By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Although Leon Loughridge enjoys working in pastel and watercolor, he is best known for his woodblock prints. Loughridge’s signature method of layering color allows him to portray the atmosphere of the Southwestern landscape with a unique authenticity and sense of place.
This year’s Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale includes three of the artist’s woodblock prints: LOVELAND VALLEY, VEGA OVERLOOKS, and WATER POCKETS. In LOVELAND VALLEY Loughridge depicts Colorado’s Loveland Pass. “One of my favorite things to do on a hot, hot summer day is to go up there and wander about,” Loughridge says. “Above the timberline, the sky is so blue, and the shadows dance across the mountains.”
Another favorite haunt is Colorado’s San Luis Valley. In WATER POCKETS Loughridge captures a shallow waterway in early spring. “It’s always so dramatic to have the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background and then see them reflected in the water,” he says. “The whole afternoon I was there, I saw cranes everywhere. I love the big shapes and dramatic colors of this landscape.”
In November, Loughridge published The Cimarron Cut-Off, the third book in his series The Woodblocks of the Santa Fe Trail. The 64-page book features original woodblock prints created at Dry Creek Art Press, which Loughridge opened in Denver in 2000. He is represented by American Legacy Gallery, Kansas City, MO; Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; The Great Southwest, Colorado Springs, CO; Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, CO; Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, CO; Mary Williams Fine Arts, Boulder, CO; and Vail International Gallery, Vail, CO;
Featured in January 2012.