Tag Archives: Plein Air Painting

As Art and Seasons Turn

"The Connoisseur," by Norman Rockwell.

“The Connoisseur,” by Norman Rockwell. The work appears on American Art Review’s October cover.

Ahhh. It’s Fall. Lovely.

Soon I’ll be returning to Jackson, and for almost everyone this season is a time of reflection. It’s also a time of “buckling down to work” and transition.

When I’m not reading or writing about Jackson Hole’s art scene, I’m often reading about art in other corners of the world, and quite a bit about art across the country. This entry, I’d like to offer up a few stories that recently caught my eye.

The first concerns plein air painting, and a show about a collection of artists, now deceased, whose works were, in their time, considered excellent. But as their lives came to an end, so did their visibility as artists. The show is “Variations on a Theme: American Painters (1850-2000), opening next month at the Rockport Art Association and Museum in Rockport, Massachusetts.

“It is an unfortunate fact that unless an artist has a gallery or family to keep their name in the forefront of the art world, the bulk of their work can be lost in the mists of time,” writes Judith A. Curtis in the latest edition of “American Art Review.” 

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

This is not currently a big problem for Jackson artists~~(housing is another matter)~~a number of artists who didn’t have representation or were faced with a gallery scene refusing to show their work are now front and center. This is incredible, and perhaps because we, collectively, are the polar opposite of the small New England town’s plight, the article spoke to me.

The Rockport’s mission is to feature local painters who are not only considered excellent, but have been “the mainstay of the Association in its fledgling days.” To sum up Curtis’ point, the museum would never have survived without intense dedication, talent, and a consistent “forward momentum.” Until last year, when the Rockport mounted an all-women’s art show  and expanded its reach, the museum was unable to produce a show like “Variations.” In the article about the show (if you can find a hard copy~~I can’t find the article on line) you can read about a number of New England plein air painters who, despite their great talents and breadth of subjects, faded from view. It’s a touching look from a knowing and careful perspective.

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Don’t hurt me, NYT! I loved this article. And I hope that we in Jackson Hole can figure out something like the Lower East Side’s “100 Gates Project.” 

Tamara Best wrote about a street art project that’s transforming a part of Manhattan’s dingy Lower East Side. Although we in Jackson don’t pull down metal doors when we close up for the day, we could paint some fabulous large-scale works and use them as promotion for our local artists. What about that idea for the Public Art Spot, the snaggly “banner” space that juts out over West Broadway? That needs upgrading, up-thinking. 

Or, we could place art on the streets themselves. And create/paint/build/light up huge arrows pointing to the Art Association! Once visitors arrive at the Art Association, they’d find so much affordable local art that they couldn’t help but bring some back home.

Our public art is fabulous, but I feel more thoughtful placement of work is possible. Let’s not crowd small spaces without offering a place to rest, without offering nature and true assimilation of place and object.

I’m in favor of making the Art Association more “public,” a retail operation that draws more tourism dollars. Tourists rarely, if ever, visit and we need a fresh audience. I’m in favor of another project I recently read about, and Jackson has already started: displaying local art, with prices, in every lodging location possible, AND add an artist studio space directly into the lodging structure itself. The artist is always in residence.

Read Best’s article HERE. 

sothebys7-28-16My mom gets newsletters from the Hollis Taggart Gallery in NYC. The gallery sends out an Art Market Report much like our Jackson Hole Real Estate Report. A summation of the latest report says that there has been a “rising tide” of gallery sales and an “ebb in momentum” for auction houses. People are consigning, not selling, in an erratic market. Feels safer, more control.

As the gallery went to press with their newsletter, the SEC reported a 65% reduction in Steve Cohen’s Sotheby’s stockAlmost immediately a Chinese insurer “China Guardian” bought up a 13.5% position in Sotheby’s. And now it’s Sotheby’s largest shareholder…….

“No doubt China Guardian was quietly buying Steve Cohen’s stock position!” exclaims the Report.

Invest in, support and love your local artists. We are a family. An Association.


Because I do not wish to finish on a “corporate” note, I offer some these observations on the passing of time and transition:

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” ~Albert Einstein

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

Fall Arts Festival: Sept. 10 – 15


Teton Plein Air Painters: Watch them work on Saturday, September 10th. Free!

