Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Denver Plein Air Arts Fest

I've been painting in the 2012 Denver Plein Air Arts Fest over the past couple of weeks.  This is my first year and it has been pretty fun.  Artists are allowed to paint at select locations between August 10th and September 16th.   Works that are juried in to the show in November will be eligible for awards and will hang in the Vida Ellison Gallery at the Denver Central Library.  Here are a few pics from the various sites.

One paint-out was held at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison Colorado.  I've been there at night for concerts but watching the sunrise over Denver is a spiritual experience.

Red Rocks Amphitheater at dawn
Ready to paint the sunrise at Red Rocks

Scott Ruthven
One of my paintings of Red Rocks

I also decided to paint the State Capitol.  It wasn't my first choice since it is an obvious choice but I found a unique vantage point and captured the sunset glistening off the gold-covered dome.  I ended up painting by the lights from the Voorhies Memorial for an hour + after the sun set.  As it got dark, more and more homeless people started showing up.   One of them, named Bryon, said he loved my painting and though it looked photo-realistic.  Later, when discussing something else, he told me he had vision problems and could only see fuzzy shapes ;-)  That was a let down.  When I asked him if I should be worried about some of the troublesome looking folks starting to congregate he said not to worry as long as he was around he would protect me.  It was a nice gesture but he clearly didn't take into account I was armed with multiple paint brushes and cadmium pigments.

Scott Ruthven
Painting the Denver State Capitol
Bryon - a friendly homeless guy who I chatted
with as I painted past dark. 

On another day we painted at the Grant-Humphreys mansion.  It's a beautiful old home and we had free reign of the grounds.  

I used the sight-size method for my drawing of the planter below.  The afternoon sun made the railings and planter glow against the dark foliage in the background.

Scott Ruthven
Sight-sizing initial drawing / values
Grant-Humphreys Mansion

Scott Ruthven
Planter at Grant-Humphreys Mansion

Scott Ruthven
Painting at Grant-Humphreys Mansion in Denver

The mansion also has wonderful architectural details which I decided to paint a few days later.  The piece I'm working on below required some detailed drawing.  I need to go down one more time to finish the painting.  So far it looks good; I'll post pics of it later.

Scott Ruthven
Drawing architectural details at Grant-Humphreys Mansion in Denver

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bee Keeper

The Bee Keeper by Scott Ruthven
The Bee Keeper by Scott Ruthven
5"x7" Oil on Canvas Panel
Here's another piece in my small, plein air barns series.  The setting sun moved quickly tonight but I was able to mass in the darks and place a few warm lights in quickly so as to capture the effect.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Cactus by Scott Ruthven
Cactus by Scott Ruthven
11"x14" Oil on Canvas Board
What a fun painting this was to paint!  The shadows intermingle with the form to create an interesting composition.  Varied edges and color temp changes lead the eye, create depth and define the center of interest.  The ground is full of texture created with palette knife and dry-brush techniques.  Touches of pure color on some of the spines and edges help create the sense of light.  I hope you like it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...