August, 2017

August Artists Profile: Teresa Vito

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From the Studio

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I ventured out to paint Plein Air with an old friend, Fran Gottlieb!

© Lavender Garden




Don’t you love how two or more artists can paint the same thing and the paintings always look so different!

Painted this Iris in the Iris4U Garden while painting with some PAAC friends:

© “Kachina Dancer”

I’ve noticed that my AMD doesn’t allow me to see the colours correctly outside in the sun,

so I’ve had to adjust them in Studio.


Another mention in a Quilting Magazine! My art inspires Quilters, like my friend Maria! Thanks Maria.

The Quilt Magazine Newsletter



http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/program/newsletter/images/2017/2017-08-Editorial-quilt.jpgWe are all familiar with “Christmas in July” but for a variety of reasons, many of us do not manage to get started on our gifts then. Have you started on yours? No? Then maybe we should change it to “Christmas in August”. Better still, let’s have “Christmas in July and August”!

One reason many quilters put quilting off in July is the heat, at least for those of us living where July is actually a summer month. It may be too hot to work on full-sized quilts, but small quilted gift items are perfectly doable. Think, for example, of mug rugs, wall hangings, art quilts, placemats, table runners, coasters, pot holders, Christmas stockings, miniature quilts, Kennel Quilts, baby quilts, toddler quilts, quilted pillow covers, small quilted tote bags, patchwork journal covers, eye glass cases, pencil cases, Kindle and iPad cases, wine bottle covers, gift card holders, camera cases, tea cozies, fabric buckets, headbands, coin purses, etc. Have you enough ideas now? Do any of them inspire you? I hope so! One of them, at the least, is bound to have!

Yet another great idea for a small project is working on row quilts, one row at a time, of course. That fits right in with small projects! You will find a great pattern right here in this month’s issue - Linda Anthony’s, Scrap-It-Up, Row-a-Month Quilt. You can also work on Barbara Douglas’ beautiful Botanicals quilt. These are just two of several “can’t-wait-to-make-it” quilts in this issue. If you are just starting on Barbara’s quilt, you’ll find we are already at Part 4. Go back to May’s issue for the first installment or purchase back copies to get all the parts you have missed.

For me, in August, sunflowers come to mind because at this time of year they are in their full glory. Leslie Allen, a fine artist and friend since our high school years, has created several beautiful sunflower paintings, among many others. She generously gave me permission to base a quilt design on one of them - Sunflower 2001-2 - the result of which you see here. My Sunflower Fields now belongs to Leslie. whom I’m pleased to say, was happy with it. If you take a look at her website - www.allenfineart.com under “archives”, you’ll find the one that inspired me.

Of course, there are many other wonderful patterns in this issue. Enjoy them all! What a great combination - August, sunflowers, and quilting!



Plein Air Artists Colorado 21st National Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Sale

I will have these two paintings in the show:

Five Points Hollyhocks

©Iris 2016

Beautifully framed by Will Mallett, best framer in Denver!

The frame on the left is hand-carved by Will.

William Mallett & Associates Inc.

885 Parfet Unit B, Lakewood Co, 80215

mallettassoc@outlook.com   (303) 238-9303




The making of Loving Vincent

September 7th at 1:00 pm - Boulder Public Library

Boulder Creek Room 

Our good friend and fellow PAAC member Dena Peterson

will be giving a presentation on her experience working on the film

Loving Vincent, the world's first fully painted feature film about the life of Vincent Van Gogh.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear Dena talk about the making of the one-of-a-kind film. 

For more information, please contact Plein Air Artists Colorado at paacart@gmail.com.


Loving Vincent is finally coming to theaters in September!

The film will be in New York on 9.22, expanding to LA on 9.29 with a national roll out on 10.6.  


For all the PAAC Show events: http://www.pleinairartistscolorado.com/events  


Artists Profile

Teresa Vito



       I think we first knew each other from the Art Students’ League (ASLD) when it was still on Market Street. That’s a LONG time ago! You were working in the little on site shop (Meininger’s) and weren’t you also teaching at the  League?

