Cogswell Gallery hosts a painting demonstration and exhibition of works by artist Darcie Peet, a signature member of the Oil Painters of America, Friday and Saturday. Peet's new works will be on display this week at the Cogswell Gallery, and she will be present for painting demonstrations from 1 to 6 p.m. today and Saturday.
Peet received a box of 72 Crayola crayons at the age of 3. She dumped it on the floor of her Oak Park, Ill. house and started creating what she thought was going to be her first masterpiece.
Fast forward many years of proper art training at Colorado College and later at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Peet developed a love affair with the vast landscapes of the west and hiking high in the Rocky Mountains to paint exclusively plein-air.
Peet attributes her choice to work "en-plein air" to growing up in a family that thrived on activities in the great outdoors. Painting outdoors requires the artist to hike extensively until one has scouted the "perfect" scenery, and a deep commitment to finish no matter what the weather brings.
Living part time in both Scottsdale and Copper Mountain offers Peet the possibility to play with both alpine and high desert landscapes. As one can imagine, painting outdoors can lead to all sorts of adventures, having to adjust sometimes to adverse weather conditions. Peet has a long number of stories and misadventures to share with her collectors and friends.
In fact, one of her paintings, which she saved from a savage rainstorm, eventually won the Award of Merit at the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Event in Winter Park in 2006.
Despite the "hazards" of her job, Peet continues to be inspired by the diversity and drama in mountain and desert landscapes, further transformed by ever-changing weather and light.
"I love searching and scouting for my subjects," Peet said. "I love the thrill of exploration and discovery, looking for those scenes where I say 'ooh' and 'ah' or 'that's it! That's my painting.'"