Glenwood Springs artist shows his paintings of Paris | PostIndependent.com
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Glenwood Springs artist shows his paintings of Paris

Sean JohnsonPost Independent InternGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Scenes of Paris will decorate the walls of the Main Street Gallery and The Framer starting today. Dean Bowlby’s prominent oil paintings of the Eiffel Tower and other French scenes are a pleasure to look at. Bowlby has lived in the valley for most of his life and graduated from Glenwood Springs High School, making him a true Glenwood Demon. He and his wife, Sally, have five children, a young granddaughter and two watchful dogs that wonder what he really does all day.Q: Do you consider painting work?A: Being able to do this as a “living” is hardly a bad thing, and hard to call work when it is so enjoyable. I have trouble convincing Sally of this at times. Paris being a working trip is still questionable in her thoughts, go figure. But there it is. Work, work, work. Q: What is Paris like?A: Paris can be a wonder, and like Hemingway said from his younger, happier days, a “moveable feast” that can be taken with you once experienced, so like Forrest said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”Q: When you set up your workstation how did the locals respond?A: One constant I found endearing was being joined on park benches or caf tables by strangers interested in my painting. They would inevitably inquire, “Parlez-vous francais?” My shrug and smile seemed to explain a lot, but never seemed to distract my brief friends from continuing with narration. It almost became something expected when I would set up and paint.Q: When did your passion for painting begin?A: Painting and drawing have never been away from me for as long as I can remember, so a date that this all began is hard to pinpoint, like trying to figure out when I realized that rain was wet.Q: What is it like now painting scenes of Paris from your home?A: While working I miss the unintelligible hum of kind, even if foreign, language explaining the moments that I was also trying to capture. Maybe this explains my fondness for listening to Madeleine Peyroux and Charles Aznevor in the studio. My dogs don’t seem to mind.Q: In your opinion what are prime spots to set up and paint?A: Pubs, like cafs, let you linger for hours and are ideal for painting.Q: Where would you like to sit and drink coffee in Paris?A: A wicker chair if possible, but since it costs more to sit, I stood most mornings at the bar trying to inhale as much second hand smoke as possible, which was easy, especially at Le Palette Caf where the owner enjoyed joining me several days along with his cigar. Q: Random funny moment while painting?A: Once, I found myself in the nonsmoking section of Paris while painting on the sidewalk in front of Les Deux Magots where I was given a chair and a large table umbrella by some kind waiters that seemed amused by any crazy artist that would set up to work on an afternoon where all could sense the coming rain, I think that they may have had a bet going as to my durability.Q: Advice for fellow painters when traveling?A: I tend to wander at times and sometimes find myself where least expected. But that also seems to be the best advice I could give to a traveler or painter, to be open to new possibilities. They arise when least planned for or expected. Things happen, you just have to be careful which invitations to accept. Bowlby is a modest man who in response to the Q & A said: “I am like the proverbial scorpion that just can’t help his nature. Maybe pictures are worth a thousand words. If so, perhaps it would be wiser to just print a few images to fill column space, and spare the poor reader my rambling, or be ruthless and print both my letters to you at the public’s peril. I am sure there are fish to be wrapped, and my words, I feel, will do well in such a cause, which reminds me of the market near the old Les Halles, but that is another story.”


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