Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 Garden Tour

Flowers and vegetables, garden art, a lively puppy and even a horse were the attractions at the Lakewood Arts Council’s Annual Garden Tour Benefit on Saturday, June 21.   

Six homeowners in the Wheatridge, Golden and Lakewood area offered up their well-tended gardens to the delight of LAC and other community members. 

 LAC volunteers manned front entrances to the garden, helped homeowners answer gardening questions from the public,  and organized a delicious luncheon  and garden-craft making session at the Art Center and Gallery which was included in the ticket price. 

While at the Gallery, visitors were treated to an exhibit of wall-hung, garden-themed artwork by local artists as well as an opportunity to purchase indoor or outdoor plants at the plant sale.

Highlights of the event this year included a rare tour of the Cason Howell House, which is on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.  The property is currently owned by the City of Lakewood and functions as a community center for the residents of Willow Glen Senior Housing.  A tour of their private courtyard revealed raised beds full of flourishing vegetables and flowers. 

A beautiful Tudor style brick home in Lakewood offered a charming front yard cottage garden, along with an agreeable horse, playful puppy and cute cat. 

 Interesting garden art crafted from found objects, twigs and twine graced the walls at the Lakewood home of a landscape architect,

 while bird houses, vine covered arbors and benches amongst  the flora provided spots to rest and enjoy the sights at homes in Wheatridge and Golden.

 The annual Garden Tour is a main fundraiser for the Lakewood Arts Council, a non-profit arts organization.  To find out more about the LAC, or to join them next year for the Garden Tour as spectator or participant, please visit the Art Center and Gallery at 85 S. Union Blvd in Lakewood, call 303 980-0625 or visit
Photo credits:  Gail Firmin and Ann Quinn

Friday, June 13, 2014

Watercolor Batik Workshop with Cheryl Annett

Cheryl had a great turnout for her watercolor batik workshop on Friday, June 13th.  Working on gold-threaded rice paper, students first chose their subject, then outlined the image on the rice paper.  Using hot wax as a resist to save any white areas, colors were then painted on, more wax added and continuing in this manner until a desired result was obtained.
Cheryl demonstrated these techniques for the students, and had examples of her own work on display,
as well as a work in its different progressions.

The students had a great time learning a new technique and enjoying successful results!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Guerrilla Painter

Carl Judson pulled up to the LAC in his "Moby Van" full of plein air equipment and  variety of art supplies.
 He visits plein air events and artist groups to talk about his Guerrilla Painter Pochade Boxes.  With a group of 9 or 10 artists in attendance, Carl explained a bit about how he got into this business after being a manager of a cattle ranch.  He had read an essay by Winston Chruchill that promoted painting as a way to ease stress.  Taking up painting but not wanting to be subject to cowboy critics, he would pack his supplies away quickly in a homemade box that fit under the seat of his truck.  Secretly capturing views of the world in this manner, with his little supply box, helped him coin the term "Guerrilla Painter" and thus was born Guerrilla Painter Pochade Boxes.

Carl emphasized the importance of having all supplies neatly at hand.  He's a part-time painter and wouldn't do it if it required too much set up time and array of supplies.  His small boxes expand the opportunities for painting.  The simplest solution is to buy the least amount of supplies you need, he says.

A slide presentation then highlighted the works of some well-known and some not so well-known plein air artists from Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, probably the first known artist to practice plein air painting as a discipline in the 1700's,

to the landscapes of Georgia O'Keefe. 

Not all of the artworks depicted beautiful outdoor scenes -- what one expects of a plein air work, as is the case with Audobon, who would shoot the birds he wanted as subjects, set them up in an outdoor scene, then paint them.  The mundane subject of a simple toolbox belonging to coal miners was painted by the Pittman Painters, simple beauty in its own right, but not the typical sweeping landscape expected in plein air works.  "One of our tasks as an artist is to describe the less obvious beauty in life", says Carl.  And with his convenient products, he makes that easier to do. His website is