Plein Air 2016
Park County, MT. August 6-12, 2016 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.
Click below to view prospectus and register for this event:
Registration is now closed, please feel free to email us in order to be added to the waiting list.
Signature Member Oil Painters of America
Artist Statement: 1975: in the midst of a clambering Pakistani market place, unable to speak the language…
I became aware of the importance of the common bonds that universally unite us all. The necessity to communicate these visions, feelings and emotions became paramount.
Art became my language.
I have chosen as my subject matter the simple, beautiful touching moments that are common both in nature and in the life of every person. These are the moments that often pass without notice and are the very ones that lend continuity to our lives and contribute to its richness and depth. These moments are the language I use when I paint.
As in any meaningful conversation, the structure of the message must be clear. Thus, my color, brush strokes, textures and composition are carefully chosen, like essential words, to convey to the viewer the message that I wish to impart. My studies of classical art techniques began when I was a child and will always continue as I strive for better clarity and higher achievement.
As words are carefully chosen for a poem, I, too, limit my brush strokes and detail to relay just enough to give the viewer my thoughts and involve their imagination. I purposely leave areas of my paintings in mystery for the viewer to become engaged in the story. I strive for each painting to be a poem rather than a novel. Some of my loose paintings are like haiku poems that are simple impressionistic vignettes. While some of my paintings are like sonnets, more spelled out in detail.
Through the medium that I have chosen, I strive continually to develop a rich and colorful dialog in a language that will reach the heart.
This Year’s Plein Air Artists
Steve grew up on a dude ranch that was located on the Sweet Grass/Park county line on the main Boulder. From childhood Steve has had an interest in painting and nature and his paintings reflect this interest. “I look forward each summer to the Plein Air On The Yellowstone. This show gets me out of the comfort zone of my studio and into the challenges of painting out in the real world.”
CHRISTIE AMERICAN HORSE
Christie American Horse grew up without coloring books. Her father, Fred, would draw any of the Disney or Looneytoons characters, along with his own made up cartoons and animal drawings. She grew up drawing, coloring and painting. Christie holds a degree in Fine Art from Northwest Nazarene University and is working on her Masters of Art in Pastoral Studies. She was recently honored to be selected as one of the Livingston Urban Development Agency A.R.T. Project artist with her painting Piggyback Mama (Bears) at 5th and Park, erected on the utility box. Christie is an award winning portraiture artist, being self-taught in portraiture, with some guidance from her Dad, and her work hangs in many private collections, including President Obama (her son and his school group took a portrait of Presidents Obama and Lincoln to the White House. It had a hand written copy of the Gettysburg Address on the back, along with the groups names signed in gold). Christie also paints wildlife and animals, and landscapes in a variety of mediums.
“When you painted on earth…it was because you caught glimpses of heaven in the earthly landscape” ~C.S.Lewis
I can say undoubtedly this is why I paint. When I first attempted oils, I painted landscapes; living in Montana has given me a visual paradise. I painted the sky for years, then noticed the landscape, the wildlife and farm animals. There is an endless supply of material to paint from right in my back yard. Literally, there are days I go into my studio with such enthusiasm because of the amount of wonderful paintings I have yet to do.
Soon after I was married I took a painting course at the University I had graduated from several years before. I will never forget my professors comment when he critiqued my full body of work, “ There is a Presence that is very apparent in your paintings.” Unfortunately, I did not pick the brush up again till 2 decades later. When I did it was like I had come home and all my previous art experience would add to this new medium. Taking a class on painting people would also move me into an unexpected avenue in my artistic journey. When I successfully painted my first person I was happily surprised. I took the class because I was so afraid of failing when it came to people. Now, I am hooked, I paint with a wonderful group of artists every week with a live model.
Painting has the power to bring us into an intimate encounter with beauty and touch places within us we didn’t realize existed. I desire to go deeper into that experience; I sense the presence of God when I paint, and I hope that comes through my work.
Being primarily a wildlife painter I am usually working in my studio using reference photos, so when I get the chance to paint Plein Air it is a refreshing change for me. I enjoy the challenge of selecting a subject, creating a composition, and capturing the colors and mood of a scene on site. It is also quite rewarding to finish a piece in a shorter period of time. Often I like to “zoom in” to inspect a subject close up. Working in both acrylics and oils I will often use a palette knife to create the textures I desire.
