As I head to Black Tie and Blue Jeans this evening, which is a fundraiser for the hugely talented Great Falls Symphony, I thought I would send out this poster for their last big party of the season, “Gourmet of the West”. I will be doing a painting, to be sold that evening. Not this cowboy, probably a regional landscape… I hope to see you at one of these events!
Many painters, myself included, are attracted to the “has-beens” as subject matter – old broken down cars and buildings, rusty things. The sagging structures, rusting or flaking finishes on these beauties, often found in equally interesting surroundings are all eye candy for a painter! They’re so much more interesting that clean lines, right angles, perfect paint jobs! As art can often be about story, these relics are rich in that regard!
Dove was the pen name of Christine Quintasket, a Salish woman born in 1884 in
Idaho. In 1904, she enrolled in the Fort Shaw Indian School in Montana. She
witnessed the 1908 roundup of the last free-ranging bison herd, an event that
had a profound effect on her. Her novel, Cogewea, the Half-Blood, (1927) was
the first known published novel by a Native American woman. It explored the
plight of the mixed blood (or “breed”), who lived in both white and
Mourning Dove is oil and metal leaf on board, 36×24
Deer, obviously, and especially Mule Deer are some of my
favorite subjects. I enjoy their graceful presence and beauty. I especially
like painting the does, and avoid the widely popular subject – the trophy
antlered bucks. I prefer to focus on the essence of the animal, and not their
As hunting season is upon us, I hope you hunters will take pause, treat these beings with respect, and appreciate the ultimate gift they may give you.
“Looking Together in the Same Direction” is oil and metal
leaf on board, 16×20.
I’ve been painting some still lifes lately and am really enjoying doing them. They too are “painted from life”, but without the hassle of dragging your equipment outdoors and dealing with the elements, bugs and changing light during the plein aire painting process.
Painting from life is so important, as you see much nuance of color, light, shadow and depth that is lost in a photograph, even with today’s great technology.
In the north country where you have memory of what winter can be, summers are especially appreciated by both man and beast. This mallard is enjoying a beautiful summer day in a favorite place, a lily pad cove.
Sweet Summer is an oil, 11×14, and will be for sale at the Coeur’ d Alene Gallery’s Miniatures by the Lake Show on September 21, 2019.
Many deer share this home place with me, and I never seem to tire of painting them. I loved the lost and found aspect of this subject, as the late light of day did it’s best to camouflage the subject. Ah, but for that last bit of light.
For some reason these old vehicles call out to be painted. This one was no exception. I played up the blue and orange dynamic, and was interested in the dormant line of trees behind the truck. I tend to like landscape subjects that offer good, level horizontals, as does this. I often exaggerate that as well, feeling that the horizontal is important in tying the subject to the ground.
I can appreciate this painting more now, a month or so past
our Winter From Hell. The five weeks
of very cold temperatures and lots of snow became too much here! This scene is
not near home however. It’s on the west slope of the Tetons, near Driggs, ID.
Stevens’ work reflects the small daily wonders of the land she calls home: the first crocus of spring, the resilient beauty of the plains, or that special sense of hope and possibility that is only found in the West. Stevens is also interested in regional history, particularly the interactions of Native Americans and white settlers during the Reservation Period. Many of her paintings are an exploration of this dynamic and a meditation on the “taming of the West.”
From Billings, MT, Laurie began her career as an artist in Los Angeles where she spent 12 years working for the entertainment industry as a scenic artist and muralist for television, theme park, theater and movie productions. She spent time as a member of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, lending her talents to many Disney theme park projects worldwide. She also did some set design, illustration, and matte paintings for several animated childrens’ movies.
In the 1980’s Stevens returned to her native Montana, first to the mountains near the Scapegoat Wilderness and then to the ranch near Great Falls where she currently lives and works.