Landscapes on display at CMC Gallery through Nov. 20
By Kristin Carlson
What color is the snow at night?
Artist Dan Young probes this and other questions in his new exhibition of paintings that explore light as it bursts, fades or disappears on the horizon.
Young is best known for capturing the landscapes of the rural West, but his reputation is national, and his work appears in shows from coast to coast. A self-described impressionist, the artist aims to engage viewers with his paintings emotionally. If he can inspire them to experience the warmth of light creeping across a summer sky or feel the cold of a snowy night, he considers his work a success.
“From Dusk ‘til Dawn,” an exhibit of 37 of Young’s latest oil landscapes, is on display at Colorado Mountain College’s Center for Excellence in the Arts Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs through Nov. 20.
Art enthusiast and collector John Simmons saw his first Dan Young painting in a gallery in Basalt and immediately commissioned the artist to create a piece for his home. He now owns more than 25 paintings. “Dan’s work is so inviting,” says Simmons. “He does something when he paints skies. I see something new in his paintings every time I look at them.”
The inspiration for Young’s latest exhibition was a Frederic Remington show called “The Color of Night.” “It blew me away,” says Young, “the way he painted nighttime scenes.”
At the time, Young had been trying for years to capture the waning light of evening, the blurred edges of objects at night and the brilliance of the setting or rising sun — all without much success. But seeing Remington’s show convinced him that low-light painting could be done, and done well. So he set out onto the back roads near his home in Silt.
“I walked a lot at night,” says Young. “At first I tried to paint fast and on the spot, but it didn’t work.” Then he had a breakthrough. He began walking his dog with a small notebook in hand, stopping to make only brief sketches and a few notes along the way. Back at his studio in the morning, he’d use the little book to jumpstart his creativity.
“From Dusk ‘til Dawn” features 37 pieces, ranging in size from three by four inches to eight by 10 inches. He describes the paintings as “little studies” in low-light painting. “Creating this show was fun for me,” he says, “because it was an experiment that built momentum.”
The CMC Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, please contact Alice Beauchamp at (970) 947-8367 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. To see examples of Young’s paintings, go to www.danyoungstudio.com.