Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flirting with Spring, thinking of the West

It was starting to seem like it was not too premature to anticipate spring, so last Saturday I heated up the studio to about 50 degrees and started an oil painting of a Mesa Verde scene, my first oil painting since my show, and a step toward fulfilling my promise to donate a painting in appreciation for my Artist Residency last May.

The next day a blustery storm began which dumped about a foot of snow and big drifts in front of my studio door. So much for spring! But the sun looks strong on the snow and even though the temperature is only in the teens, spring is still on the way.

This weekend it's supposed to be milder, and I'm glad, because it was really nice to be working in oils again, and I need to process my Mesa Verde work, especially since I'm applying for new residencies for this year. Coincidentally, the first two I've applied to are so close to Mesa Verde I'll probably get my groceries in the same supermarkets.

One is at Great Dunes National Park. Who knew that the tallest sand dunes in North America are at the foot of the Rocky Mountains? I thought the dunes in Cape Cod National Seashore were big when I did my residency in 1997, but it would be very bizarre to draw even larger dunes with snow capped peaks behind them instead of the ocean.

The other is San Juan National Forest, My husband and I drove through the San Juan Mountains on the Million Dollar Highway (US 550) on our way back to the airport in Denver last May and the scenery was incredible. The housing looks very cool too, in the historic Aspen Guard log cabin which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, 12 miles north of Mancos, Colorado over a dirt road and tucked into an Aspen grove.

It will be a few months before I find out if I get chosen for either one, in the meantime, I'll probably apply for the Petrified Forest National Park and Grand Canyon residencies, just to hedge my bets.

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