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10th Annual Plein Air on the Yellowstone

August 10, 2018 - October 6, 2018

Wet paintings exhibition on display from August 10 through October 6, 2018

Art Walk and Artists Reception -Friday, August 24th from 5:30 to 8.

This year’s awards were given by Bob Durden of the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, MT.

His selections were as follows:


1st Place Traditional, Tim Harvey, Sunset in Paradise

1st Place Contemporary, Shirle Wempner, A Path to Paradise

2nd Place Traditional, Bonnie Holmes, Morning, Eddy on the Yellowstone River

 2nd Place Contemporary, Tandy Miles Riddle, Yellowstone River Sunlight

3rd Place Traditional, Carol Barmore, View from the Yellowstone

3rd Place Contemporary, LeeAnn Ramey, Emigrant Gulch

2018 Poster Award Winner, Karen Garre, Marcia’s View

Honorable Mention, Thomas Earl English, Sheep Mountain

Honorable Mention, DG House, Peckinpah, and All this, too.

Honorable Mention, Robert Spannring, August Fields

Thank you so much to all of our sponsors, patrons, and community support for the 10th Annual Plein Air on the Yellowstone!


“Livingston, MT” by Tandy Riddle

Surrounded by four majestic mountain ranges, Park County offers a beautiful natural setting for relaxation and recreation along the legendary Yellowstone River.  The quaint and quiet town of Livingston is steeped in the history of Lewis & Clark, Calamity Jane, and Yellowstone National Park. Visual artists, writers, and musicians call Park County home.  We invite you to come and experience why so many are drawn to this inspiring area.  Artists will be painting from Wilsall to Cooke City and Springdale to the western border of Park County, Montana. Fun activities will be planned throughout the week ending with the Wet Paintings Exhibit. Early check-in begins the afternoon of August 3 and the event closes with an eight week Plein Air Exhibit to start the day of Saturday, August 11th.


VALERIE AMON Valerie is a Colorado-based painter who specializes in figurative, wildlife and landscape artwork rendered in an impressionistic style.

Light, shadow, color and brushwork are key elements in her paintings. Living in Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado gave Amon a deep appreciation for the diverse beauty of the West.  Her unique style was developed by combining elements of the areas where she’s lived with experiences painting and studying with her chosen mentors.

Montana born Amon’s award winning paintings have appeared in national juried exhibitions such as Oil Painters of America, Salon International, American Impressionist Society and Icons of the West, among others.  She has been featured in print publications such as Southwest Art and television programs including the Food Network’s “Food Nation” with Bobby Flay.

Valerie does a wide variety of commission work.  For more information, please visit Valerie’s website at valerieamon.com.

CAROL BARMORE Carol began her painting career in 2007.  Previous to this, she had been a full-time potter. “I found oil painting to be so satisfying.  With the ability to move the paint around with such fluidity and brilliance of color; I was instantly hooked on this medium.”

Carol continues to work in clay but sees a transition to a full-time painter.  “As much as I love making useful items in clay, I find my attention and creative excitement moving towards the canvas.” Her subject matter has taken a variety of turns from skyscapes to landscapes, and now her fascination with portraiture has captured her attention. “I took my first class in portraiture with Susan Blackwood because I was afraid to paint people.  After I attempted my first person, I was encouraged go somewhere with this. I am enthralled with the human face and want to explore the possibilities.  Pulling something out deeper than an exact representation is my goal.”

Carol’s desire is to engage the viewer and evoke a response.  She continues to grow and develop as an artist working towards a greater skill in painting, but more importantly to connect to our humanity in an intimate way.

PHILIP CARLTON Although his artistic roots are in contemporary portraiture and still-life, Philip Alexander Carlton’s passion for the past few years has been painting in the outdoors. As an outsider with no training in classical techniques, both his style and his compositions can be a bit unorthodox. He aims to avoid the most obvious subjects, in favor of a more ephemeral kind of beauty: moments of glorious light and color that grow and fade in only a matter of minutes. Recently, his paintings have served as a journal of his frequent travels throughout the Western United States.

THOMAS E. ENGLISH Tom has been a Montana resident for the past 26 years.  He is an avid outdoor painter as well as a studio painter and has traveled and painted throughout Montana and the West.  He has participated in many shows around the United States and his work has been widely collected.  English works primarily in oils and enjoys painting in a loose impressionistic, yet realistic style.  More recently he has been exploring the rich textures and bolder possibilities of palette knife painting.  His current inspiration comes from daily hikes and observations found on the Montana ranch he lives on and shares with his artist wife Shirle Wempner.

