Sue Martin: Abstracting the Landscape in Oil and Cold Wax

LOCATION: Meet at Escalante Town Park Pavilion
September 18 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Sue will demonstrate her process of using oil paints and cold wax medium to abstract the landscape. She will explain the materials used (canvas vs. panels, and credit card vs. palette knives), and the challenges of using this process en plein air (it melts in direct sun).

Sue Martin came to art later in life after a career in public relations and corporate training. She happily left that behind to enroll at the University of Utah, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  She paints the essence of the landscape – the shapes, colors, textures, directions, order and chaos. Working with oil and cold wax, applied with credit cards or palette knives, she offers a unique abstracted view of her surroundings. She builds up layers of paint and wax, scrapes into layers, revealing colors below, and gradually moves from abstraction to a “sweet spot” between abstraction and reality.  Sue shares a studio in downtown Salt Lake City, enjoys plein air painting, and teaches occasional workshops.  See more of Sue’s work here.

Bonnie Griffith: WAX! The Art of Encaustic

September 22 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Encaustic painting uses melted beeswax and damar resin along with colored pigments to create works of art.  The wax is heated to about 93C and is brushed or poured onto a prepared surface such as wood or special encaustic surface.  The wax can be mixed with pigment or applied over the top of pigment.  Multiple layers are applied with fusing (heating the wax in-between each layer) resulting in a dimensional appearing work.  Other materials such as paper or 3 dimensional objects can be “encased” in the painting and fused between layers of wax or mounted to the top layer of the project. The wax can be carved into to create textures and highlight focal points of the painting. Encaustic art is one of the oldest art forms having dates of found works of around 100-300 AD of Egyptian origin. 

As an artist of the western landscape, who works in oils and pastels, Bonnie finds the rich pigments of pastel, oil  and encaustic allows her to create paintings that have the brilliance and the bold color we see in the West.  These mediums give her unlimited options to create the images representational of the colors, depth and texture inherent in this physical earth. Bonnie’s love of the landscape prompts her to paint it, and she look for a story to tell when she paints. Her goal is to create art into which the viewer can step into, finding and experiencing their own story.  If that happens, then she has done her job. Although she works out of her Crooked Creek Art Studio in southwestern Idaho, plein air painting leads her across the western US.  These journeys also allow her to share her knowledge of pastel and multimedia in workshops, offered both on location and in her studio. For more info about Griffith and her work, please see the following sites:, Instagram: @Bonniezahngriffith and Facebook: Bonnie Griffith Landscape Artist.


Louise Sackett: Including the Critters

LOCATION: Meet at Escalante Town Park Pavilion
September 22 @ 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

This demo will include various ways to include local critters in your paintings, specifically cattle or horses, depending on their cooperation. The presentation will be in oil, conducted on a linen panel toned with a warm acrylic undertone to minimize ‘white dandruff’ in the finished piece. Techniques can be adapted to other media and translates well across them.

Not primarily an animal artist, Louise’s emphasis will be given to integrating the figure into the landscape to counteract that ‘pasted on look’. Use of multiple references will be discussed and used. The session will be on a local ranch whose owners have graciously granted us access. The animals can be standoffish, and so minimal noise level will be greatly appreciated as we arrive and setup. We will caravan to the location about 4 miles west of town. Carpooling is greatly recommended as parking is limited. Cameras, drinks, your own shade apparatus, and chairs are a smart idea. Please bring sketching materials as well as painting things and paint along for maximum benefit. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions, take notes and laugh freely. As this is a family home, pack it in, and kindly pack it out. It should be a moooving experience.

Louise Sackett has studied art at Workshops, University, and Art Schools, on both coasts. An IPAP signature member, Louise favors Oil and Soft Pastel when working outdoors, with the subject often dictating the media. A New Mexico resident for over 10 years, Louise currently paints from San Antonio to San Diego, with occasional works from her native region of New England. She has shown with multiple groups when living in California, and is a current member of LPAPA, SPAP, TPS and NMPAP. She has been a signature member of I_P_A_P for five years. Louise has shown for the last ten years in local, international and national shows. Last year’s efforts afforded her two Best of Shows. Prior to her fine art career, Louise worked as an artist and art director for the NAVY, training S-3B flight crew. She is represented by River’s Edge Gallery in Kerrville, TX, and Encore in Silver City. Louise also conducts a plein air workshop each fall in the Gila area of New Mexico. “My vision is one of brilliant color. I am intrigued by fleeting effects of light, and include them in my works. I find old masters techniques particularly exciting when paired with today’s materials, and often attempt to reconcile them.”

See more of Louise’s art here.


LOCATION: Escalante Heritage Center
September 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Paint Around is an event where 4-person teams of artists each “paint-around” to create paintings.  Teams of painters will, in turn, work on a single piece.  Teams have two hours to finish their painting, each member taking 15 minute turns.  Each artist will add to and modify the piece under development, according to their vision of the piece’s required direction, providing commentary as they think their way through the task at hand. A blending of unique visions and styles will provide a truly singular result. Come watch this fun activity as the invited artists take turns putting their unique spin on a painting!

The completed paintings will be included in the Plein Air Competition Exhibit and Sale.  All proceeds will be donated to local school arts programming. 

This year team captains will draw names from a hat of any interested registered artists to determine team members. 


Acrylic Team Captain: Peggy Trigg

As a past art educator, Peggy believes in creativity, experimentation and good design. She paints her landscapes mostly on location using either oil or acrylic paint. She also explores design potential through abstract expression in her studio work.

