Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Flames danced in the outdoor fire pit in front of Salto last Friday night as about a dozen children played Capture the Flag by its light. They chased each other, eight younger children against four older children who were supervising them while the adults partied indoors.
It was a chilly night but more fall-like than winterish.
Salto was crowded with the First Friday folks who came for snacks, drinks and to congratulate local resident Laurence Delaunay Masters, who was showing her latest works.
Probably the most popular fellow of the evening was a burly, rugged soul, wisdom shining in his eyes. His demeanor was shaggy, aged but mostly contented. His countenance made it hard to tear one’s gaze away, his majestic head a statement about dignity and one’s place in the world.
The painting of the moose behind the counter/bar has probably found a home. He will certainly be admired for years to come. Laurence’s reception for her new collection was applauded by friends and artists. Her paintings are large and bold, done in acrylic, which she has learned to love and teaches in her occasional open classes at the restaurant.
Vibrant fish, rutting elk, crazy red poppies attract attention from one wall to another. There is nothing shy or subtle about her passion for nature and its brilliant palette, her back yard, her neighborhood.
Delaunay was born Crozon, Brittany, in the northwest part of France. She studied in Rennes, at the University of Bretagne Quest where she earned a Master’s Degree in Education and Physical Education in 1996. She taught for 10 years in France.
In 2002 she moved to Colorado and has taught at Fairview High School in the Boulder Valley School District. She and her husband, Dallas, have two children, Paul, 13, and Loic 12.
Laurence is an acrylic on canvas painter who uses images of nature to express and evoke emotions. Inspired by her coastal France upbringing and being a resident in Nederland, bordering the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, she uses her love of the beauty of nature to inspire her work. Her paintings have been shown at the National Institute of Atmospheric Research in Boulder.
On Friday, Foggy Tops, a five-piece bluegrass party band with a fiddle, banjo, bass, harmonica and mandolin, kept the crowd hopping as they enjoyed the party.
Laurence greeted old and new friends and was proud to introduce them to her old friend the moose, as well as the other creatures she has captured forever for us to view in their own neighborhoods.
At the end of the evening, the younger children had won every game of Capture the Flag.
(Originally published in the December 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)