Archive for louden ranch

Some of my painting friends from the Mitchell Museum

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by Eldon

Mitchell Museum

This is the interior of the Mitchell Museum. I guess in the “old days” this was some kinda department store. Check out the ceiling tile. This view shows about 25% of it. The lower level was still hung with Mitchell’s work and our show hung upstairs. If anyone reading this is ever passing throgh Trinidad take an hour and see this place. You won’t be disappointed

Doug Holdread

Doug….I really like his work. I think tradsees are in negotiations. Doug is also the force behind these painting tours in S.E. Co. and opposition to the Pinon Canyon Expansion. By the way we’ve made some awesome progress down there.


This is Linda. The focus in her art is finding and recording things most of us miss. This lady is can render in pen and ink like it’s goin outta style.


Lois:  Lois made the only sale opening night. Congratulations!! She works in pastel. Great work! Do a close up of the horses and you’ll see what I mean.


Deborah…..She says she takes a terrible photograph. I beg to differ. And SHE was one lucky enough to get a photo of the Whiptails at our last paint location.


Fran…..Fran works in pastel also. The painting just to her right (about elbow height) with the violet and yellow is my favorite.

yers truely

Yers truely. Nuff said



River Water and Wild Onions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2009 by Eldon

Is this cool or what? The Mitchell Museum in Trinidad Colorado has invited me and several other artists to show some work at the museum during the month of June. I’ve gotten them seven paintings, some older, some new. All are from S.E. Colorado and range from 10×20 inches to 30×40. Some of them folks have seen, some are still wet. I thought I’d post em in here for everybody to see.

10x20 oil on canvas

Title: Sunrise at Willards Place

The painting above is a 10×20 and stems from the paint trip I took last summer with Doug Holdread and several other artists at the Louden Ranch.  Take a look at Doug’s site, you’ll see a lot of really nice work in there.

10x20 oil on canvas


Another 10×20. This painting was totally fun to do. (a little nerve racking but fun) The reference material has been laying around here for quite a while. I guess I just had to have a reason to git er done. A special occasion I guess.

16x20 oil on canvas

Title: Willard’s Windmill

And this is Willard Loudens wind mill. It’s one of the first things you see when you drive into the bottom of the canyon where Lone Oak Post Office is. If you were to walk up to the windmill from this view and hooked a hard left you’d be looking right at the view of  “Sunrise At Willards Place” two paintings up.

18x24 oil on canvas

Title: Road to Lone Oak

Above is the road into Lone Oak. Who are those guys anyway?  There was this couple who hiked out of the canyon and camped on the ridge. Friends of mine. 🙂

18x24 oil on canvas

Title: Nuther Storm Brewin

This old snowy road is from the Red Canyon area. I’d guess it’s about 40 miles north east of Willards place. I haven’t been to this area for many years and I remember it as being one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. A lady owned the ranch then. Her name was Dourety. (No doubt I butchered that spelling, sorry) She was nice enough to let us run around her place a little bit. I’ll bet it’s been thirty years. Most beautiful.

24x36 oil on canvas

Title: Mesa De Maya

This painting above most of you have seen. It was the do-over from an older post.  I snapped the reference photo on my way  to Lone Oak one Sunday morning. This stone structure is my offering to the scene. The building doesn’t actually exist but you finds hundreds like it through out the area. These places were lived in and abandoned by tough, hard working folks who found it hard to make a living.

A little story:        My father in law many many many years ago had a little homestead east of La Junta Co. He said one day a young fella came walking by his place who lived out in this area. He asked the guy what they ate out there. River water and wild onions. I aint that tough.

30x40 oil on canvas

Title: Down Higbee Road

Another most of you have seen. Higbee Road is About 20 miles south of LaJunta and runs for a ways along the Purgatory River. I had a little bit of a problem with the composition in this one. The critique indicated the house was far to much to the left to be the center of interest (was true). While the piece was well painted I was to move the house to the right. Uh huh….Like they said, it was well done, I wasn’t about to repaint that old house so I gave the rancher a new silo. It improved the composition of the piece, pulled the viewers eye back to the right and added to the value of the property as well. Three birds, one rock.     🙂

So there ya have it. My offering to the Mitchell Museum. Wish us luck.

