Tag Archives: Plein Air Painting

Kathryn Mapes Turner Meets Winter 2017

Kathryn Mapes Turner, “Dance,” 48 x 48″.

Kathryn Mapes Turner, of Trio Fine Art, grew up in Grand Teton National Park on her family’s Triangle X Ranch. She’s arguably experienced just about everything a Jackson Hole winter can throw out there.

But, says the artist, there is winter…and there is THIS winter. With little sun, high winds, frigid temperatures and hundreds of inches of snowfall, even this valley veteran turned to accessing her imagination in lieu of accessing 15-foot high snow berms.

“Winters are always magical,” says Turner. “A typical winter brings peace and solitude; it’s a time to scale back, explore internal creative impulses, and ‘save up’ for summer when once again I’ll be able to respond to the sublime stimulation and inspiration of painting out in the field.”

“It’s all made me think back on my anthropology studies. We explored how the arts flourished in communities that had their basic needs met as opposed to communities that didn’t.”

Endlessly fascinating are the transformations snow and ice bring. Winter turns the outdoors into a dream world, simplifying landscapes, paring it down to essentials. But this winter, Turner admits her soul was not buoyed by her favorite winter activity, skiing.

Kathryn Mapes Turner, “Teton Sunrise.”

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Over the Rooftops; Letscher Lands at Tayloe Piggott

Bobbi Miller, “Over the Rooftop,” 6×6″ oil

Moran, Wyoming lies 30 miles north of the Town of Jackson. Last month Moran received almost 40 inches of snow, 10 inches above normal. Jackson has received almost the same amount, but Moran’s isolated location lends itself to days of being no other place than Moran.

It’s a singularly beautiful, remote and a Grand Teton National Park gateway. If you are a plein air painter, Moran offers an infinite number of beautiful locations and constant inspiration.

A Moran resident, Teton Plein Air Painter Bobbi Miller this winter has left her in awe of the Park’s forefathers who battled intense winter conditions without any of the modern conveniences we enjoy today. Confined to painting indoors this winter, Miller’s painting style has veered towards abstraction; quick work and impressions of landscape are intriguing.

“I must admit to putting those foot warmers in my boots when DRIVING to Dubois, Wyoming recently,” Miller confesses. Dubois lies approximately 75 miles east of Moran, and to get there one must travel over the spectacular but potentially very dangerous Togwotee Pass.

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What Has Winter Wrought?

Kathy Wipfler  “Deep Winter – Jackson Hole”   7 x 11″   field study

“Greg McHuron was known to wrestle sheets of plywood through various Ice Ages just so he could stand on them without sinking into the frozen depths. But Greg was part Woolly Mammoth.” ~ Plein air painter Erin C. O’Connor 

This Jackson Hole winter!  Folks have mentioned a craving to chew their legs off. But if you’re an artist the show goes on, and being shut in or facing stupendously challenging weather conditions often leads to improvisation, new creative themes and awakenings of a different sort.

I contacted some legendary badass women artists and asked them how winter has affected their work. This post, we hear from  Kathy Wipfler, Kay Stratman and Erin C. O’Connor.

KATHY WIPFLER

Plein air painter Kathy Wipfler is a true veteran of painting outdoors. Solid and sensible, her practices spring from a lifetime of ranching and hard outdoor work. A long-time member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, she knows a thing or two.

“Having painted on location here in every season for 36 years, I have a few tricks of the trade to stay as warm as possible. Painting a small format is one of them,” writes Wipfler. “Standing on Blue Board keeps the cold from my feet just a little longer than standing directly on the snow, and having the right boots is important. Painting sunlit snow is a passion, but there have been limited sunlit days so far this winter.”

Wipfler says another challenge is simply finding an accessible turnout to set up her easel and park. “Parking on the road’s shoulder is not so smart. I’ve spent time and effort shoveling out spaces whenever it’s feasible.”

Wipfler’s “Deep Winter – Jackson Hole,” pictured above, is so painterly I can almost feel the artist’s rich brushstrokes simply by looking. They convey the weight of this winter, its frigid cold, and a sense of muffled winter beauty. Wipfler’s snowdrifts are a pillow upon which the mountain rests.

Read more about Kathy Wipfler in this Jackson Hole Art Blog post, “Kathy Wipfler & the Boys!” 

KAY STRATMAN

Kay Stratman’s new abstract works are charged with color.

Kay Stratman is experimenting with her “alter studio ego.”

Stratman’s “Natural Abstractions,” comprised of watercolor and wax works, focus on what the artist describes as “amazingly colorful natural occurances that scream for exploration/exploitation/ abstraction.”

Stratman’s work (which she says has always favored essence over traditional form) is focused on subjects ranging from Yellowstone’s brilliant hot springs to “the mysteries of stellar nebula or northern lights.”

“People are familiar with watercolor as a medium and perhaps even encaustic wax,” writes Stratman. “But I combine both media in my work to present an interesting dichotomy. Watercolor and wax shouldn’t even be able to mix, should they? However, each medium becomes obvious upon close inspection, and the view from farther away brings the suggested subject matter to light.  The pieces themselves are splash and poured watercolors on rice paper, infused with encaustic wax (molten beeswax) that makes the paper translucent, allowing me to fuse layers together to create depth of color.”

Erin C. O’Connor – “El Gato Negro.”

Erin C. O’Connor 

“I know an artist who used to work for the phone company; he swiped one of those tents that they put over utility boxes so they can work in inclement weather; now he uses it to paint outside. At 17 below zero, I’d need the tent, the Enormo-Heat-Blaster, and the heated brush handles,” reveals painter Erin C. O’Connor.

I imagine O’Connor’s “Uppity Chick” smile.

Erin C. O’Connor in her studio.

During winter months O’Connor focuses on studio work and brings unfinished “warmer months” paintings to completion. At this time last year O’Connor was in Nicaragua, and she’s “finding welcome refuge in re-exploring those scenes.”

“It all plays back to me like a tape recording ~ the warmth, the humidity, the lyrical conversations, the people I met, all the things I learned,” she says. “Color upon color upon color. This has been my antidote to grey. This has been my rebellion to the cold.”

O’Connor updates her website during winter months, and she’s just been named as the newest member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Board of Directors. When Plein Air for the Park ” gorgeously unfolds in July, it’s because we’ve thoroughly scrutinized the acrobatics well before summer.”

Next post, we’ll hear from a few more of Jackson’s ultra-talented women artists! All strive to be the best that they can be. Transcending fads and trends, they are wicked strong rungs on Jackson’s art history ladder, and their art endures.

In national art news, it was announced earlier this month that the NEA is in dire straits. Our new administration is strongly considering budget cuts that could eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts. If executed, this spells disaster for art interests across the country. Such a step even stands to cancel important exhibitions like SFMOMA’s Matisse-Diebenkorn show.  Read a little about this impending legislation here

 

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.

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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!

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

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 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

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!

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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

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

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

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

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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.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

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

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ART WALK!

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

www.ringholzstudios.com

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

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

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.

NEXT UP : THE JACKSON HOLE ART AUCTION, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART’S “WILD 100,” QUICK DRAW, TOM MANGELSEN, HOME TOURS & MORE!