CHARLIE FIFIELD Charlie was born and grew up in Livingston, Montana.  After graduating from Montana State University in 1976, I began a career as a rangeland management specialist with the federal government. I spent most of my career working for the Bureau of Land Management in Casper, Wyoming.  I have always enjoyed being outdoors and my love of nature and chosen career path has guided my work as an artist.  Wildlife, vegetation and landscapes are the primary focus of my work.  I usually work in pencil and watercolor but also work in ink.  My art has been influenced by numerous artists and has changed over time as I became exposed to different mediums, styles, techniques and artists.  Western artists Charlie Russell and Frederick Remington influenced my early work.  Later, works by wildlife artist Robert Bateman and landscapes by Andrew Wyeth greatly impressed me.  I have always felt comfortable working in pencil because it is a medium I can control.  I have always liked watercolor but find painting with watercolor a challenge.  I am greatly impressed with artists who have mastered this medium and my goal is to one day master it as well.

The beauty of western landscapes, the diversity of vegetation, wildlife and geology provide the inspiration for my art.  It is my goal to capture the uniqueness of these features in drawings and paintings.  Often personal experiences guide the creation of my work which provides an emotional connection to the subject I am trying to display.

KAREN GARRE Living in Montana for almost 25 years has given me the opportunity to paint some of the most beautiful places in the country.  The paintings most often have three techniques – brush work, palette knife, and the most recently added, pouring.  The colors are my interruption of my feelings about the place. I strive to bring a feeling of joy about our land to the viewer.

CAROL HARTMAN Large colorful oil and cattle marker landscape paintings on Birch panels depict the rich history and the unique significance of the land touched by the people who homesteaded the West. The majority of my artworks are created to honor that history and that incredibly beautiful and remote landscape. Some locations are listed on old census maps. Some are found from early photos provided by Heritage Centers. With the help of many relatives and friends, more sites, some with treasured and weathered old buildings still intact, are being located. The resulting paintings reflect current visuals of those significant locations.

KELLY HARTMAN Following graduation from Western Oregon University with a BFA in painting, Kelly Hartman moved back home to Montana where she has spent the last five years working in the History Museum field. Evenings, she spends working on her art which includes a self-portrait and a daily photo blog.  She also works as a printmaker and designs mixed media jewelry.

TIM HARVEY Tim grew up on a small ranch in the Colorado Mountains, cultivating a love of the outdoors and especially the Rocky Mountains. That love has manifested itself in a lifelong passion for landscape photography and painting. Tim studied art at the Arts Students’ League of Denver and refined his techniques under the personal instruction of three of his favorite landscape artists. Tim is a member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA) and Southwest Montana Arts (SMArts). Tim lives in Bozeman, Montana and teaches at Montana State University.

LES HERMAN I was born in Billings, Montana in1950, moved to Great Falls in my teens, and to Gardiner in 1965.  The beginning of my senior year, I was kicked out of school, my parent’s house, and really had no place to go.  A compassionate friend named Rob Christie, took me under wing, helped me petition the school board to return to school and graduate that fine spring in 1968.  I lived with him for almost 6-months. He opened my eyes to the world of art.  Rob had graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, and gave me creative liberty to his studio, patiently guiding me on color theory and the fundamentals of oil painting.  We spent hours at night discussing art and exploring art history.  He was the first person to really inspire my creative spirit.

My professional career with the federal government in aviation, wildland fire and resource management has provided an opportunity for me to travel to some of the most beautiful landmarks in our great country and the world, from Alaska to Puerto Rico, Hawaii to Maine, twice to Antarctica, and so many memorable places in between.

My art studies at the University of Montana always stayed with me and provided the foundation for my artwork.  During my travels I always carried a sketchpad and watercolor kit, drawing and painting when time would allow.  Now, after a 32-year career with the Department of the Interior, I’m at a new crossroad in my life where painting and art can once again be my passion and avocation.

I’m not quite sure I have a particular style.  I just love to paint; it’s an act of doing.  The more I do, the more I learn.  I’m at a time in my life, that I just feel blessed that I can take the time and let my creative juices flow.  Through the years and continual travel, I still think Livingston, Paradise Valley, Gardiner, and the Greater Yellowstone area are the prettiest places on earth.  It always feels like home.  What better place for plein air painting.

BONNIE HOLMES: A native Californian, my artistic talent was encouraged at a very young age by both of my parents.  My father, who has always been an ardent admirer of beautiful design and art, expresses his artistic talent in wood, having made most of the furniture in his home.  My mother was an accomplished technical illustrator who used to admire the ‘freedom’ I expressed in my early watercolors.

