Vail’s Cogswell Gallery welcomes three plein air painters |

Vail’s Cogswell Gallery welcomes three plein air painters

Special to the Daily

This season, Cogswell Gallery began representing three award-winning plein air oil painters – Mitch Baird, Eric Jacobsen and Lorenzo Chavez. “Plein Air” is “a style of painting produced out of door, in natural light” from start to finish. It means that the artist is completely committed to be inspired and guided by nature.

An artist reception for the three artists, who will all attend the event, will take place today from 2 to 6 p.m. The show is on dislay through the end of the month.

Baird is Pacific Northwest native representational painter. His true passion for painting matured while pursuing his BFA at Brigham Young University. Studying under draftsman Ralph Barksdale, Baird remarked that “it was Ralph Barksdale’s patient direction and willingness to share the mysteries and insights into design, drawing and painting that opened my eyes and mind. I will forever be indebted to him.” Baird is devoted to the traditions of late 19th century artists who looked to the figure and nature’s landscape for inspiration regarding light, color, and design. Seeking out this inspiration, he works directly from life to capture the qualities and nuances of natural light and color harmony.

Jacobsen was born and raised in New England. His inspiration is the beauty that he sees in nature, he said. As a plein-air painter, Jacobsen takes his oils wherever he goes, setting up on site, working until his painting is finished. “It is most important to me that my paintings convey a certain mood”, he said. “I want them to be felt by the viewer without his or her having to analyze or think about them…My painting process consists of finding a painting site and setting up to paint for a couple of hours, or until the light has changed. For larger paintings, I will return on consecutive days at the same time, under similar lighting conditions to finish a piece.”

Chavez, a Colorado painter, was born in New Mexico, where the striking landscapes, varied cultures and colorful history helped him develop an appreciation for art at an early age. He studied at the Colorado Institute of Art and the Art Students League of Denver. Intensive private study of the Impressionists and 19th century American and Russian painters have made him aware of the wonderful possibilities and importance of painting from life. Chavez exhibits in national invitational exhibitions across the country.

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