Meet the Artists

Painting in a variety of artistic media and styles, our featured artists are a talented group yet again this year!
See a sample of their plein air work below. (Click on artist name for brief bio and access to their website)

Come by Carter Park Pavilion from July 29-30 to see their work on display, free and open to the public. Join us at a Gallery Reception and Sale on Saturday, August 12 to meet the artists, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and your chance to view and purchase works of art created during the festival. Part of the proceeds go to CDLT, so you can have an original work of art, support an artist and help preserve Colorado’s mountain landscapes, all at the same time!

Cliff Austin

After what he considered two incredible years, Cliff Austin graduated from the Rocky Mountain School of Art in 1980. His love of drawing began in 1976, as he studied Technical Illustration at The Denver Institute of Technology. He moved from Boulder to Denver into a studio apartment in 1978 and started art school.  After graduating he worked for Ball Aerospace in the publication department as a lead illustrator and did watercolor landscapes at lunch. Later, landscape painting in oil became an interest of his when a flier from the Art Students League showed up in his mailbox. The Art Students League flier offered landscape classes with Doug Dawson and the love of plein air painting was rekindled.  Cliff is a member of the Denver Art Students League, the Pastel Society of Colorado, the Center for the Arts Evergreen, American Impressionist Society, Plein air Artists Colorado and Oil Painters of America .

Kim Barrick

Kim Barrick is as diverse and complex as the work she creates. She deflects labels, challenges authority, and pursues her passions with wonder. Barrick’s art has been described as impressionistic and expressionistic while remaining representational, “alive with light and filled with movement,” words that could be applied to their creator as well.

Never a follower, Barrick’s fresh style is as authentic as the artist. Finding the light with loose brushwork and thick paint has earned esteem from both collectors, fellow artists and students. Recognized early in her career as a “Top Talent” in 2008 by Santa Fean Magazine, this award winning artist is also a sought after instructor of landscape and still life painting. In addition, her recent wildlife paintings have received acclaim, painting from her own photographs taken while painting on location. A native of Colorado and resident of Tennessee, Barrick travels West frequently and maintains homes in both states. Her work is represented by galleries in both the South and West. Numerous artworks are held in private and corporate collections throughout the US and Europe.

In 2001 Barrick founded The Chestnut Group, plein air painters for the land. In addition, Barrick was instrumental in establishing Wild About Colorado Plein Air Festival supporting The Continental Divide Land Trust. She is a signature member of PAAC, Plein Air Artists of Colorado. She also serves the land she loves on the Friends of Radnor Lake Board of Directors.

Sandi Bruns

Sandi is a local artist who works in watercolor, striving to spontaneously reflect what she feels about her subject rather than painting realistic reproductions.  She believes the finished picture should energize the soul as well as entertain the eye. Sandi holds a BA in Design, Fashion and Textiles from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Hawaii.  Her prints have won awards in state art exhibitions and she has been selected for the Smithsonian Institute Young Printmakers Show. Sandi was also recently invited to participate in the Sunderland Gallery 30th Anniversary Invitational Retrospective. After doing commercial and commission work for over 20 years, she became involved in public art projects and invitational and juried exhibits. Sandi also won 1st place in People’s Choice at the 2014 Wild About Colorado Plein Air Art & Outdoor Festival. Her work can be found at Yellow Arrow Coffee at the South Branch Library in Breckenridge this August for a one woman show, and the Arts Alive Gallery also in Breckenridge.


Rita Cirillo

In 2005, Rita Cirillo left behind a software engineering career for fine art. After several years of international travel, she settled in her studio in the high mountains of Colorado, working on diverse subject matter, ranging from Western and Wildlife, to plein air and figure.

She has participated in prominent exhibitions such as the Colorado Governors Art Show, Oil Painters of America Western Regional, American Women Artists, Greenhouse Gallery Salon International, Scottsdale Fine Art Salon and others. Currently, she is focused on developing an online painting course which will be available later this year. When Rita is not traveling, hiking or painting she can be found working on her 100+-year-old “dream” house in her hometown of Victor, Colorado. Rita is represented by The Red Light Gallery, Victor, CO; Framed Image Art Gallery, Denver, CO; The Rice Gallery, Overland Park, KS.

Marianna Duford

Marianna is a native of Colorado and a lifelong artist who brings her love of the outdoors to her art and everything that she does. She doesn’t limit her artwork to just one medium and likes to let the inspiration decide whether it would be better in watercolor, oil or acrylics. Her love of plein air painting and travel have been the perfect complement to each other. Art and travel forays have taken her from Italy to Africa, the Mayan coast to Portugal, Florida to California and in between, the South Island of New Zealand to Tasmania and back again. Always, upon returning to her mountain home in Colorado, she wonders why she had to go so far to be inspired when she is surrounded by beauty every day of the year.

