Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Yellowstone Park Foundation Guest Artist

A big honor! I've been invited to be Yellowstone Park Foundation's special guest for their 15th Anniversary event in Old Faithful Sept. 21-23, 2012. I've been involved with some of their events in the past, and I can say it's a privilege. Their efforts and contributions in the Park are enormous. Their events are stellar. I know many of the staff...they are truly dedicated to Yellowstone. It's an honor to be part of that.

I'll be painting throughout the weekend and will have both my paintings and John's sculpture on display. Some of my paintings will be auctioned over the weekend to benefit Yellowstone Park Foundation. I'm certainly looking forward to it!

Our Yellowstone Zoo
(photos taken on the property, right out the windows!)
A few recent visitors....
Blacktail deer at the river....2 doe with 3 fawns
Western Tanager

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reminiscing with Thomas Moran - painter of Yellowstone

Well, sort of. The closest I'm going to get these days. Thomas Moran (1837-1926) is considered the first to paint Yellowstone. And was often referred to as Thomas "Yellowstone" Moran, since he claimed Yellowstone was "his love". I can relate.

In this blog, I definitely want to have a vein of art education - artistic principles as well as past masters. I want to do my little part to 'hone the public eye' to see good art.

So I bring up Moran. A name you need to know. One of his master pieces I have been lucky enough to see in person....Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone. (Be sure to notice the measurements when you look at the photo of the painting here.) It's an amazing piece and in person 'larger than life'.

In the collection of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center are his brushes, palette knife, wallet, sketch book and personal journal. Some very personal items that are as close as I'll get these days. And so I sat, reminisced and painted....I did most of the talking :)

Moran's Essentials - brushes, palette knife and wallet
6" x 12" Oil by Shirl Ireland

Moran's Soul - sketchbook and diary
12" x 12"  Oil by Shirl Ireland
If you'd like to open his diary and see what he has to say, click here.

Also, at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center are many of his watercolors and sketches, some of which I have painted in the past. But it was interesting to paint his personal items and tools he used. A different look inside the artist. He would probably be amazed to know a woman about 140 years later in Yellowstone was sitting with his tools, painting his brushes!

In the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth, just 5 miles up the road, they have his easel, palette, hat, etc. on display. I'll have to go up there and continue 'our conversation' some day.

To learn more about Moran, click here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reception TONIGHT!

Crossing my fingers for nice light and no wind worked.

Here's a preview of my painting from my plein air excursion to Cooke City yesterday.....


It will be hung along with my other plein air paintings I created this week around Park County TONIGHT  -- at the "Wet Painting Reception", Livingston Center for Art & Culture in Livingston Montana - 5:30 - 7:30 pm.

It's an interesting show to see what all the artists bring back after a week of plein air painting in Park County. Usually a big event and well attended. Hope you can make it....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Plein Air Week...

Aren't they all? Yes, but this week is Plein Air on the Yellowstone...the annual one week event I've been involved with for the last four years, sponsored by the Livingston Center for the Arts. I paint in Park County Montana, along with 20 some other painters. Always a good reminder of what a gorgeous county I live in!

At the beginning of the week, we get our blank canvases stamped and are then let loose to paint across the county. Earlier in the week, I hiked into Kersey Lake in the Beartooths to paint. Last night I was at the Farmer's Market in Livingston painting with some of the other artists. Today, I'm headed over to Cooke City to paint. (Cross your fingers for good light and no wind)

So much ground to cover in so little time...Each artist will turn in 3 wet paintings, (if all goes well!). It's a fast and furious week, culminating in the 'wet paint' reception Friday at 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Livingston Center for the Arts on Main Street in Livingston Montana. Hope you can make it.

Kersey Lake painting

Painting the sunset over the Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley


I've been particularly inspired this week, after attending Artistic Vision II last weekend in Jackson Hole, WY. A fabulous group of artists had an intimate event that I was fortunate enough to attend - a group show of their work along with a few lectures on color, composition and framing. It was an absolutely stellar event for the collector as well as the artist. Inspiring to say the least.

The next best thing to being there...check out their work online -

Clyde Aspevig
Tim Lawson
Len Chmiel
Dan Pinkham

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A hard day at the 'office'...

Yesterday, I was off to Yellowstone Lake to paint...with a kayak. I've always liked to combine kayaking and painting. My set up fits well in my boat and it gives me the opportunity to get a different vantage point. I've painted right from my kayak many, many times, but this time I paddled to a beautiful little beach on the shore. It does make it easier when the boat's not rocking!
A small study of Yellowstone Lake on my plein air easel - with the Lake in the background.

When  you're in Yellowstone there's a lot to see...

Some photos of my other sites along the way.

A Grizzly at the edge of the river.

A Great Blue Heron and Raven stand off.
A Great Blue Heron with an attitude.

They all scatter....
Catching a beautiful sunset on the way home.

All in a days work.....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekend plans.....

See you tomorrow at the Lewis & Clark Caverns....I'll be accompanying a friend, artist Carol Guzman, to the Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park tomorrow for a "Land Snorkeling" morning. If you can make it to Montana's first state park in Whitehall, Montana, be there at 9 AM for the kick off. Click on any of the above links for more information.

Meanwhile, enjoy the views from this morning
in the world's first National Park....
(a lot of 'first' Parks around here!)