• Susan Jarecky of Evergreen paints a scene of Sixth Street using
  • Denver's Tanner Steed uses oils to paint the Hotel de Paris and
  • Gene Youngmann uses watercolors to paint the Devil's Gate High B

On your mark, get set, paint!

This weekend, 23 artists captured the beauty and intricacy, the light and shadows, and the colors and shapes of Georgetown and Silver Plume as part of the third annual Georgetown Plein Air Festival.

Artists set up their easels and canvases on Sixth Street on Saturday afternoon for the Quick Draw, in which they had 90 minutes to paint a nearby scene.

Those entries — along with other festival submissions — are now on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day until Aug. 16 at the Georgetown Heritage Center. A portion of all sales go to the center.

“It’s nice to have an event to go to; everything’s been canceled,” Indian Hills’ Pixie Glore said.

While she’s been plein-air painting in Georgetown for 30 years, it was Glore’s first time in the festival. She learned about it Saturday morning from a friend and signed up at the last minute.

Georgetown’s Victorian homes make for ideal subject matter, she explained, adding that she does a mix of plein air and studio watercolor work.

During the Quick Draw, she painted the lamp post and flowers outside the Georgetown Valley Candy Co. building. Overall, Glore said, there were a lot of fabulous artists participating in the festival and gave kudos to the organizers.

Like Glore, many participants were newcomers to Georgetown’s festival.

Gene Youngmann of Westminster said he felt there weren’t quite enough artists, adding that he believes 30 is the perfect number for a plein air festival. Organizers had to cap the number of participants because of the pandemic.

Regardless, he said he appreciated the opportunity for camaraderie with other artists.

Youngmann, a retired high school art teacher and a watercolor artist, participated in his first-ever Quick Draw on Saturday. He chose to paint the antique clock in the library park area. Given that he does almost all his work outside, he said he wasn’t worried about completing the painting in 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, Bill Meuser and Evergreen’s Carol Newsom captured different angles of The Trading Post along Sixth Street. Newsom, a watercolor artist, said she liked the old wood facade and the antique light in front of the building.

While it wasn’t her first plein air festival, it was her first Quick Draw event. Newsom is primarily an illustrator, but she had fun earlier in the weekend painting Silver Plume’s jail and Georgetown’s Grace Episcopal Church.

Plein air painting is more exciting than illustrating, she said, because it involves working outside.

Meuser, on the other hand, used oils for his Quick Draw painting. He’s competed in several plein air festivals, where he’s won awards for his work.

For anyone looking to try their hand at plein air, Meuser recommended they start small — both literally and figuratively.

He suggested beginning with an 8×10 canvas, and working for only an hour but filling the whole canvas. Do that every day 150 to 200 times, he said.

The paintings will be bad at first, but he encouraged people to keep trying because their work will improve.

Contact reporter Corinne Westeman at 303-567-4491 or cwesteman@evergreenco.com, and follow her on Twitter @cwesteman.