High Country Watercolors

Mountain Life 1102 Pic D

"I started drawing about the same age I learned to ski," says 30-year-old Katie Royce-Salazar. Now living in Summit County, Colorado, Royce-Salazar is a full-time freelance artist, which, she attests, is "definitely not an easy task." Yet, she enjoys the freedom, the creativity and the diversity of work-such as watercolor landscapes, mountain home renderings, painted wooden signs, event posters and T-shirt, custom cards and special event invitations.

What Royce-Salazar loves most is to paint high-country landscapes while immersed in the setting. "I've spent my whole life in the mountains, so I love trying to capture the different landscapes in watercolor. I prefer to work outside on location-if time and weather cooperate-always hiking with a small watercolor pack with paints and paper." The colors and images ultimately come from her connection to the landscape.

Two summers ago, Royce-Salazar started a company called Cards of Cheer, designing custom artwork invitations and cards for special events. She creates a custom painting of the event location and reproduces it into invitations, programs, event posters and thank-you cards. Then the sponsor of the special event keeps the custom painting to treasure forever.

Royce-Salazar also specializes in mountain home renderings. It is a perfect combination of her artistic talents and her architectural background. She worked as a residential architect for five years in Summit County before following her dream of being a freelance artist. She is currently working on custom paintings of people ski homes and mountain cabins from the Rockies to the Sierras of Lake Tahoe.

When not painting, Royce-Salazar telemark skis with her husband Bob or teaches skiing at Copper Mountain. She is a certified instructor with eight years' teaching experience at Steamboat, Breckenridge and Copper. She is also an active board member of the Summit Huts Association.

But painting is Royce-Salazar's true passion, and she's determined to make a go of it. "The main thing I've learned from trying to earn a living as a freelance artist is you have to be very patient and keep your spirits high, believing that someday you'll be discovered and recognized as an artist." With Royce-Salazar's talent, that shouldn't take long.

If you are visiting Summit County, Colorado, come see more of Katie Royce-Salazar's work at the Artisans' Attic in Frisco, The Art Gallery at Copper Mountain Ski Area (base of the Super B chairlift), or at Under Glass in Breckenridge. Royce-Salazar is the featured artist at the Artisans' Attic for the month of November.

To find out more information, contact Katie Royce-Salazar at 970-389-4245, email: karoyce@yahoo.com, or visit KRSartwork.com or cardsofcheer.com.