Painter Mary Kollman is well-known for her oil depictions of big skies floating over serene landscapes. A color enthusiast, each of Kollman’s paintings is alive with brilliant shades of every color under the sun. Rich tones and intriguing textures are staples in her body of work, and each piece evokes the feeling of a wonderful memory.
Kollman has been painting in the Art on a Whim gallery in Breckenridge every weekend since Thanksgiving. This weekend marks the close of her show and a final opportunity to meet the artist and browse her newest works.
“I love to talk to patrons, as it’s so inspiring for new paintings,” Kollman said. “Painting is like breathing for me, I’ve got to do it!”
Kollman recently moved back to Colorado and is erecting her studio in Grand Junction. Her showing at Art on a Whim seems to be driven by fate just as much as talent. She stumbled across the gallery’s website and read about the owners, the Raitman family, discovering that they had much in common. It turns out that they used to live only a few blocks from each other in a small town outside of Portland, Ore. This connection, coupled with the fact that Kollman’s paintings are a perfect fit for Art on a Whim, led to the show at the gallery.
On display is a collection of Kollman’s signature big-sky landscapes, several of which express the emotions she felt upon her first visit to Breckenridge. “Anticipation,” a 20-inch-by-20-inch oil painting, captures the excitement of driving down Highway 9 and seeing the ski resort beckon in the distance. Her painting “Sanctuary” gives viewers the same peaceful and welcoming vibe that so many visitors to our mountains are greeted with. Having found inspiration in all the skiers and snowboarders she has met over the past several weekends, Kollman has been spending her time in the gallery painting riders buried waist deep in powder or launching themselves off of cliffs.
“My paintings transfer a good memory,” Kollman said. “There’s a feeling of wholeness, goodness and peace. I try to get out of the way and let the painting unfold. It’s like learning to ride a bike and trusting gravity. I have sustained courage and try to bring the magic to what I’m creating.”
Kollman’s show and her demonstration can be viewed at the Art on a Whim gallery, located at 100 N. Main St., Friday, Jan. 3, through Sunday, Jan. 5. The artist invites you to stop by, learn about painting techniques and view the story she has created.