Featured Artist/Traveler: Alec Von Bargen - Interview

Where do I begin with the extensive creative accomplishments and adventures of Alec Von Bargen?

Artist/photographer/Humanitarian/Actor/Writer/Traveler - the list goes on and on. Born in New York City, he is based (sometimes) in Mexico and Milan, but no moss grows under this artist/traveler's feet. His numerous awards include being twice invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, he has also exhibited in galleries and museums internationally including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the OCT Museum in Shanghai…

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Movin' on - heading east across the pond.

In the next few weeks I'll be hither and thither - mostly across the pond in London and then to southwest Ireland at my 3rd residency at Cill Rialaig Artists Retreat. It's always a challenge to keep up a regular blogging schedule when I'm on the road, especially when I'm off the grid in the far reaches of the Irish coast. I will find a way my dear readers so check back soon.

Next week I'm hoping to publish my next artist traveler interview with

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Travelogues waiting for their adventures

Few things make me happier than a fresh leather bound art travel journal with blank pages waiting to be filled! The virgin white pages fill me with anticipation - visual stories that I will look back on in future years. Whether the resulting images will be a reflection of literal places or from my imagined worlds, they are travelogues of the epic quest…

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Listening to Trees - a new body of work

Prepping for a show with a theme is often an exercise in restraint. This is not a bad thing - on the contrary it's about focus and boundaries. I've often mentioned the candy store syndrome, otherwise known as the Blank Canvas Stare. With so many possibilities, it's classic to become paralyzed and do nothing, except maybe the laundry. But with a theme, I'm less distracted by the vastness of the Universe, and grounded by …

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Featured Artist/Traveler: Janice Mason Steeves - Interview

I don’t remember how I first heard about the Toronto area based painter Janice Mason Steeves, but I felt an immediate kinship when I saw her earthy, minimalist, abstract paintings. It seemed that we also shared a love of northern, vast, bleak landscapes, and we have both visited Iceland as an artist in residence - albeit at different residencies. The paintings that have come from her residencies and workshops there reflect the cool earth tones and the silence and spaciousness of that far northern wonderland. 

She also leads classes in oil and cold wax, and chooses often to hold workshops in such far afield  places as Ireland, the wild west coast of Canada, and soon to be locations in Scotland and Mongolia…

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30 Days of Aqua - Pairings

Now that my 30 Days of Aqua paintings are complete, they are finding themselves pairing up with their mates. Something about their natural affiliations make me happy, like finding one's tribe.

Even though the color Aqua is the tie that binds these paintings together, I wanted to be free to explore different strokes, and include imagery, or whatever I felt inclined to do in the moment. Sometimes just one limiting factor can throw the doors of freedom wide open…

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Fire and Ice - Dreaming of Iceland

The heat is already bearing down, the skies hazy with drifting wildfire smoke from miles away, and my default guidance system pulls me north. Could be my genetic predisposition - 98% British Isles, Irish, French and Scandinavian. I'm not built for heat and glaring sunlight. 

I did a residency in Iceland back in 2012 at Gullkistan, and wrote this passage in my sketchbook while there:

"To be in Iceland, the newest land mass on the planet - the rumbling belly of continents. Breaking, stretching, gasping open. Bleak, scoured, fertile. The clouds pan across the flatlands - spreading…

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Featured Artist/Traveler: Trine Bumiller - Interview

Trine Bumiller is a Denver based painter who has a special interest in the natural world. Her oil paintings are shown around the world and she is represented by Robishchon gallery in Denver, and Zg Gallery in Chicago.  She has also been to numerous artist residencies, including one in Denali National Park in Alaska.

Even though we live in neighboring cities, I first met Trine recently at a residency at Brush Creek Arts in Saratoga WY. At that time she was working on a huge project…

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30 Days of Aqua - a painting challenge.

