SNOWMASS VILLAGE - What do a community diplomat, an author, a workshop designer, a mediator, a 2013 Aspen Hall of Fame inductee, and an artist have in common? They are all just some of the many titles of Michael Kinsley, a Roaring Fork Valley artist whose works are in the "En Plein Air" show at the Villas at Snowmass Club Welcome Center. Kinsley's Hall of Fame induction probably has less to do with his art and more do to with the fact that he was an elected county commissioner from 1975 to 1985. The Old Snowmass resident will receive this honor and be included with other locals who have made major contributions to the cultural, sporting and/or civic area of the Roaring Fork Valley.
Kinsley has been painting since he was a kid, and seriously for 25 years. He doesn't recall ever wanting to be an artist - just to paint. When asked about his art education, he responded, "Trial and error punctuated by hearing suggestions from painter friends, seeing others work, reading books, and attending occasional workshops."
Asked what the challenges of plein air painting are, Kinsley said: "Speed is both the primary challenge and the important benefit. The light changes so quickly that one is forced to work quickly - no time to think about mixing a particular color, much less take a break. It's an intense form of meditation."
Kinsley's art is inspired by Edgar Payne, Cezanne, Emily Carr, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and N.C. Wyeth. In addition to painting Roaring Fork Valley landscapes, he also paints Utah deserts. Some of his pieces in this show are titled "Old Snowmass Morning," "Snowmass Canyon Trail," "Snowmass Canyon Morning," and "K and G Barn."
"Sometimes I suspect that my painting is a compulsion to gather nature's magic and take it home," Kinsley said. He likes to paint wherever there is something interesting or moving.
Other artists featured in the show are Georgeann Waggaman (curator), Anne Byard, Sue Tatem, Lyn Hemley, David Notor and Mike Otte.
The Villas at the Snowmass Club gallery, located in the Welcome Center across the street from the club, is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. An opening reception for the show will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17. For additional information, call 970-923-0391, 970-925-2126, or 970-274-2478.