Steamboat Springs There was once a romance, and it unfolded on a brightly painted canvas in the shadow of two chestnut-colored horses.
In the dark corners of the painting were the dreamlike images of a forlorn maiden, a military pilot and a lost postcard.
Local painter Michelle Ideus called the fantasy piece “There was once a romance,” which is printed in varying type across the top.
“I love stories,” Ideus said. “I start with the horses and just build from there with a story. For me, it’s what makes painting horses fun.”
Her work will be on display at Colorado Group Realty this month, and a reception is being held from 5 to 8 p.m. today during First Friday Artwalk. She also has work on display at East West Frame Shop.
Ideus uses acrylics, paper and other mediums to add dimension and texture to her candy-colored surrealistic horse portraits and landscapes.
“For me, it’s always been about mixing and letting the color explode,” she said.
Lauri Peter, advertising director for Colorado Group Realty, said the office has been on the First Friday Artwalk map for two years.
“Michelle has always been fresh and fun,” Peter said. “It’s happy art that everyone can appreciate.”
Ideus, whose outgoing personality matches the boldness in her work, also is exploring new mediums, like digitally manipulated prints covered with textured paints and other mixed-media influences. Now that she has a 4-year-old son, working on the computer is a more timely way to create her work on a new kind of canvas.
“I don’t want to be a Western artist,” she said. “I want to be modern and funky and make it my own.”
Her career has taken off since two of her pieces were featured at One Steamboat Place. Several clients at the residences discovered her work there, and Ideus found herself with a devoted collector.
“I hope people can create their own stories based on their own lives,” Ideus said.
First Friday Artwalk
❱❱ Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat
Adam Zabel paintings of Western and local themes; Janice Lawrence, inspired by “In Flanders Fields,” transitions between light and dark, symbolizing light and dark; Leo Atkinson presents new artistic mineral sculptures. 1009 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-4744.
❱❱ K. Saari Gallery
Featuring new paintings by abstract artist Monroe Hodder and recent photographs of the Yampa Valley by Frederick Hodder. The show
runs through April 15. 837 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-0188.
❱❱ Jim Steinberg Photography/Portfolio Collection
Jim Steinberg displays scenic photographs from beautiful Colorado and across the world. 1016 Oak St., 970-879-3718.
❱❱ Images of Nature Gallery
An artist reception with Thomas D. Mangelsen is March 12. Visit the gallery and reserve prints and books to be personalized by the highly honored nature photographer. 730 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-1822.
❱❱ Sleeping Giant Gallery
Local art by nature photographer Don Tudor and Raku stoneware by Brown Cannon; offering full professional archival framing. Visit www.dontudorphotography.com 601 Lincoln Ave. 970-879-7143.
❱❱ Steamboat Art Museum
Western paintings by Jim Norton, cowboy artist. The museum gift shop offers 10 percent off any item in the shop. Wine and refreshments will be served. 807 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-1755.
❱❱ Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts
Local art at its best with artwork by 40 artist members — paintings, Western photography, mixed media and more. The featured photographer is Mark Metzler. Wine and appetizers will be served. 906 Lincoln Ave., 970-846-5970.
❱❱ Wild Horse Gallery
Wild Horse Gallery features works by Stacy Peterson, Tom Lockhart, Lee Stroncek and Jim Gilmore. 802 Lincoln Ave., 970-9879-5515.
❱❱ Colorado Group Realty
Michelle Ideus presents new horse and landscape paintings. 509 Lincoln Ave., 970-875-2917.
❱❱ Creekside Cafe & Grill
Joseph Cosby, international portrait photographer, brings to life images from four continents, young and old, still-life and living, from Steamboat Springs to the Sahara. Complimentary refreshments will be available. 131 11th St., 970-879-4925.
Steamboat artist Greg Effinger creates watercolors with precision and exquisite choice of subject matter, Colorado landscapes and still life. 911 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-1919.
❱❱ High Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty
Local Steamboat landscape painter Glenna Olmstead exhibits new paintings from best loved Yampa Valley scenes. Refreshments will be served. 708 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-8101.
❱❱ Olympian Sales office
“Action-Abstraction-Reaction,” a collection of bold and emotive painted canvas by local artist Jan Maret Willman, inspired by the emotional landscape and dialogues of life. Fifth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street, 970-879-8100.
❱❱ Off The Beaten Path Bookstore
Kim Keith presents her African photographs in an innovative, interactive art display. Part of sales proceeds will be donated to help better the lives of disabled children and HIV orphans in Africa. 68 Ninth St., 970-879-6830.
Rustique is featuring local favorite photographer Jim Wilson. A resident of Steamboat Springs since 1981, Jim’s photos capture the beauty of the Steamboat area and beyond. 624 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-2980.
❱❱ Spill the Beans
Young artists present their talents: Marissa Russell, 12, is a painter/sketch artist and Delany Ziegman, 10, is a ceramic artist. Enjoy coffee and treats from 5 to 7 p.m. 1051 13th St., 970-879-7846.
Urbane presents world photography from Jamie Curcio and Kristy Chotvacs, who will donate their proceeds to nonprofit organizations promoting education in Uganda. 703 Lincoln Ave., Suite B101, 970-879-9169.