Sangres Art Guild

Westcliffe, CO

Alla Prima Westcliffe 2020 (CANCELED)

The 14th Annual Plein Air Paint-Out (Canceled)

June 13-21, 2020 (Canceled)

Complementing the Sangre Star Festival 2020, June 19-21. Sponsored in part by CUSTER COUNTY TOURISM.

Jump to Registration – Early deadline June 1, 2020
Jump to Schedule

Treat yourself to a week of spectacular spring days painting in the picturesque Wet Mountain Valley of Colorado. Bright spring greens, snow-covered mountains, fresh wildflowers. Sweeping scenic views of the magnificent Sangre de Cristo mountains, intimate outdoor scenes, historic architecture and special events await your creativity.

This paint-from-life event includes alla prima painting created from life in the manner of plein air, but not necessarily done outdoors. Subject matter embraces landscapes, ranch life, figurative and still life. All paintings are created from life during the event, which culminates in an opening reception, exhibition and sale on Saturday, June 20.

An optional one-day workshop with an artist to be determined at the beginning of Alla Prima Westcliffe will help you tune up your plein air creativity. See below.

Alla Prima Westcliffe concludes during the Sangre Star Festival 2020. The Festival is a Dark Sky Solstice Celebration. We’ve coordinated some APW activities to take advantage of the excitement and extra visitors that this event will bring to the community. We’ll have a special “Starry Night Over the Sangres” imaginative nocturne competition and other nocturne painting events, as well as a few daytime site-specific paint-outs. Come see for yourself and be prepared to gaze on one of the darkest, starriest night skies on earth!

Juror Lorenzo Chavez

Here Comes the Sun, Lorenzo Chavez, pastel

Lorenzo Chavez was raised in the southern Rockies of New Mexico. His first inspirations and foundation as a young artist were formed by the local landscape and the art history in New Mexico. Lorenzo now makes his home in Parker, Colorado and uses this location as a base to travel and paint the American West and Southwest.

Lorenzo was featured in a successful one-man show at the C.M. Russell Museum and has participated in several national level art shows. Articles about Lorenzo’s artwork have appeared in many art magazines and newspapers, and several art books feature his art. Lorenzo is represented by many major fine art galleries and many private and corporate collections both nationally and internationally.

“My art reflects my deep passion for the landscape of the American West.  I want the emotion I feel to come through in the surface textures of the art.  The colors, textures and light of the western landscape inspire and guide my work.  It is the simple glimpses into nature that move me to create.  Wallace Stegner said it in brevity of words, “A few cottonwoods, the gurgle of water in a creek or ditch, can have as profound effect on me as the grandest view.”

1-Day Workshop

Saturday, June 13 (8:45 am – 4 pm).

Distant Rain, Lorenzo Chavez, pastel

Tune up your skills for a week of plein air painting with Lorenzo Chavez‘ Fundamentals of Landscape Painting: The how and why of creating landscape paintings from life and in the studio.

Join internationally known, award winning artist and member of the Plein Air Painters of America for an inspiring and insightful painting workshop, focusing on new concepts for plein air and studio painting. Learn to visualize the landscape in unique and exciting new ways while honoring traditions of the past. Lorenzo is well known for his patience and articulate lessons that will awaken your artistic vision. His workshops utilize the visual approaches of shape, value, edges, line and color. The workshop will offer plenty of individual attention, a demo and group discussion in relaxed and inspiring settings.

Art instructor Lorenzo Chavez has taught with the Arts Students League of Denver, the Loveland Academy in Colorado, the Fechin institute in New Mexico, the Scottsdale Artist School in Arizona, Tucson Art Academy in Arizona, The Coppini Institute in Texas,  International Association of Pastels Societies and the Fredericksburg Artist School in Texas.

He has further shared his knowledge through the presentation of workshops across the country and painting demonstrations and private art mentoring since 1992.

Pastels and oils are encouraged. Call or write with questions: 720-202-0756 or See Lorenzo’s website for his supply list, reading suggestions, and other great info!

Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to enhance your skills with one of this nation’s best instructors. Only $125. Register below.


Grape Creek Morning, Shushu Clark
  • Best of Show:  $1,000 cash + invitation to 2021 Art for the Sangres Exhibition
  • First Place:  $500 cash
  • Second Place:  $400 cash
  • Third Place:  $300 cash
  • Starry Night Over the Sangres:  $500 cash copyright purchase, sponsored by Custer County Tourism Board
  • Best Nocturne:  $100 cash, sponsored by Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley
  • Judge’s Choice Award: $200 Blick Art Materials gift coupon
  • Best Miniature Award: tbd
  • People’s Choice Award: tbd
  • Honorable Mention Awards: tbd
  • Novice* Award: $150 Blick Art Materials gift coupon
  • Best Macey Creek Ranch “Daily”: $100 cash
  • Best Ranch #2 “Daily”: $100 cash
  • First Place, Quick Draw Award: $100 cash
  • Second Place, Quick Draw Award: $50 cash

*Novice is defined as any artist new to plein air painting within the past two years.

