Spotlight | Plein Air Artists Colorado

Boulder, CO
Mary Williams Fine Arts, July 30-August 30

Barbara Churchley, Monument, oil, 8 x 10.

Barbara Churchley, Monument, oil, 8 x 10.

This story was featured in the August 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Plein Air Artists Colorado celebrates its 19th anniversary this month with a show featuring nearly 200 new landscape works. The presentation opens with a reception and awards ceremony that unfolds from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, at Mary Williams Fine Arts. This year’s awards juror is master signature member Lorenzo Chavez. Here we introduce you to just a few of the artists participating in the show.

Bill Meuser is fond of saying he paints like he drives: “too fast on a snowy road with bald tires.” In other words, Meuser paints loosely and spontaneously, whether he’s portraying Colorado mountain ranges or the Kansas plains. Rhonda 
McCay’s inspiration springs from experiencing the elements—the wind, sun, and snow of northern Colorado. Her Rocky Mountain scenes are full of expressive brush strokes that capture atmosphere and light. Like McCay, Sabrina Stiles is fond of depicting Rocky Mountain splendors and hopes to convey a feeling of connection to a time and place. Whether 
she is painting sunflower gardens or aspen groves, Lamya Deeb also has an artistic mission: To offer unexpected glimpses and brief encounters with nature’s many wonders. Self-described “lyrical impressionist” Nyla Witmore is best known for intimate landscapes that evoke a sense of place, in scenes featuring everything from the French countryside to Florida’s seaside.

Marilynn Brandenburger turns her creative eye on America’s wild landscapes. An inveterate traveler, she depicts the tranquility of places such as New Mexico’s Gila National Forest and Alabama’s Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge. Pastelist Carole Buschmann also possesses a certain wanderlust that takes her to Guatemala, France, and Italy. Her colorful works feature bustling farmer’s markets as well as quiet outdoor cafés. Jennifer Riefenberg, a fourth-generation Coloradan, knows the 
state’s natural beauty well. She regularly casts her eye on her home terrain, portraying fall’s brilliant gold aspen trees and winter’s snow-capped mountains.

Mike Simpson, A Fine September Day, oil, 12 x 16.

Mike Simpson, A Fine September Day, oil, 12 x 16.

From Montana cowboys to Kansas silos, small-town America is the subject matter of choice for Mike Simpson, 
who traverses back roads on his motorcycle with his sketchbook. Marie 
Johannes paints throughout the West, including natural wonders like Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park and California’s Pacific coastline. Both natural and manmade wonders inhabit works by Claudia L. Brookes. Her loose, colorful impressions feature a range of subjects, including vibrant Caribbean sunsets and Maryland’s country roads. Marsha Owen relishes depicting snow scenes. But living in northern Arizona also provides Owen with a wealth of inspiring terrain, from mountain lakes to red-rock canyons.

Hay bales, weathered barns, and rusted cars—Carol Strock Wasson has an eye for finding the beauty in roadside attractions of all varieties. Sharon 
Abshagen often depicts “the mood of the moment,” whether it’s the atmosphere of a city street in morning light or an ominous approaching storm. 
Barbara Churchley brings her passion for the outdoors to canvas in vivid scenes that capture summer’s blue skies as well as winter’s snow-covered fields and farms. Whether focusing on Colorado’s Garden of the Gods or New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch, Charles Stup paints 
on location to ensure that each work is spontaneous and fresh. Debra Joy Groesser is known for landscapes that evoke both emotion and atmosphere—from her portrayals of windswept trees to serene lagoons. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

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Featured in the August 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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