Friday, March 27, 2009

The blue birds are back!

Today, I took this photo of a blue bird on our property - one of many that were passing through. When they first arrive you see flocks of them. I've watched them in Paradise Valley earlier this week, but it was the first group we've seen here on our property. Such a brilliant blue - a beautiful sight to mark the beginning of Spring.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This past weekend we went to the C. M. Russell Art Show in Great Falls, Montana. It's a big event in the Western Art world. There was a lot of art to see... MANY artist exhibitors along with galleries who display a variety of work both past and present. Although it's heavy on 'western art', you'll see all kinds of art represented including landscapes, still life and portraits. One of my favorites was in the Gerald Peters Gallery room- they had an original painting by Edgar Payne and one by Frank Tenney Johnson, both deceased artists. It's a treat when you run into some of their original pieces. We also attended a seminar by Tim Shinabarger on Saturday. He was the Honored Guest Artist who is mostly known for sculpture these days. We went to the C.M Russell Museum and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, too. It's a beautiful drive and the weather was great, so a fun weekend was had by all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

osprey nesting platform

view of the platform from our studio window
over the Yellowstone River

One of our weekend projects - We built and put up an osprey nesting platform. We're hoping to have a pair of osprey build a nest in it. This spring would be great, but we've heard you may have to wait years for them to use it - if at all. So it's a bit of an experiment. From our Studio and Gallery you see right down into it - the photos we could get would be amazing! We put a few sticks in to 'entice' them. Now, we just wait for them to return... and keep our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hockaday Museum of Art Benefit Auction of Minatures

On The Edge of Winter
9"x12" Oil on linen by Shirl Ireland


6"x4" ink and watercolor sketch by Shirl Ireland

I just packed these pieces to ship out tomorrow. The painting On The Edge of Winter was accepted by the jury into the Hockaday Museum of Art Benefit Auction of Miniatures. After being accepted into the Show, they asked for a donated 4"x6" 'postcard' size work of any subject or medium for the Auction. And Spring is on my mind! So I did a little sketch of the first bluebird returning, in ink and watercolor. One of the first signs of Spring that is always such a treat to see. The Preview Party is March 27 at the Hockaday Museum in Kalispell, Montana. The Show runs through April 30 with the Auction & Dinner on May 1.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Shirl painting as part of a PBS documentary

This clip, which has showed up on 'You Tube' is part of a larger PBS documentary. The documentary was airing on national TV last year. The filming was done in the Adirondacks. It was a fun experience to see the filming process from 'the other side'. And it was really interesting to have a camera crew, along with all their equipment, trudging into the wilderness with me. (Usually my plein air painting excursions are MUCH more solitary!) They were great! It was a really fantastic experience. Check out this clip that resulted....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Last night was the final class of 'Painting 101' here at the Gallery. It was a great 6 week session. We ended with "People's Choice" for our last class. I asked everyone to fill out a 'painting survey' and the category with the most points would be our topic for our last class. The overwhelming winner was.... Landscapes! So much so, that I'm thinking about teaching a Spring painting class focusing on the landscape. It could be a great 'prep' for plein air painting this summer!