Plus randomly drawn “door prizes” for artists from sponsors:

Thanks to our Sponsors!


Registration fee: $65 by June 1, includes 3 lunches at the site-specific paint-out locations on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Late registration fee: $75 after June 1.

Workshop Registration fee: $125 by June 1. Hurry, this may fill up fast!

Online Registration:  By clicking Add to Cart you will be taken to a secure site where you can pay by credit card (MC, Visa, Discover, AMEX) or by Paypal.

If you experience any problems registering online, please email

Manual registration:  please send checks to:

Sangres Art Guild
PO Box 205
Westcliffe, CO 81252

with your name, address, and email address – note it’s for APW.


This schedule will likely change a little bit as we form it throughout the winter. Please check back for updates!

  • Check-in and canvas stamping begins Saturday, June 13, after the workshop. Check in once & get all of your surfaces stamped, or come in again during the week and get more stamped.

Saturday, June 13

  • 8:45am-4pm. 1-day optional plein air workshop. Meet at 3rd Street Gallery. Be prompt!
  • 4-6pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks.

Sunday, June 14

  • 10am-5pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at  Greenstone Artworks.
  • Free day to paint anywhere in the valley. See maps in your artist’s registration packet.

Monday, June 15

  • 10am-2pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at  Greenstone Artworks.
  • 9am-6pm. Optional on-site paint-out #1: Macey Creek Ranch II (map in Artist’s packet). Three Separate sites within or near the Ranch. Macey Creek, Alpenglow Alpacas, and the historic, refurbished Diekmann cabin and ruins. A BBQ lunch is included in your registration fee, at the Alpenglow Alpacas mini-ranch.
  • 6:30pm. Meet at the bowling alley, Rancher’s Roost at Cliff Lanes, for an artists meet and greet and on-your-own meal. Bowl a game or two.
  • 7:00pm. Deadline for entering the “Daily” competition at Rancher’s Roost at Cliff Lanes. Show off your painting or paintings of the day and win the “Daily” award! Bring your own easel for display. The public is invited. The People’s/Artist’s Choice Award will be presented at 8:00pm-ish.

Tuesday, June 16

  • 10am-2pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at  Greenstone Artworks.
  • Free day to paint anywhere in the valley. See maps in your artist’s registration packet.

Wednesday, June 17

  • 10am-2pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at  Greenstone Artworks.
  • 9am-6pm. Optional on-site paint-out #2: Artist Gerald Merfeld’s studio and gardens (map in Artist’s packet). Paint the Maestro’s gardens, surrounding mountains or the horse and buggy model. Lunch is included in your registration fee.
  • 6:30pm. Meet at Tony’s Mountain Pizza in Silver Cliff for an artists meet and greet, on-your-own meal and camaraderie with fellow artists.
  • 7:00pm. Deadline for entering the “Daily” competition at Tony’s Mountain Pizza. Show off your painting or paintings of the day and win the “Daily” award! Bring your own easel for display. The public is invited. The People’s/Artist’s Choice Award will be presented at 8:00pm-ish.

Thursday, June 18

  • 10am-2pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at  Greenstone Artworks.
  • Free day to paint anywhere in the valley. See maps in your artist’s registration packet.
  • Optional afternoon with Shakespeare at the Amphitheater, sketching and painting the actors during dress rehearsal.

Friday, June 19

  • 10am-2pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks.
  • 1-4pm. Optional “Starry Night Over the Sangres” painting competition at The Bluff Park.  A Custer County Tourism Board award of $500 for the limited copyright of the chosen image for future marketing of Custer County [copyright license agreement]. These “imaginative nocturnes” are not eligible for the main competition. See the Rules section, below.
  • 4:30pm. Judging of the “Starry Night Over the Sangres” award.
  • 9pm-12am. Nocturne painting opportunities at The Bluff Park, A Painted View Ranch campfire, or anywhere in Westcliffe or Silver Cliff.

