Tag Archives: plein air painting

Plein Air Painting on Ski Resort Mountains in the USA

When I was 11 years old, I went on my first ski trip outside of Alaska.  My aunt and uncle loved going to Sun Valley in Ketchum, Idaho.  They went there for a veterinarian conference to pursue further education, and had sessions in the mornings, so they signed me up for ski school.  I had already been skiing in Alaska plenty of times, but the Sun Valley Ski School really developed my skills to a new level.  My aunt passed almost two years ago and I wanted to keep the ski trip tradition alive, so when a group of friends from high school were planning a trip to Jackson Hole, I immediately bought the Mountain Collective pass.  The pass provides lift tickets for 2 days at 23 mountains worldwide, and half price tickets for additional days at those mountains. Since Jackson Hole lift tickets are $200+ per day, I figured the pass would pay for itself if I went to one other ski area.  You have to buy this pass before the ski season starts, and there’s a limited number of passes available. I intended to ski at Jackson Hole and also at Taos Ski Valley, as I have always wanted to check out Taos.  A McCarthy neighbor spends winters in Taos, so I figured I could crash on his couch and ski a few free days either before, or after the guys’ trip.  Maria also wanted to go on the trip, but my friends were being weirdly sexist and said, no women allowed.  I called them out on it, but they were being pretty close-minded.  I don’t get it, but I also don’t have kids, and I think Maria is a pretty cool lady on top of that.  So, I figured I would just ski with her instead.  My schedule actually made it hard to meet them when they planned to go, so I decided to do my own thing  and started planning a ski trip with Maria.  It’s funny, but the guys never made it to Jackson Hole.  They all bailed. 

Our new ski trip plan was amazing!  Maria and I flew into Albuquerque, rented a car, drove to Taos, skied two days with friends who met us there, then drove to Colorado. Skied a day at Arapahoe Basin, then drove to Basalt, and skied one day at Snowmass and then another day at Aspen.  Drove for about eight hours to Jackson, WY and skied two days at Jackson Hole with another friend. Finally drive to Bozeman, Montana and skied two days at Big Sky Resort, before dropping off our rental car and flying back to Anchorage, Alaska. 

I brought my plein air painting kit with me on the plane.  I always label the paint as “Clown Cosmetics” just to mess with TSA. The first ski day in Taos we met up with our friends: Ian, Lucas, and Denise.  We skied tough and went all over the mountain, including up to Kachina Peak at 12,500 ft altitude.  We had beers and bratwurst at the Bavarian Restaurant on-mountain dining lodge. It was a great day with friends on the mountain!  We had a nice dinner at ACEQ, right next door to the SnowMansion Taos Adventure Lodge where we were staying in Arroyo Secco — a small community about 15 minutes from the ski village.  

A beer break at the Bavarian Restaurant
Prayer flags and a memorial at the summit of Kachina Peak (12,481ft)

The next morning I mixed up some paint and transferred it to my small on-mountain palette. The yellow tube had a hole in it from rough baggage handling and I was battling to keep our room paint-free.  I carried a small backpack on the mountain and skied hard until about 1:30pm.  I broke off from the group and went to a place I found that was great for painting. About 45 minutes of frenzied, outdoor, cold-fingered painting later, I packed it up and met Maria and Denise back at the Bavarian. On route to meeting them, I toured the whole mountain, since I made a wrong turn after painting.  We all went back to Lucas’s amazing cabin about a mile from the village for Aprés Ski. He had some excellent Bosque Brewing IPA and an interesting home-brewed stout. I enjoyed them both, then we went up to the ski village for pizza and beers. The village is really new and pretty cool, but the pizza was a grease bomb, so we told Lucas he could have all the  leftovers. 

Here is the little painting I made right on the mountain at Taos Ski Valley, of Kachina Peak. The size is 7″x5″, oil on birch panel. You can purchase it at my Etsy shop. I’m selling it for the price of a lift ticket at the ski area, which is $90.

Plein Air painting of Kachina Peak at Taos Ski Valley, painted on the mountain. 7″x5″, oil on panel.

Stay tuned next week for the following segment in the exciting adventures of plein air painting on ski resort mountains in the USA, when I talk about painting at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado!   


