Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This blog is moving...

 What??! You're moving?
Elk Surprise by Shirl Ireland
Like I tell my children - The only thing I can guarantee is that 'it will change'. Everything does. Change is the only constant.... and so it goes....

This blogging platform has not been liking my current browser. That's what the error messages say anyway. So I've been trying out a new blog spot and web site platform specifically set up for fine artists. Now it's time to 'flip the switch'. A new blog for a new year.

To continue to follow along, check out my new blog now located at

I have a new website there ( devoted to painting and classes that you can look over, too.

If I get the browser problem figured out, I may 'resuscitate' this blog address in the future. But I'd post that info on the new blog if/when that time comes. So for now....

Hope you like the changes. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the new site when you 'stop by'....
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
 Enjoy the change of 2015....
Happy New Year!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hot off the plein air easel...

This week, I was painting in Plein Air on the Yellowstone through the Livingston Center for Art and Culture. I was asked to do the demonstration for the group on Monday morning to kick it off.
Thirty artists participated in the event. At the beginning of the week, we all had our blank canvases stamped to verify that we started 'fresh'. Then we were sent out to paint (outside) in Park County.
I like to challenge myself as an artist, so I attempted some more difficult subjects to capture and a little larger format. I was happy with my results...
Long Ago And Far Away  20" x 20" oil  plein air
by Shirl Ireland

An old homestead in Paradise Valley I've admired for a long time.

Curves & Angles, Yin & Yang  20" x 20"  oil   plein air
by Shirl Ireland

This was the week of the 'Super Moon', and here in Big Sky country is can be glorious!
Painting outside is always the adventure...curious on lookers, random wildlife, with wind and weather mixed in to boot. Here are a few of my spectators from the week...
The paintings were hung yesterday at the Livingston Center for Art & Culture (on Main Street in Livingston MT) for the "Wet Paint Show" culminating our week of Plein Air on the Yellowstone, and will be up through Sept. 13th. 
Next Friday, August 22nd is the Livingston Art Walk, a good evening to view the Show, when there will be lots of other art is town to see as well. Hope you have an opportunity to stop in sometime and see our efforts from the week. 
Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our property -
I was out and about painting, but our guests on the property mentioned that they had been enjoying watching this big horn sheep hanging out in our yard...and sleeping on our deck!... Now, that would have been fun to plein air paint!
Big horn sheep in our yard.

Friday, August 1, 2014

It's show time!...again

Paradise Cabin  8" x 10" Oil   Plein Air
by Shirl Ireland
Wilderness Anthem - Bookends in bronze
by John Stacy
Yes, it's summer in Montana - the season of the art shows! And we're off to exhibit our work at another venue this weekend...Saturday and Sunday August 2nd and 3rd.

We were juried into the S.L.A.M. Festival in Bozeman Montana. SLAM stands for Support Local Artists and Musicians....we like that slogan! Everyone participating in the Show is from Montana. About as "local" as it gets. Should be a fun weekend.

And, we're ready to go!...just got back from setting up our booth in Bogart Park along Church Street in Bozeman. It all kicks off at 10 AM Saturday morning. We have a good spot....under the trees and across from the stage. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 11, 2014

2 things that don't last much longer....

1. Ruddy Ducks in full breeding plumage :
You don't always get to see a duck with a blue bill!

Fabulous early morning light on Floating Island Lake in Yellowstone made for some great photos of Ruddy Ducks. Hurry over, it won't last long!

A coot was there too - loved the colors and the reflections in the water....

2. Formaldehyde to Fine Art at the Livingston Center for Art & Culture :

The last day for our show is TOMORROW - Saturday July 12th. If you haven't made it yet, stop by before you miss it! It's a large show of our work, that we put a lot of effort into - and just like those blue bills.... NOW, is your chance to see it because it won't last much longer.


Friday, June 27, 2014

It's a party....TONIGHT!

