‘Solstice’ show at Artists’ Gallery celebrates the start of winter | SteamboatToday.com

‘Solstice’ show at Artists’ Gallery celebrates the start of winter

Margaret Hair
Winter scenes by local artists Joyce Lee Petersen, Bonnie McGee and Paula Jo Jaconetta will be featured in "Solstice" at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat. The show's opening reception will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. today.
John F. Russell

With her hand covering the men fishing in one of her winter-themed oil paintings, Bonnie McGee just has a landscape.

When she takes her hand away, she has a painting.

“I call it inhabited solitude,” McGee said, explaining her interest in placing small figures in vast landscapes to give them depth. “I just think it gives a sense of dimension to a painting to put people in it.”

McGee’s winter scenes are featured this month at the Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat, along with water media paintings by Joyce Lee Petersen and photography by Paula Jo Jaconetta. The show, called “Solstice,” opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. today as part of First Friday Artwalk.

For McGee, painting during the winter is about getting up on the mountain and capturing a scene before anyone else gets to see it.

“I think a lot of people don’t get up in the worst of the winter on our mountain, and I like to catch the powder when it’s just plastered on the trees,” she said. “I think I’m trying to capture scenes that people who visit this part of the world might not be able to take home with them.”

Photographer Paula Jo Jaconetta has a similar goal and uses her love of snowboarding, snowmobiling and other winter sports to get access to a fresh snowfall. Her winter work tends to look like black-and-white photography – though it’s all shot in color – which Jaconetta prefers. Any color pops on a snow-white background.

“I love winter. I think it’s a really playful time of year. My favorite times are when it’s dumping snow, or right after a fresh snowfall,” Jaconetta said. “I tend to have a lot of fun in the snow. Not that I take action photos, but it’s on the great snow days that I find the best images.”

Joyce Lee Petersen became used to winter during a previous stint living in Colorado, but she hasn’t had many opportunities to paint snowy scenes until recently.

“I love to paint winter, but I just moved back here from Nevada, and of course we didn’t see snow there but maybe once every four years,” Petersen said. Since moving to Craig, she’s taken every spare moment to paint, focusing her work for “Solstice” on bright watercolors with a wintry backdrop.

“Solstice” will be on display at the Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat through the end of December.

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