Glenwood Springs Art Guild meetings offer a palette of painting and friendship |

Glenwood Springs Art Guild meetings offer a palette of painting and friendship

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Any given Thursday it’s common to see a dozen or so artists dabbling in their respective mediums in Arlene Law’s living room in Glenwood Springs.

“We just paint, eat and critique,” said longtime Glenwood Springs Art Guild member Portia Griefenberg.

This particular Thursday, and most others, the room is filled with members of the Glenwood Art Guild, but they are open to anyone who wants to attend. And you don’t even have to paint.

“If they like us they’re in,” Griefenberg joked. “But it’s just anyone who wants to come.”

Guild member and local artist Bonnie Daniels said that the group has helped her with her art, and it’s just a good way to spend a day.

“It’s a great group,” Daniels said as she worked on her pastel technique. “They really make you feel welcome and are helpful. Everyone tries to get better, and everyone helps you get better.”

Griefenberg said the Thursday meetings started after guild members realized their regular planning meetings were not exactly how they wanted to spend their time together.

“We used to have meetings that were about planning, but we didn’t like to have meetings,” she said. “We just wanted to paint.”

Law, one of the charter members of the Art Guild along with Sally Thompson, thinks that the idea for the Thursday meetings was one of their best.

“We used to get together and paint things but it was just about once per month,” Law said. “But people really need to get together and paint at least once per week.”

And then they offered snacks.

“You’ve got to try my runzas,” Daniels told the rest of the group.

Snacks have become a vital part of these meetings. As Griefenberg said, it’s all about painting, eating and critiquing.

Food is important because the days are full. Typically the day begins around 9 a.m. and will run until 3 p.m.

“Some come in later and some leave earlier,” Law said. “We’re not too structured.”

Some weeks the meetings are held elsewhere, but most often it’s been at the Laws’. She’s already got the room, card tables and drop cloths, so it’s relatively easy.

The artists bring their equipment, find their spot in the room, and create. Laughter happens often.

If the purpose of these meetings is to encourage creativity, then the byproduct is friendship.

“It’s an encouraging group; it’s about positive encouragement,” Griefenberg said.

And after all these years of doing it, they are still recruiting new members, like Amelia Eshelman.

“They’re a good group to be around,” Eshelman said. “I’ve been wanting to do this for years, but I had kids. So this is the year that I said mom gets to do what she wants to. I get one day for me, and they are a fun group to be around. A little feisty.”

“And she didn’t run away,” Law responded.

But to be able to make it in this group you’ve got to be able to take criticism, because they are going to give their opinions.

“It gives them many different perspectives,” Law said. “She might change it but if she doesn’t, it’s OK, it’s her painting.”

But the one thing Law enjoys the most is the friendships she made on Thursdays.

“The camaraderie,” she said. “Getting together and getting to know each other. We understand each other.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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