Tonight our show is up and the Art Reception will officially christen the event - from 5:30 pm - 8 pm Friday June 27th at the Livingston Center for Art & Culture on Main Street in Livingston, MT.

It coincides with the first Livingston Art Walk, so there will be a party in Livingston tonight... Don't miss it!

Hope to see you there...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Formaldehyde to Fine Art

Our show Formaldehyde to Fine Art is up and running!

Cat Nap (detail) in bronze by John Stacy

Big Horn Sheep in pencil by Shirl Ireland

Creek Crossing - grizzly in bronze by John Stacy
Stillness -  oil on linen  by Shirl Ireland
Snake In A Jar   oil on linen  by Shirl Ireland

Grizzly Skulls - female/male   oil on linen  by Shirl Ireland

Home Away From Home   oil on linen   by Shirl Ireland
Scouting The Valley (detail) wolf pair in bronze  by John Stacy
Blue Bird Family At Rest   oil on linen  by Shirl Ireland

Yellowstone Falls - plein air   oil on linen  by Shirl Ireland

Display case with Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center artifacts

Formaldehyde to Fine Art includes a wide variety of my paintings and drawings, from my pieces inspired by the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center's vast collection, to studio work and plein air studies throughout Yellowstone National Park. There is also a wide variety of John's bronze sculpture and some clay models, too.

In addition to the art work, there are actual artifacts loaned from Yellowstone National Park's collection of natural history specimens - from grizzly skulls to a snake in a jar from 1932. These are the subjects that inspired some of the paintings and drawings in the Show. There is a lot to see!

The Show will be at the Livingston Center for Art and Culture at 119 S. Main Street in Livingston Montana (406-222-5222) through July 12, 2014.

Stop by!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TONIGHT @ 7 pm - Art Talk & Slide Show

THURSDAY June 19th at 7 PM
at the Livingston Center for Art and Culture
on Main Street in Livingston MT 
I will be giving an Art Talk & Slide Show to kick off our current exhibit -
Formaldehyde to Fine Art
paintings & drawings by Shirl Ireland and sculpture by John Stacy

The Show runs through July 12, 2014 with a reception for the Show on June 27th.
Hope you can make it!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bird Festival starts TOMORROW

It's all about birds this weekend.

The Montana Audubon 15th Annual Bird Festival is being held in Bozeman Montana this year - June 6th - 8th. I'll be set up with my bird drawings and paintings at the headquarters of the event... the Grantree Inn on 7th Ave on Friday and Saturday.

So I was thinking birds this week and painted the red tail hawk head study at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.

Red Tail 12" x 9" Oil
by Shirl Ireland
See you at the Bird Festival!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Births and Birds

We’ll start with the Birds….

This weekend, I’ll be exhibiting at the Montana Audubon Bird Festival in Bozeman Montana – along with my good friend Carol Guzman. Stop by and see us! There’s also a lot of birding field trips and speakers planned if you like to join in the festivities. For more info, click here.

At the Bird Festival, I'll have a variety of my bird pencil drawings and bird oil paintings. I've been working on a pelican painting - What fun! Here's a preview of my color study that you can see up close and personal at the Bird Fest. My current work in progress...
Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our property -
Absolutely gorgeous birds visiting this time of year here. And I've been lucky enough to get some good photos.
Lazuli Bunting
Western Tanager
We've had a small flock around our property for several days now.
A treat to watch... and photograph!
And now for our birth announcement-
Pronghorns were just born across the Yellowstone River from us. If you’d been reading my blog for sometime, you’ll know this isn’t "our first". But it’s ALWAYS so exciting! And this year, we watched 2 pronghorn mothers give birth. One to twins and one to a single fawn.

WARNING – The following photos may seem graphic to some.
Proceed with caution.
This year I was ready and waiting with my camera - so the photos 'tell it all'....


The second pronghorn mother's birth was harder and took a lot longer.

I took most of these from my deck and some out our living room window. I know - not many are lucky enough to witness something as amazing as this. And we see it right out our windows. We truly live in an absolutely incredible spot.