Tag Archives: Mormon Row

Your Plein Air Roots

Thomas McGlynne  Blossoms  1878 – 1966  20 x 24 inches  Medium: Oil on board   Available at Karges Fine Art.

“I aspire to become an inhabitant, one who knows and honors the land…I follow various and sometimes crooked paths, yet I am always driven by a single desire, that of learning to be at home.” ~ Scott Russell Sanders

What are your plein air “roots?”

We dug in the dirt. Light was miraculous. During my California youth, down on hands and knees to touch, smell and fondle beach flowers tendrils, pungent and squishy succulents, inhaling the scent of tiny cliff side scrub, peeling puzzle-shaped eucalyptus bark, running my fingers along those arrow-like leaves was a daily ritual. Every canyon trail was fair game.

There’s something from every art movement to love, but before I even knew what it was, plein air painting was in my blood.

Sullivan Canyon Trail

Childhood years were a nirvana of clamoring, swimming and hiking in and around the Santa Monica-Pacific Palisades-Malibu landscapes. We lived on a Sullivan Canyon hillside, on Old Ranch Road, in a Cliff May home. At the foot of our long, winding driveway was a large open field, and we called it… “the Field.” Cross the Field and you found yourself on Sullivan Canyon Road. Open and dusty, we kids played, and people rode horses, picnicked, threw frisbees. Now the Field is an established riding arena, and its scrubby oak tree terrain seems shrunken.

But the Field was where I first saw plein air painters at work.

I was 10, my brother six when, one morning, we walked down to the Field. A group of plein air painters had gathered under the eucalyptus. Their clothes, easels, hats…all were “foreign” to us, figures materialized from another era. My brother and I made our way over to the group.

One artist focused on a view oriented toward our house. Holding hands, we watched as the artist suddenly painted us–I with my white blonde hair and John a carrot-topped red-head–into the scene. Two tiny children dwarfed by ancient oaks, eucalyptus, wading in wildflowers, California’s hills sweeping skyward behind us. Nature is the master, we are only suggested.

Dennis M. Doheny “Late Light Poppies, Oil on Linen, 24 x 30”

I’m still in contact with California grade school friends. One of my classmates is the great California landscape Impressionist Dennis M. Doheny. His paintings are among the most awarded and sought after works by a living California plein air painter. He’s represented by another classmate, Karges Fine Art’s Whitney Ganz.

Jim Wodark, “Night Spirit,” Oil on Linen, 12 x 12″

I discovered Jim Wodark’s work at last summer’s Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters “Plein Air for the Park” event. The paint-out is back this summer, a fine venue for meeting and cultivating your plein air palette. So many artists, so many painting styles. Wodark, I think, is a master. His works emit Western dry heat and that silver, scented light permeats the sage.

Lamya Deeb, also new to “Plein Air for the Park” last summer, caught many art lovers’ attention. A quiet presence, she lives and works near Boulder, Colorado. Her paintings are soft whispering masses of color, form and light. Floating, sometimes bordering on the abstract, her paintings represent a departure from more representative plein air styles.

Lamya Deeb, Billowing, Oil on Panel, 8 x 10″   “My aim is to convey the unique essence and beauty of a particular moment and place, and to share the feeling of that experience with the viewer,” says Deeb.

Whenever a plein air work feels so rich that I can “smell” the landscape, I’m a goner.

Plein Air season approaches! It’s my favorite time of year here in Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone region. Artists are out painting everywhere, offering new work fresh from a session on Antelope Flats, Jenny Lake, Mormon Row, Oxbow, the Elk Refuge, the Teton Village area, Moose, Moran Junction, Spring Gulch Road and Hardeman Ranch .

This summer’s major plein air events in the Jackson Hole/Grand Teton National Park/Greater Yellowstone/Teton Valley, Idaho include: Plein Air for the Park, the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Plein Air Fest (which includes artists creating works other than plein air paintings), Artists in the Environment, Driggs Plein Air, the Teton Plein Air Painters, and during the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, artists spread out for the “Quick Draw,” a festival favorite!

The Jackson Hole Art Blog is full of plein air stories! Just enter the words “plein air” in the search box to find dozens of stories on Jackson Hole artists and their work! See you out there!

Travis Walker, “Niko.”

Gretzinger Rocks Mormon Row; Vhay at Trio; Factory Fest

The Grand Teton Association’s Artists in the Environment series continues when Idaho-based artist Greta Gretzinger paints en plein air at Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park, on Saturday, July 9, 2-5:00 pm.  The event is free, and open to the public.

Greta Gretzinger is known for her large scale murals depicting wilderness landscapes and wildlife. She has painted in Jackson Hole and Idaho for more than 18 years, and is one of the area’s most beloved artists. Gretzinger’s lively and illustrative portraits of Western life appear in public spaces and local parks across Idaho and Teton County. Gretzinger relishes painting on non-traditional surfaces. Trailers, garage doors, automobiles, and many an exterior wall have found new life as a result of her whimsical creativity. Gretzinger’s work leaves everyone smiling; her style is unmistakable. Incorporating a gentle joke and local personalities into her paintings is a hallmark.

“I particularly like to add a twist on traditional themes and subjects,” says the artist. Gretzinger’s “twists” are sparkling threads of color woven into Jackson’s fabric. Her vivid, celebratory murals adorn a variety of landmarks; many of her fans consider Gretzinger’s alley-length landscape mural behind Jackson’s Sundance Inn her masterpiece.

“I want to do a painting of Mormon Row as being populated by wildlife pioneers and homesteaders. The location is real, but the figures will be whimsical. I can’t wait! This demonstration will be lots of fun,” says Gretzinger.

“Artists in the Environment” is funded by the Grand Teton Association, an organization whose purpose is to promote appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Area. Free to all, viewers are invited to bring a chair and a snack; those who would like to are welcome to paint alongside the artist. Look for the “Artist Demonstration” banner!

Upcoming “Artists in the Environment” dates:

For more information, contact me, Tammy Christel, via email:  tammy@jacksonholearttours.com.  http://www.grandtetonpark.org

September Vhay’s new collection of paintings, Alacrity, opens with an artist’s reception at Trio Fine Art on July 7th, 5 – 8:00 pm.  Vhay will speak about the work 6:30-7:00 pm, and the exhibition remains on display through July 23,2011. Paintings and sketches are included in this show, and subject matter includes Georgia O’Keeffe inspired paintings and studies of orchids. And might Lee Carlman Riddell’s hummingbird studies have inspired Vhay’s own sketches of those zipping, capitvating birds?  Look through her on-line sketchbook and you will see Vhay’s renderings of horses, orchids, dogs, otters, hummingbirds and more.

Trio Fine Art: 307.734.4444

Factory Studios Open House Alert:  The public is invited to an evening of art and music at Factory Headquarters, down on Gregory Lane. July 8 is the date, and the time is 6-9:00 pm. Good music by the Deadlocks, good mingling–hang out and meet Factory artist residents Abbie Miller, Aaron Wallis, Tony Birkholz, Peggy Prugh, Mark and Wade Dunstan, Camille Davis, XOWYO, Alissa Davies, and David Gonzalez (TreeFight!).

Jenny Meyer and other artists will exhibit work in the main gallery. Barring major rain delays Wimbleton will be over, but the Factory says attendees have the chance to play a little Wimbleton-style ping pong. Facebook Event page here.