J. Brad Holt - Judge

Demonstration Artist


Brad will be offering "Paint with Brad" Instruction and inspiration throughout the festival!

J. Brad Holt grew up in Cedar City, Utah.  He is a graduate of Cedar City High School and Southern Utah University.  He spent childhood summers working on his grandfather's ranch in Orderville, Utah, hauling hay and punching cows.   At age seventeen he joined the Utah Army National Guard where he served for the next twenty years as a member of HHB 2/222 FABN.  Brad is a musician specializing in Early Woodwinds.  He spent several seasons as a musician/performer with the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah.


Brads desire to become an artist began with a childhood fascination with the images of the surrealists, particularly those of Yves Tanguay. Eventually he was mentored by the renowned landscape painter Jimmie Jones, who was a friend of the family. Jimmie gave him a lot of old paint and brushes, taught him how to stretch a canvas, and showed him how to lay out his palette. Brad recalls: "Raw Umber and Ultramarine were the core of Jimmie's palette, and they remain the core of mine to this day. They allow a subtle interplay of temperature in the underpainting."

"Landscape painting is not about a perfect portrait of a physical place, it is about the eye, the hand, and the mind of a confident observer. The paintings that I admire are those in which the artist has enough confidence in his own vision to allow bold elegant brush artifacts remain. They serve as a visual testimony to the joy of the process. I do not want to leave my viewers exhausted with a labyrinth of detail. I want them to feel the joy that I feel when I stand before nature with a brush in my hands." 


Leigh Gusterson - Judge


Workshop Artist


Leigh will be doing a Pre-Festival Workshop

More to come

What is a woman from the suburbs of New Jersey doing in a remote Hispanic mountain village? Living the dream, of course!

Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Leigh Gusterson has always painted and drawn. And she longed for places wild and natural. “I moved from New Jersey to Taos, New Mexico in 1990. I was looking for more freedom to express myself, to just be myself — in my art, and my lifestyle.” For 20 years Gusterson lived in the town of Taos, raising her two daughters, and developing her own joyous style of landscape painting using bright, bold oil colors. In 2010, the girls were grown and had gone out on their own, so Leigh was free to move up to Llano into an old adobe she had renovated, to live the rural life she had always wanted.

“I paint outdoors on location,” says Leigh. “That’s where the magic and the joy is for me. I get to be outside in this stunningly beautiful place, to just be present, looking around, feeling, taking it all in. I love the simple way of life here. The old timers are still ranching, irrigating their fields from the acequias, growing food, some even still cook their tortillas on wood stoves. These people have a strong connection with the land, and work on it daily. And they work with what they have. They keep everything (junk) and use what they have to fix things instead of buying new. They improvise and are very creative. That’s what creativity means to me – using what you have to make something amazing that works. I’m inspired by that.”

The love of this place shows up in Leigh’s work. Her paintings are depictions of the landscape, peppered with crumbling adobes, old trucks, horses and sheep, but the joy and love is expressed in her use of vibrant colors, her loose, energetic brushstrokes, and the swaying lines and forms which lend a sense of movement to her compositions.

“I start each painting outdoors with an acknowledgement for the grace that allows me to be here doing this,” she says, “and then comes the feeling of gratitude. From there I begin painting, quickly, confidently, trying to capture as much of the scene and the mood in as few brushstrokes as possible. I work for about an hour, until I have all the information I need. Then the painting comes home with me, without any judgement or criticism from me about what it looks like. That’s super important, because I ALWAYS have some expectation about what I wanted it to look like, and it hardly EVER happens that way. So I just take it home and live with the painting for a couple of weeks, until I realize how wonderful it really is. Then I refine it to a finished point with as few brushstrokes as possible, so as not to cover up the original energy that was put down outdoors.”


Carol Bold - Quick Draw Judge

Group Demonstration


Carol will be doing a Pre-Festival Workshop

More to come


Since moving to Southern Utah in 2010, Carol Bold has not only embodied the spirit of the Southwest, she has lived it. She has traveled its winding trails, explored its rough terrain, traversed vast plateaus and broad basins, gazed up towering canyon walls, climbed through deserts of painted rocks, and looked down on the world from the clouds above. Through her vivid use of color, her iconic imagery and her eye for the dramatic, she sets out to capture the beauty of the southwest in way its never been seen.

Carol Bold is a painter and printmaker based out of St George, UT. She grew up in the in Pacifica, CA, a small coastal city between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, where she spent her childhood surrounded by the scenic coastal beaches, tall trees, thick fog and rolling hillsides. From here she developed an early love for the landscape and a deep admiration for the natural world, which still greatly influences her art today.

