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!

Our exhibitions begin with visits to Breckenridge Thanksgiving weekend from painters David V. Gonzales and Deb Komitor, along with sculptor Judith Snyder. Rolinda Stotts will be spending the weekend painting in Vail.

Artist David Gonzales Ski PaintingDavid V. Gonzales will be featured in our newest location, known as Breckenridge South. Gonzales’ work depicting athletics, mountain towns, and wildlife is always a highlight in our collection. He paints with power and purpose, creating scenes that seem to move before our eyes. The amount of energy and vibrancy that Gonzales paints with perfectly captures the power and grace of his subject’s motions. Watching Gonzales paint is riveting. He combines brushwork with palette knives. He moves his tools throughout his hand-built panels with a remarkable rhythm. Seemingly within the same second, Gonzales will be painting the top left corner of his piece and the bottom right corner. He occasionally bounces while he works and he often likens his creative process to that of performing in an athletic event. We tend to be super careful when he is painting in the galleries, as he has been known to fling paint across the room. Gonzales paintings are often upside down while he works on them. This forces him to think less analytically about his subject and focus more on his compositions and color theory. The end results are fascinating, even more so when you have the opportunity to watch the work come to life!

In our flagship location, now referred to as Breckenridge North, Judith Snyder will be working with ceramics on Friday and Saturday. Deb Komitor will be painting on Saturday and Sunday. Snyder and Komitor are both new additions to our collection and this will be the first show with us for each lady!

Judith Snyder Ceramic Cairn SculpturesSnyder’s ceramic sculptures will make for an interactive exhibition. She stacks sculpted ceramic together to create pieces that resemble the cairns that we come across on beautiful trails. Snyder has mastered many unique forms of the clay firing process, from wood to salt to raku firing. The organic and natural qualities of her work are immediately striking. Snyder will be bringing some unfinished works which our clients will be encouraged to assemble themselves. By stacking the ceramic pieces, clients can build their own sculptures! Snyder refers to the series of work we have shown thus far as her “Spirit Guide Series.” She says, “The Spirit Guide Series explores an inner spiritual journey, guided by spirits of angels. These mentors counsel us on our journey through life.” The metaphor present in Snyder’s work is even more prescient for those lucky enough to participate in her forthcoming demonstration. Art should speak to us. Snyder’s serves as a reminder of the trails we have taken in life and a beautiful guide for those we have yet to embark on.

Deb Komitor Oil PaintingDeb Komitor’s oil paintings take us deep into the forest. A full-fledged exhibition of her work feels like a journey into your favorite neck of the woods. She paints her landscapes in an almost pixelated manner. Up close, one appreciates the rich colors and heavy brushstrokes. It is easy to appreciate the abstract nature of her painting style. Upon stepping further from the painting, Komitor’s work becomes crisp and accurate. This transition that occurs as you move to and from her paintings feels much like the transition one experiences while on a hike. The scenery changes from every angle. Komitor’s paintings all begin by applying the darkest colors. Black forms the background. From there, Komitor begins the process of growth. Every stroke of the brush brings forth more color, more depth, and more movement. Light begins to emerge as she moves through the painting process. Eventually, the contrast between the dark background and emerging foreground serves as a beckoning further into the trees. The light colors provide the warmth necessary to want to continue the journey. To Komitor, the paintings represent hope and wonder. They capture those magnificent moments when the quiet of the forest allows us to dream big, to feel at one with the world and to let our imaginations wander. 