Up until the early 1990’s, my focus was figurative work with the occasional still life.  Everything changed when I married and my husband, Tom, introduced me to fly-fishing.  Having been a city-girl, I was overwhelmed with the beauty surrounding me in the great outdoors.  The light, shadows, atmospheric effects of weather and the moment-to-moment changes in each hour of the day presented an altogether new set of challenges and, thus, ‘the landscape’ has become my “world” and focus in painting.

Since the mid-1990’s, when I was first introduced to plein air painting by Milford Zornes, I have continued my education through many workshops in the West and Northwest, with many notable instructors.  Mentoring has also been an important part of my artistic growth, both through art club memberships and along with my “painting” friends. Tom and I spend half of our time in Montana, the other half in Southern California.

BETSEY HURD My work combines a great love of the outdoors and of the mystery of wild things, with the contentment I feel being with the domestic animals that I know and love.

PENNY JAMRACK Penny is originally from England and has lived in several countries including Uganda, Australia and Mexico before moving to Texas in 1977.  She now plans to make Bozeman Montana her home after several years in Austin.   She has studied art in Australia, Texas and Montana and paints in watercolor and acrylic media, often plein air, inspired mainly by the exceptional natural beauty around us.   Other creative interests include making one-of-a-kind designer jewelry and mosaics.   She is a member of Southwest Montana Arts and her artwork has been exhibited and sold in Montana, Texas and Australia.

KAY POTTER Art is the ultimate expression for me, because meaning often gets lost or changed with words. But by using color, line, and composition to express feeling, art needs no words. I paint to produce a feeling — a thought or an expression — and to celebrate a shared experience.

I have always felt a strong connection with the landscapes and skies of Montana. Many times I have turned towards them and found comfort, solace and inspiration. Knowing that this wild world grows lives and moves around us frees me to focus on those things I find truly important- and to bring them forth in my art through shared western themes. I love our nature, I love our wildlife, and I love our people.

I paint with oil and acrylic because they are so versatile. When I start a painting, I keep my energy high, my sketches quick, and my first layers of paint expressive and raw to keep the emotion alive. I then refine the piece, working with color and line to find a balance between abstraction and representation. Often, towards the end, I return to quick, expressionist marks to build the energy of the piece. I want to push the abstraction and energy of a piece of art while still having it represent something tangible in our world and in our culture.

LEEANN RAMEY My paintings are contemporary expressions of color and texture. I am curious by nature and love the prospect of discovering something new — whether it’s experimenting with different mediums, paint, texture, subjects or the effect of a varnish or ink, I want to have fun and explore. I primarily paint in acrylic because the fast-drying time allows me to work quickly which produces a fresh, abstract quality that allows people to interpret the paintings how they choose and hopefully experience the same joy that I feel when I paint. Recently, I have begun painting with oil as well, using a palette knife.

I strive to make my work positive and uplifting through the use of bold energetic brushstrokes and colors, charcoal, collage, ink and scraping back into the paintings to create more texture. My subjects include abstracts, landscapes and figures. I also paint whimsical, bright, funky pet portraits by commission. I am excited to call Montana my home and look forward to finding out how life in the West will influence my work!

TANDY MILES RIDDLE I love the answers I find in paint, to the questions of the day, the light, my mind, & everything that brought me to that moment in time. For me it is definitely a dance. Armed with color and a ground. Brushes and my fingers. There is a call and response. And once begun an exquisite problem to solve. Knowing when to start, when to stop, when to pause, & when to go back. My relationship with my work is dynamic…always changing, evolving. As long as I am alive to be part of the equation. In some sense the next work I begin is the logical progression of the last. I assume this is actually true for everyone. I just happen to celebrate this aspect of art. This aspect of life.

ROBERT SPANNRING loves challenges, an artist who enjoys new discoveries, exploring ways to express creative ideas. A studio, plein air, illustrator for the past 30 years finds delight in painting Yellowstone and the Montana landscape. As a native Montanan, he was born in Livingston under a bright Montana winter night, the youngest of eight, when large families were the norm. His Mom and Dad grew up on family ranches near Big Timber.  Robert ended up on a ranch in Paradise Valley. The Land has always been Robert’s inspiration. Growing up he’d sneak away from school to go outside, draw landscape and animals along the river bottom, exploring what might be around the next corner. Currently, Robert is busy exploring ideas within the picture plane, a meandering stream, a sky interrupted, a season in mind, where the colors express, spring, winter, autumn,  or summer. You will find Robert out, in the land, painting just for the enjoyment, the chance to understand light, how to scribble paint across the canvas.

