Monday, July 18, 2011

A Tiny Little Flower...

During the last couple weeks we have found a new trail to hike called the Whitefish Trail. It runs through a lot of private land as well as public lands that have been cleared of the thick forest undergrowth with the idea of limiting fuel for a potential wildfire in the area. Because of the open areas under the trees, there are many different varieties of wildflowers grow in the area. The trail is quite winding with a nice variation of terrain, but not too challenging for Sharon and myself. The mile and a half walk leads to a really wonderful view of mountains, valleys and directly below is Skyles Lake -- a terrific sight.

So, during our hikes at this place I have been shooting lots of pictures of the wildflowers that grow there. One in particular that really struck my fancy is called the Elegant Cat's Ear. At first I thought it was a Trillium. It's called that because each petal has small appendages than appear to be hairs. The shape of the individuals petals must have reminded the person who named the flower of a cat's ear. The blossoms measure approximately .75" up to about 1.25" across. The plant stands about a foot tall. What you are looking at is a digital painting I did using one of my photos as reference. It did it with and App on my iPad called MyBrushes. It allows many variations and is reasonably easy to learn. Color and brush modification is simple and, even I was able to pick it up quickly. This image took about 3 - 4 hours to create, and that was while I was learning the App. I hope you will comment on my first effort, EVER, creating a digital painting. I hope this is a small step in learning the unlimited possibilities in this medium. More to come... - Posted from my iPad

Location:Whitefish, Montana

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Art...My Favorite Bird

I've been taking a lot of pictures of Magpies lately and knew that I had to do a drawing of one of these amazingly beautiful birds. It is properly known as the "Blackbilled" Magpie and is larger than a Bluejay but smaller than a Crow. The relationship to the other two birds is evident in the shape, proportions and unmistakably, the voice -- unpleasant at best. They are all around Whitefish. There is one place, which is on our usual walk, where there are at least 20. They gather around a stand of pines which buffers a neighborhood from the street. They have built several nests in the trees. The only problem with this is that the scene is not the greatest for a drawing. So I took full advantage of my hard earned artistic license and decided the bird would look much better on the stretch of river I haven't been able to fish since we've been here. It's on the Flathead river at a place called Blankenship. I always have good luck fishing here and thought it the appropriate location for my drawing.

The image was done in pencil in my sketchbook. It's been cropped on the sides. The original is about 8.5"x9.5". Let me know what you think of this piece I just finished today. I hope to be posting more pictures in the next few days. Best from Montana!

- Posted from my iPad

Location:Whitefish, Montana

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back in Montana again...

I have to start out by saying that what you are seeing is an experiment on my iPad using a mobile blog app called BlogPress. I have absolutely no idea if it will satisfy my design sensibilities or if I will have to relearn something new in order to make it work. So, anyway, here it goes...

The first thing we noticed when we arrived in Whitefish was that there is still an amazing amount of snow in the mountains. Usually when we get here at the end of June only the highest peaks in Glacier have that white top appearance.

This picture is of downtown Whitefish and you can see the snow still at the peak.
Over the weekend I had to see how high the Flathead River was flowing considering the fact that the snow is still on the mountains and predictions that they were going to be high for a while. As you look at some of my pictures you can see that the river is really gushing -- muddy and WAY too high to even think about fishing. The lakes are my best hope for now!

July 1, 2, and 3 there was an Art Show and sale in Depot Park. There was the usual mix of arts and crafts, most of which were uninspiring. There is always a good mix of bright color, a few interesting works of art and, certainly a scattering of unusual characters. The most interesting to me was Plein Art art by an artist who displayed some very well done landscapes from Glacier Nation Park(GNP). So enjoy a small montage of this colorful event.

- Posted from my iPad