The Making of a Masterpiece May 17 2024, 0 Comments

As Christopher Cantwell was preparing for his February exhibition in Breckenridge he asked us what we wanted for him to create for the show. It was a retrospective exhibition and the first solo show he had put on in decades. We encouraged him to think and to work big. For his last show, in New York City, he created the largest wall piece of his career, a 60” by 40” amalgamation of hundreds of pieces of wood, shell and stone. For the first time in a long time, Cantwell was inspired to work at  a grand scale again.

The result is a divinely inspired piece titled “Things Lost That Can Never Be Found.” Knowing that he would be spending much of the winter skiing and snowboarding (he is equally skilled at both), Cantwell set to work on a composition inspired by the curves of the mountains he loves to ride. Little did he know that as he started to work on the piece a beautiful flood of memories would overwhelm him.


Cantwell has fostered many children over the years. He has adopted two, a brother and sister duo named Eben and Jamie. Eben passed away in 2021 in a tragic hit and run car accident while he was out skateboarding. One of Cantwell and Eben’s favorite activities together was snowboarding. Creating this new piece hit Cantwell hard. He knew that he wanted light to emanate from the top of the composition. He didn’t know that the light woods, in this case a combination of holly, satinwood and maple, would ultimately represent the heavenly light that he pictured Eben ascending into.

The focal point is the cliff. It represents the sheer joy of adventure found while pursuing snow sports. Life is challenging, a fact that Cantwell found too poignantly while creating this piece given its connection to Eben. Cantwell’s mastery of marquetry has seen him overcome the challenges present in working with wood for five decades now. He knows, and represents in this piece, that overcoming challenges can be thrilling. This is why he expertly brings our eyes to such a steep feature in the composition. His use of holly contrasts nicely with the ebony used to create the darks just above the cliff. The distinct change in value brings your eye right to it.

“Things Lost That Can Never Be Found” is created from 300 different types of wood. A variety of about a dozen types of shells are used in the piece as well, with their shimmering effects wonderfully serving to mimic the effect of glittering snow. Cantwell is a master of movement and beautifully used highlights within the piece to make his viewers eyes dance around the work as they study it. The highlights amplify his aim of giving the artwork the appearance that it is snowing. Details are the foundation of his work. With 300 different types of wood present, and Cantwell’s unrivaled skill of shaving the wood down to the point it almost dissipates to dust, there are countless tiny pieces of wood filling in every gap between the largest slices used within the work. In many places throughout the piece there are over a dozen tiny of pieces of wood within a couple of square inches. The natural patterns found within each piece of wood, regardless of its size, are mesmerizing. It makes each part of the work seem to undulate with a radiant, natural energy.

Cantwell’s art has been shown around the world and featured in the collection of more than 10 museums, including the Smithsonian, the Laguna Art Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, New York, the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, California,  the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama. Perhaps most prestigiously, Cantwell designed two pieces for the White House’s art collection. This led to a realization while he was in Breckenridge for his exhibition over the winter: Christopher Cantwell is here at our house. His art is in the White House. We are blessed and excited to share his masterful works in wood.

A Day at the Denver Art Museum January 08 2024, 0 Comments

Highlights of our day spent at the Denver Art Museum included visiting paintings by Raitman Art Galleries represented artists Tracy Felix and Gregg Deal, alongside works by Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keefe, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Raymond Jonson, Birger Sandzen, Marsden Hartley and Jackson Pollack.

Houston Llew...How It Began December 15 2023, 1 Comment

This is a story about humble beginnings. This is the story of how Houston Llew's Spiritiles came to be. From a garage in Atlanta to a studio in Charleston, the art Houston Llew creates spreads joy around the globe, one Spiritile at a time. This is perhaps the most comprehensive backstory on Houston Llew's art to ever see the internet.

Jared and Nicole Davis, A Feature in Vail Valley Magazine February 15 2022, 0 Comments

Jared and Nicole Davis create stunning, nature inspired works in hand-blown glass. This blog is an article written by Kimberly Nicoletti for Vail Valley Magazine.

Art Around the World, A Commission with David V. Gonzales December 05 2021, 0 Comments

Commissioning art is a wonderful way to add a personal touch to your home. Great artists can paint visual stories that make the art we collect a special part of our lives and legacies. David V. Gonzales is a master at exactly that. Read on to learn about his commission process, as experienced by a family across the world in Taiwan.

