Tag Archives: Tetons

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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Plein Air for the Park ~ 2016!


Celebrate the Centennial! Visit "Plein Air for the Park" artists and shows!

Celebrate the Centennial! Visit “Plein Air for the Park” artists and shows!

It’s wondrous. “Plein Air for the Park is wondrous. A natural branching off from the roots of our precious national parks, “Plein Air for the Park” brings Grand Teton National Park to the world, just as the first explorers and chroniclers of the great Western Landscape did over 120 years ago. “Plein Air for the Park” has long been the summer arts event that most touches my heart. It’s fun for everyone, no matter your age, your artistic inclinations, no matter what you may or may not know about our parks.

One of Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painter Wes Newton's Teton-themed works.

One of Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painter Wes Newton’s Teton-themed works.

“The arts and nature cannot survive without one another.” ~ Yours Truly

Now in its fifth year, “Plein Air for the Park” attracts approximately 40 exceptional, professional painters to the park. Here, they spend the better part of two weeks spread out across the valley, painting our great natural wonders through their own eyes; interpreting what they see and feel. Then they put it on canvas. It all culminates in a grand SHOW & SALE at the Craig Thomas Discovery Center in Moose, Wyoming. Sale proceeds support the Grand Teton Association, a non-profit organization spreading the Park’s good word through literature, art, maps, posters, interpretive products, toys and learning games for children.

An early "Plein Air for the Park" painting by John Hughes.

An early “Plein Air for the Park” painting by John Hughes.

RMPAP, the Grand Teton Association, and Grand Teton National Park are proud to present this exclusive “wet painting” show and sale, now in its fifth year and a cornerstone of the Park’s summer season. Participating artists will paint on-location, “en plein-air,” in the Park and Jackson Hole area beginning July 4th (yes, it’s way past July 4th!)  The Show and Sale officially opens at Craig Thomas on Wednesday, July 13th.

39% of the proceeds from the show will benefit the Grand Teton Association and support their ongoing educational, interpretive, and scientific programs in GTNP.

Here’s an easy-to-follow schedule of events. Print it out, and paste it on your calendar!

JULY 4-12: Artists paint in and around Grand Teton NP and Jackson Hole. You may find them anywhere as you hike, fish, ride or float in the Park.

A painter's tools. Photo courtesy of "Artists in the Environment"

A painter’s tools. Photo courtesy of “Artists in the Environment”

SATURDAY, JULY 9: “Artists in the Environment” joins “Plein Air for the Park” in a group painting exhibition at String Lake, 9am – 12 Noon. Look for signage pointing the way. RMPAP artists Carol Swinney, Walter Porter and Jim Wodark will be on hand, and the public is welcome ~~encouraged! ~~ to stop by and bring a chair to watch. Bring your own art supplies and do your own sketches; children love painting alongside these talented landscape painters. A few years ago, several Park visitors made their own paintings on the spot and took them home. (Heart emoji!!)  Sponsored by the Grand Teton Association, this event is free and open to the public!

MONDAY, JULY 11: “Painting on the Mountain,” 5-7 PM at the Top of the Bridger Gondola/Couloir Restaurant, Teton Village. YES! That’s right. They’re painting high up on the slopes. Artists will demonstrate their painting techniques and skills and be available to answer questions about their work and the show.

TUESDAY, JULY 12: “Painting on the Square,” 3:30-6:30 PM, downtown Jackson. Join artists as they set up their easels and demonstrate in the heart of Jackson, on Jackson Town Square.

My Mom bought a painting!

My Mom bought a painting!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13: Today is the Day!  Gala Opening Reception and Sale, 7-9:00 pm, at the Craig Thomas Discovery Center in Moose, Wyoming. All artists will be in attendance. Works are hung gallery-style, refreshments are in abundance, and energy high. It’s a fabulous party, and it’s FREE and OPEN to the Public. 

Very important and meaningful to those who knew and loved Greg McHuron, one of our greatest and most devoted plein air painters: The reception will also serve as the release party for Susan Hallsten McGarry’s new book about RMPAP member Greg McHuron, Gregory I. McHuron – Plein Air Master & Mentor. This beautiful new volume chronicles Greg’s life and work, and may be pre-ordered for the first time, exclusively at Plein Air for the Park.

Visitors throng to "Plein Air for the Park's" Quick Draw.

Visitors throng to “Plein Air for the Park’s” Quick Draw.

SATURDAY, JULY 16: The Show & Sale is a hard act to follow, but follow it we do! Come to the artists’ “Quick Draw” event, also at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitors Center, for a fixed-price sale of painted-on-the-spot works by RMPAP artists. The painting takes place 9-11:00 am, and is followed by a chance to buy works from the artists from 11:00 am – 12:00 Noon.

SUNDAY, JULY 17: The Show & Sale concludes at 4:00 pm. Want to know more about RMPAP and the Grand Teton Association? Visit www.rmpap.org and grand teton association

Painting in the Park~Courtesy Jackson Hole Art Blog

Painting in the Park~Courtesy Jackson Hole Art Blog

Enjoy! See you out there! Come early!  #jacksonhole #grandtetonnationalpark #pleinairforthepark #rockymountainpleinairpainters #jacksonholeartblog


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Teton Artists Associated; Wyoming Wilderness Act

Paul Bransom (1885-1979) -Jackson Hole, Wyo-  13 x 17"  Oil

Paul Bransom (1885-1979) -Jackson Hole, Wyo- 13 x 17″ Oil

You think you’ve seen everything, and suddenly a gem crosses your path. This gem is an oldie, but it shines. It’s history, and a wonderful window into our valley’s arts and wilderness tradition. We are a plein air paradise. A few days ago I paid a visit to Astoria Fine Art and visited the collection of plein air paintings of the Tetons currently in house. The collection is not a true show, but viewed together these works afford an excellent “view” of the many ways artists have painted this valley.

