- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - The view of the Animas River from longtime local artist and gallery owner Karyn Gabaldon’s home studio is spectacular, and is the inspiration for her new show, “Homage to El Rio De Las Animas Perdidas,” which was set to open for the Spring Gallery Walk.

“When we got this (house), I thought I was supposed to paint the sunset. When this whole thing happened with the river, I didn’t realize how much this river has gotten into my soul,” she told the Durango Herald (https://bit.ly/1VQOrdb).

“I’m not doing this as a negative thing. I just do this because it’s the soul of Durango.”

There are more than 40 new pieces for this show that Gabaldon started painting in January.

“Right after the spill, somebody built cairns all along the river, and I happened to snap photos,” she said.

“Then when I started this series, I went ‘The cairns!’ … so it kind of started from here.”

And for her, painting a picture isn’t something that she just walks up to a canvas and works out in a few hours - or even a few days.

“I just get into the zone. I’m a very intuitive painter,” Gabaldon said. “I don’t pre-plan what I’m going to do. In fact, this canvas sat here … and the other day, we were sitting in the other room, and the clouds came in and I said, ‘That’s what needs to go on that canvas!’ and I came in here, and probably within about 10 minutes, it was done. So you just don’t know.”

Fort Lewis College alumnus Gabaldon’s career started with pottery, and she switched to painting in 1991.

“I had to learn all the technical things of it. I had to learn color. I had to learn perspective. I had to learn the whole thing, which I taught myself.”

She began with watercolor, moved on to acrylics, and is now using her talent to pay tribute to what she sees as an important part of this town - the Animas.

“I want the gallery to just be the river show. I’ve taken everything else down,” she said. “I called it ‘Homage to the Animas River’ - ‘homage’ means respect - so it’s respect.”

And Gabaldon doesn’t look at the subject in a negative light.

“I’m not trying to say, ‘Oh, you’re bad boys for doing this,’ or, ‘Look how horrible this is,’” she said. “I’m trying to tell people, ‘Don’t take this for granted. This runs through our town. This is my soul. It’s more of a ‘It’s a beautiful thing; let’s not forget it.’”

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Information from: Durango Herald, https://www.durangoherald.com


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