Beth Erlund

Beth Erlund began her career as an artist while living in Japan. While educated as a scientist, in Japan she spent two and a half years exploring all kinds of Asian arts. Ultimately Beth was led to the art of batik where she found a media where she was equally challenged and successful. For the past 30+ years, Erlund has made a living designing and producing batiks.

“This in turn led to developing friendships with other artists. In an effort to spend quality time together, we sought the quiet and calm of the out-of-doors. This was prior to the current plein air excitement, and we were totally unprepared for the trials and tribulations of painting plein air. In frustration, I took a workshop with Skip Whitcomb who led this beginner oil painter to love the plein air process and oils.”

Beth subsequently studied with Ralph Oberg, Wayne Wolfe, Don Sahli, and Ovanes Berberian, gleaning invaluable information from each on techniques, materials, and approaches to painting a scene, whether a landscape, still life or wildlife. In the past twenty years, she has painted en plein air from Scotland to Tanzania and Alaska to Costa Rica. In 2012 she was part of “60/60″ which required a painting a day for sixty days and posting them on a Facebook site, which resulted in being the featured artist for the Wings and Water Festival in Stone Harbor, NJ.

Jeanne Hougen

Having grown up in the mountains of Colorado as a daughter of an artist, it was perhaps inevitable that Jeanne would become an artist herself. With a love of plein air painting as well as still life and figurative studio work, her style can be described as representational with an impressionistic flair. She loves to capture light and its unique effect on color in everyday scenes. Her work has been selected for the Oil Painters of America Central Regional show and she has been juried into many national shows, where she has won a number of awards. She is a member Plein Air Artists Colorado, Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society and she is represented by Boulder Art Gallery and Abend Gallery in Denver. Jeanne lives with her husband and four children in Superior, Colorado.

Scott Lines

Scott Lines was born and raised in Michigan.  On a High School backpacking trip to Colorado, he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and vowed to live in Colorado when he was an adult.  He attended Michigan State University and received a degree in Business and Spanish.  After college, Scott spent a few years travelling through Europe and working on 3 business internships in Mexico and Costa Rica.  When these jobs finished, Scott kept his promise to himself.  He loaded his car with all his possessions and moved to Colorado.  That was in the late 80s.

Scott worked in corporate America for 26 years, but he always pursued his painting on the side.  In 2015, Scott found himself part of a 700 person layoff so he decided to finally “Go Pro” with his art.  Although there are many challenges, Scott loves this 2nd career.  He paints full time en plein air (outside) and in his studio.  Over the decades, Scott has become a much better painter, but he is never satisfied.  He likes a painterly quality in his work, yet he also likes a high degree of realism.  The drive to achieve both of these qualities is what keeps him going.  Painting a scene looks so easy, but even after so many years, Scott is often astonished at how difficult it can be.  However, on those occasions when a painting goes well, it can be a thrilling experience.  Scott lives with his family in Highlands Ranch, just south of Denver.

Deborah McAllister

“West is Best”! Having lived in every corner of America, I can definitely say I prefer the West. Our wilderness, mountains, the long views, and  the heritage of the pioneer all inspire me. Combined with conservation of wild areas, these subjects are worthy of artistic attention. I live and paint in Colorado and love all aspects of the environment. I hope to share my vision and encourage others to nurture and protect our special surroundings.

Deborah has been creating art since childhood and worked in graphic design and illustration before pursuing a fine art career full time. She has studied painting with instructors such as Zoltan Szabo, Tony Couch and Don Sahli. Inspired by the landscape, she especially enjoys traveling and plein air painting and has taught watercolor and oil workshops internationally. She lives in Lakewood, CO and paints outdoors all through the year. Deborah is a signature member of Plein Air Artists Colorado and the Colorado Watercolor Society. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado and is represented by Artists on Santa Fe Gallery in Denver.

Karen Ramsay

From an early age, Karen Ramsay found a love for drawing and painting. She graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver and has studied under many talented artists, including Charles Reid, Burton Silverman, Frank Webb and Eric Weingardt. Karen enjoys plein air painting, with some of her favorite locations in Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park and her own backyard. In 2001 she was featured in the Big Sky Journal as an ‘Artist of the West’.