For me, the most exciting find was a scene painted by Paul Bransom (1885-1979). Bransom, notes the gallery (and the gallery credits the National Museum of Wildlife Art), “was a prominent early-American illustrator, having completed covers for the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, Country Gentleman and Good Housekeeping. Beginning in 1947, Bransom spent 16 summers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He met many other artists and illustrators in Jackson, and together they taught classes and started Teton Artists Associated.” Another source says Bransom’s commissions included illustrations for Kipling’s “Just So Stories” and Grahame’s “Wind in the Willows.”

Teton Artists Association, circa 1947, Jackson Hole.

Teton Artists Association, circa 1947, Jackson Hole.

Astoria’s Bart Monson was kind enough to provide an historic photograph of plein air artists painting in the valley; the photo dates circa 1947. The image, from the Archives of American Art, is assumed to be a photograph of Teton Artists Associated members painting en plein air. Phenomenal!

Astoria, says owner Greg Fulton, recently acquired four historical paintings depicting the Teton Range. Those and other contemporary works are available to see; artists include Conrad Schwiering, Scott Christensen, Carol Swinney, Jim Wilcox, romantic landscape painter Linda Tuma Robertson, and more. www.astoriafineart.com 

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Fall Arts Poster Artist is Rich; Marrakesh Express; What’s Western?

Jason Rich's Winning "Fall Arts Festival" Poster Artwork

“Jackson is one of the top three Western Art Markets:  Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Jackson. It’s not quantifiable, but we may even be outpacing Scottsdale for both Western and Contemporary Western art. What other great Western art markets could there be?”  ~Astute J.H. Gallery Owner. 

Last year’s Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival poster artist Amy Ringholz expanded Fall Arts Festival artist parameters. This year, Legacy Gallery’s Jason Rich has been selected~~his composition falls into the illustration-based genre of painting, a more traditional choice. But I must say I think the work reflects a deep joy and pride Westerners take in being a part of a very specific culture and region: our region. Rich’s light is gold-warm, his painting dimensional, and the way Rich has painted the Tetons, softly but with a strong distant profile, reminds me of the best kind of nurturing mother. Mother Nature. Tenderness and togetherness are expressed. Congratulations, Jason!  And congrats to Legacy Gallery, where Rich hangs his artistic hat. www.legacygallery.com 

Dear Erin O’Connor~~How I wish I could accompany you on your painting trip to Morocco!  To be as intrepid as you, what a joy!  Thank you of thinking of my two bunnies~~~they don’t wear fancy hats for Easter, but they will eat one if the hat’s made of straw. 

Jackson plein air painter Erin O’Connor is off to Marrakesh, where she will explore the narrow passages of the old city, Medina, easel on her back. She’s looking forward to “acquainting herself with the local bacteria” and plans on enjoying as much local, spiced fare as possible. She’ll then head off across the Marrakesh Plain, into the High Atlas Mountains. She’ll “4×4” it, she’ll hike it, and she plans on reaching “remote villages, waterfalls, springs and shrines to saints.”  Plein air artist Aaron Schuerr, of Livingston, Montana, will accompany her on part of the trip; this arrangement was made by the Atlas Cultural Foundation. They’ll stay with a local sheik.

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Andoe at Diehl; Cairn Caper; Glass Artists

Diehl Gallery sends out announcements by the bushel; wisely, they’re letting the public know about artists new to the gallery as we move towards our busy summer season…YES, we are moving towards summer!

Artist Joe Andoe caught my eye. He paints horses (doesn’t he) among other subject matter, but what’s fascinating is his biography. He’s a wild man! He’s lucky to be alive!  At least his press materials intimate as much.

New York Times columnist Janet Maslin wrote that Andoe lived a life “straight out of Chuck Palahniuk’s twisted imagination (the dude wrote Fight Club.) Mama was a gum-popping cutie. Little Joe was “a big slug of a baby.” Maslin writes Andoe’s mom rarely saw him during his younger years, and Andoe says his only explanation is that he “tried to stay the hell out of the way.” Popeye, the cartoon character, inspired Andoe to draw Popeye-like tattoos on his grandfather, and eventually Andoe became a “cowboy artist”. What an apt addition to Jackson Hole’s arts scene!

NPR’s All Things Considered said Andoe “talks the way he paints–in simple, direct phrases. He’s no horseman. He’s always preferred fast cars and motorcycles.”  www.diehlgallery.com

There’s a cairn in the world!

When children and free-spirited adults come across interactive public art happenings, it’s magic. It is STRONG medicine. Creating art-on-the-spot, coupled with the sense of leaving your own mark, forms indelible positive memories and connection. With luck, this is exactly what will occur when Jackson artist Bronwyn Minton unveils her Open Air Cairn exhibition project in downtown Jackson this summer.

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