Rolinda Stotts Bella Rotta PaintingVisitors to our Vail gallery will get to spend part of the weekend with an incredible lady and artist. We have shown Rolinda Stotts’ Bella Rotta paintings for just under a year and a half now. To say that her addition to our collection changed the game for us would probably be an understatement. Rolinda’s work is truly unique. We have not seen other artists create with anything resembling the same technique. This is one of many reasons that so many of our clients have gravitated to her work. One of the others is her infectious personality. Her natural ability to connect with people on so many levels is incredible. She believes that imperfection is the source of all great things. As a result, she tears her paintings apart while she is working on them. Every part of her work, right down to the pine frames that she rests her sculpted birch wood and oil-coated canvases on, is built by her own hands. She takes great pride in her calloused fingers. She encourages you to touch her work. That’s right; this isn’t your typical art gallery exhibition. You are more than welcome to touch your favorite painting. As a matter of fact, you are told to do so. After all, if you live far enough away that we cannot come hang it for you, you will do so eventually, right? Thus, Rolinda created her own varnish to protect her beautiful works from our fingers. You might want to bring some clothes that you don’t mind getting some paint on too. At Rolinda’s summer exhibition in Breckenridge, we sold a beautiful floral scene to a wonderful grandma because her grandson was granted the opportunity to pick up the brush and make a few marks of his own. We could spend a lot more time telling you about Rolinda and her work. We recommend coming to meet her instead! Rolinda will be in Vail November 24th and 25th and December 8th and 9th. And if you miss the Vail exhibition, there is no reason to fret. She will be coming to Breckenridge January 5th and 6th too!

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.

Kosmowski's early recognition came from realistic renderings of a variety of sports. These paintings can be found in significant collections around the world. He was commissioned by the country of Poland to create a series of work which was used as postal stamps. In 2008 his work was used as the official poster of The Davis Cup, one of the world's premier tennis tournaments. Kosmowski's work is on display at the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland and in the Finnish Parliament building. Interesting collectors include Andy Roddick, Richard Petty, Greg Popovich, Leonard Taylor and plenty of corporations.

In 2009 Kosmowski moved to Colorado. In 2010, Kosmowski's life of creative exploration took a turn for the abstract. He began painting in a new style with new materials. His modern, expressionistic approach features his love for the landscape as his muse, as he loosely portrays Colorado's mountainous landscapes, aspen groves and bodies of water. His inspiration is drawn from past masters such as Monet, Rothko, Klimt, Cezanne and more.

Kosmowski says, “My paintings come from the colors. I stopped caring to much about defined shapes and I started to care more about colors and how they contrast in nature. I got bored painting subjects. If you have a minute to stand in front of a Rothko painting and look at it for a while, you get a different dimension. I am trying to do the same thing in a different way. I am constantly learning from the masters. If you focus you can see and feel realism within my paintings.”

Much of Kosmowski’s artwork is about neuroaesthetics. They are about shifting our perception of the world around us. He frequently depicts mental representations of an object, typically nature, rather than its actual form. Kosmowski’s artwork does not adhere to the light, shadows and color properties of objects in the physical world, yet it appeals to us because they reveal just enough form for our brains to complete the puzzle he has presented us with. His new painting “Valley View Lake” serves as a perfect example.

Kosmowski’s challenging medium of Venetian Plaster and oil paints provides his work with depth, texture and a rich vibrancy. Venetian Plaster is primarily composed of crushed marble and lime putty. Its extensive history dates all the way back to Roman times, with a resurgence during the Renaissance era in Venice and again with the skilled hands of Kristof Kosmowski.

On Venetian Plaster as his medium of choice, Kosmowski recalls, “I lived in France and visited the Palace of Versailles in 1978. The things you could not touch were composed of Venetian Plaster. It was so well done and I didn’t know things could be done in this technique. It stuck with me and I decided to explore it later in life. Now it comprises all of my artwork. I love working with the medium because you never know what is going to come up. It is organic, you cannot tell what is going to lie behind the surface after you complete polishing it. Shades are always shifting and I am always surprised by what I am able to reveal. When I start a painting I know roughly what colors I want to use but after I apply the pigments the polish will always give me different, spontaneous colors. I’m running around the painting like crazy, painting and scraping and polishing.”

Every variation Kosmowski infuses into his medium is applied with a random, controlled and immeasurable quality. His extemporaneous and emotional inspiration draws from a deep energy that translates into the poetic motions of his palette knives and brushes. It is impossible to duplicate a Kosmowski original, giving every piece intense feelings of mystery and excitement. Kosmowski's bold use of color and texture reflect his inner essence and love for the land. These are the signature marks of this Colorado based, international artist. You are invited to explore Kosmowski’s latest creations and meet the artist at the Art on a Whim Gallery this weekend. Be ready for your perceptions to shift.