HELEN PAULETTE DONVAN
Always the visual world is fueling my feelings and opening the doors to intuition and possibility. A few years ago Plein Air silk Batik painting rocked my world. It’s challenge has drawn me in~~ deeper and deeper, allowing me the powerful joy of immersing my entire being into the present moment. A living, breathing meditation ~ healing body, mind and soul. I choose to have many of my works tell a story. Often the story takes preference over details. I allow sizes, colors and placements to be flexible (unrealistic) to emphasize a particular aspect of the tale. I love the long and narrow format (11”X60” and longer)~a single slice of the whole. It enables me to distill the essential elements as a Haiku poem does. Imposed limits that refine.
When you create a painting in nature, it allows you to slow down, and open your entire self to that moment of sights, sounds, breezes, aromas which are in constant, and at times, disruptive motion. Surprisingly you find you have captured the essence of this ever changing moment. Our intuitive self immediately receives and understands these vibrations.
I work on fabric exclusively. Tactile, intimate and practical, my “Breezes” ( AKA ~ scarves, bandanas, “TV Breezers”, wall hangings etc) are so much more than a fashion accessory or fine art piece. Imbued with this Plein Aire experience, I believe they carry energy to inspire, protect, and remind us to “Be Here Now”. They are meant to be handled and often wrapped around you, They come alive in breezes.
Energy must flow! I now encourage others to capture their own meditations, thoughts, emotions, feelings. Step out of “The Box” into Our natural environment. Just taking the time to let go and “BE”~ creating from this centered place ~opens you up to the magic that is always around and available. I have designed several workshops that I guarantee allow artists of all creative levels to complete a tangible memento of their personal experience ~individually or with a few friends or family.
Catching Breezes is quite contagious!
Tom Eversman grew up hunting and fishing along the Mississippi River in Burlington, Iowa. His undergraduate and graduate studies were at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He transferred the love of wildlife to his early paintings, focusing on creatures such as ducks, geese, pheasants, Hungarian partridge, elk, deer, and his hunting dogs.
After retirement from teaching art in the Bozeman, Montana, public schools, he changed his emphasis to “pleine aire”, or landscape painting, done on location, mostly in the Bozeman area. The streams, mountains and valleys of the area lend themselves to his loading his art gear into the back of his pickup truck, and painting the local scenery on location.
While spending time in Arizona, he expanded his artwork to include the varied landscapes of the southwest, including the breathtaking parks of Utah, and especially Arizona – the Sonoran desert, and the grass and oaklands of the southeastern part of the state.
A highly skilled illustrator, his pen and ink drawings of subjects illustrate also his mastery of the art of drawing. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of the Rockies, Tom Nygard Gallery, Hole in the Wall, Montana Trails, Moonlight Basin, and is in many private collections.
Most of my work has been done for personal enjoyment and the pleasure I get by giving it away to friends. On occasion I have accepted commissions to do drawings or paintings for friends or organizations. I have donated work for fund raisers for numerous organizations including the Society for Range Management, Wyoming Chapter Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Murie Audubon Society, and the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center located in Casper, Wyoming.
At the moment I consider myself an “Artist in progress”. I am constantly trying to improve my skills and learn new techniques. For the last eight years I was focused on my career and other personal goals and did very little art work. Now that I am retired and have relocated to Livingston I am trying to devote more time to art. In addition to creating the best art that I am capable of I would eventually like to display and sell my work.
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.
Built a successful design studio creating illustrations for national print publications before moving interests onto creating fine art.
Some of the places that have shown my work are the Florida Banker International Exhibition at Disney World, the San Bernadino County Art Museum Show, the Holter Museum ANA Show, the Nicholason Museum Show, the C.M. Russell Masters in Miniature Shows, the Yellowstone Art Museum Art Show and Auction, the Governor’s Mansion Show, the Painted Buffalo Roam Project in West Yellowstone, and numerous gallery shows from New York to Seattle.
While painting for eleven years now, I have come to enjoy the emotional forces that pass through me. From the immense beauty surrounding us in the outdoors to the intense visuals that come from within, trying to bring the painting to an artful completion that speaks to the viewer is a daunting and very gratifying journey.
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.
Born and raised in Sidney, Montana, I received formal art training from Montana State University Bozeman and California State University Fresno. After teaching/Gallery Director at California State University Fresno, serving as Executive Director of the Fresno Arts Council, and exhibiting both nationally and internationally for many years, I returned to Montana in 2009 to paint full time. I’ve spent the last three years researching early homestead locations of family and community members from the MonDak region. My summer 2015 Artist Residency at the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska provided valuable research and imagery for my artwork. A book publication and a solo show of this collection is scheduled for April 2016 in New York City’s Artifact Gallery.