Teton Plein Air Painters: Watch them work on Saturday, September 10th. Free!

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, Part 2!


Triangle X

Triangle X

Historic Ranch Tours

Triangle X is one of the valley’s best-known family-run ranches. 2016 marks the ranch’s 90th anniversary, and it’s sharing the celebration with Fall Arts. Cowboys (we used to not have to mention cowboys; just 20 years ago, the presence of real cowboys was a given in and around Jackson), Western entertainment and a barbecue. Brought to you by Mountain Living Magazine. 

Cost: $60.  Getting There: Hop on a bus at the Home Ranch Parking Lot at 2:00 pm. Information: The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. 307.733.3316 or info@jacksonholechamber.com 

Teton Plein Air Painters in the field.

Teton Plein Air Painters in the field.

Artists in the Environment ~ Grand Teton National Park 

Gather to watch live plein air painting at Menor’s Ferry in Grand Teton National Park! Menor’s is located just past the Park entry, and across the Snake River from Dornan’s. Local artists will spend the morning painting “en plein air,” in the moment. The Teton Plein Air Painters merge with the Grand Teton Association’s monthly “Artists in the Environment” program for this event; expect as many as 20 artists painting in the area!  FREE and OPEN to the public!

Time: 9:00 am  – Noon. Bring your own art supplies and join in the fun! 

Rip Caswell at work.

Rip Caswell at work.

Grand Teton Gallery – Artists in Residence

Rip Caswell sculpts (his medium is bronze) and a pre-cast sale (cast for a to-be-completed bronze work) while FAF is taking place. Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Also at the Grand Teton Gallery: Michelle Julene: Artist Reception, 4-7:00 pm. Fashion designer turned artist, Julene connects to her spiritual side. A horse enthusiast, she’s at work on two series:
Michelle Julene initially gained her reputation designing couture clothing. Michelle began painting several years ago to connect to a spiritual side. She’s at work on two series: “Into the Wild”and “Into the Mystic”. www.grandtetongallery.com 

The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale
The really big Western Design show continues at the Snow King Center in Jackson. Doors are open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and tickets are $15 at the door. Over 130 national artists present contemporary and traditional handcrafted, original creations of furniture, fashion, jewelry, and accessories for the home during the 24th Annual Exhibit + Sale.  www.westerndesignconference.com 


The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale continues at Snow King Center. $15 at the door, and hours are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Have we mentioned “Retail Row?” It’s a Western mall, showcasing the latest fashion trends. Enjoy!  www.westerndesignconference.com

Jewelry, Art and Fine Cuisine are all part of "Takin' it to the Streets!"

Jewelry, Art and Fine Cuisine are all part of “Takin’ it to the Streets!”

17th Annual Takin’ It to the Streets & Taste of the Tetons
The open-air, juried art fair is presented by the Jackson Hole Art Association and features 40 local artists, including some of Jackson’s finest, selling an array of fine artwork.

Get there early, this is a community-wide social event! Everything happens on the Jackson Town Square, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The Square’s lawn is chock full of chefs and the best food in town, Jackson’s Rotary Club hosts a wine tasting and silent auction, and “Pickin’ in the Park” provides live music to keep things hopping! A truly family-friendly event!

The Rotary Supper Club produces the Wine Tasting and Silent Auction, with proceeds benefitting “Honoring Our Veterans” therapeutic recreation programs and other community causes.

Entry is free, but foodies need to purchase tickets from Art Association ticket booths in order to taste. Each ticket is $1, and samples usually range from two to four tickets. So, approximately $3 a taste. Each artist has their own booth and sets their own prices.

There’s even finger painting for kids, presented by the Howdy Pardners Ambassador Club!


Repeat: Jackson Town Square from 10:00am-4:00pm, Tickets: Free Entry. Contact: Jackson Hole Art Association, 307.733.8792 or artistinfo@jhartfair.org www.artassociation.org


Grand Teton Gallery – Artists in Residence day~~Do drop in! Hours: are 1-4:00 pm. The gallery will also be open tomorrow, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. www.grandtetongallery.com



Raptor Night at Diehl Gallery
Raptors and songbirds come together at Diehl Gallery. Teton Raptor Center brings some of its live residents~~rehabilitating wild raptors~~to the gallery. Claire Brester’s exhibition, “A Conference by Birds,” was in part inspired by these raptors, and proceeds from sales tonight help support the Center. Raptor experts will be on hand!  Diehl Gallery, 155 West Broadway. Time: 5:00-8:00pm Contact: 307.733.0905 or www.diehlgallery.com

Bart Walter's "Battle of Wills" during installation.

