Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sanpoil to South Dakota, painting my way to Maine

We discovered our first camp was a teepee on Rock Creek just west of Missoula, Mt. A pleasant way to start our adventure of painting my way across America.
Although it looks rough, we had a wonderful meal at the Stagecoach Inn that has been serving travelers four generations. We brought our own Cabernet from Sandpoint Winery that went well with both my Prime Rib and Bett's Dumpling Stew.

Saturday morning took us east to Yellowstone NP. I look forward to viewing sights painted by Bierstadt and Moran that I have always admired. I'm standing in front of Yellowstone Falls as seen from Inspiration Point. Unfortunately Moran painted from Artist's Point which was closed at the time due to construction. I could see the spot directily across the canyon from here. I have to say that his painting hanging in the National Gallery was an honest and true rendering of this marvelous landscape. I'm not sure of the exact demensions of his painting but it is grand, atleast 10'x 16' perhaps bigger. He did many watercolors of this sight that captured the extraordinairily complex colors that make up the canyon walls. His effort helped convince congress to make Yellowstone into one of the first National Parks.

Alfred Bierstadt of the Hudson River School, c. 1850, also painted in Yellowstone. Bierstadt also ventured out west to return to New York where he sold tickets to view his huge landscapes as if they were movie matinees. Although photography was in its infancy, artists such as these, using the skill of their hands and the magic of their imagination made a legend of the phenomenal beauty of our world, so much so, we have set such landscapes aside for future generations to appreciate. The artist makes the ordinary, extra ordinary and makes the extrordinary, timeless.

In such a fashion have Americans come to inheret such timelessness by the hand of Guston Borglund who dovoted his life to the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore. It is interesting to compare the efforts of those that have recorded nature as Moran and Bierstadt have done, to the altering of the landscape to memorialize man's place in time. Moran and Bierstadt memorialized nature using Art, Borglund memorialized Art by using Nature.

I captured the Absaroka's at sunrise from the east side of Yellowstone. 8"x24" oil

A sketch of Lamar River and Elk Mt in Yellowstone. 6"x18" oil