LYN STCLAIR Lyn’s work is based exclusively on her personal experience. She spends countless hours in the field watching the wildlife she portrays and exploring the country that inspires her work. Lyn’s paintings have won over 80 awards across the country, including Best in Show three years in a row at the Ward Museum Show.  Her work has been exhibited at the Tucson Museum of Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, and Bennington Center for the Arts, the West Valley Art Museum, the Hiram Blauveldt Art Museum and the Phippen Museum.  Other notable exhibitions that have included her work are Arts for the Parks Top 100, “Wild in de Natuur” (Enschede, Netherland) and the Society of Animal Artists’ Annual Shows.   Lyn’s work is in the permanent collections of the Bennington Center for the Arts and the Worrell Museum.  Recent awards include an Excellence Award at the Natureworks Show and First place traditional at Plein Air on the Yellowstone 2017.

C. DAVID SWANSON My goal always is to represent scenes and subjects that capture my gaze and lay a hand on my soul, causing me to pause and see; then to paint them as faithfully and passionately as possible, with all the energy and skill I can muster.  Somehow reflecting and refracting through my lens the beauty of creation, occasionally I create something which, in my eyes, has aesthetic value.  Hopefully, the painting then adds to the sum of beauty in the world.  If one must obey the impulse to create something, this seems like a valid objective.

KAREN THIEL About 20 years ago, I watched a plein air artist work her magic, and I’ve been “hooked” ever since, that’s when my painting journey began. I’m not a studio painter, I only paint on location. Working in oil or pastel, and sometimes using a palette knife gives me the opportunity to share my vision of the landscape.   Over the years, I’ve been very lucky to study with some of the best western plein air artists.  I feel fortunate to be “out there” painting what I love, and living in an area that has so much to offer.

JAMES K. VINCENT  I am a native of Riverton, WY. My grandfather was a homesteader in the Wind River country, near the Arapahoe and Shoshone Reservations. An appreciation for the land and its beauty was developed on many “exploring trips” along the backroads of Wyoming with my father.

I have been fortunate enough to live two very different lives, the first in the high tech world of interventional cardiology and the second as a pastel artist. At age 20 there was a great debate about art verses medicine. Eventually medical school won the debate. Drawing continued as a hobby, but my art became repairing obstructed arteries.

My pastels have been sold to collectors in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, California, Illinois, Louisiana and Nebraska. Pastels offer pure pigments in a sparkling array of colors and this works well with a somewhat abstract, impressionistic style.

SHIRLE WEMPNER Shirle Wempner was raised on a horse ranch on the outskirts of Billings, Montana.  Her experiences growing up on the ranch infused a great appreciation of nature and encouraged her to put to canvas the inspiration she experienced on a day to day basis.  Working predominately in oils and utilizing broad-brush strokes and palette knife techniques, she creates a feeling of impressionistic realism, concentrating on a painterly representation of the subject matter.  Shirle’s desired subjects are wildlife, western and figurative representations, incorporating contemporary and historical themes.

“The most enjoyable aspect of my process is allowing the creative spirit to take shape on the canvas.  I strive to connect with the viewer and ask them to participate in the visual completion of the subject matter by ‘implying’ the subject rather than rendering a more detailed result.  This, I believe, draws the viewer into the painting and allows them to more fully participate in the essence of the piece.  Emotions are what touch and form our souls, and a stirring of emotion is what I strive for in each piece I create.”

MARIA SORCE WESTLAND Born in Belgium of Sicilian parents, Maria grew up influenced by both cultures. She studied tourism and languages in Belgium, which exposed her to the long painting tradition of the Belgian masters and the Greek antiquities of Sicily.  She soon found her desire to paint leading her to art classes at Royal Academy of Art in Liege, Belgium and an oil painting workshop in Oupeye Belgium.  She thrived in the artistic environment of Art that was so different from her previous 25-year career in international business.

Maria’s paintings are inspired by her love and affinity for the countryside. Her European eyes now find grandeur, mystery and majesty in the landscape and natural wonders of Montana. Maria uses thick oil paint strokes to enhance the shapes of her subjects and lend texture to the essentials of the message she wishes to communicate. By mixing, merging and gathering these colors in harmony, her desire is to convey the fullness, the purity and the patterns of light and shadows that she embraces when she is out in nature.

Since she moved to Big Sky Montana, Maria studied with Elisabeth Robbins, Susan Blackwood, Howard Friedland, Jill Carver, Frank Serrano, Aaron Schuerr, Michael Ome Untiedt and is a Member of the South West Montana Arts (SMArts) and the Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP – Montana Art Council). Her work is found in Big Sky, Bozeman and Livingston.

This Year’s Corporate Sponsors Include:



August 10, 2018
October 6, 2018
Event Category:


Livingston Center for Art and Culture
119 South Main Street
Livingston, MT 59047