Jason Lobo’s Dodge Power Wagon

We spent two weeks in McCarthy earlier this month, and while at a great BBQ on the West side, I invited myself over to my neighbor Jason Lobo’s place to paint one of his many interesting vehicles.  Although we live in the same subdivision, his lot is about a mile away.  I walked, as I felt it would be easier to pack the painting home walking than biking.  Also, the road is a mud swamp due to spring meltdown, so driving was less than desirable.  I arrived to find Jason working in his yard.  After a few minutes he gave me a tour of his new water truck, which is a F-750 Ford.  Parked right next to it was this beauty, a vintage Dodge Power Wagon.  A great truck, and it still runs!  I love how it has not been restored, but has all the scars and patina of a working machine.  I guess the fuel pump is out, because Jason has connected a gravity fed fuel tank.  I had a great time painting this cool old McCarthy truck, stopping every hour, or so, to chat with Lobo.  He was working in the garden planting onions, garlic, and potatoes.  I walked home in the afternoon to have a late lunch, and then got some of my own yard work done.  Overall, a pretty productive day.  By the way, this isn’t the first time I’ve painted one of Jason’s trucks.  Check out the painting of his red Ford.

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Jason Lobo's Dodge Power Wagon. 14"x11", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Jason Lobo’s Dodge Power Wagon. 14″x11″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #34, August 20, 2015

How often do I paint live in breweries? Not that often. I think there are still under ten paintings that I have managed to create in a tasting room. I recently made a trip to the Midwest of our lovely North American continent. I spent a few days in Chicago, enjoying the delicious beer there, as well as catching a Cubs game at Wrigley field. Maria enjoyed a Goose Island 312 during the game, I held out to sample a fresh IPA from the local GI taproom in Wrigleyville. After Chicago we left to Wisconsin for a wedding. I definitely enjoyed my share of Spotted Cow. Thanks Adam and Kara for getting two kegs of delicious New Glarus brew.

We figured that a trip to the Midwest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Michigan. Actually, my grandmother was born in Michigan so I have some extended roots there, and I definitely have friends who live in Michigan. First, we went to Grand Haven and enjoyed some Odd Side Ales, swam in Lake Michigan and explored the dunes. We then drove to Grand Rapids, known as Beer City with big hitters like Founders, Brewery Vivant, and Perrin. Not to mention Harmony, Rockford, B.O.B., and Mitten. Grand Rapids is a very beer-forward town. On our way there from Grand Haven we detoured on a special trip to Kalamazoo, MI to go to the world famous Bell’s Brewery, where I painted live for an afternoon at the Eccentric Cafe. The beer I painted is the double black IPA, called Uranus, part of the planet series. Brewed in homage to Gustav Holst, the composer best known for his musical suites entitled the Planets. The food was also really good and the service was excellent. I hope I get a chance to return to the Eccentric Cafe, it seemed like my kind of place. Great art was everywhere adorning the interior, including some amazing stained glass windows with relief sculptures, as well as mosaics on the floor. I finished this painting, and then got to drink the beer. Two more days of beer enjoyment in Grand Rapids completed out the trip, and I had a very full ten days in the Midwest!

The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.

Bell's Brewing beer painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #34 by Scott Clendaniel. August 20, 2015. Uranus Double Black IPA by Bell’s Brewing. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

old running Ford…

antique ford painting

An art print of this painting is available at my online shop.  The original sold.

I am back in Anchorge.  This car is parked on the parkstrip and is part of a BB’s character.  It was nice to see a restored auto for once.  I also liked the trailer behind it…well for lack of anything better to say I will keep this entry nice and short if any one has more info about this restored Ford give a comment…

Jason Lobo’s Red Ford

Old red Ford truck painting

An art print of this painting is for sale at my online shop.  The original sold.

