Montezuma County oil painter Susan Matteson creates her best work when she’s outside.
“You get the essence and feeling of being out there in the weather and the elements,” she said April 1.
Matteson’s show “Pieces of Favorite Places” debuts at Olio restaurant in Mancos this week and will continue through June 8. An artist reception will take place at the restaurant, 114 W. Grand Ave., on Saturday from 4-6 p.m.
Matteson moved to Southwest Colorado in 2001 and now lives near Dolores. Some of her favorite places to paint include Lizard Head Pass and the front yard of her home, she said.
“I love this area,” she said. “There’s so much here.”
As a child, Matteson spent lots of weekends outside alongside her father, who was a hunter, she said. She enjoyed riding horses outside, especially during snowstorms, she said.
That love for the outdoors led her to start painting in plein air, outside and creating images of the natural scenes in front of her, she said.
One of her favorite paintings that will be included in the Olio show is “Stragglers.” The painting depicts a rancher bringing three of his cows down from the mountains in the rain.
Matteson painted “Among Giants,” another one of her favorites, near Lizard Head Pass while a snowstorm was rolling through the mountains. The painting depicts clouds wrapping themselves around high mountain peaks above Trout Lake with cottages in the foreground.
Matteson often paints with Mancos artist Veryl Goodnight, a close friend. She said it’s nice to have someone else come along to paint with, and she appreciates Goodnight as a mentor.
Matteson said she hopes that people who see her artwork at Olio will have more appreciation for the area. Many times people don’t take time away from their busy lives to stop and look at the scenery before them, Matteson said, and she hopes her work can help people do that.
She also hopes to convey the feelings she gets when she’s out in the field painting to others through her works, she said.
“You can’t catch it if you’re not out there,” she said.