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Beaver Creek: Art and people who make it

Taylor L. Roozen
troozen@vaildaily.com
Beaver Creek
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyWatercolorist Carmel Walden takes in her scenic subject matter as she begins another painting Wednesday from the top of Vail Mountain.
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado –Two hundred artists will fill Beaver Creek’s plaza with their art this weekend. The annual Beaver Creek Arts Festival features local artists as well as artists from afar. High end sculptors, painters, jewelry makers, photographers, woodworkers and more will personally display their work, offering attendees the chance to quiz the artists about their inspirations and more. The festival takes place today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

We interviewed three artists participating in the festival. Read on for a sneak peek of the talent taking part.

Medium: Oil



Though artist Andrea Burns grew up near Chicago, she’s been visiting familiy in Colorado and the Vail Valley all her life. She has also been attending Howard Alan art shows since she was young. She’ll be showing her vibrant oil paintings this weekend, which depict flowers like iris, hibiscus and poppies, as well as her Western Horses series.

Medium: “It was natural progression I guess. My first love is drawing … (Oil) was a medium I hadn’t tried yet, and this was probably in high school, and I fell in love with it because I love color and it was a way to express myself through color … I almost feel like I’m a colorist in a way.”



Style: “I’ve always been very impressionistic with kind of a realistic flare. I don’t like it to look like a photograph, but I like (you) to understand what you’re seeing.”

Inspiration: “Most kids are geared toward trucks, or dolls, or soccer, or something. I was always drawing or painting on something – I was the bad commercial with the finger paint all over the walls.

I paint things I’m drawn to. I paint flowers for the bold color and the life, and it’s probably the same thing with the mustang, there’s a wildness about them.



Collaboration: “I work mostly through commissions. I paint for myself, as well as for other people. It’s really neat to work with somebody else and kind of collaborate on an idea or a vision, because not everybody likes what I like.”

Medium: Watercolor

Carmel Walden is a local watercolorist who grew up in Gypsum. She is no stranger to the Beaver Creek Art Festival. And though she could not fit it into her schedule last year – she does close to 20 shows a year – she’ll return to the Beaver Creek festival this weekend where she’ll display mountain, desert and seaside scenes.

Medium: “It’s hard to say how I landed on water color. I thought it was going to be a phase for me about 10 years ago. I’m still addicted to it … I was a compulsive painter there for about three months, and by the end of it, I was really getting the hang of water color. Ten years later, I’m still learning.”

Style: “In most of my pieces I try to have a part that’s very controlled and often representational, like you can really see maybe the cracks on a leaf, or something that’s very tight and controlled. But part of me thinks the beauty of water color is also having something that’s very free and very expressive and fluid, so I try to leave an element of that in every painting.

I try to play with light and movement a lot and I think that really adds to the feeling and the spirit of the pieces.”

Inspiration: “My dad is a sculptor, so growing up I just always thought it was normal to think about art and think about beauty. Both my parents were always kind of pointing things out to me, especially in nature.

Whether it’s my more abstract pieces or my more literal pieces, they’re all inspired by nature. Once I figured out to paint what I love, everything got easier.”

This will be Nancy Long’s third appearance at the Beaver Creek Arts Festival. Long, an Eagle resident, will be displaying watercolor and acrylic paintings of animals and flowers.

Medium: “Watercolors are pretty difficult when you start out. They’re hard to control sometimes, but I like the translucence, what you can do, and just the look … Actually with acrylics you can get a lot of the same effects that you can with watercolors. You can use it as watercolor or oil.”

Style: “I’ve sort of developed a style in water color that’s non-traditional, that’s very bright colors. It’s not realistic (but) I really don’t care about realism … I use a lot of vibrant colors, I’ve painted purple llamas, orange bears, different fun things, and not your traditional realistic painting. Most of what I do is from photographs … I usually just take my camera everywhere I go and take photographs and paint from those.

Inspiration: “About six years ago I became interested in more animals, not necessarily domestic animals. I just like the attitude. I’ve painted several llamas, donkeys, giraffes, zebras, that type of thing. I’ll put one in the show of a grizzly bear.

When I came to Colorado, I painted more landscapes than I did before. In West Texas there’s not a lot of inspiration for great landscapes – cotton fields and oil pumps, you know. When you move to Colorado, you have a lot of opportunity for majestic mountainscapes, and green, so I’ve done a lot of that recently.”

Rules: “When I first started painting with watercolor, I was very interested in getting things exactly right – the right color and the right shape. I think as an artist, the more you paint or draw perhaps, you sort of learn all the rules, and then you realize that you can break the rules and do your own thing.”


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