Vance Kirkland Museum

Vance Kirkland (1904–1981) was among the most important Colorado and regional painters of the 20th century. He was born November 3rd in Convoy, Ohio, a small country town west of Cleveland, near the Indiana border. Kirkland studied at the Cleveland School of Art, receiving a Diploma Degree of Painting (1927) and a Bachelor of Education in Art (BEA, 1928), continuing a second year of studies in art history and art education at the Cleveland School of Education and Western Reserve University (1926–1928). Kirkland married Anne Fox Oliphant in 1941 and enjoyed traveling and entertaining with her.

In addition to his 55-year career as an innovative and successful painter, he was a remarkable educator and collector. Kirkland came to Denver in January, 1929 as the Founding Director of the current School of Art at the University of Denver (DU) at Chappell House. Aside from his influence as a professor, Kirkland was active in the local art community and worked to establish the Modern Art movement in Denver, where he lived for the rest of his life. He left DU in 1932 to establish the Kirkland School of Art (1932–1946) at 1311 Pearl Street. The Kirkland School of Art was highly successful, and in 1946 DU enticed Kirkland to return as director of its school of art until his retirement in 1969. He continued to paint in his Pearl Street studio until his death in 1981.

Photo Tip or Annoying Advice - Your Choice

Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Capa wasn’t advocating the use of longer lenses; he was telling us to physically get closer — to become more involved and intimate with our subjects. In fact, a wide-angle lens is often a better choice than a telephoto lens when you want to “zoom in” on your subject.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Yikes

Just finished The Man who caught the Storm - it’s about Tim Samaras who was one the most prolific storm chasers.  He was unfortunately killed in 2013 along with his friend and son chasing in El Reno, OK just west of Oklahoma City.  Now that I’m traveling to Kansas I’m much more vigilant about storms.  Today is just such a day where there is high convection in the west central portion of Kansas.  I took the other pictures from my hotel window and correlating with the Nexrad radar.  I surmise that the activity seen here is over Scott City which is 35 miles north of here.  More later…………


Spent several days in Moab, UT.  Very hot and ultimately left a day early because of the heat.  We went with the airstream but even with the A/C going full blast the afternoons were torture. Early in the morning and after 6 PM things were bearable.  Here are a few pics from the visit

Other Peoples Photography -Bill Owen

Bill Owen achieved fame early on in his career with the publication of SUBURBIA.  It was and is still the penultimate tome on suburbia.  I received my copay as a gift from my brother.  How he knew this was going to be a classic is not known - perhaps it was because it really spoke to the subject.

This book is one of the most valued in my collection.  

Fuji Instax Camera

The big rage in photography is the re-introduction of instant film photography.  My version uses the Fuji SQ-10.  Square instant film ( Instax) .I love the SQ10 because it’s a hybrid.  It takes digital and can print out a photograph right on the spot or later on. Below are some examples shot while on a camping trip to Ouray/Ridgeway, CO

Winning Clouds

Memorial Day 2018 -= This is the storm headed our way was we went to Coor’s Field to watch the Colorado Rockies take on the San Francisco Giants.  We got caught in the lightening/thunder and hail as we went thru the turnstiles.

Captured this great photo of Mammatus Clouds:

  • Mammatus are pouch-like cloud structures. They’re also a rare example of clouds in sinking air– most clouds form in rising air. Although mammatus most frequently form on the underside of a cumulonimbus, they can develop underneath cirrocumulus, altostratus, altocumulus and stratocumulus.

  • For a mammatus to form, the sinking air must be cooler than the air around it and have high liquid water or ice content. They derive their name from their appearance, like the bag-like sacs that hang beneath the cloud resemble cow’s udders.

  • Mammatus are long-lived if the sinking air contains large drops and snow crystals since larger particles require greater amounts of energy for evaporation to occur. Over time, the cloud droplets do eventually evaporate and the mammatus dissolve.
  • Despite popular misconception, mammatus clouds are not a sign that a tornado is about to form. While associated with thunderstorms, mammatus clouds are not necessarily an indicator of severe weather. Mammatus result from the sinking of moist air into dry air. They are in essence upside-down clouds. The sharp boundary of mammatus is much like the sharp boundary of a rising cumulonimbus cloud before an anvil has formed.

Eventually things cleared up.  A hard fought victory for the Rockies into the 10th inning.  6 to 5.  Some bone head tactics on both sides but also some amazing fielding from the likes of Nolan Arenado.

Art, Architecture, Photography on my Tumblr

I just want people to know about my Tumblr - most of what is posted is NOT mine.  It’s a combination of Art, Photography, Architecture.  There are themes for sure:  Dennis Hopper, the other Hopper, James Dean.  I tend to be drawn to the photography of the 40’s thru the 70’s.

Happy Memorial Day

There really should be no happiness with this holiday - shouldn’t be a holiday at all.  This day is to honor those that have given their lives for our country.  For them we absolutely honor you.  But wait….what about those that may not have died but have been physically and/or mentally maimed?  This day is to honor then as well.  And finally we as Americans should try to get into as few a wars as possible.  This is why we can’t have nice things in this country.

Fuji Instax sq10

Great little camera - weird looking making it look like a toy.  The secret is that it is a hybrid - digital AND Fuji instant film ( Instax).  You can shoot all day digitally and then decide which ones you want to print out OR you can print as you go for little gifts to your subjects

Or you can download as digital and play with them from there ala

Artist Statements

Artist’s statements are much like this picture.  It is me but……. it’s 19 years old and doesn’t really tell who I am.  That being said my current artist statement is not bad.  I didn’t write it- my wife did.  Originally I told her I didn’t have one and that I thought most were a bunch of words vomited onto the page, so to speak.  Then I started entering exhibitions and the sponsors insist on an artist statement so here ya’ go:


I was 13 when my father taught me my first photographic techniques. Re-invigorated by the love of this hobby we shared, I’ve kept a camera close by since his passing in 1996. Now, there’s nothing more relaxing than spending an hour, day or weekend with a camera in hand. The majority of my photographic body of work can be divided into three categories:  landscapes, still life and ironic images.


Being born in a small prairie town—Simla, CO—instilled in me a deep appreciation for open space, the pace of rural life and a life-long love of clouds.

Still Life

Human hands have arranged most of the objects I like to shoot.

Ironic Images

Unintended humor is all around us. Capturing the unplanned juxtaposition of images, thoughts and people easily amuses me.

I hope you enjoy the images I’ve photographed as much as I’ve enjoyed the experience of shooting them.

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