My Favorite Paintings of 2017

“Love Comes Quietly” 6 x 8 oil on linen
Each year, I enjoy this opportunity to reflect on a year’s portfolio of paintings and drawings. In a very real sense, it is my visual journal of experiences. 2017 was an amazing year for me! A year full of natural beauty that inspired me and sparked a creative flow that felt dynamic and rich. The process of creating these paintings then connects me with the community and with people like you in a special way. These relationships are the best part of what I do, and mean so very much to me. Thank you for sharing in this wonderful journey! Each work is done with you in mind.
It is a deep privilege to do what I do… and to do it all here in a place as beautiful as Jackson Hole.

“Spring in the High Desert” 11 x 14 oil on linen

Due to the deep snowfall last winter, the summer months in Jackson Hole were particularly stunning, so I made a point to get out to plein air paint regularly. A highlight was a weekly outing with fellow artist, Alissa Hartmann. Every Tuesday afternoon, we would pack a ‘picnic dinner’ and stay out in the field until dark. These memories are filled with the magical light and colors of long, lingering summer nights.

“Willow” 8 x 8 watercolor on arches paper

I have always loved depicting animals and wildlife in my work, but recently I have been reflecting on how unique and blessed we are to live among this richness of biodiversity. For example, I find it amazing to live in an area that can support large predator species such as the grizzly bear! It is my hope that we co-exist respectfully, and steward their habitat wisely and responsibly. Thanks to my friend, Brad Schwarm, whose photo inspired this painting.

“Wonder” 22 x 14 conte drawing on Italian Rag

Drawing is my thinking process. Thumbnail sketches help me work out a composition. Renderings of a subject helps be understand the proportions of its form. As a distillation, drawings are simplified and therefore, it helps me understand what I am really trying to say in a piece. Because this drawing taught me much and inspired a number of paintings it is one of my favorite of the year.

“A Thousand Reasons” 48 x 36 oil painting on paper

My time in the field is balanced with exploring ideas and compositions in the studio. This special substrate is manufactured by the French paper maker, Arches, and is suitable for oil paint. Since I started out as a watercolor painter, this new material enables me to continue playing in the limitless field of abstraction through utilizing the loose, transparent effects found in watercolor paintings, but, as in this painting of two cranes, in a much bigger format.

“Sky” 30 x 30 oil on canvas

Not only is Jackson Hole beautifully inspiring, but it is also a community that has nurtured and supported my work in a profound way. I truly believe that I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without the buttressing I have received from this place. When I was a kid, a field trip to the National Museum of Wildlife art changed my life. The collection there has been one of my ‘teachers.’ This is why I felt so very honored when the trustees chose this painting to purchase for the NMWA permanent collection during the Western Visions Show & Sale in the Fall.

“Presence” oil on plate

We have truly remarkable individuals in our community! I want to thank the amazing person who paid $10,000 for this plate I painted for the Community Entry Services fundraiser – The Art of Love Auction.

The Community Entry Services (CES) is dedicated to empowering people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries to maximize independence & to lead satisfying productive lives in the community. Each year, the Auction combines two powerful tools to raise support for a beautiful cause- art & the community – I was so thankful to get to be a part of it!

“Sleeping Indian Summer” 36 x 72 oil on canvas

Another prestigious honor from the past year is to have been asked to create this painting of Sheep Mountain, fondly referred to as the Sleeping Indian, for the St. John’s Medial Center. I can see this mountain from my home and love painting the way it reflects back the last light of the day. This is the widest painting I have every attempted and it now hangs in the hospital’s new lobby! We can be very proud of our community hospital, with its excellent reputation for medial care. SJMC is special to me since that is quite literally where I made my start! My dad was born there too!

“Unbridled” 60 x 60 oil on canvas

It felt like what I have learned in my 20 years of painting was sourced in order to create this piece. At the size of 60 x 60, this painting was a fantastic challenge, and I put everything into making it the best that I could. It is with great pride and wild excitement that I get to exhibit it in Charleston, SC at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition this February! If you find yourself in the South, February 16th to 18th, I would love to celebrate with you the special honor of being this year’s featured artist.

For more information about SEWE & the collection, visit their website or click here!


Posted on January 4, 2018.
Posted in About the Process, Field Notes, Uncategorized. .
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