Weekend in the West – Quick Draw

Evergreen Fine Art Gallery

On the property of Evergreen Fine Art Gallery,  June 25, 2016

If you aren’t familiar with the term Quick Draw, as it relates to art, here’s a little explanation. A group of artists are given a specific amount of time, generally about two hours, to produce a piece of art. Afterward, there’s usually an auction of some sort, where these new pieces are sold.

These are always fun and educational, because they’re done in public view. Spectators are free to wander around and observe the different styles and techniques employed by the working artists.

Kelli Folsom and Jie Wei Zhou

This one was being held to raise funds for a local charity, named Bootstraps, which provides financial help with the rising costs of a university or college education.

Artists are free to use models, if they wish.
Ron Hicks chose something more traditional.


Sometimes, the spectators are as interesting as the artists.



For me, the most enjoyable thing is to simply meander through the area, camera in hand, and capture things as they happen.

What a great day, I had. If you plan to be on the Evergreen area, you really should make time to visit Evergreen Fine Art Gallery. It’s a world class gallery, set in a lovely, mountain village. I’m certain that you’ll find something to love.

Thanks again, to Doug and all the rest of the people there, for making it such a marvelous experience.

There are many more photos, which will be available as a slideshow, very soon, on YouTube. Just look for VagabondStew. (Please, Like and Share!)


You can also follow on Facebook at http://facebook.com/VagabondStew

and Twitter @vagabondstew

Weekend in the West

Weekend in the West – June 24-25, 2016 – Evergreen, Colorado

This was one of the most fun assignments that I’ve given myself. Who can resist a weekend of Artists, Fine Art and Wine?

Evergreen Fine Art Gallery has been a part of the Colorado art community for twenty-five years. In that time, it has built a reputation for representing the region’s best artists. That list includes Kim English, Ramon Kelly, and many others, whose work you are probably familiar with. In addition to those well known names, though, the gallery also continues to support excellent emerging artists.

Six years ago, the gallery sponsored the first Weekend in the West.  The three day event begins with an invitational dinner, allowing collectors to get acquainted with the participating artists. The following evening is a fancy, public opening, with wine and finger foods in abundance. Most of the artists attend, so it’s a good time for a Vagabond to meet a few of them, and see their work close up. The final day is a “Quick Draw”, followed by a champagne brunch, and live auction. Proceeds from the auction go to a local charity. This year, it was Bootstraps, which provides funding assistance to help with the rising costs of college.

Stephanie Hartshorn and Robert Spooner


I’d never attended this show, so when my artist friend,  Stephanie Hartshorn, made me aware that she had work hanging there, I decided to go. Not too many years ago, I visited  Evergreen quite often. Then life got busy, and I stopped going as frequently. That’s something I intend to correct.

The gallery is a two story affair, with a large open area in the middle of the first floor, encircled by several smaller viewing areas, and a couple of separate rooms. The upper level consists of two viewing rooms, and a framing area.


When I arrived, it was still early and the staff was busy with last-minute tasks. It was a good time to browse around, so I took advantage. There’s something about being alone in a great gallery with dozens of masterful pieces of art. It’s calming, inspiring, and uplifting to me.


As the evening went on, I was able to chat with and photograph several of the artists. Most of those photos will be included in a slideshow, on YouTube.

Susiehyer and Carol Jenkins, enjoying the cool patio air.
Jeff Legg and Laura Kratz having a laugh.

I really like this photo of Jeff and Laura, because it kind of reflects the whole atmosphere of Weekend in the West. It’s a fun and relaxed way for artists, collectors, and other folks to share in the wonder of Art, while making a difference to people in the community.




It was a good evening, I think. There were plenty of red dots (signifying sold paintings), and wine, not to mention the marvelous artists who made themselves available.

Thanks to all of them, and the fabulous staff at Evergreen Fine Art Gallery.  You all made it a memorable evening, and I appreciate the opportunity to cover the event.

Don’t forget to check VagabondStew on YouTube for the Slideshow. There are lots more photos.

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New Slideshow on YouTube, Dragon Boats, and more…

I just posted the slideshow, with pics from the Colorado Latino Festival. Please, click over to YouTube and enjoy it. Also, dont forget to “Like” and “Share”.


Each time I do one of these festivals, I learn more. It may be about how to be a better photographer or journalist, or it may be something new about how the festivals are run. As with anything else, you never know everything.

I’ve recently done three separate courses, via The Great Courses. Each is a series of lessons, taught by National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore. In them, Joel covers subjects from the very basics, to some very complex ways of getting the shot.

If you click over to their site, using the link above, you’ll probably ask yourself, “How did a vagabond, like Don, afford these?” Well, that is a matter of serendipity. As it happens, they are available as a package called The Great Courses Plus, as a part of my Roku service. There are also courses on almost anything else you can imagine. If you have a Roku device, you’ll want to check it out.


The next thing on my itinerary is the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. It’s up in two weeks, and I’m super excited to go. It’s going to be a lot of fun, with plenty more food, music and dancing, but this time there will be Dragon Boats! Races run all day on both Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks to all of you fellow Vagabonds, for your interest and support. Please, dont forget to visit on

If you see something you enjoy, “Like” and “Share”, please. See you soon.

Keep your Dream on.

Colorado Latino Festival

Colorado Latino Festival – Longmont, Colorado – June 26, 2016

Whenever I see the words Latino and Festival in the same context, I get excited. Why? Because those words mean things are going to get interesting. You can bet your hat on it. There will be bright colors, cheerful music, beautiful women and fabulous food. What’s not to get excited about?



So, I was not disappointed. The streets were crowded. People ambled about, checking out the booths of the various vendors. Everywhere you looked, there was something to see. Food trucks, bands on stage, dancers on the street, and bright sunshine made it a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon.







In the literal middle of it all were the classic and custom automobiles. Splendid and surreal, as they sparkled in the sunlight, they represented a part of the Latino culture that spans generations. Young men, their fathers, even grandfathers all can share the appreciation for a well customized, or restored, piece of machinery.



What would a street festival be without music? This was certainly not going to be an exception. With three stages, at a given time, one could hear traditional music from Mexico or Puerto Rico, alongside more modern strains of contemporary jazz, hip-hop, or reggaeton.

In all, it was an excellent day. My spirits were lifted and my senses were satisfied with the spectacle of it all. My only complaint was that it didnt last into the night, ending at seven o’clock. A later start time, allowing things to continue after dark, might have made it an even better experience. But what do I know? I’m just a guy with a blog and a camera. I certainly wasnt disappointed.



Viva los Latinos!



There are lots more images to share, and I’m putting them into a video, which you’ll be able to view on YouTube soon. Keep checking back here, or there, for the latest.

Thanks for everything. Dont forget to follow on Facebook and share with your friends!