In her plain air painting, she believes that it is very important to try to capture the feeling of a location and not to worry about painting an actual representation of what you see. To help her with this goal and to keep her stroke lively and loose, Peggy uses either wide brushes or palette knives; often, the wider the better! She likes to push her color choices in intensity and vibrancy. In acrylics, she paints using a layering technique and in oils she paints using the impasto method.

Peggy’s work is represented by Wilder Nightingale Gallery in Taos and La Mesa Gallery in Santa Fe. Visit Peggy’s website to see more of her work here.


Pastel Team Captain: Lonny Granston

Lonny Granston was voted most artistic in his high school graduating class and took the logical next step:  he went to medical school.  After residency, he moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he still takes up space.  As a young man, he raced triathlons, got married and started a family, played doctor and drank beer. Eventually he gave up triathlons (but not the other vices mentioned) and rediscovered pastels.  Distorted colors, lack of accurate reproduction of what he sees and misrepresentation of the natural world are hallmarks of his work.  See more of Lonny’s work here


Oil Team Captain: Allan Brockbank

Allen earned a fine arts degree from Brigham Young University where he met his wife Janice.  They settled in Centerville, Utah where Allen began his career in commercial art and computer game design.  Over the next twenty years, Allen refined his artistic skills in the digital world developing video games with fine companies like Disney, Microsoft, and Take Two.  It was during this time that Allen discovered the joys and challenges of landscape painting right in his backyard.  Utah is a painter’s paradise and a “university” for teaching the plein air artist.  He believes that painting on location and in the studio are complimentary pursuits, one building upon the other.

See more of Allan’s work here.


Water Color Team Captain: Ward Stroud

Ward believes “Who we are, and everything that we do and create in every moment of our lives is a culmination of what we have learned, done, and experienced on our life’s journey.” He has assembled in his nearly 62 years, some of life’s greatest lessons working as a professional figure skater, graphic artist, fine artist, singer/songwriter/musician, published photographer, dancer, instructor, and entrepreneur. He is a juried member of both the WSO (Watercolor Society of Oregon) and the Oregon society of Artists (OSA) has had numerous one-man exhibits, and his work has been featured in some of the finest Art/Painting magazines in the world including “Watercolor Artist”, “Les Pratique Des Arts”, and the “New Palette” magazine! Ward has three feature Instructional DVDs/Videos, titled “Brusho and Beyond”, as well as numerous highly-viewed YouTube videos! Ward is the winner of the Escalante Canyons Arts Festival People’s Choice Award 2019! Visit Ward’s website to see more of his work here.


Mixed Media Color Team Captain: Sue Tyler

Sue Tyler was born in Idaho, and has called Teton Valley Idaho home for 35 years. She began drawing and painting at a young age, inspired by local landscapes, animals, and icons of the past in Western culture. Sue taught art to all ages for almost 30 years, until she retired to paint full time. Sue’s painting can be seen in galleries and plein air events throughout the West. Her recent awards include Escalante Canyons Art Festival (honorable mention)2019, Driggs Plein Air Festival, 2nd Quick Draw, 2019, National Juried Show, 2nd place, 2019, Arts Idaho Biennial, top 50, 2004, 2007 2008, 2012, 2019 (honorable mention). Sue paints plein air landscapes in acrylic and watercolor. In the studio, her mixed media pieces allow a freer expression of a subject. “Mixed media allows an intuitive, versus literal experience, she says. And I can focus on design essentials. Hopefully, each piece is a conversation with the viewer.”  See more of Sue’s work here.

Natalie Shupe: Landscape Painting

LOCATION: Meet at Escalante Town Park Pavilion
September 23 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Demonstration will focus on how to recognize and emphasize the main idea and purpose of your painting. Natalie will discuss design and editing principles that will help you establish dominance within your composition and subdue secondary elements.

Natalie Rhees Shupe was born in Ogden, Utah. She grew up on a small farm with animals and fruit trees and lots of room to roam. Oil painting lessons began when piano lessons failed. As a result, she began to paint in oils at eleven years of age. It was at Snow College that she had the opportunity to study with Osrael Allred and Carl Purcell. She finished a BFA at Utah State University in Art Education. When her two-year-old son ate the oil paints off her palette, she put them away. The desire to paint returned when her oldest daughter began her art degree. Natalie has been painting determinedly ever since. Workshops with John Poon, John Hughes and Russell Case have increased her vision of what paintings can be. She still needs lots of room to roam since hiking is the best way to gather references.  See more of Natalie’s work here.

Valerie and Ellen Orlemann: Painting Together – the Fun and Challenges of Mother-Daughter Painting

LOCATION: Meet at Escalante Town Park Pavilion
September 25 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Join a mother-daughter tandem demo where Valerie and Ellen will paint and talk about their creative processes and boundaries.  Valerie thinks that parenting a teen requires balance between providing the resources for her daughter to succeed and then getting out of the way so that the success is truly hers.   Valerie provides supplies and gives advice to Ellen about compositions and color mixing, but then she backs off and does not not look or comment (unless Ellen asks her).   

Valerie Orlemann is a professional artist, working with canvas and oil to create landscapes of Utah and the southwest. 

Ellen Orlemann is a 16-year-old who enjoys cross-country running, music, hiking, and sometimes painting.  

The two of them have come together at the Escalante art festival where Valerie wins the occasional award and Ellen has taken first place in the junior division.    Painting together means discussing ideas, painting in the same places, sharing supplies but also giving each other space to create.   

See more of Valerie’s work here.