Artist Dedi Knox laughs near a sign welcoming visitors to her Hahn's Peak studio in North Routt County.

Photo by John F. Russell

Artist Dedi Knox laughs near a sign welcoming visitors to her Hahn's Peak studio in North Routt County.

Artists inspired by landscape, lifestyle in Hahn's Peak

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Beauty and the Beast

The Artists' Gallery of Steamboat displays the work of 26 local member artists. This month, the gallery is featuring the work of David Marshall, Dedi Knox and Janice Lawrence. The gallery is located at 1009 Lincoln Ave. and opens every day at 10 a.m.

— From Scotland to Indonesia and numerous countries in between, artist David Marshall has lived in exotic and remote places surrounded by beauty. But in Hahn's Peak, where he moved three years ago, he’s found something he can’t get anywhere else.

“This is as good as it gets,” he said, standing in the wooden barn that houses hundreds of his metal sculptures, signs, designs and woodwork made from elements found all over the world.

“The nature is fantastic here; we don’t have it in Europe.

“What you have here that I find inspiring is your old farm implements,” he said, pointing to a collection of dilapidated rakes and plows in his front yard off Routt County Road 129. “It’s sort of a pity they get thrown away as junk, but there’s interesting things you can do with them.”

Both Marshall and Dedi Knox, a watercolor painter, have the Hahn's Peak landscape and stunning vistas to enhance their creative endeavors, and the pair comprises two of three artists featured this month at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat. Along with Janice Lawrence, a local artist working in pastels, acrylics and watercolors, the show "Beauty and the Beast" puts a dichotomous spin on nature.

Marshall creates his work in Spain and ships them to Colorado to show, just like he did with the signs he designed for the new downtown Steamboat bus stops. He creates his glass pieces in a glass blowing studio in Bali.

“It was an idea I had to do these really Neolithic-looking skulls,” he said about the work on display this month at the Artists’ Gallery. “I brought all this stuff over from Spain about two months ago.”

Contrasting with the metal and glass skulls are Lawrence’s color-splashed pastels and detailed watercolors by Knox.

Knox fell in love with the precision and control of watercolors decades ago in art school, and she relishes in their fluidity.

But on Friday at her mountain home, surround by a 360-degree view of the mountainous landscape, she was in the midst of turning a corner in her creative journey.

She took up oil painting a little more than three years ago and also works in ceramics, basket weaving and making Native American “history hides,” which are transferred onto animal skins.

At his workshop just a few miles away in the town of Hahn's Peak Village, Marshall works on pieces for his own home, like a balcony made of welded farm implements and a gate for his driveway.

Knox and Marshall aren’t the only artists to tap into the creative energy of Hahn's Peak. Richard Galusha and Shirley Stocks live in North Routt, and Rick Welful makes custom wood furniture in the sleepy town across from Steamboat Lake. Quilters and photographers also feed off the natural landscape.

“The inspiration is incredible,” Knox said.

At her mountain home at the base of Hahn's Peak, Knox has a separate structure that houses her studio. The deck overlooks the pointed, prominent namesake peak, and ospreys and hawks swirl above her.

She said she used to have to snowmobile up to her house, and she goes cross-country skiing every sunny day in winter.

“You have to plan your life,” she said about living so remotely. “You get disciplined, and you paint every day.”

The landscape also influences her work in a more direct manner. The paint, she said, dries faster in the arid climate, giving her more control.

But there are still drawbacks to living and working in Hahn's Peak, like the crows that have taken to pecking at her screen doors. Decoy owls and mothballs will have to do, however, because there are still infinitely more interpretations of Hahn's Peak to paint from her plein air stand.

“Having (Marshall) out here really makes it all come together,” she said about the artistic community in Hahn's Peak. “We’re really blessed.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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