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Cypress trees found in Eagle County

Wren Wertin

Stroh first visited Italy as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and then returned after graduation to study some more in the country she’d come to love.

“Someone put it to me this way,” she said. “”Americans live to work and Italians work to live.’ They’re more social than we are – never in a hurry.”

After growing up in Michigan, Stroh came to Colorado in 1992. Giving in to her wanderlust on a regular basis (a trait she shares with Gary), she’s traveled a lot. Recently she’s been excited about plein aire painting, but the show in Eagle is primarily studio work. The strongest pieces are in series, detailing cypress trees from different perspectives – at times up close and personal, at others in an almost blurred distance.

“I hadn’t done a series before these,” she said. “I wanted a cohesive group of work. I jumped from a little painting to the largest one there. It was interesting, I was used to painting what was in front of me, not from memory.”

The show revolves around an Italian theme, and encompasses both oil paintings and etchings. Most of the paintings are on wooden boards.

“It just felt right painting trees on wood,” she said. “I like it when you can see the grain.”

Stroh freely admits that her style is currently evolving. Inspired by the work of Western artists, her work is already changing from the dreamy trees and misty mood. She’s studied with a couple of Western artists over the past year, yet one of her favorite artists is Matisse – definitely not in the Western tradition.

“I’m trying to find my own style,” she said, shrugging. “My problem is I’ve never identified myself as an artist, so I don’t make a point of doing it every day.”

Sometimes she gets very involved in what she’s painting, sometimes it’s just a fight – not an uncommon tale among artists. She’s working toward spending more time painting. Her mother, now an Eagle resident, is excited to paint with her daughter.

Next time the wanderlust kicks in, Stroh plans on heading down to Mexico to learn Spanish and live Mexi-style. In the meantime, she teaches skiing to kids at Beaver Creek and has spent the past summer helping her brother launch his new sparkling juices, Izze (named for Stroh’s niece). She and Belle, her people-loving dog, like to hike, run and play in the river together.

The work of Weatherly Stroh can be seen at the Eagle Public Library through the end of the month.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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