If anyone wishes to see a price list there’s one in “links” top right. When you hover your cursor over an image the size will come up. Just compare that size to the same size on the list.

Until next Saturday!!


Old One New One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Eldon

16x20 oil on canvas

This weeks painting. (Actually it’s one of three.) I didn’t get the progression on this one because I had to share the camera. Debra got to spend three days in Vail so the camera was away doing other things. Lucky girl, I had to work.

When finishing this one up it reminded of a painting I’d done five or six years ago. I called it Bear Creek August. Its the same size, 16×20, as the new one above and after spending quite a bit of time searching for it and getting it dug out I thought everyone might enjoy comparing.  I just found it interesting to see a painting from the past and a painting just done  have so much in common when I thought I’d changed so much. Is this new one a throw back or was Bear Creek August ahead of it’s time. Probably neither and probably it makes no difference.  They are what they are and I’m happy with both of them.

16x20 oil on canvas

Below is the start of some Iris. I’ll post the finish next week. For now (once I get this sent) I’m heading up to sleep. This weather, I think, makes me tired.  🙂


20x10 oil on Canvas

“It’s Always Somethin!”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2009 by Eldon

louden-ranch 10x20 oil

Well, made it through another week.  This little piece(10×20 inches) will no doubt become a larger painting  in the future. It came from one of a whole bunch of photographs I took at the Louden Ranch this last year when a bunch of us radical artists took it upon ourselves to protest the Pinon Canyon expansion project. We’re going to do it again this summer I understand and can hardly wait to get back to South Eastern Colorado to paint.

This painting becoming larger will have to wait for another month or so at least. We’re still working overtime and doing this small stuff is about all I have time for. There is an up side though. The time lapsed between one painting session and the next is allowing the painting to dry more than I’d normally let happen. As a result I’m doing a little more dry brush work. I’m having fun and am getting some nice effects. In the future I’ll probably do more of it so the work will change again a little bit. In the immortal words of Anna Rosanna Dana, “It’s always somethin.”  I love it!


Lone Oak

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2008 by Eldon

In late September this year Willard Louden escorted me and a handful of artists down this road into the bottom of a canyon and showed us a bit of history. It seemed we had all been transported back in time. There were no power lines, no pavement and no cell phone signal and I felt I was as far from civilization as I’d ever been. The experience was one of awe and reverence. At times I thought I could hear in the wind and the rustling of the trees, voices, old and distant voices that told stories about this out of the way world and the lives that had passed through it. Willard Louden it turns out was our translator.

The tree in this photo (above) is the “Lone Oak”. It stands near the foundation of an old stone structure where now eighty three year old Willard Louden went to school.

This bit of a structure was started but never finished. The one room school house is just to the right but there is so little of the school left it’s hard to see. Willard (wearing the yellow shirt in the photo below) knows exactly where it is and showed us around the edges of the foundation then led us up into the side of the canyon wall to Lone Oak Post Office. Lone Oak Post Office served several families in the area in the early part of the last century. Eventually these settlers moved away and the Loudens built a ranch totally nearly 25,000 acres by paying back taxes and taking possession of the deserted land.

The P.O. isn’t easy to see. Over the years trees and bushes have grown up in front and if you don’t know where to look you could easily miss it. It is built into a recess in the canyon wall that was used as shelter by the Indians in the area before the homesteaders arrived. The latest tenant is a big gray spider taking up residence under the eve. Farther along the wall to the left of the P.O. is a small pen also made of stone. Willard said it most likely held sheep or goats.

We made our way through tree branches and under brush until we came to the sheep pen. Willard settled in here and told stories of his family. He told us about the old family that started Louden Ranch. He told how he and his brother had traveled the world, got an education and returned to spend their lives working and living here. And he told us about those who are inheriting the ranch as those who currently run it have been growing old. When asked about the legends told about buried gold and treasures hidden in the area he laughed. It wasn’t possible, he said, the time lines were all wrong. There was one fellow, though, who found several silver coins stashed in the dutch oven of an old stove someone had left behind.

And after a while we sort of drifted away from that spot and set up our easels and did what we came to do. We painted through the afternoon listening to the black birds and the wild burros in the distance. We fought the gnats and flies and painted as the shadows got longer and longer. We watched the afternoon sun light turn to gold and the evening came. And the world seemed to soften and become quiet as Mr. Louden told us more stories.