Carol has since made a name for herself in Southern Utah, and continues to strive and grow artistically throughout the region. She has exhibited her work in numerous shows and galleries throughout the state, and has received continued recognition and awards for her work throughout the southwest. When not in her studio, Carol spends her time hiking, exploring, spending time with her growing family and drawing inspiration from the vast and beautiful landscape that surrounds her.

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Gail Denton and Peggy Trigg

Workshop...Shake, Rattle and Roll

Get New Eyes, New Ears and More Air in Your Head!

Yes, you too can release and exchange  your tight, controlled, anxious, rule-bound accuracy for seeing shapes (instead of leaves), values (instead of recipes) and passion (instead of cramped fingers). Explore color, shape, composition and energy from a whole new perspective. Shake it up, rattle it around, and roll in the ecstasy of fresh insight.

This program includes four mini mixed media lessons based on trusting your intuition with shapes, line, and value to create great compositions! Go from complete release of control with loose abstractions to rearranging design elements in you favorite landscape to increase compositional success.  You will leave with better eyesight for your landscape, fresh ears to hear what the painting wants, and more powerful compositions.  Paint like nobody’s watching!

Please bring the following:

  • Inspirational reference landscape photos

  • An apron, you might get messy!

And your favorites of these if you have them:

  • Sketch paper

  • Mark-making tools (markers, pencils, sticks)

  • Workshop with 10 fee due at

  • the door.

  • First 20 to sign up..email us if you

  • are interested at

  • wildriverspleinair@gmail.com

Gail came to plein air painting in 2012 from a rich 20 year background in textiles, natural dyes, natural fibers, weaving, spinning and surface design. Coupling that with a full love of the outdoor life, plein air painting was the natural fit to her new tribe. The Western Landscape compels her brush, impressing urgent melody, wind through branch, sand over rock, snow upon crag, wingbeat slicing cloud. Vast silence, wide space, serene emptiness, commanding distance, stark light, immediate color.


Peggy is a native New Mexican. She was born in Santa Fe and raised on cattle ranches outside the ghost towns of Cerrillos and Madrid. She spent 25 years teaching students ways to loosen up and to trust their instincts.  She works in various material, including acrylic, oils and pastels. Peggy now lives in Questa, NM and spends her days painting the landscapes that surround her.

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Workshop Images are from

Escalante Plein Air Festival 2018

"Taking the Shake Rattle and Roll -Get New Eyes, New Ears and More Air in Your Head workshop with Peggy and Gail was one of the highlights of the festival for me.  It really freed up my approach to getting creative expression on a page and was just a whole lot of fun." by Allysia Angus

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Kit Frost - Demonstration 

What your iphone can do for you!

The iPhone, use it for so much more than a selfie. 1.5 hour/demo.

Today’s iPhone include a wide variety of apps for image making. Photos, videos, time lapse sequences are just a small sampling of what is available on your phone.

Kit Frost uses her phone as a sketchbook, as a digital camera, as a video production tool and for time lapse photography. This workshop is designed to teach you to use the camera that is most often with you, your phone.

Kit will demonstrate the simple techniques needed to take terrific photos with your iphone, including panoramics and timelapses, and create short video sequences. This workshop will include some hands-on experiences and lessons. Bring a fully charged iPhone. You may find that your Plein-air photos improve with just one adjustment of your phone.

Kit Frost lives and teaches photography workshops in Durango, Colorado, and throughout the West. She has served as an artist-in-residence in a dozen national parks and monuments. She draws inspiration from the work of Thomas Moran, Ansel Adams, Christopher Burkett, Georgia O’Keeffe and Brett Weston, sharing an affinity with the monumental aspects of the American landscape and a dialog with light that is ever-changing and elusive.

Whether capturing still images, recording time-lapse and video sequences or chasing the light at our national parks, Kit Frost’s preferred work method is to explore landscapes over an extended period of time in order to capture the essence of each location throughout the day and into the night.

Often found working with her iPhone, Kit’s belief is that the best images are not created by the camera but by the passion and vision of the artist behind the lens. Since serving as Artist in Residence at Acadia, Crater Lake, Glacier, Capitol Reef and Mesa Verde National Parks, Kit has been recording time lapse, video and still sequences with her iPhone and helping visitors gain a better understanding of the simple tools on their smartphones.

For more info and bio. www.kitfrost.com

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Patricia Rose Ford-Demonstration

As a landscape painter, I love the great outdoors, particularly the scenes of the southwestern deserts and coastlines.  Mostly I paint, with pastels in air, as I enjoy being in nature, looking at a beautiful scene, and translating the emotions of what I see onto the paper.  My hope is that I am able to convey in my art, the feelings of joy and tranquility that I experience when painting.