Saturday, Jason Lobo was out of town so he asked Maria (my wife) to stop by to feed his various animals. He has two horses, two goats, a pig, a turkey, and a kitty cat.  The horses took some hay, while the rest of the animals, minus the cat, took some green pellet animal feed, even the turkey.  While Maria was searching for the pellet feed and cat food, I was painting this portrait of Lobo’s red truck.  Jason lives about a mile from our house and on the same road, the Sandstone trail, so if he needs to go to McCarthy he has to drive past our home out there.  It always seems that I am headed to town at the same time as Jason Lobo, which is very interesting, because normally he has all of his animals with him.  Just last week he was driving this truck, (without the animals) and he was using gravity to propel him down the hill (it’s all down hill from where I live out there).  We were on our way into town and jumped on the Jason Train!  First time jumping into a moving vehicle since my high school days!  MXY is always an adventure!

Paul and Jenny’s Homestead!

Alaska garden and cabin painting

Yesterday I went out to visit my friends Paul and Jenny who live about 10 miles down the Nizina Road.  We rode our bikes out over the fairly rough dirt road in about an hour.  I had a killer time looking around their new improvements.  They have an enormous garden, it may be the biggest I have seen in the McCarthy area.  Their pig may also be the biggest pig I have ever seen.  Produce that should go to the state fair including some mega cabbages, lettuces, and I am sure if it were entered, a blue ribbon turnip.  The lettuce was so big I decided to put it in the foreground of this little painting.  I left the painting behind to dry and hopefully will be hung in their little cabin in a few weeks. Another noteworthy addition to the homestead is the gigantic root cellar newly installed last year.  After visiting the mushroom forest and a few trips to the creek for water and cold beer, Maria and I packed up to leave. About a mile out the road I realized I had plugged my cell phone into the solar system and left it there.  So as I was calculating how far I had gone from their place with my bicycle cpu (I had left my backpack on the side of the road,  and wanted to make sure I could find it) I missed the turn to their place and then accidentally explored the Nizina neighborhood fairly intensely. After a few misdirected miles, I figured out my bearings and found the right turn and my cell phone.  Maria only had to wait for a few minutes as I was riding around in a frenzy to not hold her up too badly. We made it home with enough time for dinner before dark and about ten minutes faster than on the way there! Overall a great Alaska adventure!

McCarthy Trucks Day 4

Antique Black GMC truck in Alaska painting

An art print of this painting is available at my online store.  The original is for sale at Dos Manos gallery in Anchorage, AK.

green antique truck painting

An art print of this painting is available at my online store.  The original is for sale at Dos Manos gallery in Anchorage, AK.

I have been working on these trucks now for a week! I love them! I think I will be incorporating them in my next big show of the year at the Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Loft.  I look forward to putting some growlers with the trucks maybe… So the old green truck is a MXY fixture that has been obviously turned into a public sculpture and garden planter.  It is a testament to the sweat and labor McCarthy residents of the past have endured.  The GMC is just plain (plein) sweet! I wish I had that truck although I may pass on the fastback because as an artist I always need to haul plywood. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Shushana Ave Tripple Trucks

antique trucks in alaska painting

An art print of this painting is available at my online shop.  The original is for sale at Dos Manos gallery in Anchorage.

These three trucks are resting on Shushana Ave. in McCarthy, Alaska.  I know the red one runs, probably all three run.  The red Ford arrived this year and is in the possession of Mark Wacht, a local resident.  As for the other two they have been there since I started coming to WSENP in 2005.  Maybe somebody knows and I will fill you in on whose they are, and what they need to become mobile vehicles again.

Truck on McCarthy Streets

Antique blue truck in alaska painting

An art print of this painting is available at my online shop.  The original sold.

Continuing with the trucks on the Nizina Avenue of McCarthy, Alaska.  I still have about 6 or so more on this street to represent.  Feelin’ good painting outside after a long break!

“Patience” the truck in downtown McCarthy Alaska

green antique chevrolet truck painting An art print of this painting is available at my online shop.

antique green chevy in alaska paintingAn art print of this painting is available at my online shop.

This is an iconic truck, which I hear might run, however since I have been coming McCarthy, Alaska, in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park in 2005 I have never seen it move.  Kids mostly play on it and hang out in the neighborhood with it. Another thing I might mention is that this truck is parked outside the Wrangell Mtn. Center, a learning establishment that puts on programs for college students and the local community.  The larger of these two paintings will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the WMC during an event called Tall Tales.  I hope you enjoy these two little truck paintings.