“We are but passing pages in the history of this land. Pockets of memories made while growing up in rural Montana provide a critical connection to the past.” Visit www.carolhartman for additional information. I begin my artwork with en plein air sketches on-site, coupled with photography, then move into my studio for completion of the larger pieces.
Tim grew up on a small ranch in the Colorado mountains, cultivating a love of the outdoors and especially the Rocky Mountains. Tim holds two degrees from the University of Colorado, in well, not Fine Arts, but did study art at the Arts Students’ League of Denver and 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 gets his inspiration from growing up and living in the West. His childhood was spent exploring the rim rocks surrounding Billings, Montana and his teen years calling the “North Entrance to Yellowstone”, Gardiner, MT his home. He served in Vietnam in 1969-70 and soon after returned to Gardiner. While going to college he began his Federal career, working summers in Yellowstone Park, on Mt. Holmes as a fire lookout, and later as a wildland firefighter. In 1978 he received his B.F.A. from the University of Montana concentrating on drawing, printmaking and painting. He always had a dream that he would paint fulltime after he retired. In 2011 that dream came true. Les currently lives in Boise, Idaho. Today, most of his time is consumed painting plein air, or in the studio painting larger landscapes, fish, and wildlife.
Sheila Hrasky was born June 23,1970 in Northern Illinois. She moved to the southwest to attend the University of New Mexico. Subsequently applied to the Art Institute of Chicago and Rhode Island School of Design. Accepted to both schools, she choose RISD. A year later, missing the western landscape, Hrasky returned to New Mexico earning her degree in Art in 1994, with a focus in Ceramics. Her first gallery representation was on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. By 1996 she was represented by more than a dozen galleries across the country. In 2002 Hrasky turned her focus solely to painting. She has participated in several invitational shows, receiving numerous awards for Plein Air painting. She has work in private collections around the world. Hrasky currently shows paintings in her gallery, located in her hometown of Livingston, Montana.
Sheila Hrasky Gallery
113 West Park Street, #2 Livingston, MT 59047
Everything in life has energy. Everything around us is catching light. When light falls on a subject in such a way that the viewer gets excited, energized, and awed we feel inspired, alive, renewed, restored, invigorated, or at peace. Artists through out history have attempted to capture this brilliance. When our eyes fall on a painting that captures this awe and invokes personal emotion we too want to spend time diving in to this painting or sculpture and explore this energy- this life force. I’ve felt this all my life and with time and courage I dove in to create my own works, no longer satisfied with being on the outside of creativity. Plein air painting has always felt most true to me. It requires honest guttural interpretations of a scene that has inspired me and at the same time is fleeting in moments. Everything else falls away as the focus of the subject receives my concentration, my awe, my emotion. One becomes a part of that scene. An intimacy develops. Things happen in the midst of your painting. A humming bird stops by to drink the nectar from your lilies as you paint them, a praying mantis flies onto your floral still life, a blue jay takes respite on a chair that is your focal point. You meet a nearby neighbor. In a foreign country people pause and stop a moment , they look you in the eye, smiles are exchanged, bella Bella. Life is felt. A deer walks out from the trees, two fawns follow uninhibited by your presence. The Hawks screech in flight and return to the nest in the cottonwoods you are painting. Your children’s laughter is heard in the distance. A glimpse of a grizzly sends you packing. An angry bull sends you running abandoning it all. Experienced, life felt, challenges risked. Failures abundant, but success arrives time and time again to nudge me to explore more, study, risk failing, grow-grow and live this call to document that which comes from within. Life-awe, a gift that beckons to be shared. After time at the easel I notice the lifeless pallor has left my face and my colorful complexion returns with a knowing that all will be well, affirming to paint more and live life artfully.
Beauty is always my purpose, whether I am creating a canvas, a sculpture, or a piece of furniture.
I began my life as an artist in Montana. As a child I took in the great landscapes with every breath — mountain ranges in every direction, living drama in the sky, rich palettes of color. Outside every day we had the freedom to construct our own lives. I began to watercolor at age 12, and have never stopped making art. My architecture degree gave me a strong foundation in design and aesthetics.
