Peter Claassen - Center for Visual Arts

Peter Claassen

As a young boy, our father took us kids on adventures across New Mexico mesas, passing the mighty Sangre de Christos and sometimes to Colorado and the massive San Juan Mountains. I was inspired by the deep blue skies punctuating by white puffy clouds, colors pure and vivid later in the day, colors melding into soft purples, oranges, yellows and vivid reds. The southwestern skies have a very special shapes, color, and moods lighting up the sunset skies and punctuating crest lines of the mountain peaks.

Growing up I was extremely lucky to have the best art teachers in our school system giving me the foundations for creative and evocative art. I majored in art and architecture creating watercolors, renderings, and illustrations. Later I joined an outstanding architecture firm and moved to Denver, New York City, Vancouver BC, San Francisco, and most recently, to focus on my art full time in Steamboat.

While in Vancouver, I had time to work watercolors, and spent 12 months traveling to all of the National Parks throughout the west. In San Francisco my focus was on oil painting along the coast and along the bay with its beautiful clouds and sunsets.

I owe my plein air painting skills to Camille Prezwodak who worked with me on color painting and color theory, in the tradition of Henry Hensche. All of my paintings are done location so I can capture the vivid colors that we all see. Maybe you may see me painting near the side of the road in and around Steamboat Springs capturing the amazing scenes.


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