Moab artist Carolyn Dailey paints familiar places in such a way that those who view her paintings say that the scenes appear to “come alive.” Dailey calls herself a “painter of light.” Her most recent oil paintings are on display at Gallery Moab, 87 N. Main St., during the month of July. [Photo courtesy of Carolyn Dailey]

Moab artist Carolyn Dailey’s most recent oil paintings are on display at Gallery Moab. Dailey is the guest artist for the month of July at the gallery.

The Gallery Moab show represents some of her latest work never exhibited before. The show runs through July 31.

Dailey is a veteran plein air painter, having begun painting outdoors in 1987 when she first moved to Moab to become a professional artist. Back then, the now-fashionable term “plein air” was not being used. It was simply termed “painting on location,” “painting on the spot” or “painting from life,” in contrast to studio work from photos.

Dailey said she uses the term “veteran” because every plein air painting feels like a battle against time and the forces of nature, and a good one feels like a victory.

Calling herself a “painter of light,” Dailey’s oil paintings capture the Moab landscape in a natural-looking manner.

The people who view her paintings often tell Dailey that the paintings appear to come alive as the viewer recognizes familiar places such as scenes along the Colorado River or at national parks. Because the weather is often too hot or too cold or too windy to set up her easel outdoors, Dailey said she often paints from inside her painting van. Dailey keeps her paintings small in size, so she can finish in about two hours, hopefully before the lighting dramatically changes.

Although interested in art her entire life, Dailey came to Moab to focus on oils and develop her outdoor painting skills through rigorous daily practice.

Dailey studied with some of the best regional painters of the time, including Mark Daily, Michael Lynch and Ned Jacobs, in workshops at the Fechin Institute in Taos, New Mexico.

She moved from Moab in 1990 to Guatemala where she said she painted colorful and exotic subjects comfortably outdoors. She exhibited in several galleries there, and had a one-woman show at the National Ixchel Museum in Guatemala City in 1999. After enduring yet another hurricane, she returned to the States in 2006, first living in Crestone, Colorado, and then moved to Pack Creek Ranch in Moab in 2010. She still maintains a residence in Guatemala and enjoys returning there to visit friends and paint.

Dailey has been exhibiting now in Moab for more than 30 years, having had numerous shows at the former Overlook Gallery, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) and several times as a guest artist at Gallery Moab. She is a member of the Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners, where she frequently wins top awards. Dailey has stopped her other group and festival involvements, though one never retires from painting, she said.

Gallery Moab, located at 87 N. Main St., is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. Contact the gallery by calling 435-355-0024.

New summer oil paintings make familiar places “come alive”