Lelija Roy Exhibition in Breckenridge through February 8, 2015 January 11 2015, 0 Comments

The landscapes of artist Lelija Roy are all about emotion. They are about feeling. Each unique piece captures a pristine moment in time. Rather than a realistic interpretation of the scene, each painting portrays the awe that nature's beauty leaves within its witnesses.

Lelija's work has been highly sought after since her introduction in the Art on a Whim gallery five and a half years ago. The evolution of her work has been as impressive as watching the leaves of aspens turn from green to gold each fall. Aspens, of course, are a staple in Lelija's subject matter. She is quick to say, "I am always inspired by the inter-connectedness of aspen groves. They strike me as all being a part of a sisterhood." As such, every painting displays the unity found amongst Colorado's iconic trees. With such a classic subject as her muse, Lelija has excelled at creating an innovative technique to portray the magic of the forests.

Dozens of layers of mixed-media materials bring Lelija's landscapes to life through immense texture and color. The primary components of her paintings are rice papers, silk, lace and other fabrics mixed with acrylics, metallic and iridescent paints, inks and more. The materials combine seamlessly to replicate the depth we find when wandering through the mountains. Depending on the perspective Lelija seeks to capture in every new painting her viewers will find themselves immersed within an aspen grove, standing on the edge of a meadow enjoying the distant scenery or soaring above the scenery with a bird's eye view.

A new piece titled "Magic Touch" has the viewer soaking in an alpine valley, surrounded by jagged peaks. Mountains made of silk grace the skyline. Rice papers create the winter laden aspen trees. A shimmering copper sky, composed of metallic and iridescent paints, shifts color as one moves past the painting. All told, the painted and textured landscape undulates much as the valley, peaks and sky would in nature itself. It is impossible to look at the piece and not feel at peace with the world, knowing that places like this are waiting to be explored. Lelija says, I want those appreciating my art to "know that they have the power to preserve this beautiful piece of nature."

Impressions are a large part of what Lelija creates. Each piece is both realistic and abstracted at the same time, leaving a clear and telling image. The impressionist masters, such as Monet, are a large influence on Lelija's latest works. Her dreams have started to work their way into her creations as well, giving many new pieces a delicate, supernal quality.

"Heart Path" lights up her new collection. The 40" by 30" piece is alive with burgundy and gold. Lelija says, "It epitomizes the vibrancy of the Pantone color of the year, Marsala." Impressionist brush strokes create thick foliage, allowing the viewer to get lost in the color of the aspen grove. Lelija's masterful use of texture provides definition to each leaf as it sways in the breeze. Lelija's objective with the painting is to allow one to "feel the heart beat of Mother Earth."


The tradition of landscape painters using their skill to preserve the places they paint is not lost on Lelija. She says, "Every new painting seeks to bring us to that peaceful place where we become lost in the ever changing and always beautiful planet we live on."

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.

“Look at a whimsical dog, and for the moment, you forget about the ills of the world, politics and other not-so-nice things,” Goldstein said.

The Art on a Whim galleries in Vail and Breckenridge will host artist receptions for Goldstein on Friday, June 27, and Saturday, June 28. The joy that Goldstein brings to the world through his happy “Harvey Dogs” is always on display in the galleries, but this weekend, Goldstein will be adding his ebullient and humorous personality to the viewing experience.

Care-free moments

Art is meant to strike an emotional response in its viewers, and Goldstein’s work does just that. The quizzical faces, soulful eyes and playful poses of his pieces immediately disarm people and bring them right to the innocent, care-free moments of playing with their furry companions. For Goldstein, it takes him back to his childhood, which he spent with two adoring Irish setters.

It seems that Goldstein was always meant to sculpt. It took him 66 years to make it happen, however. He endured the rigors and stress of the corporate world, all the while telling his wife, Barbara, that she needed to remind him to sculpt upon his retirement. She had been told that most retired guys just get in the way of their wives after wrapping up their careers, so Goldstein knew he better find something to do with himself.

At Barbara’s urging, he took a series of sculpting classes at their local art center. From there, a series of 130 limited-edition bronze sculptures was born and a new career was launched. Goldstein has since garnered international acclaim for his creative work. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum even has a piece modeled after the president’s Scottish terrier Fala.

