Wednesday, August 15, 2012


7am Sunday, Ashton; it was my own private Idaho for a couple of hours. The only person I saw was a tall dark cowboy tip-toeing out of his house so as not to alert the red heeler, who would later search up and down the street for her man, his truck and a trailer full of horses who left without her. She hopefully curled up on the corner to wait and eventually trotted off to wait his return in a more comfortable spot...disappointed but bearing no grudge.

I am in love with the west; even little dusty towns on the tracks whose main attraction is a big feed mill, black angus on scruffy pasture and fabulous light. 

9 x12. 


In Yellowstone National Park near Tower I pulled into a turnout and set up my easel. The elevation here was probably just below treeline and the high meadows are awash in wildflowers. Still looking over my shoulder for Grizzly. Next time I really will get a can of bear mace and instructions on how to use it, which I suspect have something to do with not blinding yourself in the presence of a huge charging bear. I took a few wrong turns on this trip, but nothing of that magnitude.

Don't tell me this isn't a great country. I showed the ranger my proof of citizenship, paid $10, and I can go to all National Parks for FREE for life! And my pass has a great picture of a blooming cactus on it. The photo does not accurately portray the extent of my delight at this gift. If you're over 62, get yours while you can.Only available in person at a US National Park.


I painted this last week just off the Beartooth Hwy. What a trip that was. SCENIC! and a little scary...the Montana part has guardrails and a 70mph speed limit although 20 is plenty fast on the many switchback turns. There is no naturally occurring pass through the Beartooth Mountains, so they put the road over the top. Spectacular. By the time I reached Cooke City my face was sore...from grinning at the landscape around every curve.

Notice my car door is open....just in case Grizzly should come out of the trees behind me, while I am totally absorbed in my painting. Apparently everyone should be carrying bear mace, especially oblivious artists.

This was just the beginning of a fabulous week out west in which I saw wolves, elk, pronghorn, mountain goats and bison in rutting season. The maneuvers and skirmishes of the two ton male bison are earnest and surprisingly graceful. Those guys know that dancing fast and light on your hoofs is useful for impressing girls. Loud snorting.......?well? who knows.

This is a 9 x 12 on a piece of recycled Wallis paper at around 8000ft. above sea level.