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365 Days Of Great Wildlife/Nature Art
January 17, 2019
365 Days Of Great Wildlife/Nature Art
Exploring the visual boundaries of how we think about the West. Check in every day for a new image.
"The other creatures with which we share this world have their rights, too. but not speaking our language, they have no voice, no vote; it is our moral duty to take care of them." —the late Roger Tory Peterson
"Two Lazuli Buntings" by Carol Guzman. It's easy in winter to forget about the splashes of color that springtime brings with the return of neotropical birds heading back north to their breeding grounds in our northern Rockies—more hueful expressions of the region's biodiversity and reminders of the need for protecting their forest and meadow habitat from fragmentation. Guzman is known for her zesty contemporary portrayals of wild birds. To learn more about the work of this Bozeman artist, go to http://www.carolguzman.com
'While Indians appear not to have feared the Yellowstone geyser regions, we know that many tribes revered them. Revere and fear are two different things, reverence referring to beliefs in something sacred. A number of tribes... used the Yellowstone country as a vision-questing, prayer-making, and gift-bequeathing place." —Yellowstone historian and writer Lee Whittlesey
"Castle Geyser Geysering," a photograph by the late David Joseph Swift (Oct. 13, 1948-Jan. 16, 2018) of one of Yellowstone's famous geysers. Swift was more than a great photographer—skilled, perceptive and sensitive with all subjects, nature or human, he connected people. A longtime resident of Jackson Hole, he also was one of Mountain Journal's inaugural columnists.
"The environment, after all, is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest. It is one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” —Lady Bird Johnson
"Quiet Reverie" by Bonnie Posselli. Posselli may be lesser known to art collectors in Greater Yellowstone but she is one of the finest contemporary Impressionists, focused on the interior West, in America. She is renowned for painting redrock landscapes in Utah and pastoral valleys. To learn more about her work, go to www.bonnieposselli.com
"Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image." —Joseph Campbell
Top: "Portrait of a Stallion" by Albert Bierstadt. Here's a fun fine art anecdote. Bierstadt, among the most revered romantic painters of his time and icon of the Hudson River School, completed the sketch of the white stallion as part of his quest to gather information for his masterwork, "The Last of the Buffalo." The latter is a showcase work and part of the permanent collection at the Whitney Gallery of Western Art at the Buffalo Bill Center for the West in Cody, Wyoming. The sketch, remarkably, is also in the collection. Images courtesy Whitney Gallery of Western Art.
"You can't be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river." —Jim Harrison
"Winter day—Paradise Valley, Montana" by Robert Spannring. The Yellowstone River, which begins in the mountains south of Yellowstone National Park and swings north then northeast until it marries the Missouri River, is the longest river without a major dam on it in the Lower 48. That's a miracle. Painter Robert Spannring gives it homage as it twists through Paradise Valley where he has spent many a day. To learn more about Spanning's art, go to
"The wild ram embodies the mystery and magic of the mountains, the rocky canyons, the snowy peaks, the fragrant alpine meadows, the gray slide rock, the icy, dancing rills fed by snowbank and glacier, the sweet, clean air of the high places, and the sense of being alone on the top of the world with the eagles, the marmots, and the wild sheep themselves." —Jack O'Connor
"Bighorn Rams" by Cole Johnson. No, it's not a black and white photograph. And yes, it's hard to believe that someone could deliver a scene so vivid, dramatic with light, shadow and value, and do it in graphite and charcoal. But Johnson brilliantly does it here. He can't get enough of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and its animal inhabitants. To learn more about him and his work, go to http://www.colejohnsonart.com
“Somber Yellowstone Park and its colored hot springs, baby geysers, rainbows of bubbling mud - symbols of my passion.” —Vladimir Nabokov
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." —Rumi
“I can tell that the Greater Yellowstone from the Tetons, to the Lamar Valley where wolves howl and grizzlies roam, acts as my spine, my range of memory that ties me to landscape of Other.” —Terry Tempest Williams
"Grand Canon of the Yellowstone" by Thomas Moran. This is the most famous and consequential land-protection painting in the world, for it made members of Congress swoon and ignited the global national park movement that started with the creation of Yellowstone on March 1 in 1872. Painting can be viewed, as part of your own heritage, at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
"I plan on going out every day to sketch these mountains no matter what sort of weather is brewing. Because this is really what a mountain painter does—he catches, if he can, the essence of the moods, as they come across the mountains, hoping he can pass them on to others." —Conrad Schwiering (1916-1986)
"Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter." —Izaak Walton
"South Fork Gold" by Utah artist and fly fisherman Michael Stidham. Stidham has been called one of "the greatest fish-painter impressionists of his generation" and his work is collected by avid anglers and non-anglers throughout the world. He has a special affinity, he says, for the waters of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, as evidenced by this reference to the South Fork of the Snake River in eastern Idaho.
"Where thou art, that is home." —Emily Dickinson
"Three Matriarchs" by Kathryn Turner. Turner, whose family runs a historic dude ranch in Jackson Hole, has grown up with nature exerting a mighty influence. She is among a group of painters who are giving American wildlife art a new visual vocabulary. Often, wildlife paintings feature male animals; this work celebrates female elk who hold the herd together. For more information about Turner and her work, go to turnerfineart.com
"There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to 'mean' horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid." —Theodore Roosevelt
"To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see." —Black Elk
"Horses lend us the wings we lack." —Anonymous
"Berliner" by Bozeman-based sculptor Deborah Butterfield, renowned internationally for her innovative use of found and organic natural materials in creating horse sculptures. This piece is part of the permanent collection at the Whitney Western Art Museum, part of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. It was gifted to the museum by Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Weiss.
"All great artists draw from the same resource; the human heart, which tells us we are a lot more alike that we are unalike." —Maya Angelou
“This Is A Stereo” by painter Michael Two Bulls (Oglala Lakota). This piece is part of a series that Two Bulls, a leadership fellow of First Peoples Fund (firstpeoplesfund.org) created to challenge stereotypes viewers have of indigenous people.
"A picture is a poem without words." —Horace
"Wolf" by painter Ken Carlson. This piece is in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming
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