 Process of transformation

When Goldstein begins a new sculpture, he isn’t quite sure where it is intended to go. Each piece can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete. Add in the several months it takes to transform the sculpted piece from clay to bronze, and when you stop into the Art on a Whim gallery this weekend, you will be looking at a collection that has taken years to amass.

Every piece begins with Goldstein’s determination of the size and pose that he will form. The facial characteristics and priceless expressions are always saved for last. While the perfectly smooth forms and exaggerated features of his dogs comprise a great deal of the work, it is the details that truly bring them to life. They bring a unique personality to each piece, whether it’s in the appearance of inquiring eyes or silly wrinkles.

His piece “Sylvester” stands perched in the downward dog position, ready to play with every willing passer-by. With his head cocked to the side, he seems to always be asking if you are ready to bounce around the room with him. The contented look on the face of “Charlie” compliments his oversized droopy ears, showing one easy-going and happy puppy. Each large piece has bright gold toenails. Why? Just to add a bit of the sparkle that dogs add to our lives.

The bulk of Goldstein’s work is not specific to any breed. Rather, he seeks to capture the essence of innocence and beauty that all canines possess.

“Whimsical dogs remind me that life sometimes gets too serious and that we need a release,” the artist said. “Funny-looking dogs do that for me.”

Goldstein will be in the Art on a Whim Vail gallery on June 27th, 2014 and the Breckenridge Art on a Whim gallery the following afternoon.


The Work of Talia Makes You Smile April 20 2014, 0 Comments

Here's a great article that ran in the Summit Daily recently:

On occasion, though not frequently enough, art derives its sole purpose from putting a smile on its viewer’s faces. Such is the case with the work of Talia Swartz. Her international acclaim for creating lively cityscapes and landscapes is derived in large part from the uplifting personalities each of her original paintings possesses. Swartz’s work has the ability to transport us into a world in which buildings, trees and mountains have enough rhythm and vibrancy to make us feel like children again. Simply put, her work makes people smile.

Talia Swartz Painting at Art on a Whim

The artist will be in the Art on a Whim gallery on Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, greeting visitors and demonstrating her work. She will be working on a collection of miniature paintings inspired by her time in the mountains.

Swartz’s love of children’s books and their colorful illustrations inform and inspire her work. She relishes in bringing an animated style to each new piece. Fittingly, she loves sharing art with children, too. When she is not busy adding spirited swaths of color to a new piece, she can be found teaching children how to do what she does. This love of the innocent side of the art world is ever present in her work. The joy she is able to communicate through paint is infectious, as well. Students of “Miss Talia” love seeing her gallery shows and light up when they enter a room filled with her work.

Buildings twisted into intriguing shapes and painted with brilliant colors, often framed in angular and completely nontraditional frames, comprise the majority of Swartz’s subjects over the years. She finds that a city or town’s true character comes from the inanimate structures that become permanent fixtures of a place. As such, people will not make appearances in her paintings.

Due to finding inspiration in the lines, angles and shapes that form a town, she is able to take signature parts of the places she paints and make them entirely her own. For example, “Main Street,” a depiction of downtown Breckenridge, features the symbolic angular roofline that the town has become known for. In addition, as is the case with each Breckenridge-based painting Swartz has created over the years, the whimsical purple peace signs on a white building add a touch of character to the piece. The painting’s bright colors bring the piece to life, portraying Breckenridge as the happy little ski town that it is.

Swartz’s fascination with architecture stems from her upbringing in Ohio. Having lived in Colorado for the better part of a decade, the beautiful state has found itself working inspiration into her collection, as well. Much of the work she is showing today takes the focus off of architecture and puts it on the landscapes that make Colorado so stunning.

Energetic, fun and peaceful scenes depicting mountains, aspens, flowers, campsites and more have all been painted in Swartz’s signature animated style. “Rendezvous” shows aspens and peaks bathed in a beautiful blue moonlit glow. The aspen grove is home to a campsite, and a playful fire brings warmth to the piece. “Paintbrush Passing” presents a winding mountain road underneath a golden sunset. Recently bloomed stands of Indian paintbrush add a splash of red to the piece, reminding us that summer is just around the corner.