The Story Behind Kate McCavitt's "Primal Elegance" Series March 07 2021, 0 Comments

Kate McCavitt is known for her original landscape paintings, often depicting aspen trees against shimmering abstract fields of color. McCavitt's "Primal Elegance" series is explained through her eloquent writing in this blog about her art.

Roger Hayden Johnson: Inspiration Behind the Paintings August 16 2020, 0 Comments

Roger Hayden Johnson has been painting for 65 years. His realist depictions of our world have seen him painting old skiffs for the past decade. Johnson's mastery of light, composition and realism bring the old boats to life. Here are the stories and inspiration behind Roger Hayden Johnson's original paintings.

Thane Gorek Interview June 13 2020, 0 Comments

Thane Gorek discusses his life as an artist, his current projects and words of encouragement for aspiring artists. Gorek's original landscape paintings in oil and gouache are on display in our galleries in Breckenridge and Vail, Colorado.

A Colorado Landscape in Your Non-Colorado Home May 21 2020, 0 Comments

Can Colorado art work in non-Colorado homes? Absolutely!!!

Collecting Sculpture May 08 2020, 0 Comments

We represent 13 different sculptures throughout our three galleries. Placing sculptures is one of our absolute favorite things to do when curating our collection and designing our spaces. They have the same impact in your home as they do in our galleries, providing intrigue, dimension, conversation and a lot of fun in your homes or offices.

Do I Have Good Taste in Art? May 01 2020, 0 Comments

Have you ever wondered if the art that you love is art worth falling in love with? All that really matters is that you trust your taste. That's self-empowering, isn't it? It's also true!

Finding the Perfect Work of Art for Your Home April 23 2020, 0 Comments

Collecting artwork is fun and exciting, although it can be daunting for some people. This blog post covers what's important to first consider when looking for the perfect work of art for your home.

Marty Goldstein Interview April 16 2020, 0 Comments

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with artist Marty Goldstein. Marty Goldstein is a bronze sculptor based out of California and is represented by Raitman Art Galleries located in Breckenridge and Vail.

The Benefits of Art in the Home April 09 2020, 0 Comments

Why collect art? The reasons are pretty much endless and here are a few great ones!

Kay Stratman Interview March 26 2020, 0 Comments

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with artist Kay Stratman to ask her a few questions about life as a full time artist.  Kay Stratman is a watercolor artist based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and is represented by Raitman Art Galleries located in Breckenridge and Vail.

Judy Greenan Interview February 07 2020, 0 Comments

We had the opportunity to sit down with Boulder-based artist Judy Greenan to discuss life as a full-time artist in Colorado.  Judy Greenan is represented by Raitman Art Galleries in Breckenridge and Vail.  Catch Judy's exhibition at our Vail Fine Art Gallery on March 20 through April 24.

Rolinda Stotts Interview January 13 2020, 0 Comments

We had the opportunity to sit down with Colorado-based artist Rolinda Stotts to discuss life as a full-time artist in Colorado.  Rolinda Stotts is represented by Raitman Art Galleries in Breckenridge and Vail.  Catch Rolinda's exhibition at our Breckenridge north Fine Art Gallery on November 29 through January 12.

Scy Caroselli Interview November 07 2019, 0 Comments

We had the opportunity to sit down with Denver-based artist Scy Caroselli to discuss life as a full-time artist in Colorado.  Scy Caroselli is represented by Raitman Art Galleries in Breckenridge and Vail. 

The Sushe Felix Interview October 02 2019, 0 Comments

We had the opportunity to sit down with Colorado-based artist Sushe Felix to discuss life as a full-time artist in Colorado.  Sushe Felix is represented by Raitman Art Galleries in Breckenridge and Vail.

Spotlight on Pete Zaluzec : Wildlife Photographer February 01 2018, 0 Comments

Pete Zaluzec has worked in mediums across the board, including wood carvings of detailed life-life birds to less representational bronze sculptures of bison.  He has always researched his subjects firsthand in the wild, all the while taking extensive photographs.  This collection of skilled photographs lead t his own unique photographic process. The intriguing image compels the viewer to look more closely and inquire about the process of creating such eye-catching imagery.

