"Our Mountain Love" - Last Dollar Road
2009 - My van was loaded with art and I was headed to Sedona, AZ for a gallery adventure. With it being early October, the leaves were peak near Telluride, CO, so I decided to follow the color and go the long way. Just past Ridgeway, CO, I noticed the sign, Last Dollar Road. I had heard about this epic drive years ago and couldn’t resist. I turned onto the gravel road a bit stressed wondering if I could make it in my Sprinter van. I quickly realized it was worth the risk to have the experience of a lifetime.
It became apparent why this rout to Telluride was talked about with so much reverence. I drove slowly with the windows down, stopping constantly to take photos. I was smitten. My heart did something that surprised me. I wanted to stop right there on the side of the mountain and stay in my van and paint for a month to capture all the color. It’s like nothing else existed in that moment but this land and me. I told myself, “You will get this dream later”.
My trip to Sedona was a success and I was back in the studio haunted by what I felt on Last Dollar Road. I was compelled to paint all the layers of color and Mountain Love was born.
2017 – Raitman Fine Art Galleries informed me that a new commission was coming my way. Mike and Maureen from Texas wanted a revisit of Mountain Love in a 60” high x 48” wide, single panel.
There I was, after all these years, in October and painting Last Dollar Road. Instantly it was like I was on that gravel road. All that color flooded back into me and painting was a sheer joy. In fact, I got carried away and before I knew it I had forgotten all about “Mountain Love” and I was bopping along to a whole new beat. I got the colors spot on but I missed the mark on the foreground. I painted the fence posts too big and neglected a few other key details. I sent the approval photo off and was bummed when I realized how far I had strayed. The collectors were open to FaceTiming with me to talk through the painting so that I could make a few changes to get it closer to the inspiration painting.
Our FaceTime appointment went great! I got to see their gorgeous home and saw the place where my painting would hang. We talked about getting the fence posts smaller and making a few other simple changes. The next day at the studio when we FaceTimed again, Mike and Maureen were thrilled with the changes. However, there was one more area that we worked on together to make sure that the colors were spot on. It was like Mike and Maureen were right there in my studio working with me. I love FaceTime! We were able to connect in real time without me needing to go all the way to Texas.
All approved and ready to ship, I titled this new painting “Our Mountain Love”. It truly is a shared love.
I have not forgotten my dream. I will go back to Last Dollar Road and spend a month on that mountain.