Talia Swartz's "Rendezvous" 

Painter Lelija Roy shows her work at Art on a Whim Breckenridge Gallery March 22 2014, 0 Comments

Below is a fantastic article that just ran in the Summit Daily. Lelija will be demonstrating today and tomorrow in the Breckenridge gallery. 

Winter Waterfall by Lelija Roy

It is safe to say that artist Lelija Roy is obsessed with aspens. After moving to Colorado 10 years ago, she quickly developed a deep affinity for the tree. An aspen grove’s striking white and black trunks, shimmering textures and changing leaf colors combine to form the heart of Lelija’s richly textured landscapes. Add in some of the Rocky Mountains’ most iconic peaks, and you have an artist whose skilled hands perfectly capture the wonder of the High Country.

This weekend, the Art on a Whim gallery is filled with Lelija’s wondrous aspen groves and silky summits; paintings depicting every season populate the gallery. Lelija’s newest collection provides viewers with a glimpse into each part of the year in the High Country. In the midst of an epic snow year, her winter scenes sparkle with metallic and iridescent paints. Her fall scenes show Summit County when the leaves are golden, giving those not lucky enough to visit in September or October a peek into the golden canopies that cover our forests. Summer and spring pieces warm up the space with a splash of vibrant color and the deep textures for which Lelija has received worldwide acclaim.By the Light of the Moon by Lelija Roy

“What intrigues me about aspens is that when you are in a grove, you are in the middle of a single organism,” Lelija said. “Each grove is a sisterhood unto itself.”

Aspens are unique trees. Every aspen grove is indeed composed of a single, connected organism. The oldest and heaviest organism on Earth is said to be an aspen grove. Aspen forests thrive at elevations above 5,000 feet, making them a staple of Colorado’s mountain towns. Given such a unique tree, it takes a unique approach to truly capture its beauty.

Lelija’s work is composed of multiple layers, much like one would find while walking through the forest. She fuses layer upon layer of painted rice papers, silk, lace and other fabrics with acrylic paints, pastels, ink and more to create her dreamy aspen groves. Lelija’s trees are made from individual strands of hand-painted rice paper. This provides viewers with the feeling of discovering unique trees amongst the whole of the grove. Her mountains and rocks are often composed of silk and lace, softening each piece into a serene and peaceful scene. Acrylic paints are combined with color-shifting metallic and iridescent paints to capture the ever-changing light one witnesses while observing an aspen grove.

Highlights of her current show include “Winter Waterfall,” a purple and blue depiction of an ice-covered Sawmill Creek running down the side of Peak 8 in Breckenridge. “By the Light of the Moon” presents a mountainous landscape on which the moonlight shimmers on a fresh layer of snow and the sky changes from purple to black as viewers move past the piece. The show stopper is the largest piece Lelija has created to date, a 5 foot tall by 12 foot wide piece showing the Grand Tetons in all of their glory, titled “Teton Majesty.”

The end result of Lelija’s efforts has found her work collected throughout the world. She invites curious art lovers to watch her paint this weekend at Art on a Whim, take in her creativity and “step into the next part of what the wilderness will offer you.”

Teton Majesty by Lelija Roy

Matt Angiono's Quest for Epic Light February 28 2014, 0 Comments

Matt Angiono found his calling as a photographer on a trip to Australia in 2006. His aunt Laura took him around the continent, backpacking and camping for two months. The adventure travel, combined with a camera Angiono borrowed a friend, saw him fall instantly in love. Today, the combination influences almost every single waking moment for the young artist.

Angiono was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. As a result, the vast majority of his fine art photography captures the beauty of his home state. Both this weekend and next he will be spending his time in the Art on a Whim gallery in Breckenridge, regaling visitors with stories of his adventures and sharing his unique vision.

Angiono’s newest release, titled “Epic Isabelle Sunset Part II,” comes from the last evening of a journey the photographer took in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. As is often the case with Angiono’s backpacking trips, the plan was to hike as much as possible and stop any time the inspiration for another incredible photograph happened to strike. Brainard Lake was to be the starting point, with Lone Eagle Peak as the ultimate destination. This meant a three day out and back over Pawnee Pass was in order. While difficult hiking and a 3,000 plus foot vertical gain was a planned obstacle, a malfunctioning camera battery was certainly not anticipated. As a result, Angiono’s shot selection quickly became extremely limited and his camera seemed to be nothing more than extra weight.

