Glacier National Park Painting Trip

One of this years painting expeditions took me to Glacier National Park in Montana. My artist friend, Patris, and I went for about a week. I loved getting to drive into the park every day to paint and see the amazing scenery. The snow, mountains, rivers, and trees created an enchanting atmosphere.

It was pretty warm in late June. We found this awesome little spot to paint one day. The breeze coming off the Flathead River gave us all day air conditioning. It was the perfect painting spot.

It was pretty warm in late June. We found this awesome little spot to paint one day. The breeze coming off the Flathead River gave us all day air conditioning. It was the perfect painting spot.

I've painted in a few different mountainous areas, but was surprised at how different these mountains felt. These mountains are so massive and seemed to hover all around us as we drove through the park.

At the summit. Like I said it was warm, so we were in shorts and tanks, but surrounded by snow. The snow pack is so deep and massive that it keeps snow on these peaks all year round.

At the summit. Like I said it was warm, so we were in shorts and tanks, but surrounded by snow. The snow pack is so deep and massive that it keeps snow on these peaks all year round.

Lunch break by the Flathead River in Glacier National Park.

Lunch break by the Flathead River in Glacier National Park.

I'm all set up along the Flathead River. It was probably the most comfortable place to paint in the park. We had shade, river breeze, and we were off the road.

I'm all set up along the Flathead River. It was probably the most comfortable place to paint in the park. We had shade, river breeze, and we were off the road.

Heaven's Peak - 6x8 - Oil. We found a spot to stop in the park with this view. It was a little challenging since we didn't have much shade and the bugs were biting so I painted small and fast. 

Heaven's Peak - 6x8 - Oil. We found a spot to stop in the park with this view. It was a little challenging since we didn't have much shade and the bugs were biting so I painted small and fast. 

There were many moving objects in my landscape. It was a great challenge to capture movement and feeling in a painting. I approached the moving water by looking for parts in the flow that had repetitious movements - like water running over a boulder. That helped me hone in on an area. Even though it was moving, it kept repeating similar movements. Painting the clouds were similar. I looked for over arching shapes and movement, then composed them onto my canvas. I resisted the urge to "chase the shapes" as the clouds moved. Instead I left my shapes alone and paid more attention to the colors and values of clouds around me. I used this information to finish them.