Monday, July 18, 2016

Montana Summer

Summer in Montana is like no other place.  The days are long, the temperature is not too hot, and the air is crystal clear.  It is a plein air painter's paradise.
The Classic View, Oil on Canvas   4"x6" 
The shores of Lake MacDonald in Glacier Park provide stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks including Mount Brown and Mount Vaught and is one of the most recognizable scenes in the park.

The Little Grove, Oil on Canvas   6"x8" 
A little grove of aspens sits 'at the bottom of the hill' for me in Montana's Smith Valley, situated between Kalispell and the small hamlet of Kila.  Ashley Creek meanders through and captured some nice reflections on this splendid summer morning.

Blue Vase Arrangement, Oil on Canvas   9"x12" 
This was painted on site at Kalispell's 'Flower's by Hanson' during their Friday night Taste and See event.  Their display case is always full of colorful flower arrangements which was the subject matter for this work.

Silvery St. Mary's, Oil on Canvas   6"x8" 
St. Mary's Lake took on wonderful silvery tones on this cool, overcast summer day.

Farmstead Sundown, Oil on Canvas   6"x8" 
From the Smith Valley, you get a peek a boo view into Glacier Park.  This is my view every time I drive into town.  The evening light illuminates it perfectly.

The Foreman

  Acrylic on canvas with oil accents  24"x30"
This is a larger version of the 8"x10" study in which I was able to further experiment with color excitement and harmonies.  I chose to paint in acrylic as I like to be able to go back into a larger work when it is fully dry.  With oil, you have to wait a few days but acrylic dries within minutes.  I was also able to quickly layer washes to create a lot of richness and depth to my forms.  I added some touches of oil paint as the final step to take advantage of the vividness of the oil color.

This construction site came to life in wonderful light and shadow as the arm of the excavator emerged from the shadow framing the foreman.

Front Porch Glow, Oil on Canvas   8"x10" 
Fifth Avenue in Kalispell's East Side neighborhood is the perfect spot to paint on a hot summer day.  The canopy of trees provide great shade and create awesome dappled light and shadow effects.  This charming home was a great showcase for this effect.

The Way to Avalanche, Oil on Canvas   12"x9" 
These beautiful falls are one of the highlights of the scenic trail up to Avalanche Lake. This turned out to be a study in greens with several variations of the color present in the water and foliage.

Welcome Home, Oil on Canvas   8"x8" 
This stately classic home is situated across the street from the historical Conrad Mansion in Kalispell's East Side neighborhood. The porch was particularly welcoming on this summer day.

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