Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A plein air painting I did at the edge of the Shields River.
Plein air painting can feel really good on days like this! I'm hoping the weather hold this week too. But 'rain or shine' (or snow!), I'll be out in Yellowstone painting this week. Since most of the roads will be closing through the Park Nov. 3rd, this is my last chance of the year to get to some of my 'favorite spots'.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

another wolf from the Canyon Pack
We got amazing views of the Canyon Pack. Beautiful wolves! 4 adults and one pup. The female in the group is from the past Hayden Pack. I had the chance to watch her as a pup at Otter Creek with her mother last year. Several months after that sighting, the pack was attacked by the rival Mollie Pack and her and two other pups were the only survivors. On my way into the Park to plein air paint, I saw her mother badly injured after that attack. She didn't survive the day. With the inspiration from those experiences, I created a large studio painting that I'm just finishing up now. So it was a really treat to see her this year.
black wolf from the Canyon Pack

Monday, October 20, 2008

On our way back from Idaho, driving through Yellowstone, we came across a grizzly bear at an elk carcass. He was guarding it from a small pack of wolves. We've done a lot of traveling in the last week through a lot of beautiful wilderness areas, but it certainly is amazing what we see in our own 'back yard' called Yellowstone!

We just got back from installing a large lighting project in Idaho. It was for a ski lodge. The ski themed chandelier pictured above includes antique skis, snowshoes, pack baskets, ice skates, 2 snow scene paintings and A LOT of other details - definitely hard to capture in a photo!We incorporated river stones, twigs, burls, leaves, and bark. It was a really creative job. You'll be seeing some of the pieces from the project on our web site before too long. The project included lamps, dining lights, bronze sconces, kitchen pendants, large chandeliers (both exterior and interior)... and much more.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My easel set up on Blacktail Deer Plateau this morning.
I was up and out early, anxious for my first plein air snow painting of the season. As I drove into Yellowstone in the dark, fresh snow covered the roads. I hiked up onto Blacktail Deer Plateau. It was an amazing morning. Absolutely, perfectly quiet. Vast and foreboding. Gorgeous, subtle colors everywhere. Just the kind of landscape that feeds my addiction to plein air painting and satisfies my soul. I appreciate life more when I feel fragile than when I feel invincible. So a morning like this is a good reminder for me, of the power and scale of Mother Nature and how small we are.

Friday, October 10, 2008

View from a window in my studio

What a difference a day makes! This view is looking toward the Roosevelt Arch from a window in my painting studio. Yesterday, I was catching the fall colors and soaking up the sun, plein air painting with a friend in a wonderful spot in Paradise Valley. This morning it looks like winter out there!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

View from the gallery

Electric Peak with fresh snow, in Yellowstone National Park, over the Yellowstone River.

Such a gorgeous time of year. It's hard not to just sit by the window and enjoy the view all day. Luckily, it's so beautiful it makes you want to get out there and paint it! And that's what I'm planning to do in the morning.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We had a wonderful surprise today! Years ago a couple bought a pair of bronze bear sconces from us when we were exhibiting our work at the Adirondack Museum in upstate New York. They were from New Hampshire. Well, today, to the surprise of us all(!) they walked into our gallery in Gardiner, Montana. They're taking a long road trip, from New Hampshire to California. They drove by our gallery and the painting in the window caught their eye, so they stopped in.... not knowing this was our new gallery. What a great coincidence - really nice people! So they bought John's fox sculpture to use as a hood ornament. Now that's creativity!! The little bronze fox is riding into the sunset, off on his first road trip. That lucky fox!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What a beautiful day to paint with friends in Paradise Valley...aptly named. (The "eagle"/bugs over the mountains are the 'proof' of a true plein air painting!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It has been absolutely GORGEOUS weather here this week. We've jumped on the opportunity to do some landscaping around the new gallery. I painted in the Hoodoos in Yellowstone earlier this week and it felt like summer. Today I was inside for a bit painting a portrait of a long time Yellowstone volunteer. But tomorrow, it's back outside to paint at the northern end of Paradise Valley with some friends. Hopefully, the weather will hold out. These last really nice days of the year are such a treat to paint out side, because I know soon, very soon, I'll need the 'full gear'...down coat, insulated boots, long underwear, hat, gloves and hand warmers, too. Ahhh, but right now, it feels like summer!