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Belmar Park, Lakewood – I love fall. It is probably my favorite time of the year. The colors right now are vibrant. It is almost too hard to capture the brilliant yellows and gold, without my painting looking too garish, but the colors are that intense. I am trying to capture that fall feeling, the breeze, the smells, the moment in a painting…but it will always be a fun challenge.
I thought today would be too cold to be standing outside and painting “en plein air,” but it was quite the opposite. After I took off three layers of jackets and sweaters, I found the warm sun on my back soothing. We are so blessed to be in Colorado. I am sure within days; the leaves will be gone and snow will follow. But then I will say, “winter is my favorite time of year.”
I am sitting on the patio in my backyard relaxing after 3 days of outdoor painting in Littleton, Colorado. I am feeling satisfied because I completed 5 paintings in 3 days, but more so because of sharing in the joy of painting with 50 fellow Plein Air artists. We enjoyed spectacular, Chamber of Commerce Colorado weather.
The Littleton Fine Art Guild and the Depot Gallery sponsored the Fourth Annual Plein Air Festival May 30 through June 1. Almost 50 artists participated by painting the beautiful surrounding areas of Littleton including Hudson Gardens, the Platte River pathways and nature preserves, parks, and its lovely Mainstreet with quaint restaurants and shops.
If you get a chance visit The Depot Gallery on the east side of Littleton’s downtown, you will see the paintings created by the artists who love being outdoors and love recording all its beauty. I am always amazed at the variety of subject matter and painting styles.
The show will remain on display through the end of June.
Imagine waking up every morning to the warming sun and the aromas of fresh baked bread and pastries at the first light of day. The aromas were always welcoming to all our neighbors for blocks surrounding our family owned and run bakery. Each morning there would be a long line of neighbors anxiously waiting at our family’s bakery door.
I was mentored and supported early by my Grandma Emily Strupp who was the matriarch of not only our family, but of the whole neighborhood. My strong, happy, and giggling grandmother ran her business with a lot of love and she had great influence on me as an entrepreneur. It truly was a family run effort under her guidance.
I feel like I cannot really launch my website without acknowledging my family and friends. Yes, I grew up living above and working in my grandparents bakery, but I did so, with five siblings, dozens of cousins, incredible aunts, uncles, my remarkable parents and many close friends. I still do not understand how my parents, managed 6 of us while running a business that required 24 x 7 attention. My father worked nights, slept in the non-heated attic during the day to avoid our noise and activity. My mother worked all day as a clerk in the bakery storefront and all night and day taking care of us.
My grandparents have departed a long time ago, but with the sad passing of my parent’s generation I am appreciative that my brothers and sisters have remained very close – perhaps because of what we learned together growing up in that loving and crazy home environment.
I am grateful to my family and friends for supporting me throughout the years as I dreamed of more time to paint. I am missing my grandmothers and my mother today as I launch my website on Mother’s Day. I am blessed to have had a father who taught me many skills and trades which helped me develop my artistic eye. Thank you to my brothers and sisters, my eight nieces and nephews, their spouses, my eight grand-nieces and my incredible friends. You have all supported me over the years in achieving my dreams. Now I wish that you each achieve your dream. It’s never too late or too early to begin. Life is good.
Pictured below: My father, Howie Strupp
This is my first Blog entry. I am excited to begin documenting my painting exploits with you and to share thoughts and ideas I have learned along the way. I hope you will share in my journey.