By Mary Webber

For those of you who attended the August potluck in TBB member Elaine Enarson’s Hygiene backyard, you will certainly recall the incredible sight that accompanied our shared meal and stimulating conversation. A rare unobstructed view of Longs Peak provided a stunning backdrop to the afternoon’s activities. I was immediately taken with beauty of the vista and couldn’t get enough of it! I had to remind myself that I was supposed

to be interacting with the humans around me, too, not just gawking at the scenery!

As an amateur artist, my eye is often drawn to landscapes that might provide fodder for my artistic ambitions, and the moment I saw this view, I knew I had to attempt to put it

onto canvas. From late spring through the early autumn each year, a number of artist friends and I venture outdoors to paint “en plein air” (in the open air), traveling to areas around Boulder County and sometimes beyond to see if we can translate what we find before us onto an art panel. Elaine’s backyard view said loud and clear, “PAINT ME! PAINT ME!” Who am I to disregard such a lovely demand?

I approached Elaine with the idea of my friend, Cheryl, and I painting her stunning view, for which I would offer TimeCredits, and she graciously agreed. I suggested the following Tuesday morning, which worked perfectly with Elaine’s schedule. Cheryl and I got an early start, but Elaine was already up and about by the time we arrived, welcoming us warmly and offering bathroom facilities, as well as water if we should happen to get thirsty.

We set about looking at all possible painting options and, in addition to stunning Longs Peak, there were floral offerings to consider, including

yellow hollyhocks, a deep purple butterfly plant and other flowers around the yard. Some distant farm buildings with the mountains towering behind them also looked intriguing. There were other options, as well.

The next two and a half hours were delightful. Even though we had to dose ourselves with repellant to deter the resident mosquitoes, the morning was perfect. Cheryl chose to paint the hollyhocks, and I focused on Longs Peak and the haystack and truck in the field in the foreground. I must admit that I took some artistic license (we artists are allowed to do that!), reconfiguring the field boundaries and giving the truck a new paint job. Red catches the eye, so a red truck it became!

A sweet and unexpected bonus during that morning was the occasional, but very welcome, visit from Elaine’s dog, who supervised our efforts in between short naps in the shade.

I can’t thank Elaine enough for allowing us to enjoy her incredible view. We’ve been invited back, so we must not have created too much of a ruckus. Thank you, Elaine, for this opportunity, and our little group hopes to visit your lovely view again when the autumn colors are at their peak!