again. Thank you for sharing your work as a source of inspiration for us. I know its hard to get inspired looking at your own art as I'm sure you are your own worse critic. But it is inspiring to a lot of us out here in blog land. I also like to go to gallery shows and would love to some day see your work in person as well as Clyde's. I guess some day I'll have to road trip to the west.

  11. Thanks for the all the comments everyone!! I'll do my best to respond here...

    Brian - I know quite a few artists who struggle with what to focus on, so you're not alone (I guess that's the curse with being good at more than one thing!!)

    Janelle - I've seen his work there too, and it was great. I wish I could have seen a whole show's worth though!

    Ramesh - thank you. I think most traditional landscape painters in the USA would agree that Aspevig is the best of the best - hope you enjoy his work.

    Ben - I'm like you, I'm always looking at his site and catalogs. But nothing comes close to seeing the paintings in person!

    labrown - thanks for commenting! Best of luck in your own oil painting - I agree with you that progress itself can be inspiring - it's kind of what keeps me going sometimes. And definitely go to Steamboat to see the show - it's fantastic.

    Christine - I've actually taken Aspen to more art museums and opening and galleries than I can count. She knows how to behave around the art by now, but I can never spend much time actually looking!! Oh, and as for the catalogs, they're sort of an addiction of mine - I have stacks and stacks of show catalogs that I pour through when I'm feeling stuck.

    David - wish I could have seen that show! It's definitely worth the drive - like you said, when you stand in front of the actual paintings, they're completely stunning (I can only hope to achieve that with my own someday).

    Katherine - thanks!! I'm thinking of blowing this one up into a 30x40" or a 36x48" - this was just an initial study to see if I though it would work compositionally.

    Robin - of course you have to take a road trip out West - there's so much to see out here!! =) I get inspired looking at everyone else's work in blogland too.

  12. hi from Sain!! your work is really good, a little bit impresionist i think. is really wonderful ad i like it very much.

  13. Beautiful and delicate landscapes, with a very good technique

  14. Aspevig is a master but you are going in the right direction. Someday a young artist will be standing in front of your work in awe.

    Another subtle landscape painter is T. Allen Lawson.

  15. That's great - I think it will be wonderful in a larger format.