November and December Gallery Exhibitions November 08 2017, 0 Comments

Experiential shopping is a big deal to us. When you visit our galleries, it ought to be an experience far more fun and informative than your visit to any other gallery or store. One of the best ways to experience the art world is to meet the artists that have excelled in their careers to the point that they are shown in prestigious gallery collections. Watching them work and hearing the stories behind their creations can be mind-blowing. Thus, we have packed our winter season with an exhibition and artist demonstration schedule that is sure to satisfy!

The Frontiers Collection - New Spiritiles by Houston Llew June 06 2017, 0 Comments

Houston Llew released a brand new collection of Spiritiles! The Frontiers Collection features three new Spiritiles with a frontier adventure theme. Read on to explore Houston's story on this fantastic new release.

Moving Mountains - from The Catalogues Vail/Beaver Creek Summer 2017 Issue May 18 2017, 0 Comments

Colorado's landscapes are grand, beautiful, diverse and so much more. The state has the kind of views that so many of our visitors wish they could bring home with them. While it would be impossible to move the mountains, Colorado's artists are skilled at capturing their surroundings. Many of them are adept at doing so in ways that present far more than an exact representation of the landscape. They create works that capture the memories and emotions experienced while exploring Colorado's grandeur. And they do so with artwork that can certainly be moved from state to state, or even from country to country.

Kristof Kosmowski in the Breckenridge Gallery July 25 2016, 0 Comments

Kristof Kosmowski was a prodigy in the European art world. He was awarded with 25 one-man shows in the largest cities of his native Poland by the time he was 25. He was also honored to show his work in the countries of Germany and Finland at such a young age. Kosmowski's training at both the Escola Massana Centre d'Art in Barcelona, Spain and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland intensified his focus and furthered his career.

Today, he resides in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We are a state fortunate to have such a skilled artist amongst us. This weekend, he will be making appearances in the downtown Breckenridge gallery, Art on a Whim on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

Casey Horn's Newest Bronze Sculpture June 15 2016, 0 Comments

Our bronze sculptor, Casey Horn, known for his incredible three-dimensional renditions of Chinese written characters, has created a new series of sculptures. The new series is called "The Heart." Currently, Casey has two pieces completed, "Heart" and "Mindfulness," and is in the process of creating others for the series. The pieces will be grass script - a simplified fluid way of writing the characters - and some will be kinetic. Typically "Heart" will form the base for each sculpture in the series, with another symbol on top to create an exquisite symbol and sculpture. Because edition sizes will be small (typically nine castings per piece), we will be taking pre-cast orders.

Vail Film Festival Events April 08 2016, 0 Comments

We are proud to be hosting a couple events for the 13th annual Vail Film Festival! One of our artists, David V. Gonzales, painted the official image for the film festival poster. We have the original painting on display in the Vail gallery, as well as poster for sale. Gonzales will be at the Vail Cascade signing poster on Saturday, April 9th, from 3 to 6 PM.

The Pro Cycling Challenge in Paint September 08 2015, 0 Comments

A bike race is intense. Adrenaline pumps through the rider's veins. Their pedals spin furiously with each push of the legs. Their faces are full of focus and determination. Viewers rarely catch more than a glimpse of the riders. Despite the fleeting moment they are left with an abundance of energy from the rush of flesh, metal and rubber that just flew by them. Translating a moment so quick, yet so powerful, into a work of art is a challenging endeavor. David V. Gonzales has built quite the fine-art career by mastering the motion and energy that makes bike racing so enthralling.

Cynthia Duff Showing in Vail April 05 2015, 0 Comments

Organic. Unique. Contemporary. Classic. Combined, each adjective perfectly sums up the work of Cynthia Duff. Her wooden canvases literally pop off of the wall. Each piece undulates with a perfect combination of form, color and composition. Duff's show, hanging at the Art on a Whim gallery, presents a wondrous experience of discovering what can be accomplished when an artist steps outside of the box and literally bends their medium in new directions.

