Arleta Pech, an artist of renown in several areas of art, calls Austin home and is exhibiting at Impression Z in Cedaredge and The Purple Peacock in Ouray.
Arleta also teaches art.
"I teach adults watercolor or oils in private sessions at a time convenient to each artist's schedule," Arleta explained.
She has return students scheduled throughout the year: a student from Kentucky returning in February for her sixth year; a new student coming from Washington in April; a student from Connecticut returning for her third year in September; and a student from Arizona coming for her seventh year in October.
"I also teach large workshops in Wisconsin, Michigan, Connecticut, and have traveled the world teaching groups of artists," Arleta said. "But I prefer the private sessions of one or two friends so that I can concentrate on each artist's needs.
"I teach step by step to help them learn, instead of overwhelming them with too much too fast. I design a lesson for them personally for what they want to learn, painting silver, flowers, landscapes, even animals."
Arleta grew up in southern Illinois in a rural area. She began drawing when she was very young. "Being an only child, it kept me out of the animal pens on the farm," she says.
"My parents moved to Colorado when I was in fifth grade," Arleta said. "The reason I like this area so much is because it reminds me of home."
"My art teacher in Arvada wanted me to go on to art school. Toward the end of my senior year, she came in with an ad for an assistant commercial artist at Decals, Inc. in Denver. It was an on-the-job training opportunity and I was hired for the job," she said, recalling the excitement of the opportunity.
Arleta learned watercolor in 1974 and began teaching watercolor at the rec center in Edgewater in 1977.
Arleta's art was receiving attention in magazine and the press in the late 1990s. Her art was discovered by Mill Pond Press, an agent that created limited edition prints to sell to print galleries around the world. She signed with Mill Pond Press in 2000.
Mill Pond liked to "gift" their artists with research trips. While Arleta was on tour doing shows for Mill Pond's galleries, she was "gifted" with a trip to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Visiting the National Gallery was a life-changing experience for her, she said, adding, "I have always known a painting is worth 1,000 words for anyone who views it."
Arleta also works in Lampwork beads, working with glass rods to make unique glass beads for her jewelry and shawl/sweater pins.
She said, "My original work is known for its realism and luminosity, painted with layers of transparent glazes, in oil or in watercolor. That's why I'm also drawn to making glass beads, for that same luminosity."
As a young adult she met Bruce Pech at the gas station where Bruce was working.
"He insulted my Mustang!" Arleta exclaimed.
Bruce was driving a 1967 Mustang, white convertible, 6-cylinder engine. Arleta was driving a 1966 Mustang with a 289 cubic inch racing engine.
Arleta challenged Bruce to a race. "I left him and his Mustang in the dust," she said.
"It was love at first sight," Arleta declares, "and 47 years later we are still in love."
Bruce and Arleta looked at each other with that love evident. Together they said, "We wish we still had those Mustangs."
Bruce and Arleta lived in Arvada for many years.
Arleta said, "Bruce's parents, Richard and Violet Pech, bought land in Cory over 40 years ago. His brother, Gary Pech, has lived over here for 50 years. We have been coming here to see family for that long. So it seemed natural for Bruce to retire here and for me to move my art studio here.
Bruce retired from Ace Hardware in Lakewood. They moved to Austin last year in June.
"Bruce is one of those men who knows something about all types of things," Arleta said, "from electrical, plumbing, he's a great fix-it guy. Perfect for the Ace job."
"We bought an old home sitting on the bluff, which was Muriel Marshall's home that they built," Arleta said.
Bruce, pointing out many of the special features of the house, confirmed his knowledge about "all types of things."
"The house is happy to have another creative person living in it," Arleta added.
Arleta has written two books: Painting Fresh Florals in Watercolor, 1998, and Radiant Oils, published in 2010. Both publications have sold over 35,000 copies each.
Impression Z in Cedaredge will be featuring Arleta Pech as its Artist of the Month from Jan. 11 through February.
Arleta invites those interested in her art to visit with her during the Impression Z reception for her on Friday, Jan. 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
She invites interested persons to visit her website: www.arletapech.com. Her email address is Arleta@arletapech.com and her telephone number 303-902-2006.
Two of the four marijuana questions on the November ballot were narrowly approved by voters in the City of Delta. Measure 2F allows the establishment of medical marijuana centers. Measure 2H permits the establishment of medical marijuana cultivation, testing, research and manufacturing facilities.