Painter Don Sahli visits Beaver Creek Fine Art |

Painter Don Sahli visits Beaver Creek Fine Art

Caramie Schnell
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Colorado oil painter Don Sahli believes that every child is a great painter. It’s when we grow up and become adults that we stifle with our artistic side. Sahli has been painting since he was 17 and refuses to abandon his passion. He’s spent his entire adult life painting and teaching others to do the same.

“Some see art and painting as luxury, something that is not needed everyday,” he said. “Art and painting to me are more like a sustenance, which is needed; Art and painting are like the need for bread and water.”

Sahli’s work is reminiscent of the Russian masters, not surprising considering he studied under famous Russian colorist Sergei Bongart for three years before Bongart died.

Friday through Sunday Sahli, an Evergreen resident, will be showing his work at Beaver Creek Fine Art. He’ll also spend time painting outside around Beaver Creek village and inside the gallery.

“I just paint and just try to paint the way I am and the way I feel. Yes, you can call me many things ” a colorist, an impressionist, a luminist, a Russian impressionist. I have been called much worse but in the end, I am just a painter.”

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The evolution: “I remember in kindergarten, we took those scrappy, rough brown paper towels in the towel dispenser by the fountain (and) we wet them and laid them out flat on the desk. We then took the colored chalk and began to draw and scribble. The colors were amazing and it was great fun and visually exciting ” I was hooked! My parents always gave me many paints and colors and crayons to work with … I was always allowed to make a mess. I don’t remember a time when I was not an artist.”

“I am an oil painter. It is very tactile. It is very forgiving. I can control it upside down and back the other way. It has been my tool for 30 years. I know its properties, personalities and secrets. When I think that I know it all and have experienced it all working with oil, then ‘it’ happens and I find myself at square one like I have never touched the paint before and the whole wonderful journey begins again. I like the smell, the texture, the color, value and temperature of oil paint … and I really like how it splurts out of the tube with a gasp of liquid color!”

“Any artist, musician, or creative person does not need wait for any certain mood. It is bogus to sit around and wait for the muse to sing? Or the inspiration to appear? Do you sit around and wait for hunger to eat? No, of course not. If you want to live, you eat… if you want to be an artist, you paint… no one allows this to happen, you just do it.”

“The act of mixing one color in to another is exciting. The view of the sun rising with slight pinks is exciting, even in the morning when I do not want to be up … The way someone views a painting that I have done is compelling. They stand there and ponder, leaning their head to one side. To hear that my image made them think, made them feel something, and gave them an emotion ” a positive emotion ” is stunning.”

“I have not become a true (art) collector because if I did, I’d lose it all ” my house, my car, my family. I would be addicted to (collecting) and want it all for my walls.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

Who: Artwork by oil painter Don Sahli.

Where: Beaver Creek Fine Art, 210 Offerson Road, Beaver Creek.

When: Friday through Sunday. The artist will attend the show from 4 to 8 p.m. each day.

More information: Call 970-845-8500 or

Support Local Journalism