“Melinda Nemechek was my late mother’s favorite artist,” said Mark Beling, director of the Breckenridge Mountain Art Festivals, addressing a group of fine artists recently. “You’ll always be in my shows.”
Nemechek, an internationally acclaimed Front Range oil painter, was in the 31st annual Breckenridge July Art Festival and is appearing at the 13th annual Breckenridge Main Street Festival this weekend, Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 27. She’ll also be at the 39th annual Gathering at the Great Divide, slated for Labor Day weekend.
“I have been doing Mark’s shows since we had the shows in the Bell Tower Mall, and we had a Memorial Day show that usually included snow,” she said. “I do eight to 10 shows each year. I currently do only Colorado shows.”
Nemechek will be one of 105 artists representing 20 states, plus Yoram Gal from Israel, including 46 artists from Colorado. She said she’s been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember.
“I grew up in Kansas, lived on a ranch for a while, where horses and dogs were my favorite subjects,” she said. “I loved the old barns and fences that I thought were the ‘Old West.’”
In 1970, the artist relocated to Colorado.
“I’m so inspired,” she said. “I think there’s a painting everywhere I look. I love Colorado — the skies, the seasons, the beautiful, vibrant colors. I especially love aspen trees. I love the way the sunlight plays through the branches, like the sun trying to chase away the shadows. I still like old barns, little cabins and the adobe buildings of the Southwest, and they are often part of my paintings.”
Nemechek’s paintings spark memories and inspire dreams. She is best known for majestic oil landscapes of the Rocky Mountain West and “canyon” paintings of the Southwest. Dominated by mountains and grand Western skies, the vibrant colors of the changing seasons are the backdrop for creeks, flowers and the aspen trees of the Rocky Mountains. Every painting is inspired by the drama of light and shadow patterns in nature.
Nemechek captures a magical moment in time that is peaceful and serene, which looks untouched, except for a trail or a little cabin. She uses a close-up, limited perspective that leads the viewer into feeling that he or she is actually a witness to the scene. The artist lives and paints in her mountain studio near Conifer at an altitude of almost 9,000 feet. The studio setting, surrounded by aspens and pines, provides unlimited subject material for her Rocky Mountain landscapes.
An avid hiker, Nemechek has topped many of Colorado’s 14ers and highest passes and hiked the Grand Canyon and much of the canyon country of the Southwest.