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Library art show to feature Denny Rose and students

Area residents may be surprised to learn that several of their neighbors have quietly become wonderful watercolor artists during the past couple of years. According to their instructor, watercolorist Denny Rose, the majority of her current students would now be considered “emerging artists,” meaning that their paintings, and giclee prints of their paintings, are already being bought and enjoyed by individuals and businesses.

At least six of these artists — ranging in age from 18 to 80 — are joining Rose in a show of work at the Sisson Library in Pagosa Springs. Everyone is invited to an opening receptiontoday, July 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. Although the show will run the month of August, the opening provides an opportunity to meet and visit with the artists, see and discuss some of their paintings, and enjoy refreshments.

Glessie Drake will show five of her amazing bird and animal paintings. She is a fan of respected photographer Bruce Andersen, and with his blessing often uses his photography as the basis of a painting. Drake began learning about watercolor in a Denny and Ginnie watercolor workshop just over five years ago and she continues to paint with Rose “to develop her considerable talent,” according to the proud instructor.

Another five-year student of the PSAC-sponsored workshops and Rose‘s private instruction, Marti Parrish, does landscapes, unusual animal paintings, and watercolor scenes that include people. Those who already own one of her creations are justifiably proud to have a Parrish original or print. Because she divides her time between homes in Pagosa and Scottsdale, Ariz., she laments having only half the time to paint with her mentor and friend Denny Rose. Marti Parrish will have five or more recent paintings in the library show.

Cathy Rutherford began painting with Denny in August of 2006, even before taking the workshops that Rose teaches with fellow artist Ginnie Bartlett. In addition to working with Denny once or twice most weeks, she has studied with celebrated watercolorists in Sedona and Denver. “She has natural talent and creativity, and the dedication to become an outstanding watercolor artist,” according to Rose. She will have five or more paintings in the show at the library.

Eleana Kleckner is a nail technician and skin specialist. She brings the skills she learned in that training and experience to her paintings. Her instructor says that “her watercolors are delicate, detailed and often contain soft hues. Unfortunately, Eleana’s painting time is limited by her business responsibilities, but her talent is apparent in everything she creates.” Kleckner plans to have three of her recent paintings in the exhibit.

The youngest person in the showing of watercolors is Ashley Iverson, a recent graduate of Pagosa Springs High School. Much of her school training has been in oil, acrylic, pencil and pastels. She learned the basics of watercolor in a Denny and Ginnie Workshop and continues to work with Denny to develop her watercolor skills. She plans to make art her minor at CSU. “Ashley sold one of her paintings recently; the first of many, many to come,” said Rose.

According to all her students, Rose is an amazing, well-organized instructor. She considers herself a cross between a drill sergeant and a nagging mother as she shares a lifetime of experience with the adults who come to her for help in developing their talent. “I am sometimes concerned that my time will run out before I have a chance to share everything I’ve learned in 50-plus years of painting.”

Denny says she has always hoped to find someone interested and able to do the watercolor portraits of homes and businesses she is known for producing. “The creation of these has brought me great pleasure and financial stability, so I’ve felt it would be a shame not to pass on that legacy as well.”

Brenda Richey has those traits and an amazing talent, according to Rose. She participated in all the workshops to learn watercolor basics and perspective before telling Rose of her ambition to do home portraits.

Richey is dedicated to quickly learning the additional techniques and skills she needs to depict the beautiful homes built by the family construction business. “And now,“ said Rose, “she is prepared to take commissions for paintings of homes, structural landmarks and other buildings, with just a little help and guidance in the future. Come and be impressed by her first paintings of buildings.”

The show will continue to the end of August.