·         That was the late 80's. I was in my late twenty's and working for Menninger’s when Henry Meininger was thinking of opening a little supply shop at the new location of the ASL on Market. I begged him that I could run it and he agreed. I was trying to figure out how I could be at the school as much as possible, considering that I had to work and did not own a car. I was able to peek in and listen to the classes from the curtained doorways and even sketch the models from that vantage point. I still have my sketchbooks from that time period. I was asked to teach the high school class when the former teacher left because my little store was the cool place for the teenagers to hang out and I was constantly telling my customers, no matter what their age, what the teachers wanted them to learn and what they should buy. It was because of this I learned I was a natural teacher.

·         We grew up on either side of Lake Ontario! You in upper NY state and me in Southern Ontario. We both loved to draw when we were little but you took the road to art when you were quite young. When did you know you wanted to be a full time working artist?


·         I was that kid that always drew. In second grade I came home and told my Mom I had figured out the proportions of the human body. She was amazed and asked me if the teacher had taught me that. I told her no, remembering putting my foot up to my face and being thrilled it was the same size. Needless to say I was in my own head a lot during classes. In Jr. and Sr. High School I was the one that illustrated the yearbook and school newspaper etc.


·         When and how did you end up in Denver?


·         I went to a New York State college and majored in Studio Art because I was good at drawing and liked it. At My senior portfolio review, my teacher asked what I was going to do when I graduated and I told her I was going to be an artist. She told me that no one makes a living as an artist anymore and maybe I should get a job at a print shop to sweep their floors. I chose not to believe her. I lived with my sister in Rochester NY for a year and saved  $500 . At that time, the east coast was in a big recession and there were not any jobs . I always was attracted to the desert even though I had never been west of Ohio.  It cost $250 for a train ticket to Denver and I had a friend I could stay with for a couple of weeks that lived there. So with $250, a portfolio of nude drawings, a purse and a suitcase I arrived at Union Station and  just said yes to anything art related , whether I got paid or not.


·         Where (From whom?) did you get your delightful, sunny disposition?


·         My father always told the story that I was born with a smile on my face and this crazy hair. I just came out laughing....


©Vito “Greta Laughing”


·         Steve Day-an artist I became friends with at my little store, asked me if I wanted to go to a Plein air workshop with him in Wyoming. I had never painted outside and at the time I was doing pastels and sculpture at the ASL. I said yes and gathered what oils and equipment I could. Greg McHuron was the teacher and he was watching me. I impressed him and at the end of the workshop he sought me out and asked to see my sketch book, which I carried at all times. He asked how old I was (early 30's) and what mediums I was working with. I told him and he looked at me and said that I had the ability to be a master, but it took years to become one. If I did not settle down and focus on one medium, I would just be good at everything and not master anything. I had fallen in love with oils on that trip, and as it was the hardest medium I had ever done, I figured it's manipulations would occupy me for a life time. I left an oil painter! A year and 1/2 later I was accepted in a national show and was hung next to Greg McHuron. He came up to me and picked me up and swung me around explaining that he "Knew It!”

·         Soon after I was blessed with painting with Richard Schmid up in Loveland (Steve Day still giving me a ride!) and taking Quang Ho's first professional Studies class at the same time. Both brilliant and professional artists. I knew I was the luckiest artist around.  Their excellence gave me something to strive for.

·         You’ve always been so giving of your experience and expertise by teaching classes and workshops. And answering silly questions from artists like me. You’ve taught workshops all over the world!

Vito “All Tied Up in Knots” 

©Vito “Blue Door Market”

·         It took me forever to find teachers that really were artists and realizing that I was able to work and convey what they were saying to others. So I feel I will tell everything I know because why waste my students time when I can help them understand and become the artist they truly are.


·         You have an exciting one coming up in November with Phil Levine in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This is what he says about you: “She's been a source of inspiration to me over many years because of how enthusiastic and sharing she is as a teacher and at the same time such a fine painter!” Tell us about this workshop. 

·         I'm am very excited to teach in San Miguel Allende. I have always wanted to go there .It is so paintable, from the multi- colored buildings along the cobble stone streets, the markets and vendors, the flowering plants to the native dress of the occupants. We will paint both outdoors and some figure work.  I've taught for Phil Levine at    http://www.1worldarttravel.com   for many years . He is very experienced and will accompany  and organize us . I know this will be the highlight of my year. Please go to the link provided and take a look.   http://www.1worldarttravel.com/san-miguel-de-allende.html

©Vito “O’Keeffe’s Cliffs”

©Vito “Ghost Ranch View”


·         Mural for the Sunflower Room in Horseshoe Lodge at the Pueblo Mountain Park. Love this! Is it still there? You find the most interesting projects! Do you go looking for them or do they just find you?


