The Art Center of Estes Park was established in 1987 and offers an extensive collection of fine art including painting, photography, jewelry, ceramics, glass, fiber, and woodworking. In addition, we present opportunities for education in the visual arts, and act as an advocate and partner for community arts development.
This was the vision of several local artists, many of whom are still participating members. We are dedicated to education and excellence in the visual arts, and is operated through artist and community volunteers, membership, sales, and donations. Our mission is to provide a facility that supports and promotes regional artists; to present opportunities for education in the visual arts, and to act as an advocate and partner for community arts development.
The Center now represents local and regional artists from across the Rocky Mountain area. We feature the high-quality artwork of 40 local Colorado artists in a broad selection of media. Whether you’re searching for a large piece of fine art or photography to enhance your home, or the perfect gift of jewelry, fiber, pottery, or a notecard for a friend, we have it.
We feature a new exhibit approximately every six weeks, opened by a public reception featuring refreshments and entertainment. We invite you to come and view these fine artists' work and to shop for additions to your home or business collections.
Big vistas, jagged peaks, rough trails, and flowering alpine meadows draw me outside to paint. Even before I began painting, I had a few dozen 14er’s and 13er’s under my belt. And decades of ski patrolling gave me the eye to follow the line of the slope as if I were skiing it, climbing it, or glissading down it. If I were up there, where would my next steps land?
That, coupled with the trees and vegetation in each ecosystem on the way up and down, informs my eye, my brush, the stroke and gesture of the paint laid down. Asking the question: what angle is it, what color is it right now, in shadow and sunlight? And to grab it in that moment, before the earth spins so much the color changes.
That’s the immediacy of the plein air experience. The window of information shifts silently and persistently and is significantly noticed at about the 2-hour mark. So the clock is ticking. Grab your drawing, get your shadow shapes laid in solid, note the light. Now, stand back, and observe the play of shadow shapes, light shapes, and major forms on your canvas. Two-thirds/one-third? Horizon line not in the middle? No awkward converging lines or unintended ‘doggie shapes’ or X marks the spot conjunctions? Uneven number of major shapes? OK, time to paint!
You now have about 90 minutes remaining before the scene in front of you becomes unhelpful.
So if the wind stays calm, the bugs leave you alone, your shade hat is helping, and the storm clouds take the day off, you have a fair chance of finishing the painting! If the force is not with you, go back to the same spot again, same time and location until you get it.
A day in the life.