Marty Rohde

Breckenridge artist Marty Rohde started painting when she was in her teens. This well-known Summit County artist is recognizable by a number of posters for the Breckenridge Music Festival, Breckenridge Resort Chamber and Summit County Garden Club that have featured her work. And she has been a loyal contributor to the Continental Divide Land Trust. With her husband, Lynn, she owned and operated the Studio Frame Shop in Breckenridge for 27 years. Since selling the business, she has had more time to paint the infinite moods of the Colorado High Country. Rohde is represented by Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge.

Emily Wahl

Emily is a resident of Breckenridge and a long time visitor to Summit County over the past 30 years.  Raised in New York, moved to Texas for her career and raising her family with her husband, Tom, they often vacationed as a family to ski in the winters and hike and bike the summers.  Emily studied watercolor as a passionate pastime and works in water based mediums. She has taken classes at the Art League of Houston, Glassell School of Art and the Watercolor Art Society- Houston. These have been supplemented through workshops with accomplished artists; Alvaro Castagnet, Stephen Quiller, Charles Reid, John Salminen, Iain Stewart and Eric Wiegardt. She traveled extensively in Europe, the Far East and the United States and found it was a great way to balance her technology career by sketching and doing quick studies while flying or during an early morning walk. Recently retired from her career in technology, she is now free to expend more energy on her portfolio.

Her passions are art, travel and family.  She is a member of the Arts Alive Gallery and President of the of Women of Watercolor. Emily teaches workshops at the Breckenridge Arts District. She has had exhibitions in Houston, Texas and in Breckenridge, Colorado and has been on the board and active member of the Watercolor Art Society-Houston. Her work is also exhibited on her online gallery.


 Ann Weaver

Ann Weaver has been creating watercolors and acrylics of spectacular western beauty for over 22 years. Her recent subjects include landscapes of mountain vistas, garden scenes and animals. The architectural details of the mining towns and New Mexico style are her specialty, as well as dramatic ridgelines and wildflower meadows. This former Summit County resident now lives in Taos, NM, but her work remains in the area through commissions done for the Town of Silverthorne, 2004; Breckenridge Music Festival Fine Arts Poster 2014, 2001 and 1993; two posters for the Town of Frisco; and  the Summit County Library mural in Breckenridge.

Ginger Whellock

Ginger’s paintings always begin with a good composition laid out with her fine drawing skills.  Her finished work reveals some realistic details, some abstracted spaces, plenty of active brushstrokes and a wonderful feeling of distance.  She refers to her work as “casual realism”.  When a painting begins to look three dimensional on the flat, two, dimensional canvas, she feels she has succeeded and will bring a painting to completion.  Second to painting, Ginger loves to share her knowledge, watch others grow into artists and paint for other’s enjoyment.

Currently, Ginger is represented by Arts at Denver Gallery in Denver and Mary Williams Fine Arts of Boulder.  She has earned Master Signature Membership in Women Artists of the West, Signature Member status in Pastel Society of Colorado and the PaintAmerica Society.  She has won many awards and has been accepted into many well-respected national juried and invitational shows.

I gather ideas for paintings wherever I am – across the US and on foreign soil.  Because I live in the west, I am especially drawn to the western culture of self-reliance and the expansive beauty of the landscape.  In all my subject matter, I try to present a gentle view of the world, which, in our hurried and stressed lives, we seldom stop to enjoy.


Anita Winter

Anita Winter has been interested in art since childhood. She was the student who embellished every paper. Growing up in Michigan and Mexico City enabled her to experience diverse cultures and environments. Consequently, she enjoys painting both landscapes and cityscapes. She is a long time resident of Colorado and avid hiker and backpacker.

Anita paints almost everyday, both outside on location (plein air) and in the studio. She paints in watercolor and more recently in oils, continually seeking to grow. She has studied with many talented artists such as Alvaro Castagnet, Kevin Weckback and Marc Hanson. She has also learned immeasurably from her local community of artists.

She paints to celebrate, explore and give thanks. Her goal is to capture a moment in time and hopes you enjoy sharing her vision.

Affiliations: Plein Air Artists of Colorado, Signature member Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society, Signature member Western Federation Watercolor Societies, Signature member Colorado Watercolor Society



2016 Emerging Local Artist: Chris Burkart

Chris Burkart joins this season’s Wild About Colorado Plein Air Festival as our new and upcoming Summit County artist. From a young age, Chris always exhibited creative talent. He began his formal education at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan in 2000. Chris studied multiple mediums throughout his education but ultimately completed his studies with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration in 2004.

After graduation, Chris practiced the skill of art restoration for 4 years at the largest independently owned gallery in the nation. Throughout his 10 years in Summit County, Chis has been continually inspired by the natural beauty of our community. Chris’ pieces reflect both the grandeur and serenity of our majestic local landscape.