Artist Jeanne Echternach paints live at Horton Fine Art on Saturday, Sunday in Beaver Creek
If you go …
What: Local artist Jeanne Echternach paints live.
When: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27.
Where: Horton Fine Art, 156 Beaver Creek Plaza, Beaver Creek.
Cost: Echternach’s pieces range from $850 to $4,200.
More information: Call 970-949-1660.
BEAVER CREEK — There was a time when Bridge Street in Vail was unpaved and the Far East Shelter was the only building to stand guard over Vail’s Back Bowls. Those days are long gone, and the Vail Valley now boasts some of the world’s best skiing and finest comforts.
Artist Jeanne Echternach lived in Vail during those early years, working as a mountain guide during the day and developing her artistic skills whenever time would allow. Echternach now resides on the Front Range, but she will return to the valley to educate art aficionados about her process as she paints live at Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek Village on Saturday and Sunday.
Echternach began painting with oils when she was very young, about 10 years old. Her work is impressionistic, capturing light with vivid colors and bold, distinctive brushwork.
“Jeanne is a colorist at heart, and whether painting urbanscapes, harbor scenes or mountains, color always plays a prominent role,” said Micah Olson, director at Horton Fine Art.
“Color evokes emotions, an emotional response, and I like that about it,” Echternach said. “People are very seldom neutral about it, their feelings about this colorful painting. It evokes a happy, positive feeling.”
The artist works with brushes exclusively, forgoing palette knives and other tools of the trade. She works the entire painting at once, blocking things into the design as she goes.
“When I’m painting, I try to just tune out everything else,” Echternach said. “I get more engaged with that intuitive zone. I paint things that I’m very familiar with, and I don’t worry about the technique or materials.”
Painting en plein air
A board member of the Plein Air Artists of Colorado, Echternach’s work shows the sophistication of an artist who can now bring together on canvas all the lessons that years of hard work have taught her.
“I love plein air,” she said. “First of all, I enjoy being out in nature; secondly, it’s painting from life, so it’s very challenging. You get a different type of painting when you’re painting quickly and responding to changing light, and it makes for a more dynamic painting and more lively and I think more exciting painting.”
There’s more information available to draw from when you’re painting from life, the artist said. You have all of your senses available to you, as opposed to painting from a photograph, and Echternach said she tries to bring that awareness and sense of urgency into the studio.
“Even in the studio, I work quickly, so I can get the same sense of immediacy that I get with plein air,” she said. “And I use a lot of lively brush strokes; my brush work is unique about my paintings, I think, in that they are very expressive.”