An unspectacular sunset and sunrise on the first day and night of the trip left much to be desired. Of course, one cannot complain when they are blessed enough to spend the night in the wilderness. Hail can change that attitude quickly, however. Day two of his trip saw the weather turn for the worst, as it often can when traversing 12,000 plus foot passes. Shortly after descending from the top of the pass the sky opened up and hail began pouring down. Angiono rushed to find some semblance of shelter, eventually scaling a cliff side to take refuge under its overhang. A debate ensued over whether or not it would be wise to set up camp in the storm or to wait in hopes that it may pass. Thoughts of climbing and shooting Lone Eagle Peak at sunset were quickly abandoned and replaced with ideas on keeping as warm and dry as possible. The storm hung around through the night, eventually forcing Angiono to pitch his tent in the dark and in the rain.

When morning arrived the sun managed to burn its way through the clouds, albeit not in time for sunrise. A staple in Angiono’s work is capturing incredible light, making sunrise and sunset the most important times of day for the photographer. At this point, with twelve miles to go and nearly fifty pounds to carry on his back, the trip seemed to be a bust. The camera battery’s issues hardly seemed relevant. A wonderful day was in the wings, however.

Sun beamed down throughout the afternoon. As Angiono climbed and descended Pawnee Pass for the second time in two days it became clear that the sunset was going to present what he refers to as “epic light.”

 Tired legs didn’t seem to matter anymore as he began running to position himself at the front of the beautiful Lake Isabelle. Angiono is known for doing anything necessary to get the best angle for his work. Wading knee deep into a stream is far from being out of the question. He carefully staged his tripod in the middle of the stream flowing from the lake, just on top of a nearly 100 foot waterfall, and asked his camera battery for one small moment of cooperation. The sunset to follow was incredible. The camera battery managed to work for just long enough to capture what Angiono describes as, “the most incredible sunset I have ever seen.”

The resulting photographs exist as living proof that if you push yourself, work hard and remain patient, the sky can greet you with miracles. Fiery reds, hot pinks and glowing oranges danced across Navajo, Apache and Shoshone Peaks. All the while the colors were reflected in the glass like stillness of the lake.

Angiono does extremely minimal post-processing to his work, preferring to let the camera capture what he sees and communicate that to his viewers. He is known for pushing his equipment to its technical limits and ambitiously exploring the dynamic range of his camera. His eye for detail and addiction to color enable his viewers to feel like they were standing there with him while he was shooting the photo. His out of the box ways of thinking and viewing the world are reflected not only in the unique angles he shoots from but also in the way in which he presents his work. He opts to gallery wrap the majority of his canvases, rather than frame them, to allow the photos to bleed over the edges of the canvas and seemingly go on forever. Printing on canvas gives his work a painterly feel, softening the scenes and providing an ethereal quality not often seen in photography.

Angiono’s adventurous nature has led him on countless journeys deep into the Rocky Mountain’s pristine wilderness. Capturing the areas he frequents on camera enables him to provide us with the opportunity to forever keep nature at our finger tips. Moments like his evening at Lake Isabelle are certainly worth preserving and sharing with the world. And he will be quick to tell you, it was well worth hiking the remainder of the trail in the pitch dark.


Artist Carol Fennell demonstrates her work at Art on a Whim in Breckenridge February 08 2014, 0 Comments

Here is a great article that ran in the Summit Daily about Carol Fennell showing in our Breckenridge gallery:

Snow Day by Carol Fennell

Artist Carol Fennell is prone to drawing inspiration from her surroundings. Lucky for Fennell and viewers of her work alike, she lives among the dramatic landscapes of Colorado. Fennell strives to capture the innocence of nature in her work. Her three-dimensional ceramic paintings stretch not only our view of our natural surroundings, but also our ideas of how fine art can be presented.