Bart Walter’s “Battle of Wills” during installation.


Jackson Hole Airport Ribbon Cutting
If you’ve flown in or out of Jackson Hole lately, you’ve seen this large-scale sculpture of an iconic Wyoming image at the airport’s entrance. Please join the Jackson Hole Airport and Jackson Hole Public Art in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the “Battle of the Wills” by Bart Walter.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead will host the presentation. Time: 10:00 am. For information, contact www.jacksonholeairport.com or jhpublicart.org

Poster Signing with Edward Aldrich at Mountain Trails Gallery

Meet artist Edward Aldrich, this year’s FAF poster artist, and pick up a signed poster of his 2016 winning painting, “Greeting the Dawn.” It’s a much better reason to put a bison in your car~~you know what I’m talkin’ about. Each poster costs (an interesting) $31.80 unsigned, and $42.40 if you’d like yours signed by the artist.

Time: 3:00-5:00pm at Mountain Trails Gallery, 155 Center Street. http://www.mtntrails.net

There will also be an opening reception at Mountain Trails, celebrating FAF and Aldrich. If you’ve not seen “Greeting the Dawn,” head over to the Wort Hotel. Aldrich’s oil painting is massive: at 64 x 52″ in size, he’s in it to win it. The painting will be auctioned off at the FAF “Quick Draw,” one of the festival’s best-loved events, at the Town Square.

Reception Time:  5:00-8:00pm. Contact: Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, 307.733.3316 or info@jacksonholechamber.com

“Greeting the Dawn” by Edward Aldrich is this year's Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival official painting.

“Greeting the Dawn” by Edward Aldrich is this year’s Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival official painting.

Mountain Trails Gallery Artist Reception – Edward Aldrich
Please join Mountain Trails Gallery to celebrate the 2016 Fall Arts Festival featured artist Edward Aldrich.  Found in prominent collections and museums around the nation, Edward Aldrich is nationally known for his realistic wildlife pieces. Edward has been selected to create the featured piece to be auctioned off at the QuickDraw, the Fall Arts Festival’s signature event. The piece, “Greeting the Dawn” 64 x52, oil, is currently on display at the Wort Hotel. Refreshments will be served and a new body of work will be showcased.

Contact: 307.734.8150 or www.mtntrails.net



There’s a map for that! 

The FAF “Third Thursdays Art Walk” is moved to Wednesday this month, especially for the festival. Approximately 30 galleries take part, and it’s a lovely, leisurely evening. Feel a little crowded during Palates & Palettes? Here’s a chance to get a second, good long look at art you love.  Enjoy fine art and be reminded of why Jackson has become one of the top Western art markets!

Look for the “Art Walk” banners!  Time: 5:00-8:00pm at Various Locations (See Gallery Map, linked above.).  Contact: jacksonholegalleryassociation.com

Participating galleries include, but are not limited to:

Cayuse Western Americana: Margaret Sullivan, Jeweler & Clint Orms

Margaret Sullivan

Margaret Sullivan

Don’t mess with the Boss. Cayuse Western Americana welcomes silversmiths Margaret Sullivan and Clint Orms. Sullivan’s work is inspired by her ranching life; a life made of horses, cattle, and wide, open space in the New Mexico mountains. She works with traditional western metals of gold, sterling, copper & brass.

A Clint Orms buckle.

A Clint Orms buckle.

Orms will also be on hand at Cayuse September 15th – 17th from 10 am to 6 pm. “Clint Orms Engravers return with their heirloom quality sterling, gold and gemstone buckles,” says Cayuse. “Come discuss your custom ideas, or choose from a fantastic selection of pieces from understated, to no-holds-barred!” There’s a whole lot going on at Cayuse this FAF, check their website every day! www.cayusewa.com

Amy Ringholz returns!

Amy Ringholz returns!

