Brian Raitman
Special to the Daily

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February 14, 2013
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Lelija Roy's sun-kissed canvasses on display at Breckenridge's Art on a Whim

The all-too-quick parts of the day when the sun is rising or setting are some of the most spectacular times in the mountains. The constant change of colors in the sky and on the land is a daily muse for artists adept at capturing the beauty of the High Country. Light is nature's paint, decorating everything it touches. Artists are constantly looking for ways to capture the dance that light creates as it moves across the mountains. Lelija Roy will be in the Art on a Whim gallery throughout the weekend doing just that.

Roy's latest collection of work focuses on depicting the wonders of sunrise.

"I'm naturally a morning person," she said. "And having a very bossy sheltie who loves to get the first walk in the neighborhood means I see the sunrise almost every day. Besides being a special and peaceful time, sunrise offers a very fleeting explosion of color. When I see a great color combination, 'Wow' is usually followed by, 'If I paint the sky the way I see it now, no one will believe it."

Roy's work involves dozens of layers of paint, handmade papers and fabrics. She frequently weaves in special metallic and iridescent paints. Metallic paints are manufactured with tiny particles of metal that offer interesting reflections. Iridescent paints have tiny mica particles that reflect the surrounding colors. When you walk past one of her paintings the colors will shift. As the light changes in your room you'll also notice a different.

"If you watch closely, the outside world is constantly changing," Roy said. "The amount of light as well as the angle of the sun changes all the time. By integrating touches of metallic and iridescent paint I can mimic this effect."

Her work goes beyond simply depicting what observers of the natural world see. Rather, Roy is always striving to capture the feel of Colorado's wonderful landscapes. Through combining layers of texture with metallic and iridescent paints, she invites the viewer to get lost in the sensations of wandering through a pristine landscape.

Her new piece titled "Winter Reflected" follows the liquid sunrise across a sunlit meadow, emptying into a meandering river tinged with gold. In "Morning Lace," fresh snow clings to branches, creating a veil of lace partially hiding the golden sunrise. In "Sunrise Lace," aspens and pine trees vie for center stage on a sunlit patch of snow. Each piece is pure fantasy. They are abstracted imaginations based on the very real emotions one experiences while standing in the wild.

If you're lucky enough to see the sunrise or sunset while you're in the mountains don't go looking for your camera - just watch the fleeting miracle. Alpenglow is especially beautiful in winter. The reflections off the snow and ice combine with the low angle of the sun to produce a great show. Take it in and strive to remember the wonderful feeling of watching the world change. Then stop by the Art on a Whim gallery to see Roy's breathtaking representations of a beautiful part of the day.


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The Summit Daily Updated Feb 14, 2013 11:50PM Published Feb 14, 2013 11:46PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.