There are times in life when a book wants to be read and keeps barging into your life until you pick it up. Such was the case with Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle, which struck deeper than I had anticipated. After 10 years ignoring a growing desire to paint in oils, I picked up my old brushes, headed to Meiningers (our local art supply store), and sketched out a small scene I had wanted to capture near Greenland, Colorado. As it turns out, the rabbit hole is quite deep and I am still falling down.

The first painting in the first studio space. The non-insulated porch space meant I painted with a lot of layers on for those early pieces.

The first painting in the first studio space. The non-insulated porch space meant I painted with a lot of layers on for those early pieces.

I am an urban planner by trade and grew up in the home of artists, musicians, and theologians. I was exposed to art and the landscape from an early age and taught to think seriously about how, to quote Jeep’s old slogan, “the things we make, make us.” Our family rode trains across the country and my dad in particular drove home an understanding that how you move changes you, the landscape, and society. This has grown in me into the pursuit of stewardship - of urban areas, of wilderness, of people, of resources, of all the things with which we have been entrusted. Those themes continue to develop, both in my day job and in my art.

As a father of two young kiddos, I paint when I get the chance, which is generally early in the morning or late at night when everyone is asleep. The windows of time are often short and infrequent, but the pieces develop nonetheless.

Prior to moving into the planning field, I had my own illustration firm in Colorado Springs and produced ink and watercolor renderings for the architecture and development fields. A few of those pieces are included in this site and I am still available for those commissions when requested.

I tend to paint places where I have hiked, camped, or explored, so many of these pieces are self-portraits of sort. They are based off sketches and photos out of car or train windows. I try to capture the feel of the place and the time, both to remember it and to pass it along to others. Giclee prints are available, as are some of the originals. I do generally accept commissions, depending on availability.

I look forward to further explorations with you.

Dave Thorpe

I’ve starting building my own frames as well, in order to try to bring some craftmanship to that step of the process. This painting is for Tov, an exciting musical and art effort out of Minneapolis.

I’ve starting building my own frames as well, in order to try to bring some craftmanship to that step of the process. This painting is for Tov, an exciting musical and art effort out of Minneapolis.