Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Indulging in great art

Currently, there's some great art to be seen in the Seattle area. So we took a quick trip out to indulge.

The Nicolai Fechin exhibit at the Frye Museum was my favorite of the bunch. I thought it might be, since I've always loved his work - both his drawings and paintings. But the exhibition is SPECTACULAR. Above and beyond. It did not disappoint.

The show is large - broad and encompassing. Mostly portraits, (his strong point) with some landscapes and still life mixed in. The amount of his work seen together at the show really made it 'jaw dropping'.

Unfortunately, they don't allow photography in the exhibit, so I have no photos to post. BUT, they have a wonderful catalog of the show. If you can't make it to Seattle, the catalog is the next best thing.
In lue of photos from the exhibition, I'll supply a lot of other references....

To view the Frye Museum site for a few images, more info or to inquire about the catalog... click here.

Loads of random Fechin images to illustrate his amazing work - both drawings and paintings.... click here.

To learn even more about the man and his time living and painting in Taos New Mexico, click here.

In the Frye's other exhibit area with their permanent collection, they did allow photography. They had some gems -

Always exciting to see a piece by Emil Carlsen - another one on my list of favorite painters...

Some other great pieces in their permanent collection....

Close up to show detail and brushwork

The Seattle Art Museum has a European Masters Show going on that was good. The definte highlight of that show for me was the Rembrandt self portrait. They use it as the image to advertise the show, so you can see it here.

I'll keep my 'art history' lesson from our travels to small bites. Easier to digest that way.

Next up, Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943) - a female painter in Yellowstone and beyond. Very interesting woman in her time. Stay tuned.

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our windows -
Photos of elk, I took from the office this morning. 

This photo is from the 'outskirts' of our Yellowstone Zoo. About a mile away - but a good wildlife photo to share....
Group of big horn sheep rams.
This time of year, there may be more wildlife in town than people!
Now, with all the new art inspiration....back to the easel I go!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On it's way to bronze....

John's been working on this big horn sheep sculpture on and off for about a year. Currently it's in clay, but it's just about ready to go to the foundry to be bronzed.


I'll let John tell you about his work...

We see the sheep quite often around Gardiner and their acrobatic rock climbing skills are amazing to watch.  For a creature that is built like a small bulldozer to leap from ledge to ledge, climb almost vertical cliff faces and bound around like a ballerina on the high wire makes it a challenging subject to depict.  The vertical composition of this piece strives to show not only the amazing build and beauty of big horn sheep, but also the intense vertical geology of their daily habitat.  It will make a great addition to the gallery... we'll have to display it on a HIGH shelf.

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos out our windows -

We're still watching eagles a lot on the Yellowstone River.

This one caught a fish - right before I had my camera, of course!

I was hoping the eagle would fly a little higher,
in front of this bison herd that was across the river.
Then I could have got them in the same shot!

Just outside our "Zoo" in Gardiner Montana...
Living along the northern migration route for bison, there are a lot outside Yellowstone Park in our area right now...out our windows, and walking down the road too...
That's the Roosevelt Arch (north entrance to Yellowstone) in the background.

Only attempt this shot from the safety of your car.

Just in case you might think we've been 'resting on our laurels' after the studio project - (you must not know us well enough yet!)
Here's a peek at the current building project....
A greenhouse!
With our great southern exposure here on the property - we HAD to! Oriented south to capture as much solar energy as we can, we built it into the bank with rock walls. Hopefully, that mass will hold the heat in during the cold winter months. And in the summer, the vented windows and doors will let the breezes cool it off.....theoretically. We hope to be testing it out VERY soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We are IN!

Our NEW studio....
A lot of our work in there - 
both in the building itself, our art work and our lighting.
It's nice to step back and enjoy it for a moment! 

Now, it's time to get back to work....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Painting Class

March Art Madness
A few of my favorite things...
my tools of the trade.
I'll be teaching a painting class beginning March 5, 2013 here in the NEW studio. Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 PM. 4 classes for $100. Beginner to Advanced. Class size is limited.

If you haven't heard about this already, please sign up on our mailing list - CLICK HERE and you'll be the first to get our news and announcements.

Contact me anytime with questions or to register....  or 406-848-9449.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Moving in...

We're getting VERY close....
Progress Report:
Moving the chandelier -
John taking the chandelier down...
(No, even though the photo looks like it -  he's not holding it with one  hand. Although, it sure would be easier if he could!)
And that's me getting the chandelier ready to hang in it's final home.
Yes, we're moving into the new studio!

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from the windows -

This time of year, it's a rare day NOT to see wildlife out our windows.
Today, we saw the bison that have been 'hanging around' that I photographed for the last blog post, pronghorn and deer across the river, and eagles. We saw otter tracks at the river but haven't spotted them as of yet.

Here are photos of some of the deer in our yard today that, along with those bison, are helping to keep the grass trimmed...

Mule deer

Mule deer fact of the day:
The annual cycle of antler growth is initiated and controlled by changes in day length.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bison inspiration

We made the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce facebook page - thanks to Barb in the office who was driving by and got a wonderful shot of bison in front of our gallery...

Check out her great photo of bison in our yard  - (just click on the colored text)

And for the 'facebook challenged', like me - here is a photo I took out our window (no need to click and go to the facebook site for this one... although Barb's photo IS much better)
Our Yellowstone Zoo

Bison Art Walk
 Looking at the art in our display window while grazing in the yard.

So I've had bison on my mind.

I've been thinking about doing a large bison painting. But generally that means I start with a plein air study....

Why not plein air paint some bison??

I went into Yellowstone to find some subjects napping that might lie still and cooperate.... And there they were, near Blacktail Plateau...

Thinking they may decide to get up and leave at any moment, I did a small FAST study.
However, they were very cooperative and didn't even move a bit. I wouldn't have had to paint as fast as I did. But I got the basic information down. Here's my quick study...

So I drove through the Park on a 'bison hunt' to get the wheels turning on a larger bison painting.

A lone bull crossing the Gardner River...

And getting out of the water on the other side...
A 'bison jam' - - Much easier to walk down the road than trudge through all that snow!
Extreme close up - (remember I was in the car NOT plein air painting when I took this shot, luckily!)

An interesting shape they created in their path...

A new calf was with this group - still had some of his orange coloring. This one was certainly not born when he was 'supposed to be', but looked to be doing just fine...

Sunset in Lamar Valley with a bison herd in the foreground....
I liked the pattern in the snow with the four bison - great abstract shapes!

Beautiful colors just after sunset in Lamar Valley with a very distant bison herd. Look at the color of that snow!
And that was my painting inspiration tour for a bison studio painting - which you will see in the future. But first you may see some "bison plein air" again as I sort through all the ideas swimming in my head. I need to decide which one will make it to the top of the pile!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

TWO first time events

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our windows -

The FIRST bison seen in 2013 out the windows of the NEW studio...

We've seen bison on the school football field and walking through the Roosevelt Arch at the North entrance already this year, but I hadn't photographed them out our windows yet in 2013 - until today!

If you hurry - they usually move slowly - you could probably still see them right out front.

AND, the FIRST beaver we've EVER seen here in the Yellowstone River....

Just a few blog posts ago, I mentioned that we had been called "2 busy beavers". We are! - so how appropriate to see beaver out our windows, swimming by. 
VERY interesting rodents - one of the largest in the world. And boy are they skilled at 'home building'! Here's a short 3 minute video from BBC Animals that makes you appreciate their lodge building skills.
And how's the new studio coming along??
Progress Report:
The walls are painted, the floors are finished and the trim is going up!