Montana reflectionsPosted: August 31, 2022
When an opportunity to teach a workshop in Montana’s Paradise Valley was presented to me several years ago, I couldn’t say no. I’ve always wanted to visit that scenic state. Of course the original week was in 2020, but when things opened up recently the offer was made again and I said yes for the second time. I’m sure glad I did. Picture a wide valley, over fifty miles long, with the Yellowstone River winding through the middle of it. The Absaroka Range is on the east side and the Gallatin Range on the west. If the setting of the movie A River Runs Through It comes to mind, you’ve got it. We spotted mule deer and osprey every day, and enjoyed sunrise and sunset looking up at Emigrant Peak. We even made the drive to Gardiner to see the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, and despite the fact that the road was closed due to the recent floods, I still felt a sense of awe gazing out over the grassy plains and the Roosevelt Arch. The valley was as beautiful as I had imagined it.
We spent the first day of the workshop on the property (a private residence) and sketched the views around the pond. It was a windless day so I had to invent a little movement in the water, but the lesson was mostly about reflections and using one of my favourite limited palettes (Hansa Yellow, Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue). My only regret is that I didn’t get to add in the deer that appeared in the distance to watch us, but my sketch was done by that time. I’ll post more of my Montana sketches in the next few days. This one was done in my Etchr A4 Sketchbook.