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Basalt artist links painting and photos

Sojourn, a digital photograph by Bobbie Goodrich, is part of the Range Riders exhibition opening with a reception Friday at 5 p.m. at the Norm Clasen Gallery in Basalt. (Courtesy of the artist)
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BASALT Bobbie Goodrichs artistic process, which takes her art from concept to completed image, can be an arduous, time-consuming one. The part-time Basaltine, whose recent works are digitally manipulated photographic images, can spend weeks shooting thousands of photographs; she spent a good chunk of last summer on the Pryor Mountain Preserve, on the border of Montana and Wyoming, making images of the Spanish mustangs that run wild there. She then does a first run-through of the pictures, getting an idea of what raw material she has to work with. Goodrich then takes time away from the computer to let the body of work settle in. Then its back to the computer to select exactly which images she will play with. In the final step before printing, she composes elements horses, backgrounds from different shots to create something akin to a photographic painting. If that doesnt convey a sense of Goodrichs devotion to her art, this anecdote might: Two evenings ago, Goodrich was pulled over by police in West Glenwood Springs and given a summons for reckless driving. The police had been given three separate reports of a drive weaving across the eastbound lanes of I-70. Goodrich pleads guilty with an explanation. Any erratic driving was in service of her art: as she was traveling, nearing sunset, the visual landscape was stunning enough that she felt compelled to pick up her camera and capture it. The light was so gorgeous, said Goodrich, adding in her defense that her camera is always conveniently located on the front passenger seat as she drives. The tops of the mountains were illuminated. The brush below was almost rust- colored a combination I love. On the passenger side was the Colorado River. It was like a scene to be painted. Goodrich, of course, could have been on a plane for the trip from her home in Scottsdale, Ariz., to Basalt. But getting on a plane would have meant entrusting her art to someone else for delivery to the Roaring Fork Valley, for an exhibition at the Norm Clasen Gallery in Basalt. I trusted nobody else, said Goodrich so she packed her work and made the 11-hour trip by car. Goodrich took a shortcut to her art career, by skipping art school. In fact, until her late 30s, she had never made any visual art. She had been involved in dance, and kept an inner affection for those who could paint, draw or sculpt. I had always held it in the highest esteem, she said. But I thought it was out of my realm. It still surprises me I look at my work and think, Where did this come from? How was it created? Part of the answer is natural ability. As soon as she picked up brushes, she found she could paint anything. After she got divorced, and moved to Aspen in 1990, Goodrich began showing her work at local galleries and banks. Around the same time, she also added photography to her repertoire. Around 2000, Goodrich made the jump from film to digital photography, and a door opened for her art. Her images begin with photographs made in a particular location. But with digital software and her painters eye, she combines primary subjects with backgrounds that heighten the sense of movement, drama and light. I look at the images, put them away, look at them again, look at past images Ive done of landscape and sky. And at some point it becomes clear what I want the image to do, said Goodrich, who has six pieces in the Range Riders group exhibit, which includes horse images by Goodrich, Norm Clasen and Rick Meoli. Its a real creative way to produce art, much like a painter. It begins with a photograph and ends with a painting. It looks like a canvas. Goodrich also combines two interests visual art and ballet in her Body & Soul series, which begins with photographs she takes at the Vail International Dance Festival. In addition to the Basalt exhibit, which opens tonight, Friday, Feb. 16, at the Norm Clasen Gallery with a 5 p.m. reception, Goodrich will have a dance piece this spring at Denver International Airport, and another in Cowgirl Up: Art from the Other Half of the West, a group show at the Desert Caballeros Museum in Arizona. She is also represented by the EsPosible gallery in Scottsdale.Stewart Oksenhorns e- mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com


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