Ringholz Studios Showcase
Ringholz, coming off of her summer show, BeautyStruggleLove, will be showcasing her work with thoughts of moving forward towards more urban and modern wildlife pieces. She is, she says, “transitioning from western wildlife and working on becoming an American wildlife painter.” Does that mean her signature style will change? We’ll have to wait and see.

Time:  5:00-8:00pm. Ringholz Studios 140 E. Broadway Suite 6 from 5:00-8:00pm
Contact: ringholzstudios.com or 307.734.3964


Kathryn Mapes Turner “Duke,” 9 x 12 oil on linen

Kathryn Mapes Turner “Duke,” 9 x 12 oil on linen

Trio Fine Art – Artist Reception for “In Our Valley”
Trio Fine Art artists Kathryn Mapes Turner, Jennifer L. Hoffman, and Bill Sawczuk have a special relationship with the landscape and wildlife of Jackson Hole. Join them to discuss their work and this unique valley we all love.  “In Our Valley” is on display September 7-30, 2016.  Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday.

Time: 5-8:00 pm Trio is located 4 Blocks North of the Town Square
Contact: 307.734.4444 or www.triofineart.com

Alex Katz, "Chance."

Alex Katz, “Chance.”

Tayloe PIggott Gallery ~ Alex Katz and Patrizio Travagli 

The Tayloe Piggott Gallery continues hosting the works of Alex Katz and Patrizio Travagli; a bit of the international art scene roosting in Jackson this fall! Mirror trickery and Katz’s parade of stylized people offer two distinct views of…you! www.tayloepiggottgallery.com 

Deb Fox. "Searcher." Watercolor.

Deb Fox. “Searcher.” Watercolor.

Grand Teton Gallery – Artists in Residence
Gallery artists will be painting and sculpting in the gallery, 11:00 am  – 5:00 pm.

Deb Fox paints large, vibrant  watercolors on canvas; Zach Babat divides his time between lives between Montana and Alaska. He works from memory, and his pieces are considered whimsical and highly detailed.  creating magnificent pieces that are both detailed and whimsical. Contact: 307.201.1172 or www.grandtetongallery.com


Jill Soukup. "Paint & Red Scarf" 30" x 31.5" Oil

Jill Soukup. “Paint & Red Scarf” 30″ x 31.5″ Oil

Astoria Fine Art: Reception for Jill Soukup and Bart Walter. Astoria is sculptor Bart Walter’s Jackson Hole gallery home. Celebrate Walter’s amazing new Jackson Hole Airport sculpture and the work of Astoria’s Jill Soukup.

Soukup “initially pursued a career in graphic design. In 2002 she made the switch to painting full-time. Since then, her work continues to gain recognition as she receives awards,” says the gallery.

Time: 2-5:00 p.m. www.astoriafineart.com

Bobcat pauses from hunting in the snow in Yellowstone National Park.

Bobcat pauses from hunting in the snow in Yellowstone National Park. Tom Mangelsen.





Painting For Life: New Book Celebrates Gregory I. McHuron

"Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron," by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“If you are attaining your goals, you’ve set your goals too low. The last painting you do should be the very best.” –Greg McHuron

Words to live by. Words to paint by.

Gregory I. McHuron (1945-2012) is considered by many admirers the sole plein air painter that could stand up to the Tetons’ majestic size and power, as well as their surrounding valley. Indeed, McHuron stood for the majesty of ALL wilderness and wildlife, and he left a permanent legacy when we lost him to cancer.

Four years after his death a seminal book worthy of McHuron’s life, artistry and passion for wilderness has come to fruition: “Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” lovingly authored by former Southwest Art Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Hallsten McGarry,  will soon to be available through the Grand Teton Association.

McGarry says that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the “WOW” that serenades your soul.”

“Painting has never been a job to me,” McHuron said. “It’s why I live.”

Greg McHuron near Menor's Ferry, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final "Artists in the Environment" demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

Greg McHuron near the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final “Artists in the Environment” demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

“In the summer of 2013, Linda McHuron, Peter Ward, and I got together to discuss the idea of a book,” says McHuron’s long-time friend and fellow plein air painter Stephen C. Datz. McHuron was a member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, a group painting annually in Grand Teton National Park in support of the Grand Teton Association. Datz served as the group’s president for four years.

“We made contact with as many family, friends, colleagues, and collectors as we could and began collecting stories and remembrances. Peter began the work of gathering, collating, and cataloguing images of Greg’s work,” said Datz.

