I've shared before how I will often be inspired by the people I meet in my art creation. This painting is definitely one of those.
I was working on Jack o' Mines, a bunny in miner's clothing, when I met a wonderful local in my town of Golden, named Judy Denison, who shared an incredible story. She told me how in the 1990's, Nike Corporation was interested in buying the gorgeous mesas that frame the background of our town, for a large corporation, unknown to most of the town's residents. Judy and another local named Don Parker, formed "Save The Mesas", a citizen group determined to inform the town to let Golden locals make this decision themselves, rather than the decision being made for them by the town counsel.
Long story short, the group ended up buying the mesas and donating the land as public open space. Now, every weekend, you can walk the wild mesas, sometimes meeting an elk or two, and if you're lucky you might see a fox or coyote. In summer, the rattlers sun themselves on the tops of the rocky cliffs. And suddenly, the germ of an idea for a painting was born, a tribute to the protestors of the 90's who saved our beautiful open space for current and future generations.
At first, I wanted to call the painting, "Judy Saves the Mesas" to give credit where it was due, but she objected, stating humbly, "There were many people involved in that. It wasn't all me." So, we decided on naming the snake "Suzy", but the bucket hat on Suzy is inspired by the style of the 90's, and this painting was definitely inspired by Judy and the protestors who devoted their time, money and determination so that everyone can still experience Golden's Table Mountains.