Ancient artists portrayed their animal companions on the walls of the caves at Lascaux, and on the sandstone cliffs of the Northern Rockies. Throughout time, artists have portrayed our connection with our animal side through varied materials, traditions, and intentions.
Each of the artists featured in this show brings a lifelong appreciation of the animals of our region. Each has created unique expressions born of the wonder inspired by their relationships with other species. Animals are exalted as mysterious fellow beings – be they wild, stock, or domesticated – as they in turn ignite varied and personal expressions from every artist, and
All my life, I’ve been a horsey girl and have gotten to do just about everything on horseback, from foxhunting in Virginia to trailing cows in the Missouri Breaks of Montana; showing jumpers to starting colts. As a painter and sculptor my strength comes from depicting what I know: horses and cows, sheep, dogs — all the four-leggeds that I live with, and observe, daily. Cows and sheep both lend themselves to abstraction, because they have an endearing blockiness, and because they’re cud
chewers, and they lie around a lot. A horse is a lot of weight and power on perilously thin legs, balanced and beautiful, stalwart and frisky. It’s hard to better an honest horse.
I think of my wildlife paintings as a shared moment or encounter between the subject and the viewer. I intentionally use an “up close and personal” view of the animal instead of the more traditional perspective where the animal is viewed from afar. In each of my paintings, special attention is given to the eyes and the perceived expression of the subject. I would like the viewer to get a sense of the subject’s character and emotional being. For many years I worked in watercolor, painting mostly portraits and still life. I appreciate watercolor’s light and transparent qualities and know that my earlier watercolor years influence my current style of painting. I now work primarily in oils and enjoy the layering of color and texture that this medium allows.
The animal form can occupy space in a world that is shaped by wind and water. Ironically, it is the sky, the stones, and the plant life that bring movement to a piece, while the animal is still, poised, or hovering. More anchoring than kinetic.
I carve on wooden panels, using steel hand tools. These woodcarving panels are made from glued assemblages of boards which are carefully chosen to have matching grain. The panels present a carving surface that is consistent in color, like a blank canvas. I color my carvings with water based dyes, applied with a brush. The dyes are layered, mixed and partially sanded away, in a process that is both intentional and experimental.
As as kid growing up in New York State, I spent a lot of time outside in the woods and a lot of time drawing on paper. Looking back now, I guess I haven’t changed much. I’m either working in the studio or out walking the river, or perhaps on a bike or a pair of skis. That’s generally where I find ideas and inspiration. I hope my work awakens your senses.
In the summer of 2020, I was an artist in residence at Yellowstone National Park for 30 days. I started as many paintings as I could and sketched every day, filling an entire sketchbook. The wolves in Yellowstone especially drew my attention to interactions between animals. We were surrounded by
scientists and biologists also studying animals and their behaviors who explained what might be going on with the two species we were all watching. Some of the interactions involved wolves and grizzlies, wolves and bison, wolf and coyote, ravens and bison, raven and grizzly, the list goes on…I had so many stories by the end of the stay that I wrote a book called “30 days in Yellowstone.” I could use the inspiration that I obtained there for a lifetime.
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