Arlene Law displays miniature paintings at Cooper Corner Gallery |

Arlene Law displays miniature paintings at Cooper Corner Gallery

Carla Jean Whitley

If You Go

Arlene Law is March’s featured artist at Cooper Corner Gallery.

Reception: Friday, 5-8 p.m.

315 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs


It’s possible you’ve seen her walking through town, camera in hand. That’s how Arlene Law finds inspiration for her paintings, which often juxtapose landscapes with everyday objects.

“I even look at the [Grand Avenue] bridge and I think, I should really be taking some pictures of that because of the machinery and the cranes,” Law said.

But the 60-year Glenwood Springs resident’s work travels far from the places that inspire it. Law is a member of the Miniature Art Society of Florida; the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.; and Western Colorado Watercolor Society. She is also a founding member of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild, which launched in 1962.

Law’s latest exhibit, though, is closer to home. She’s the featured artist this month at Cooper Corner Gallery. Her miniature paintings are the highlight, although nearly all of Law’s work draws inspiration from daily life.

As a child in Minnesota, Law read The Saturday Evening Post while her mother cleaned house. She was drawn to Norman Rockwell’s scenes, which she could identify with, and practiced her own drawing by emulating comic book images.

Law remains drawn to color and frequently captures scenes on Aquarius watercolor paper layered with archival tissue. The technique, which Law learned from Gail Price in Aspen, adds a sense of movement and dimension to paintings.

Miniatures demand another level of detailed attention; “You have to think small,” Law said with a laugh. Brush strokes must be smaller to fit the canvas and create detail.

There’s a benefit to the challenge: When patrons say they don’t have room for more paintings, Law suggests miniatures.

“There’s always room for Jell-O and there’s always room for a miniature in your home,” she said.

Law is the gallery’s featured artist this month, but her work is surrounded by that of her fellow Cooper Corner artists. Several of those turn to Law for laughter and inspiration.

“Painting outdoors is overwhelming,” said fellow artist Bonnie Daniels. “How do you narrow that scope to a scene?”

Seeing one another’s takes on a scene is part of the joy of painting together, said Portia Griefenberg. Both women are part of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild and take part in annual painting trips.

“One neat thing about painting with other artists, you can paint the very same subject and they are all different,” Griefenberg said. “Your own style comes out in whatever you do.”

That’s a benefit of painting alongside someone with decades of experience like Law, the women said. Whether it’s through guild events or the weekly painting days Law hosts at her home, she’s quick to offer constructive critique. And through it all, she injects a lighthearted perspective.

“That’s what you have to do,” she said. “That’s what life is.”

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