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Sydney Summers – watercoloring local landscapes

Caramie SchnellVail CO, Colorado
Sydney Summers/Special to the Daily
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Some artists dont blink an eye when it comes to painting an idyllic mountain scene the Gore Range with the first hint of snow in October or Maroon Bells at sunrise. Artist Sydney Summers is inspired by nature but intimidated at the same time.A really big mountain scene I would never even attempt. I like what I call the intimate landscapes, she said. Summers has lived in Red Cliff for 25 years and as an avid snowshoer, she would strap her snowshoes on and tackle Shrine Pass or other trails around Minturn. The photographs she took on her treks would serve as her point of reference later on when she sat down to paint the scene with her watercolors. The snow makes those big humps over the water, the shadow of the trees on the snow. I just loved it.Winter landscapesSummers is drawn to the purity of freshly fallen snow and paints mainly winter landscape scenes. I guess Ive been on a quest for the perfect snow scene. Ill probably never do it, but its sure been fun to try.Ten years ago, Summers and fellow Red Cliff artists Joan Norris and Barb Bomier started the Red Cliff Studio Tour, then called the Eagle County Studio Tour. And even though Summers moved from the ecclectic hamlet to Denver two years ago Red Cliff had become a little isolated for Summers, she said shes been grandmothered into the tour and will be showing and selling her paintings at the schoolhouse.Painting has been a part of Summers life for nearly 40 years now, she said. Summers and her late husband used to own a gallery and working studio in Minturn called Mountain Iron Works and Gallery in the 80s. Im driven by creativity. I like to make things, whether its a painting or a crafty thing, Summers said. I cant figure out what people do that dont do creative things. (Painting) is just innate its in me and its always driven me. Its a tough way to make a living, though, Id be a lot better off if I was a lawyer that had art shows. The term starving artist came from reality, for sure, she said, chuckling.For more information about the Red Cliff Studio Tour, visit http://www.redcliffstudiotour.com.


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