·         They found me-and it's still there- it's in Horseshoe lodge in Beulah in the Sunflower room where you can stay.


·         And you did this great Mural in Pueblo! Can you talk a little about it?







·         I think this is what I will be famous for! It's unusual as a fine artist to see your work massed produced and all over. It's on billboards ,and will be on a license plate next year. I was chosen because the head of the Economics Development knew my work from a gallery in Fort Collins years ago and he found out I was in Pueblo. He knew he wanted an old fashion realistic type produce label and knew I could do it. I went out on the mesa east of Pueblo where all the Chile farms were and created a composite of the area. This image has just exploded.

·         Like many of us, you have a very supportive companion who helps you with everything but your Greg does more than that! He cooks! He builds pochade boxes for artists, me included, and he glues our linen on panel and cuts to size, and other things!

·         Greg has been making pochade (travel) easels for over 20 years. It all started because I am a small person and my French box was so cumbersome. He has developed what I think is the perfect travel easel that holds all your supplies, three wet canvases and it is pretty indestructible. This is his You Tube video if you are interested. P1010061 Z-BOX Demo at You Tube. (and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amBmpAOxlZw )

We've been together for 33 years and he is quite the handy guy to partner with. Yes, he cooks fabulously, mounts canvas, keeps up our garden and yard, fixes our car and truck and anything else that needs fixing.

He is a true companion and I am very grateful that he is in my life.






·         You’ve won many prestigious awards. Of all these honours (Canadian spelling) which one excited you the most?

©Vito “Tango Dress”

·         My Best Portrait and Best Still life Awards from Oil Painters of America  and The Best Body Of Work from Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters because my fellow artists were the ones that voted for me.

·         How many hours a day do you paint?   What percentage of your painting time is Plein air? And studio? And all the other things that we have to do?! How much time do you spend on marketing?

·         Because of arthritis in my hands- I can only do about 4 hours, 6 days a week. Sometimes more if I am particularly obsessed with a complicated piece. I don't paint outdoors as much as I used to because I really don't have someone to go with and in the summer here in Pueblo it is very hot. I do not spend enough time on marketing and I am one of those people that always needs an extension for my taxes. I seem to resent anything that takes away from my painting time and I am trying to mature and see it as a break and part of being a full time artist (I've been full time since 1992!! slow learner!)

©Vito “Poppies to the Sky”

©Vito “Spring Snowballs”


©Vito “Garden Iris”  ©Vito “Two Tutus”

·         Your figurative work is some of your best work in my opinion. Do you love painting figures more than anything else?

·         Yes!

©Vito “Veiled Thoughts”

©Vito “Classic Beauty”


·         Do you listen to music while you paint? What is on your playlist?

·         yes almost all the time. My playlist includes Portishead, Fever Ray, Amy Winehouse , old school David Bowie, Prince, REM etc.

©Vito “High Altitude”

©Vito “Storm Brewing”



Columbine Gallery, Loveland CO

Arts At Denver, Denver CO

The Glass Tipi, Ward, CO

John Deaux Gallery, Pueblo CO

Wilder Nightingale Gallery , Taos NM


·         I teach yoga!


·         I’m always excited to see what you are going to work on next! You are so refreshing in that you don’t paint like anyone else, you always “do your own thing!” It is obvious now to the viewer that you can do it all! Landscapes, figures, still life, murals. What paintings are you planning to tackle next? How do they come to you? (While you’re sleeping; while you’re working on one, the next pops into your mind?)

·         Thank you so much. It's hard to see your own work objectively.  I paint what makes my heart sing and I see beauty all around me. I always have a few paintings in my head that I want to get to ASAP. I hope I get to be a very old lady who's health lets me paint for a long, long, time. There are hundreds of paintings I would like to do and more inspirations come almost every day. As I am known as a mid-career artist now- I would like to focus on larger and more complicated paintings-mostly incorporating figures....

·         Can’t wait to see them! Any Solo shows?

·         Not that I know of.

·         Well, there sure ought to be!! Thanks for taking so much of your precious painting time Teresa to answer all our questions so we can all get to know you a little better. We wish you continued success and many more years in health and happiness.

Contact Teresa for information about all artwork.