Fennell’s work is on display in the Art on a Whim Gallery in Breckenridge. For the next two weekends, she will be in the gallery demonstrating her work and elaborating on her process. Through the use of bold color and effortless line work, Fennell captures the whimsical essence of our environments. She brings her playful spirit to every piece, rather than depicting exact representations in the landscapes she creates.

“With mountains, aspens and pine in my constant view, I seek to use the strongest, yet simplest form to represent my subject,” Fennell said. “I never tire of drawing the elegant lines of aspen or the whimsical pines that fill my canvas. All these subjects have stories to tell, and I try to bring a bit of the innocence and whimsy that I see in them into the piece.”

Artistic process

Fennell’s work stems from the pure, trouble-free and serene experience of walking through an aspen grove, climbing a peak or discovering a new lake. When inspiration strikes while on a hike, she will either sketch the landscape en plein air or capture the scene on camera. The sketches and photos are transformed into more polished pencil drawings upon Fennell’s return to her studio. Quick and bright strokes of color are added to the drawings to further enhance the reference.

The real work begins when Fennell pulls out slabs of clay and rolls them into canvas-sized blocks. Lines forming rivers, lakes or mountains are carved into the surface of the wet slabs, and her bas-relief work has commenced. By incorporating sculpted clay, she adds layers of texture to the top of the initial block to provide dimension.

From there, pines start twisting toward each other, seemingly lost in conversation. Knots are added to aspen trunks, and items found in nature, such as grass, leaves or bits of wood, are often pressed into the wet clay to leave the impression of their existence in the natural world.

Upon completing her process of carving and sculpting, Fennell allows her work to dry for several weeks. This allows moisture to evaporate from the once-soft clay. Each piece is then carefully placed in a kiln and fired. The bas-relief tiles come out of the kiln bisque ware, as a durable ceramic piece ready to be painted. Fennell’s use of acrylic paints pushes the limits of traditional ceramic work. This choice allows for vibrant colors, helping to enhance the happy, playful look Fennell is striving to create.

“I want the viewer to see what I see — a whimsical innocence of nature,” she said.

Click here to view the article on the Summit Daily website.

Mary Kollman First Show at Art on a Whim January 15 2014, 0 Comments

Here's a great article that ran in the Summit Daily while Mary Kollman was showing in our Breckenridge gallery:

Painter Mary Kollman is well-known for her oil depictions of big skies floating over serene landscapes. A color enthusiast, each of Kollman’s paintings is alive with brilliant shades of every color under the sun. Rich tones and intriguing textures are staples in her body of work, and each piece evokes the feeling of a wonderful memory.

Kollman has been painting in the Art on a Whim gallery in Breckenridge every weekend since Thanksgiving. This weekend marks the close of her show and a final opportunity to meet the artist and browse her newest works.

“I love to talk to patrons, as it’s so inspiring for new paintings,” Kollman said. “Painting is like breathing for me, I’ve got to do it!”

Kollman recently moved back to Colorado and is erecting her studio in Grand Junction. Her showing at Art on a Whim seems to be driven by fate just as much as talent. She stumbled across the gallery’s website and read about the owners, the Raitman family, discovering that they had much in common. It turns out that they used to live only a few blocks from each other in a small town outside of Portland, Ore. This connection, coupled with the fact that Kollman’s paintings are a perfect fit for Art on a Whim, led to the show at the gallery.

On display is a collection of Kollman’s signature big-sky landscapes, several of which express the emotions she felt upon her first visit to Breckenridge. “Anticipation,” a 20-inch-by-20-inch oil painting, captures the excitement of driving down Highway 9 and seeing the ski resort beckon in the distance. 

Her painting “Sanctuary” gives viewers the same peaceful and welcoming vibe that so many visitors to our mountains are greeted with. Having found inspiration in all the skiers and snowboarders she has met over the past several 

weekends, Kollman has been spending her time in the gallery painting riders buried waist deep in powder or launching themselves off of cliffs.

“My paintings transfer a good memory,” Kollman said. “There’s a feeling of wholeness, goodness and peace. I try to get out of the way and let the painting unfold. It’s like learning to ride a bike and trusting gravity. I have sustained courage and try to bring the magic to what I’m creating.”