Sunday, May 31, 2009

Twin pronghorns born... right out the Gallery window!

Today, we watched twin pronghorns being born from the Gallery window! I happened to notice a pronghorn across the river lying down. Thought I'd take a closer look - and sure enough she gave birth to twin pronghorns. We watched them wobble for their first steps and try to nurse. That took a few tries! Within the hour, they were getting pretty steady on their feet. Incredible to think that in just 2 weeks, they will be able to outrun most predators. Spring in Yellowstone is a really wonderful season. I love seeing all the 'new arrivals'. And seeing them THAT new (and right out the Gallery window!) is particularly awesome. I love where we live!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Birds are amazing creatures!

The bird life I've seen around Yellowstone has been incredible lately. Here are some photos I've taken this week to prove it...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lighting Commissions

Saranac Dining Chandelier
Saranac Dining Chandelier - side view

Acorn Sconce

A sampling of some lighting commissions we recently completed - Each was created specifically for a particular client's space and needs. Currently, we have a five foot diameter chandelier just completed, that we're crating and freighting soon. Check back - I'm hoping to get a good photo of it to post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Action on the osprey platform

We had action at the osprey platform yesterday. But not what you'd think.... A couple days ago we had 5 osprey circling overhead, and we've seen many catching fish in the Yellowstone River from the Gallery, but no takers to nest on the platform as of yet. However, we have been watching a kestrel pair around here and yesterday John saw them mating on the osprey platform! You get a good view of the platform from John's workshop and he was there working when he spotted the kestrels out the window. You really should never be without a camera around here!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Plein air painting adventures this morning

I couldn't help myself... as I went into Yellowstone this morning before dawn to plein air paint, I HAD to hike back to the spot where we saw the owl pair nesting. There's a painting there somewhere. So I thought I'd do a study to try to 'find it'. An owl was there guarding their nest - sat there the entire time. I've never been watched over by an owl before while I was painting, that I know of that is! Osprey circled above, Canada geese honked, an elk ran by and a herd of mule deer watched me for a minute. On my hike out, I came across a small bison herd with a trio of calves playing. It was a beautiful hike. Everyone should get to start their day like that!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Highlights from a day in Yellowstone

Great Horned Owl

Eagle Carcass

Saturday morning I painted at Swan Lake in Yellowstone National Park at dawn. I had the Sandhill Cranes to myself - their calls echoing through the fog. I love mornings plein air painting in Yellowstone, but it was COLD! When I finished my painting and headed home, around 7:30AM, it was UP TO 23 degrees! It's hard to stay warm just standing for a couple hours in that. Home is about a 12 mile drive from there, dropping about 2000 feet in elevation. It was 20 degrees warmer when I arrived. The temperature swings here can be pretty extreme. It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon... so back into Yellowstone we went to hike with friends. This time I had to put sunscreen on! We saw a Great Horned Owl pair nesting (check back, I'm hoping to get photos of the owlets when they hatch). We also saw an eagle carcass. It was amazing how sharp the talons were! You never know what you'll come across in Yellowstone.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tonight was my last class in this session of teaching Drawing 101 at the Gallery. And today was my last class teaching oil painting as the Artist in Residence at the Gardiner School. It's been a busy Spring! AND it was a lot of fun. I absolutely love seeing all those 'light bulbs' come on! I saw A LOT of improvement throughout the classes and that's always really rewarding. Teaching certainly keeps me 'on my toes'. I was discussing the Hudson River School painters and the Impressionist movement along with the importance of edges in oil painting during the day, and then I introduced John Singer Sargent portrait sketches this evening and had everyone try some tonal drawings. It was a good, full day.