A few days ago, I picked up a pastel landscape from Creative Framing Art Gallery and fell in love with it all over again. Purchased a few years ago from Boulder artist Diana Tripp, it took me awhile to get it in for a new mat and frame.
Titled "Foreground Fantasy," it now rests on my mantel, and I'm having a hard time taking my eyes off it.
I learned of Diana's work while my husband and I were shopping around for a small piece of original art that captured the mountain views of Colorado. The work was to be a mutual Christmas gift. We became familiar with some local artists whose work was on display at Silverleaf Custom Framing in Boulder and Creative Framing Art Gallery in Louisville. Although my husband fell in love with a small mountainscape evocative of the Rockies -- dramatic and craggy -- I fell in love with the mountain views that Diana's work captured. Hers are the familiar landscapes of Boulder and surrounding areas. Hers capture my experience while on runs with my dogs along area creeks and open spaces.
Diana once told me that the scenes she paints come from her imagination, not from a particular view that she seeks to recreate. Her work is experiential and inspirational, not literal. Her medium is pastels using intense, vibrant colors. On her website, she wrote, "My inspiration is not to copy nature in all her splendor, but rather to capture her feel, to highlight nature's truly vivacious life, by pushing the boundaries of color utilizing the high intensity of bright, bold hues."
"Foreground Fantasy" captures my experience hiking through the area's many open spaces.
Chartreuse and golden grasses blanket open fields with the hazy Front Range in the distance while purple wildflowers and sunlit, golden seedheads riot in the foreground.
"Spring Dance," the second pastel I purchased from Diana, reminds me of the distant mountains I see through a veil of leafy trees as I run along Coal Creek. Her light, quick strokes capture the lacy, unfurling spring leaves overhead and the glinting light on the grasses below.
I was saddened and stunned to learn this past January that Diana passed away in Fall 2016 following a diagnosis of late-stage cancer. She was 72 years old. I knew her to be an elegant, gracious, talented woman whose creative expression blossomed late in life. Her small home in the far west end of Boulder, where the streets begin to rise and twist upward into the mountains, was warm and colorful and eclectic, filled with pieces from global travels and with her own intensely colored, vibrant art.
I am so grateful to have two of her beautiful pastels, and I treasure them both.
If you're looking to add original artwork to your home, I would encourage you to do as I did. Browse displays at local framing shops and galleries to hone in on an artist's style and medium that really speak to you. Follow them on Instagram! Boulder and Denver are areas rich with talented artists. If you're lucky, as I was, you'll be able to reach out directly to a local artist, visit their studio, make your selection, and -- importantly -- get to know them and establish a relationship. Art, after all, is a personal, emotional experience.
As Diana wrote about her own work, "The purpose of the art is not so much to present a pretty picture or to capture the details of a location as it is to ignite an emotional response."
Boulder artist Diana Tripp, 1944-2016. Image from diana-tripp.pixels.com.
All styling and photography by Heather of Urban Cottage Style, unless otherwise noted.