Sometimes I set myself a painting challenge, to create boundaries in the candy store that is art-making. As summer heats up, my gaze turns to the cooling effect of Aqua. Doesn't matter in what way it shows up, but in land-locked Colorado, it gives me a a sense of water, flow, diving in to something that isn't rock.
These paintings are fast and loose, pint sized and purposely affordable. I love working small - there is less…

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Weekend Workshop - Courage vs. Confidence

As I prepare for my weekend workshop here in Boulder, I'm reflecting on the title and focus of this workshop. I first heard the quote "Courage is more important than Confidence" from the designer Debbie Millman. It struck me immediately that courage is the key to all creative pursuits and is critical in the broader context of ALL life choices.

There's an assumption that we must lead with confidence. That…

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River Seeks Ocean

Many days I cycle down to Boulder Creek to sit on my certain rock, now partially submerged from the high country run-off. This morning as I watched the frothy flow of water rushing by, I felt the urgency of the river seeking the ocean. And I thought of the human condition, always seeking connection with Source. It's the PULL of the Source, and when we allow our innate guidance to raft on the stream, there's no effort, it's easy to flow, and thrilling too. 

This is true in the painting practice - it is a form of meditation in that way. Deep listening to the guidance, the flow, the…

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Speaking of Freedom

Freedom is my M.O. Everything I do gets run through the freedom lens. It's the pinnacle of my pyramid, the joy and challenge of my life and work, and at times, my curse to bear. I'm restless when restricted, confined or subjected to other's expectations. I rebel at the smallest fences, and the longing to head for the horizon is almost always greater than the security of staying. And it's just how I like it.

But what does freedom even mean? Your definition will most likely…

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Gaps in the Flow - Brush Creek Arts, WY

Some people are steady at the helm of their creative activity, and are regular like roughage. That's not me. Try as I might there can be long gaps between painting sessions. Such as it is now, after the solid month of painting at my residency at Brush Creek Ranch. Sometimes I return from a residency - spent. Other times, energized, but am pulled away by life's other needs.

The longing to get back at it is a blessing and a curse at times…

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ARTSYSHARK.com Featured Artist Article

Thank you to Artsyshark.com for their feature artist article - you can read more on their site. Click the image:

"In life and art, I long for the horizon. There is an invisible tether that pulls me toward the unknown, and this is reflected in the artwork that I do. Even in my purely abstract paintings, it’s always about a mythical journey of discovery. I always want to know…”

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Waning days at Brush Creek Ranch Artist Residency, WY

Just a few days left of our residency here at Brush Creek Ranch. Time stands still and whizzes by, simultaneously. This vast landscape inspires and intimidates at times, even being from Colorado. Our daily hikes have added dimension to our isolated camp, and from the high perches, there is a sense of scale and orientation, sometimes missing from the low valleys.

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The Creative Pit

I've noticed a pattern while at a month long residency, that almost without fail repeats itself. Currently I'm at the midpoint, where I feel that nothing is working, and I can't paint!

The first week is full of vim and vigor, as all the artists get to know each other, we set up our studios and get cracking. The second week builds on that momentum and the studio begins to fill up with, at least, works in process. Then the midway point happens - suddenly

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My online course about Artist Residencies is now open!

All about ARTIST RESIDENCIES - how to find the right one for you,create a compelling application and become an artist in residence.  EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!

For those who are creative and love to travel, artist residencies are the Holy Grail. From Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and everywhere between, artist residencies are dedicated places for creatives to focus on their work, travel to cool places and 

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Horizons Everywhere

Something about the horizon line keeps showing up in my work out here in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. This is not the first time - the horizon is a composition I naturally gravitate to, in many ways - literally and metaphorically. There is an invisible tether that pulls, and sometimes yanks me toward the horizon, ever longing for the unknown.

This I think is partly the human condition, to be

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Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Ranch, WY

"Warning - extreme blowover danger!" The flashing signs crossing Wyoming on HWY 80 meant business. The 65mph + winds rattled and rocked my little Mini Cooper Clubman. But she held steady, helped I presume by the weight of 10 heavy panels for painting and a few hundred pounds of art supplies and other stuff. Art saves lives!

I was met by my host at the gates to this 15,000 acre luxury working cattle ranch in the

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