McGarry feels that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the WOW” that serenades your soul.”

Gregory I. McHuron, "Seasonal Differences," Oil, 40" x 30"

Gregory I. McHuron, “Seasonal Differences,” Oil, 40″ x 30″ Photo by Tammy Christel

For the next two years, through emails, phone calls, one-on-one meetings and gatherings hosted by Peter, we accumulated a huge stash of memories of Greg and advice that he had given his students,” recalls Datz. Matt Montagne and Charlie Craighead contributed an invaluable cache of candid photos of Greg out painting and doing AIE (Artists in the Environment, an open-to-the-public plein air painting program McHuron co-founded in 1974 with Connie Schwiering and Chuck McCurdy) demos.”

McGarry notes that “true artists must live their art and paint from the heart.” McHuron’s lifestyle epitomized that philosophy, she says. His paintings expressed what he felt, and he shared those feelings with others willing to listen, including mentoring artists, in workshops or in his own “no bull*@#!” critiques.

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View22 is 36! Tiny Preview, Jackson Hole Art Auction

Lee Riddell's "View 22: Open Studio Art" painting, "Summer Sky, R Park."

Lee Riddell’s “View 22: Open Studio Art” painting, “Summer Sky, R Park.”

“I love being a part of the View22 project – where the creation of art is both inspired by and contributes to the protection of wildlife habitat and open space for all to enjoy. As a landscape painter, being out on these properties emphasizes for me the importance of preserving these lands forever.” ~ View22 artist Lee Riddell

Since it’s inception, “View22,” an arts-inspired fundraiser for the Jackson Hole Land Trust, has been wildly successful. This is the second year local artists create works, sharing their own experiences outside, “open studio” style, at dedicated Land Trust locations to celebrate the organization’s 36th anniversary.

Bronwyn Minton, for "View22"

Bronwyn Minton, for “View22”

Green flags marking “open studio” locations are up now through August 14th. Locations include  the Hardeman Barn, Hardeman North, Wilson Centennial Ponds, Wilson Wetlands Trail, R Park, Emily’s Pond, Spring Creek Ranch, Rock Springs at JHMR, Karns Meadow, Flat Creek Corridor, South Park Service Center, Hatchet Meadows, and the Indian Springs Swan Ponds. Look for these flags, and you’ll find View22 artists at work, and waiting to talk to any and all visitors about the heart-thumping experience of painting on conservation land. 

Ben Roth's artwork is inspired by Spring Creek Ranch landscape.

Ben Roth’s artwork is inspired by Spring Creek Ranch landscape.

The project concludes with an exhibit and sale at the Land Trust’s 36th Annual Picnic on August 14th, 4-8:00 pm at Fish Creek Ranch in Wilson, WY. Families are welcome, music will play! Tickets are $50 for adults; kids 12 and under are free.

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A Closer Look at Plein Air

Bill Sawczuk, from "A Closer Look."

Bill Sawczuk, from “A Closer Look.”

Why take “a closer look?” What does it mean, relative to plein air painting, to examine the world more closely?

Summer is the season, and Jackson Hole is the place to find out. The summer brings a multitude of artists into the open, where they mingle with wilderness, wildlife and, this year, a blockbuster number of tourists. Like the good people working for the postal service, neither sleet nor snow nor bears eating easels can keep plein air painters from delivering the plein air “mail.”

Plein air painter and partner at Jackson gallery Trio Fine Art, Bill Sawczuk is set to host his summer solo exhibition “A Closer Look.”  The show, says the artist, will explore the [myriad talents] of an experienced eye. In partnership with a well-weilded paintbrush, an artist’s eye may take very close examination at its surrounding beauty.

Sawczuk’s work has been largely traditional, primarily broad landscapes, directly translated. “A Closer Look” searches out what doesn’t immediately catch the eye. Seemingly static scenes change, and Sawczuk wants to see what’s new.

“Old cabins in Grand Teton National Park are picturesque to be sure, but there is more to be seen and felt. [I have] tried to express the loneliness and melancholy [I] feel when describing these cabins in a painting. It can take very little to say a lot, to explore the material, and to convey [my] feelings to the viewer.” says the artist.

Bill Sawczuk at work.

Bill Sawczuk at work.

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