Colorado Art Ranch Residency / Part 1: the Place or the New Meaning of the Word Ridiculous

"How was your Colorado residency?", you ask. Well, let me tell you, how much time you got? This won't be very long, just in three parts.

I had a privilege to spend a month of September at The Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch as a part of an artist residency through Colorado Art Ranch. The ranch is situated near Yampa river which is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Colorado. Carpenter Ranch has a rich history in the community and preservation of the river. For more about the ranch and the preservation work done there please visit: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/colorado/placesweprotect/carpenter-ranch.xml

 The Nature Conservancy Carpenter Ranch—home away from home for the month of September 2015

The Nature Conservancy Carpenter Ranch—home away from home for the month of September 2015

The ranch and its surroundings: I couldn't get enough of...well everything. Soon enough, everything was ridiculous, meaning amazing, beautiful: the light, fresh (dry) air, smells, I could go on. The first night at the ranch involved some great conversations, even greater laughs while sipping scotch under the clear Colorado sky. We were all getting to know each other and getting new nicknames to boot. 

 I fell in love with quality of light and sunsets on the mesa.

I fell in love with quality of light and sunsets on the mesa.

 Welcome potluck.

Welcome potluck.

On our second night we were welcomed by  friends in the local community. There was a delicious potluck and the amazing views of the setting sun. It was the first time I tried elk and yak kabobs. Well, maybe there should be a whole another post about food...it was ridiculous.

Our great host at the ranch, an amazing help with just about anything, and the great source of information was Betsy Blakeslee. She and her husband Geoff welcomed us and I felt like we had a new "family". We had many great conversations around our kitchen table and beyond. Betsy gave us a tour of the ranch, ranch etiquette (leave the gate just as you found it), told us the history of the ranch and how it fits into the context of today. Not to forget, we were given top secret location of good swimming holes.

 First tour of the ranch with fellow artists Necole, Tama and Betsy, the ranch manager...and not to forget the ever faithful companion Jorgy, the resident husky.

First tour of the ranch with fellow artists Necole, Tama and Betsy, the ranch manager...and not to forget the ever faithful companion Jorgy, the resident husky.

On my daily walk to my studio (the banks of Yampa) I saw many amazing views...this was my favorite. The smooth surface beautifully reflected trees and the sky. From here on I'll let pictures tell the story of the ranch and some surrounding areas.

 Yampa river slough with the view of the Wolf mountain

Yampa river slough with the view of the Wolf mountain

 Near the ranch...

Near the ranch...

 Sunset on Yampa.

Sunset on Yampa.

 Sage bushes across the road from the ranch.

Sage bushes across the road from the ranch.

 More Yampa...

More Yampa...

 Yampa river slough

Yampa river slough

The ranch meadows have an abundance of downed cottonwood trees. They appears stark white, bleached by the sun, resembling bones thrown about by some unknown beast. The gnarly, twisted branches and texture of stripped down of trunks kept drawing me in. 

Stay tuned for Part 2: People, Animals and Power of the Triangle.

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