Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Currently Watching

I've been slowly working my way through two very beautiful, quiet and inspiring films.

"The Passion of Joan of Arc", 1928

The story behind the film is really interesting (via Wikipedia), "The original version of the film was lost for decades after a fire destroyed the master negative. Dreyer (the director) himself attempted to reassemble a version from out-takes and surviving prints, but he died believing his original cut was lost forever. In one of the most important discoveries in cinema history, a virtually complete print of Dreyer's original version was found in 1981 in a janitor's closet of an Oslo mental institution. This version is now available on DVD" - and streaming online through Netflix.

Also watching, "Into Great Silence" by Philip Gröning, 2005 - a documentary about Carthusian monks.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Silver Plume Griffin Memorial Hike Mega-Post

Yesterday I went up to Silver Plume, Colorado for one of my favorite near-Denver hikes. The hike itself is littered with debris from old mines and weaves its way above the town of Silver Plume through several aspen groves, a gulch full of avalanche damage, and over some rocky slopes. As I've mentioned before, there is not a whole lot of info on this hike online and the maps (via Hiking Colorado's Summit County -screen-caps here and here) can be a little difficult to follow. I took photos of the monuments along the way so you can follow along when you visit...

This photo combines the whole trail into one image -which would be easier to print:

I'll walk you through the trial one photo at a time - starting here along the Main St. in Silver Plume. At the end of the street you'll see a white building that says "Bakery" - the Sopp & Trusket. I'd highly recommend getting some baked goods there before or after your hike. Any time I'm near Silver Plume I pick up a loaf of bread there. At one of the few stop signs in town you'll see this green garage across the street from a antique store. Take the road up the hill towards the trailhead.

This way:
At the top of the hill you'll see this sign for the 7:30 Mine Road -named after the mine that Clifford Griffin worked at in the 1800s. Follow the road to the right (east) -uphill.
Here's a photo of the trail at that point:
Not far up the hill there is a split -one trail cuts back to the left towards town and the other continues uphill. Keep going straight ahead (uphill).
Here's the view of Silver Plume and I-70 at this point in the hike:
Farther along you'll see a couple of telephone poles and some mining remnants -you'll follow the trail up and to the right (away from the poles):
A cairn along the way:
Another cairn:
You will then come upon a large gulch of avalance debris - you will walk through the fallen trees uphill towards the trail entering a more wooded area. This is a photo taken in the middle of the gulch -looking downhill.
The trail at this point was a little snowy but in the summer there is a nice stream wandering along the trail. It can get a little muddy here:
You'll cross over these mining cables a couple times as you zig-zag up the mountain:
This is a good spot to stop for a food or water break (watch out for nails on the ground):
More mining debris along the trail:
Another shot of the mining cables crossing the trial farther up:
The trial gets rockier here and pretty narrow in parts:
You'll pass this cave/mine shaft/hole. I've dared myself and friends to go into it, but we're all too chicken.
There are a few grated mine shafts at this point:
Another cairn:
When you see this grate you will take the trail to the left - to the out-cropping where the memorial resides:
It can be a little hard to see for a minute, but as you go down the trail (not far) you can't miss the large granite monument:
The Clifford Griffin memorial above Silver Plume, Colorado:

Clifford Griffin
Son of Alfred Griffin ESQ. of
Brand Hall, Shropshire, England
Born July 2, 1847
Died June 19, 1887
And in Consideration of his Own Request
Buried Near This Spot

The back-story is that Griffin ran the Seven Thirty Mine with his brother on Silver Plume Mountain in the 1880s. Legend has it that his fiancee died the day before their wedding and to escape his grief he joined the Colorado gold/silver rush in Silver Plume, CO. Some say that he lived in a cabin up there and played the violin every night to an appreciative audience in the town of Silver Plume below. The story ends tragically when he takes his own life in a grave of his own making after playing his last notes on violin.

There's a huge monument to him on a moderate hike above Silver Plume (about an 60-90 minutes each way) - an easy day trip from Denver.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Dining Room

This move seems to be the only creative thing I've been doing lately, so that's why I keep posting about it. I'll be starting new drawings in my real studio this week.

We matched the green-gray Farrow&Ball paint color to Harriet Maxwell Macdonald’s home which was featured in a 2007 issue of Domino magazine. The local paint store was able to copy Farrow&Ball's specs and we opted for the environmentally-friendlier option which actually had very little or no odor (worth the few extra bucks). The color really looks different in different light.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Score + Update

I just scored four pigeon racing trophies at an estate sale today. And here's a photo of our new dining room and how we're hanging some of the artwork in that room:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Julien Berthier

Julien Berthier, Résidence secondaire, 2008, Épreuve chromogène, 40 x 50 cm

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Antoine Watteau

Antoine Watteau, Les deux cousines, c. 1717-1718

What a gorgeous patina on this work. I also enjoy seeing the edges of the canvas in this photo.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dylan Stantham

Dylan Stantham (via Dragonaut)

This piece covers a lot of my favorite things in art - elements or images of the natural world, minimalism, asymmetry, and nice surfaces.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today is the last day of "Natural Causes"

If you haven't been down to Rule Gallery yet, today is the last day to see my exhibition and the show I curated. Don't miss out!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Elizabeth Peyton album art

I was really lucky to find the Marie Antoinette soundtrack lp at Twist and Shout today. The cover for the vinyl version has artwork by Elizabeth Peyton.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Update: Art ltd.

The podcast I did last night was fun. I hope you enjoyed listening to it. Speaking of press, George Melrod of Art ltd. mentioned my wildfire painting in his essay, “Eden is Burning” from the March/April 2010 issue, writing;

Denver artist Nathan Abels paints cryptic scenes deconstructing the interstices of natural and human habitation, where mysterious wilderness intersects with quotidian society. Hints of danger abound…

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Untitled Art Show

Tonight I'll be discussing my current show on Denver's own "Untitled Art Show" podcast. If you're not familiar with the show- it is a weekly conversation with (mostly) Denver artists, gallery directors, curators, etc. I listen to it every week and I'm really excited to be a part of it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Alexander Binder Book

There's a new Alexander Binder book available at Blurb. I've got a copy at home right now and it is a really beautiful, well-composed book (preview below). If you are in Denver, you can see some of his photography in person at Rule gallery through March 20th.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Midlake tonight

Midlake, originally uploaded by kata rokkar.

Midlake is playing the Bluebird here in Denver tonight. Always a great show. We saw them twice in one year when they toured for their last album.

The Overlove of Knowing

George Inness, "October Noon" (source)

"The overlove of knowing is a chronic trouble of artists...this abominable tendency to believe only in what can be defined, this desire to realize all things of life sensuously, is the cause of human misery."

~Geoge Inness

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From the Archive

"Summer Outing", mixed media on panel, 2004

"Hercules" - mixed media on panel, 2004

I was doing a lot of collages at the time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Deer Sentinel

On a recent hike in Golden, Colorado a deer watched our whole descent down Table mountain:


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