Hahn’s Peak artist, illustrator surprises with unusual new exhibit
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The work of artist Dedi Knox is being featured for the next two months at Pine Moon Gallery on Ninth Street in downtown Steamboat Springs. Knox, 75, is a prolific illustrator and artist, and her exhibit, “An Illustrator As Always,” will showcase her classic watercolors and her latest unusual hobby of “History Hides.”
“It started when a gentleman produced a deer hide he had tanned and asked, ‘What can I do with this?’” said Knox, a 29-year resident of Hahn’s Peak. “The hides have become a really exciting adventure for me … interpretations of different people’s lives.”
The exhibit shows two examples of how Knox creates a person’s history on an animal hide. On one wall is a hide from a huge buffalo, which was shot by a part-time Colorado resident. The art patron is loaning it out for Knox’s exhibition. It hangs from a pine log and depicts the man’s life.
Knox used acrylic to paint everything from the man’s businesses in the form of Native American blankets with symbols to his family shown as settlers. The hide canvas also features animals he’s hunted and the places his family lived and visited throughout their lives.
Knox’s love of Native American culture can be seen in her hide work and some of her watercolors.
In this exhibit, Knox also shows off her skill in capturing wild animals with watercolor.
Her backyard in untamed North Routt is often the scene of her paintings, including a fox in Pine Moon’s current exhibition.
“He was coming out of a huge log, and I thought he must be saying, ‘Can I come out now? Is COVID over?’” Knox said.
Never too old to learn, Knox has been studying oil painting for five years with teachers in Vermont, Utah and Steamboat. Two of her oil paintings are in the show, but her love remains in the medium of watercolor.
Knox is also known for the feathers she paints — all picked up during her daily walks outside her home in Hahn’s Peak.
Knox’s work can be found in homes and businesses across America and even in Europe, where she taught for several years in Great Britain.
She and husband, David, raised three children in Wisconsin before moving to Hahn’s Peak 29 years ago. They both still work — she teaches art, and he runs an antiques foundation.
The secret to Knox’s long career and talent for realism in watercolor can likely be traced back to her work ethic.
“I’m a disciplined artist drawing every day, not one of those Bohemians,” she laughed.
Even in the sometimes-chaotic life of motherhood, she always found time for her art.
“Three o’clock in the morning, you wake up and do a painting from 3 a.m. to 6, give the kids breakfast, and they’re off to school,” Knox said.
While not painting full time as she raised her children, Knox was known for volunteering her artistic abilities in the communities in which she lived.
In fact, Hahn’s Peak has Knox to thank for running their arts and crafts fair at its popular Ice Cream Social for many years.
When not painting or drawing, Knox enjoys paddleboarding, hiking, golf and hosting her seven grandchildren during ski vacations.
By the way, she recently came into a kangaroo hide.
“I’m waiting for an Australian to come in,” Knox grinned.
Her work can be found in the Pine Moon Fine Art gallery, 117 Ninth St., and on its website at pinemoonfineart.com. The gallery is home to 14 local artists with a wide variety of mediums.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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