Saturday, June 20 – Intake, Judging, Awards and Reception Day

  • Intake and the reception is Saturday at 3rd Street Gallery!!!
  • 10am-12pm. Intake of competition artwork at 3rd Street Gallery, 59000 N. Hwy 69, Westcliffe.
  • 12-2pm. Judging – no artists!
  • 2pm-4pm. Arrangements for the reception
  • 3:30-4:30. Dixieland Band entertains
  • 4-6pm. Opening Reception. Come with your clients to 3rd Street Gallery. Enjoy the Dixieland Band. Must be present to win artist’s door prizes. There will be a “Drawing for a Drawing” — put your name in the hat for an opportunity to own an original drawing by a prominent SAG artist.
  • 5pm-ish. Awards Ceremony

Sunday, June 21 – Quick Draw Day

  • 7:30-10:30am. Paint models or other scenes at A Painted View Ranch during the 8am-11am pancake breakfast fund raiser (by the Wet Mountain Valley Rotary Club for local student scholarships). On-your-own breakfast; support the Rotary! Sell your artwork commission-free.
  • 10:30-10:45am. People’s Choice voting.
  • 10:45am. People’s Choice awards presented to First and Second places.

Rules For The Alla Prima Competition

  • Alla Prima for this event is defined as a painting of an outdoor or indoor scene done entirely on location, from life. Use of photographic references is not allowed except for the “Starry Night Over the Sangres” competition on Friday.
  • All paintings entered must be 2 dimensional and completed during the event dates; all traditional mediums are accepted.
  • Blank painting surfaces must be stamped prior to painting during the event. Unstamped surfaces will be rejected. The words “canvas” or “canvases” used elsewhere refer to all painting surfaces, not just canvas.
  • Artists can paint anywhere in Custer County and the Wet Mountain Valley during the event and/or their own indoor or outdoor set. A few “off-road” ranches or other sites will be opened to artists. Maps will be in your artist’s packet upon check-in. An artist-guided hike into a painting site in the National Forest is being arranged.
  • Artists participating in the “Starry Night Over the Sangres” competition on Friday afternoon at The Bluff Park do so for an award of $500. The only criteria that must be met is that the artwork must be created on a current APW-stamped painting surface, and the artwork be the artist’s interpretation of “A starry night over the Sangre de Cristo mountains,” containing at least a silhouette of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Custer County. Use of photographic references is prohibited; use of sketches or other non-photographic references is allowed and encouraged. The artwork must be painted at The Bluff Park so that the viewing public can see its creation. The winning artist must sign the copyright license agreement, accepting release of limited copyright of her/his image to the Custer County Tourism Board in exchange for the $500 award. These “imaginative nocturnes” are not eligible for the main competition, but can be entered for sale during the reception and show.
  • The “Daily” awards will be presented at the nightly functions following each “Daily” paint-out. The “dailies” do not need to be created at the “Daily” sites, but must have been painted anywhere in Custer County or the Wet Mountain Valley that day. All paintings created during these competitions, including the winners, are also eligible for the main competition awards, if the artist desires to make them one of their main competition entries.
  • Artwork for the competition and show MUST BE FRAMED (per applicable Gallery Criteria; no gallery-wrapped or un-framed canvases – wet paint smudges the walls). Artwork must be for sale.
  • Competition artwork must be brought to the 3rd Street Gallery ready to hang by 12noon on Saturday, June 20.  NO EXCEPTIONS!  Late deliveries will not be registered and will result in forfeit of registration fee.
  • The back of the painting must be visibly stamped by SAG and marked with the artist’s name, title, medium and price.
  • Limit 3 entries per artist + 1 miniature if desired (4 total) for the Main competition. While not eligible for the main competition, artists can also enter their “Starry Night Over the Sangres” imaginative nocturne for sale during the reception and show.
  • Maximum artwork size is 16″x20″ per painting (except miniatures). The size limit does not include matting or framing.
  • Miniature painting size limit is 5″x7″ (does not include matting or framing).
  • Opening Reception and Show opening is Saturday, June 20, 4-6pm, with Awards Ceremony at 5-ish. Public welcome. REMEMBER TO INVITE YOUR CLIENTS!
  • Commission for all Sales is 30% for SAG members, 40% for non-SAG members. You can join the guild during the event for the lower commission.
  • Entrants must sign waivers of liability for the show. SAG assumes no liability for the paintings, however we will make our best effort to assure the security of the artwork once it is at the show.
  • Entrants and their guests assume all liability for their presence and conduct on private property during the event. Please respect property owner’s rights. Do not trespass.
  • Artists agree to the use of their images and images of their artwork for the promotional activities of the Sangres Art Guild.
  • Unsold artwork must be removed by the artist or his/her representative on Sunday or Monday, June 28 or 29, *or* can be withdrawn on Sunday, June 21 (3-4pm) by artists unable to leave their painting(s) for the full show. Buyers may remove the artwork with purchase.
  • Artists must be 18 years or older to participate in the show.

Accommodations and Info About The Area

Suggestions For Artists

We try our best, but these criteria are subject to changes at any time, especially during the winter when we’re still improving the details.