VAIL – Local artist Elaine Kuntz created her first Vail Valentine as a special one-of-a-kind gift for the man in her life, Frank McClure.The two met back in Washington, D.C., through a ski club of which they were both members. McClure, recently retired, took a trip out to Vail, and while vacationing, he called Kuntz and asked her how she would like to live in Vail.”I said yes,” Kuntz said. “I still haven’t learned the deep powder, but it’s a good way of life.”
Inspired by the move to Eagle County and the man who brought her out here, Kuntz hand painted with watercolors a Valentine for him. It became a tradition, and every year for the past eight years she has created a new card, each with a skiing or snow theme and a heart – of course.”Frank is passionate about skiing,” Kuntz said.This year, Kuntz has printed McClure’s Vail Valentines for the public, and she will be signing them at the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail Village today from 2-6 p.m. The museum, along with the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa gift shop will be selling them through Feb. 14.
“Frank gave them all up for printing,” Kuntz said. “He’s got a new one for this year, but no one is going to see it until he does.”McClure said that he looks forward to recieving his card each year because they are so unique.”I think it’s nice somebody else will enjoy them too,” McClure said.
Kuntz earned a degree in commercial art in 1981 and has worked as an illustrator, art director and a senior graphic designer. Now that she’s retired, her art has returned to being just a pleasure.”My mind is always painting – whenever I see something inspiring,” Kuntz said. “I can work on something anytime, mood has little to do with it. Demands on my time are the stoppers.”Kuntz works solely in watercolors after developing an allergy to turpentine. Inspired by nature, she paints a lot mountai vistas. She takes a realistic approach to her subjects, and enjoys when people can recognize the scene in her paintings.
“Many paintings start as sketches done on the spot, a mountain top or a window looking out,” said Kuntz. “I then add color back in the studio.”The ski museum and the Cascade Resort also carries some of Kuntz’ mountain scene cards. For more information, call the ski museum at 476-1876 or the Cascade at 476-7111.
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.
Artist signingElaine Kuntz will be signing her Valentine Day cards at the Ski Museum inVail Village today from 2-6 p.m. Cards will be on sale through Feb. 14 at
the museum and at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa gift shop.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or firstname.lastname@example.org.