I woke up this morning to a deep quiet outside my window. The window was open a few inches (I like sleeping with cold air on my face.) Most mornings, even as late as yesterday morning, I awake to the chatter of tiny songbirds in the lilacs just outside. This morning all was silent.
I looked up at the sky. Gray-blue. Little humps of snow covered the lilacs. Soft. Bare of leaves. And oh — the branches! The black brush stroke branches against a hundred shades of white snow! I knew my palette was going to change overnight. Just. Like. That. At least for one or two paintings. Black and white. Simple. Distilled to the essence of pattern. Calligraphic strokes against a pale plain sky.
I promised to post a gallery of the sled dog photos included in the exhibit, Ancient Bond. So here it is. Each of these is available for purchase as a signed, archival print. (See details below the gallery) Click on the photos to enlarge them. Watermarks are not on the prints.
Helena, Montana is closing in on a record February snowfall. The winter of 1936 set that record. I’m not sure how much snow we’ve had so far this month (usually our driest month of the winter) but, since last Friday, at least 18 inches of snow has fallen outside our house.
Snow is good. The mountains need snow. The soil, the prairies and farms and trees and fish, the rivers and air and people. We all need this moisture and I will be glad of it in summer when the grasses are crisping and crackling. When wildfires do their roaring, racing, burning thing…
The older I get, the less patient I am with the inconveniences of Montana winters. But the colors! Those colors keep me interested!
I go on at least one walk a day, but I get so cold in my bones that it’s just not as much fun as it was when I was younger and (ahem… ummmm) hotter.
it takes a day like today:
wide open skies
not a single cloud
mist hanging close
to the frozen earth
it takes this kind of day
how many different blues are inside the cold
… how many
colors belong to white
You knew that.
So … I hope these images inspire you to take some time and get out into the cold. Bundle up. Stay out until just before the sun goes down so you can grab a little of that incredible light into your soul.
And look. Really look at the colors that surround you!
Those colors will still be inside you on a summer day that tops 100F. When all you want to do is stick your head in a freezer. When you are wishing for some of that of zero-degrees-cold.
The Race to the Sky is Montana’s premier winter event. If you can make it to the official race start at Camp Rimini, or to the re-start of the race at Lincoln, you won’t be disappointed! It’s an incredibly fun event for families. I’m not a musher but I know a few — and I’m pretty sure the mushers and their dogs have fun too.
The 350-mile Race to the Sky is a qualifying event for the Iditarod. This year, the race starts on Saturday morning at 10:00 am. You can get more info about the race at the official Race to the Sky website here.
The walk from parking along the road, to the starting line at Camp Rimini is short. I like to find a place to watch up the trail — away from the crowds. When the dog teams come by where we are standing, they’re usually quieter and more focused. It’s a different (and equally fascinating) experience back at the actual starting line, where all of the dog teams are barking to beat the band in anticipation of taking off!
I am exhibiting the photos below at 1+1=1 Gallery in Helena. Please come by the gallery to see the show while you’re in town for the race. There is also an 8 foot antique dog sled on display in the gallery. All of these 12 x 18 inch archival prints are available for purchase (details at bottom of this post.) The exhibit will be up for one month, through March 2nd.
IF YOU GO:
335 North Last Chance Gulch. Open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5:00 pm.
Official Race Start near Rimini on Saturday Feb 15 at 10:00 am
Take Highway 12 (Helena side of McDonald Pass). At the bottom of McDonald Pass, turn south on Rimini Road and follow Rimini Road past Moose Creek Campground on the right. Watch for the snowmobile parking area on the right side of the road, park on right side of the road.
Race Re-Start in Lincoln on Sunday Feb 16 at 2:00 pm
Follow Highway 12 past Elliston and Avon. Turn right (north) at Highway 141 just beyond Avon, cross the railroad tracks, and follow Hwy. 141 for 34 miles to the end of the Helmville Road. At the stop sign intersecting Highway 141 and Highway 200, turn right (east) toward Lincoln and travel another 16 miles farther. Hi-Country Snack Foods is on the left side of the road when going toward Lincoln from the Helmville Road. Watch for the sign. The Race to the Sky starts and finishes under the big archway.
Do you love dogs? Have any wall space at home that just begs for one of these sweet dog portraits?
Are you a veterinarian or doctor? These beguiling portraits might be just the thing for your waiting room or exam rooms — imagine your patients connecting with the feelings evoked by these photos of care, love, enthusiasm and personality!
Do you have your own office? Can you imagine yourself connecting with one of these human-canine images when you look up from your work?
Picture a grouping of these striking portraits wherever you live or work, to remind you of the special bond we humans share with our dogs:
Sizes: most of the signed photos are 18 inches x 12 inches.
Paper: photos are digitally printed on archival Silver Rag Gloss (more of a luster finish) paper.
Quality: these are the highest quality digital prints I can find, made for me in South Carolina by a fine art printer. The colors and black and white tones are rich and the paper feels like a traditional cotton fiber based paper.
Price unframed: $100 each
Price for Ready-to-Hang prints mounted on Baltic Birch gallery panels: $200 each. These are light-weight cradled wood panels 1 1/4 inches deep, with natural birch sides. The photos are mounted with archival adhesive flush to the edge of the panel.
How to Buy: please let me know by email if you want to purchase one or more prints from this exhibit. [email protected]
I used to post a free desktop wallpaper calendar every month and I loved doing it. I liked knowing that people appreciated the free calendar to liven up their laptop or desktop display and it was fun to give away my art to my blog readers. I think I stopped doing it because I got really busy with my job at Florence Crittenton. I have decided to start giving the calendars away again.
So, please download the calendars every month. I will try to post the calendars the first day or two of each month. The only thing I ask is that you use them only for your personal use. Please don’t sell them yourself. And please do tell your friends these are available. Thank you! These are a gift from me.
If I don’t have the size or proportion of your computer monitor, or if you would like one for a cell phone, please tell me in the comments and I will make one for you and post it here.
You should be able to right-click to save the image. Let me know in comments if you have any trouble. You can also download and print these calendars. (That’s a shout-out specially for my mom, Pat!. Love you mom!)