Moving through different media — oils and watercolors, sculpture, and furniture — gives me an endless pathway to explore themes and ideas. I want to add beauty to the world, and each piece offers the hope that I just might succeed.
Steve Spencer, an Idaho native has been creating works of Art, as a professional, for 47 years. He is proficient in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pencil. The landscapes and wildlife that he paints represent places and animals he has viewed personally. His paintings are the fruit of rigorous contact with the source, the hours he spends in front of an easel are preceded by weeks in contact with the subject of his paintings. Steve’s work is an articulate expression of his love for the delicate weave of extremes that is the West. He finds individual purpose in his creations, allowing his work to speak for itself. He has recently become familiar with Park County, Montana as he has participated in the Plein Air on the Yellowstone event for the past 5 years. His skill and expertise has been recognized and supported by the patrons of The Center for Art And Culture.
Since recently moving to the north side of Livingston, we are enjoying magnificent views of the Absaroka Mountain Range. I’ve gotten to know these mountains a bit more intimately from afar, and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at painting this mountain splendor en plain air at various times of day.
I’ve been a professional fine arts painter for decades, with collectors world-wide. I’ve been enjoying a living as a custom oil-portrait-painter for the last 8+ years. My resume includes a dozen solo shows (all on the west coast: Seattle, Portland, Spokane…) as well as about 50 group shows. I’ve been featured in some magazines, newspaper articles & blogs, as well as putting out my own monthly newsletter.
Robert Spannring is a Contemporary Montana Western Artist, in painting and sculpture,
who creates painted stories through abstract, impressionist, representational compositions that spark questions about the changing American West.
“Robert Spannring creates painted stories about the changing American West”
Robert loves challenges, an artist who enjoys new discoveries, exploring ways to express creative ideas. A studio, plein air, illustrator/painter for the past 30 years finds delight in creating painted stories about Yellowstone and the Montana landscape. His heritage is a native Montanan, born in Livingston under a bright Montana winter night, the youngest of eight, when large families were the norm. Both his Mom and Dad grew up on family ranches in the Big Timber area and it is no wonder Robert ended up on a ranch in Paradise Valley. The Land has always been Robert’s inspiration. Robert grew up, sneaking away from school to go outside, draw the landscape and animals along the river bottom, exploring what might be around the next corner.
These days 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’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, 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, Netherlands) 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 Nature-works Show and People’s Choice at Plein Air on the Yellowstone.
C. DAVID SWANSON
C. David Swanson is an award winning western contemporary-realist painter, working in oils, watercolor and charcoal. He and his family have lived in Livingston, Montana for over 17 years. Since beginning his professional fine arts career in 1997, Swanson has shown and exhibited frequently in Montana and several states around the country, including his MAGDA exhibition, Sweat and Steel, which toured the state from 2010-2012. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BFA from Montana State University. He paints a wide variety of subjects–architectural, figurative, landscape and portraits, and plein air. His paintings are in private, corporate and public collections in the U.S. and abroad.
[Visit David’s website at: www.davidswansonart.com]
Living in Paradise Valley for 25 years has presented endless vistas to paint. I have always been a plein air painter, it’s the whole reason that I started down this path. Being fortunate to study with some of the best western plein air artists has taught me important lessons along the way.
Painting in oil or pastel helps me share my vision of the landscape. I paint because it makes me happy, and my personal goal is to strive to be more “painterly”. Sometimes I win!!
Maria Sorce Westland
The Grandeur, Mystery and Majesty of the evocative Montana landscape endlessly fascinate my European eyes and sensibilities. Walking my dog or hiking the Big Sky trails, as an observer, I am overwhelmed by plenitude. I am grateful for the magnificence I find in Nature and I thank God for his creation. Wind, fragrance, sounds and the feeling of freedom, all shape a unity to the world and is the essence of my inspiration. Even the smallest wild flower is to be valued and admired as it has been so generously and freely gifted.
My husband and I divide our time between Belgium and the Big Sky country. I have settled into a lifestyle of painting and cooking which honors my traditions and heritage.
2016 Local Corporate Sponsors:
Huppert, Swindlehurst and Woodruff
LTS Architecture, Lucas T. Schad, AIA
For all your art supplies for the week, check out the selection at Sax & Fryer.
Livingston’s Ace Hardware
This year’s Corporate Sponsors:
GOLDEN ARTIST COLORS, INC
of New Berlin, NY