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Andrea Gabel

Andrea Gabel

The Beauty of Plein Air Painting

Andrea Gabel

Background

I colored with crayons in the first grade and was rewarded with much attention! My picture was held up to the rest of class. It was a circus train with a tiger! I loved making it and there was much praise that went to a very shy little girl. That was the beginning of my artistic journey!
 
At age 10, I saw a movie on television about the life of Leonardo DaVinci. A person could have a career as an artist! That's when I proclaimed that I would become an artist when I grew up! I was curious about many things too, mostly animals. I loved the challenge of copying animal drawings from books. And of course, horses were a favorite subject! I used charcoal or pencil and concentrated so very hard to copy these exactly. My parents enrolled me in drawing classes at the natural history museum where I learned to draw cones, spheres, cylinders, and blocks along with an occasional stuffed museum animal. By high school I was painting, drawing, and creating in many different ways and also winning awards.
 
I graduated from Colorado State University with a BFA and a concentration in graphic design. It was a practical degree for an art major. Soon after graduation I worked for an advertising agency in Denver. My shy nature couldn't withstand the stress and I only stayed with it for 3 years. Back then it was cutting and pasting and marker drawing, and I even got a raise from $5. to $8. an hour. I knew I loved fine art much more.
 
After leaving the workplace, I had 3 children, and became a stay-at-home mom. There was little or no time for art until the youngest was in kindergarten. I jumped into painting classes offered at the community college. Then soon decided oils worked best for me and went on to take more classes through local private teachers and enrolled in classes at the Art Students League of Denver. After taking a plein air painting class, I became hooked on painting the landscape outdoors. I have been doing it for 18 years. In the past 5 years I've re-discovered studio painting and now have a new excited interest in painting abstract landscapes.
 
I reside in Fort Collins, Colorado. I schedule weekly paint outs for Plein Air Artists Colorado and have a studio at 3 Square Art. My children, their spouses and my grandchildren live close by in the Denver area.
 
My awards and recognition started in high school and continued into college and the workplace. I've shown in many local and national art shows as well as national plein air shows. More recently I was awarded an honorable mention as an emerging artist in the Colorado Plein Air Fest in 2015, 1st place for oil painting in the 2017 Loveland Lincoln Gallery regional fine art show, 2nd place and honorable mentions in the 2018 Littleton Plein Air Fest and an honorable mention in the PAAC 2018 National Plein Air Exhibition.

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