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‘The beauty of the hobby’

Artists practice their craft at Wind Crest

Created date

March 22nd, 2011
Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with a breathtaking view of the Front Range, Wind Crest is a perfect place for artists to nurture their creative sides. Though every painter s process is unique to the person, artists on campus find camaraderie amidst the mountains and the art.

The self-taught amateur

Thurmond Williamson considers himself an amateur painter, even though he s been practicing regularly since 1974. He got started because his wife would take him to art galleries and he liked what he saw. I was raised to believe that if they can do that, then I can do that too, he says. Having much respect for the master, he saw something within himself reflected on those canvases that he wanted to try to express. Mostly self-taught he s taken a class or two at community colleges over the years he paints regularly but not every day. He works on one painting at a time, for the most part, and gives each one the time and space it needs to come alive. Some paintings will even take him up to two years, but he doesn t mind at all. Getting lost in the process is most of the fun. Williamson has given himself plenty of time to finish his current project the buildings of the University of Colorado, a 2013 graduation present for his granddaughter. While he s working on a piece, however, he has a backlog of ideas and takes photos for those ideas wildflowers animals a stacked rock wall. And though he won t paint the exact photo, an element like a certain rock or flower will oftentimes be the focus of a painting. Though Williamson feels he s developed his style, which is more architectural and detailed, his goal is to become more mentally independent, to be more imaginative and artistic in my paintings.

The grateful mother

Anita Jones started painting 30 years ago when her son, who is deaf, took a class at Arapahoe Community College. She attended the class with him to serve as his interpreter, and on the first day, the instructor asked her, Are you just going to sit there? She s been painting ever since. It s funny because I m the one who stuck with it, Jones laughs. Landscapes are her favorite, buildings her least favorite, and everything else falls in between, she says. She likens her paintings to her kids, so she rarely sells them, and she spends as much time as each one needs to be born at least ten hours eyeing it frequently to make sure she gets every detail right. There s a special meaning behind each one. And she, like Williamson, takes photos of every painting she s done, so she remembers the ones she s given away. Jones uses traditional oil paints and needs turpentine to clean up; because of this, she sets up shop in the kitchen when she wants to work. That way, if she drips on the tile floor, it s easy to wipe up. Like Williamson, Jones doesn t paint every day. The painting group meets once a week for four hours in the on-site creative arts studio, and here, they offer each other feedback on their work. This is the whole idea here, Jones says, we feed off each other. She and Williamson have been painting side by side for three years. Both Williamson and Jones appreciate what they call the beauty of the hobby not just for the aesthetics of it but for the fact that there s no pressure to finish a piece or even to paint, and that makes it more appealing. As Jones says, I love the freedom of painting. It s an open hobby I don t have to get a certain amount done in a certain amount of time. And when both Williamson and Jones are ready to pick up the brush, the paints and canvas are always there, patiently waiting.