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.

A blend of Sonoma and Rembrant

Another artist retreat under the belt. This time Patris, Andy and I went to Winsor, Sonoma, Santa Rosa areas. Its wonderful to find amazing landscapes resting hours away from our homes. Like all our retreats they were packed full of painting days, artist conversation, good food, and inspiration. Keep reading to see some of our views and read my highlights. 

One of the challenges of plein air is finding the "spot" of inspiration. Going on the road to new territory adds to the complications of finding it. Then, just when you think you found it, try making three artist come to the same conclusion. Fortunately for us we were blessed with numerous locations of grandeur and rarely disagreed on spots that inspired.  I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that we painted at a lot of wineries that pride themselves on intriguing architecture and immaculate landscaping. Each winery we stopped at was quite generous to let us stake our claim for a few hours and paint. 

Wineries include: White Oak Winery - Healdsburg, Nicholson Ranch - Sonoma, Zichichi Family Vineyards - Healdsburg, 

Sneak Peek at upcoming solo show

I am finishing everything up for December's Solo Show at Gallery 21Ten. Reception - December 14, 4-5:30pm. I will also be present during part of the art walk from 8-9pm. Hope to see you there!

After Crush, Oil on Panel, 8x10 

I love plein air painting! It's great to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, brilliant colors, and in this case, enjoy wine tasting too! My class visited Bogel Winery - Clarksburg CA, this October to practice plein air painting. Bogel's property is peaceful and beautiful with many eye catching views. After looking around I found a spot that captured my interest. The rows of vines receded in the afternoon light while the lights and shadow of the trees in the background, danced in harmonious color.