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Terry Chacon- Demonstration

Terry is from Redlands, CA and a international award-winning artist.  Terry's artwork is in private collections in over 20 countries.  She is an avid plein air artist and paints weekly on location whether it be the beautiful California coast or the Inland Empire which includes many lakes canyons and the beautiful desert. She does commission pet portraits in her studio and is noted for her Dog Show Scenes.  She has had the privilege of having two featured artist exhibits of her Dog Show Scenes at the American Kennel Club Dog Museum in St. Louis, 2015 and 2017. 


Terry, one of the founding members of the Plein Air Artists of Riverside and served as president for 6 years, a member of the American Impressionist Society.   Influenced by impressionistic style paintings like those of Monet, Charles Hawthorne and Henry Hensche, she sought out to learn a style of painting that would enhance her abilities by adding color and light to her subjects not only in her studio but on location as well.   Capturing the light is the most important part of her paintings.  "Painting in plein air has given me a new way to see light and capture it in my paintings.  The challenge is to capture it quickly, as it doesn't wait for you."   You can see more of Terry's plein air on her website at www.terrydchacon.com

Terry has won many plein air awards at different events around the southwest of which she hopes to attend one or two a year.  Redrock Festival in Moab, Utah Artist Choice award 2018, Escalante People’s Choice award 2017, Idyllwild Plein Air Best of Show 2017,  PAPNM 2016 Oil honors award,  Escalante paint out 2015 Oil category award, New Mexico Members Plein Air Exhibit 2014 Best use of Color, Mountain Arts Plein Air event and several awards with the Plein Air Artists of Riverside. 


Terry’s work is represented by Montecito Frame and Art Gallery, Montecito, Ca., Catalina Art Gallery, Avalon, Ca., Mission Inn Art Gallery, Riverside, Ca. and her bronze sculpture is represented by Heritage Bronze, Hesperia, Ca.  Terry also gives a workshop on the Island of Catalina every June. 


Betsy Peirce-Workshop

Monoprinting the Landscape

Workshop with 10 fee due at the door.

First 20 to sign up..email us if you are interested  wildriverspleinair@gmail.com

Betsy Peirce

HC 81 Box 6011

Questa, N.M.




email betsypeirce.taos@gmail.com



Betsy Peirce grew up in Albuquerque, N.M., attended U.N.M. and the University Arizona, receiving a BA in Art History and Art Studio in 1980. She has lived north of Questa, N.M. since 1981 and has been taking printmaking classes at U.N.M. Taos since the late 1990's. She has participated in numerous printmaking shows in Taos and sells her work at The Ranch in Taos Gallery. Betsy lives off the grid and enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening and riding her horses.


I have been making prints for 16 years including etchings, monotypes, and block prints. I usually work on copper plates, doing intaglio prints with aquatint. I do landscapes, figures and still lives, inspired by nature and by my travels. I am continually trying to master the techniques used in printmaking, while keeping my imagery fresh and old fashioned looking at the same time, “walking the tightrope between accident and discipline” as Fritz Scholder said.

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Inspired by nature and by my travels, I have been making prints since 1998. I have always been attracted to prints, something about the flat, graphic look always calls to me.

I work with a variety of techniques, mainly etching and monotype. For the etchings I usually work on copper plates, doing intaglio prints; carving through a “ground” with an etching needle, immersing the carved copper plate into ferric chloride (less toxic than the traditional acid), and adding dark tones with aquatint. The plate is inked and wiped and run through a press with paper, transferring the image onto the paper. An edition, multiple prints of the same image, can be made. Making etchings takes persistence and a lengthy commitment to mastering the technical aspects.

Monotypes are done by applying ink to a plexiglass plate, sometimes using stencils or textured materials, then running the plate through a press onto paper. These prints are one of a kind, although I often work back into a “ghost”, a second, paler print off the same plate, adding color, changing the composition, or rearranging stencils.

I am lucky to have worked with great teachers at UNM Taos such as Jennifer Lynch, Gary Cook and Amy Rankin. The other students, many longtime printers, are also a source of knowledge. I am always striving to make my etchings look like etchers of the past: my favorite is Gene Kloss with her super dense blacks and luminous whites. Monoprints are a more immediate, spontaneous, colorful break for me from etching, which can be quite tedious and difficult.

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Ken Requard-Demonstration


Facebook: Ken Requard

Instagram: @kenrequard

YouTube: Ken Requard

I have always had a desire to express my creativity through visual art. 

I love nature. I love the western landscape, especially the unique Sonoran Desert where I live. From dramatic dawn to surreal sunset, from bubbling blue brook to soaring red cliff, from scrub bush to saguaro, from aspen glow to blue spruce, there is drama everywhere in the American west.

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