Ellen Woodbury Exhibition in Vail through February 1st January 20 2015, 0 Comments

Name a Disney movie between 1985 and 2005 and chances are Ellen Woodbury worked on it. Here are a few: Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and The Beauty and the Beast. Having been born in the early 1980’s myself; Woodbury spent her career bringing the stories that shaped my childhood to life. As a Directing Animator at the company that brought us The Magic Kingdom, Mickey Mouse and more, Woodbury’s career is marked with highlights and prestige. This weekend, she is meeting collectors while showing a collection of her sculpture at the Art on a Whim gallery in Vail Village.

David Gonzales' Exhibition, December 2014 December 10 2014, 0 Comments

Movement, energy and speed are intrinsic to skiing and snowboarding. The sports embody the spirit of interacting with nature. Combine their speed with big, pristine mountains and you will find an unrivaled sense of freedom and joy. David V. Gonzales seeks to capture all of the above in his lively acrylic paintings of skiers and snowboarders.

Cynthia Duff: Contemporary and Earthy Wall Sculpture October 13 2014, 0 Comments

Cynthia Duff’s sculpted wooden canvases embody the contemporary side of Colorado. Each piece undulates with a perfect combination of form, color and composition. Hailing from Grand Junction, Colorado, the artist’s work literally pops off of the wall. Her show, hanging at the Art on a Whim gallery, presents a wondrous experience of discovering what can be accomplished when an artist steps outside of the box and literally bends their medium in new directions.

The Pro Cycling Challenge in Art - Original Work by David V. Gonzales August 29 2014, 0 Comments

At its core a bike race is all about movement. It is fast, frenzied and fascinating. The work of artist David V. Gonzales was chosen to represent the Breckenridge and Woodland Park stages of the 2014 Pro Cycling Challenge for just this reason.

Vitreous Enamel: Luminous and Ancient Art Form July 31 2014, 0 Comments

Vitreous enamel is an ancient art form. The medium dates back thousands of years but it is rarely seen these days. This weekend, two of the artists chiefly responsible for keeping vitreous enamel alive are in Breckenridge to show off the wide ranging collections of their work. The stories of how they began working with such a unique process are as steeped in history as the medium itself.

Listen Hard, Walk Softly. A Work in Bronze by Ellen Woodbury July 22 2014, 0 Comments

I have been carving stone for 8 years.  It has happened during those years that I am struck with an idea for a sculpture that cannot be safely sculpted in stone because the possibility of breakage is too high.  Until now, I have simply abandoned those ideas and moved on.  However, the inspiration for “Listen Hard, Walk Softly” was too powerful for me to ignore.

Marty Goldstein and his Playful Bronzes Visit Vail and Breckenridge June 26 2014, 0 Comments

Playful only begins to describe the work of sculptor Marty Goldstein. The bronze dogs that make up his “Harvey Dogs” series are all full of personality. Every single piece is sculpted with one purpose: to bring laughter and joy to the lives of the people who collect his work. If a piece doesn’t bring a smile to his lips while he is sculpting the clay form, it doesn’t get put through the arduous lost wax process to be cast in bronze.

Houston Llew and Chris Lundy Shows in Vail January 26 2014, 0 Comments

This is a great article that ran in the Vail Daily over the weekend:

Art on a Whim in Vail: Our Background, Our Concept and Your Time to Party! December 26 2013, 0 Comments

The Art on a Whim Gallery has arrived in Vail with a unique concept. Art should be fun. It should make us smile. While beauty is ever present in the Art on a Whim collection, the gallery derives its distinctive presence from the belief that pushing the envelope and having fun while doing so is what makes art worthwhile. As a result, you would be hard pressed to leave their Bridge Street locations without a smile on your face.

Why a New Website? November 27 2013, 0 Comments

Why do we have a new website? There are many reasons for it, but the primary reason is security. Our new website allows us to provide the highest level of online shopping protection you can find on the web. With Level 1 PCI compliance, you can be assured your information is always secure. This allows us to offer something we've always wanted for our frequent online shoppers: the ability to create a customer account for our site. This will allow you to safely store your information and greatly reduce the amount of time you spend checking out of your online shopping cart by eliminating the need to retype your information for every purchase you make through our site. You'll be able to add multiple ship to addresses, select your shipping method and see shipping costs prior to checkout, use discount codes and more. It should make the online ordering process much, much easier.