I love to experiment with all sorts of different forms of creativity. A favorite interest of mine is soap-making. Due to certain allergies in my family, I’ve had to find more traditional alternatives to modern skin care products. Each of my soaps are designed with a story behind it—something that inspired a deep connection and love in me. My hope is to paint a nostalgic picture with each bar, one that anyone can enjoy, no matter what chord it may strike in them. I want my soap to do the same thing my favorite art does—create a good feeling! But most of all, I love that I have an excuse to keep making it! You can only keep so many “things” in your living space, but soap wears out, leaving you needing to get more! I love things that serve a practical purpose yet can be dolled up in a personal and unique way so your living space becomes one of beauty and function.
Susie’s Wacky Weaves
I began my love affair with weaving at ten years old on a toy loom. Later on, I raised sheep and embraced the process of weaving “Sheep to Shawl”, teaching myself to card, spin, weave and dye homespun yarns.
I teach workshops for those hoping to do fibre arts. My background is as a retired English and French instructor. I love fibre harmonies and dancing colors, and weave with a variety of fibres including silk, wool, alpaca and even buffalo and dog.
Gregg Edelen found his love of pottery at Helena’s Archie Bray Foundation in 1984. He was assisting his son who was injured and enrolled in a class at the Bray. Edelen got interested himself and the rest is history. He has been associated with the Bray ever since, helping with the grounds and volunteering as a sommelier. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Meloy Stevenson award for his contributions to the foundation.
Edelen is a long-time resident of Butte, MT and his work reflects his ties to the community. He worked in law enforcement for 34 years before retirement. As an avid fisherman, he enjoys fly tying and teaching others to fish. Wall- mounted pottery fish and fish motifs in his pieces are testimony to Edelen’s passion for fishing.
Edelen works with a variety of different clays and in a variety of different styles. He uses reduction and electric kilns to produce his pottery. He best likes making art that his customers can use, a mindset that shows up in his volunteer work.
B. bison Craftworks
Maria combines locally available materials from nature with her carvings from the horn caps of Montana-ranched B. bison to make functional art, sculpture, and jewelry.
While aware of historical designs, hers are original based on her current experience with birds, grasses, and the material culture of SW Montana.
She blogs about bison horn carving and material culture at HORNCARVER.WORDPRESS.COM and can be reached by email at email@example.com.
I am a lifetime resident of S.W. Montana; raised on a ranch, attended a one room school, have a college degree in Art Education, married with 4 kids. I love the outdoors, the animals and the people in these rural communities and I strive to depict that in my art. I thank the Lord for the privilege to enhance someone’s home with a painting, a sculpture, or maybe just a moment of peace when they feel or look at my work. My works may be seen at my studio in Alder, Montana or online at forrestflager.wordpress.com,
Fine Art America, or Art Pickle.
I grew up in a very uncertain, chaotic environment in inner-city Philadelphia. We moved often and without order. In a loud, colorful world of so much hustle and bustle, I found beauty and solace in singular moments of time. Having no stability in my life, I longed for a way to hold onto everything that I was observing. In my teenage years, I found that with a camera, I could stop time. I could freeze moments. I could capture and collect all of the overwhelming beauty and pain and color and light I was bearing witness to.
Photography became my main tool, to explore, to learn and to watch and to listen; to document. After studying photography in Boston in my early twenties, I traversed the country, spending so much of my time living on the road and maintaining my nomadic nature. As I grew older, a strong instinct to spend more time in sparse and natural places begin to germinate. The endless countryside and the lives that dotted the vast landscape became my main interest. Photography allowed me to settle down, to document the permanence of a place and its people and to become part of a community. I utilize the medium of photography to express the multifaceted relationship between man and the natural world. Shooting film and digital, my work documents the timeless existence I feel myself to be a part of here in my home in Southwest Montana.
Having grown up in rural areas of the East Coast and now settled in the mountains of Montana, I have developed an appreciation for antiquated structures and their enduring craftsmanship. Everywhere are the relics of functional, yet aesthetic designs from our bygones, leaving records of how we’ve carved out a culture from the surrounding landscape. I am also inspired by Western cultural objects, and native flora and fauna. The world educates us through sensory experiences, so surface textures are ever-important in my art. Watercolor’s clean simplicity allows me the control I desire for crisply rendered, textural details found in my subjects, whether it be a ghost town saloon, wrinkled leather cowboy boots, or the patterned foliage of a Rocky Mountain wildflower.
In my work, I illustrate not only the unique physical attributes of my subject matter, but also what story it has to tell. Just as illustrations in a book are experienced intimately, I want encounters with my paintings to inspire a closer look, a moment of private study and appreciation for thoughtfully crafted areas of character and definition.
I’m a weaver and fiber artist from Townsend, Montana. Dyeing and weaving with natural materials allows me to combine art and science while staying connected to my agricultural roots. My work explores different weave structures that can be used to create pictorials using Montana yarns dyed with native and non-native plants.
I was born and raised in Switzerland into a working-class family with 3 siblings. Nothing was wasted. I learned from my mother many homemaking skills while developing my own creative talents. As a volunteer at an African mission school in Transkei, I enjoyed working and learning together with the locals. Their skills in reusing common objects for daily work, joy and entertainment inspired me. Later my travels to different parts of the world kept adding to the fascinating and complexity of re-purposing.
Moving to Virginia City in 2006, I found on my walks and excursions interesting rust metal pieces and tin left behind from as early as the Gold Rush era. The first clock I made from a rusty cable spool and a can lid. 10 years later, this clock in still ticking on my kitchen walls. Bringing you a functional piece of art made from common objects used in daily work and life: firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Idaho with a love of art since my childhood, always coloring and drawing. After I married a Dillon boy and had my 5 children, my art was limited for a while to several paintings for family gifts. Then I decided to go back to school because, heck, I lived in a college town! I double-majored in Art Education and Mathematics Education, and took every art class that Western offered, graduating with the Broadfield Art Education Degree. That is when I discovered my love for pottery, under the tutelage of master potter Barney Brienza. After graduation, though, all my jobs were teaching math. I taught math at UMW for 21 years, retiring after the fall of 1997.
Then COVID-19 hit! That was my big excuse for turning a portion of my husband’s shop into a pottery studio. So, I am now back at making pottery and am excited to re-learn those old skills!
Colleen K Howe
Growing up in the beautiful southwest Montana valley called the Big Hole, Colleen has long loved the landscape as the main focus of her artwork. She loves to solve the mysteries of light and color in each painting. Colleen K. Howe, AWA, PSA can be reached at 406-925-9434.
Montana Cowgirl Photography
I remember as a child I was taught to enjoy and appreciate nature and what it has to offer. So, in a world that seems so fast paced I believe that too many people are “Walking by Beauty” every day. They don’t take the time to look at their surroundings and see all the beauty that God has placed before them. I had become one of those “people”. Then I received my wake-up call, the one that says, “life’s too short”. So now I try to capture that “Beauty” through the lens of my camera to share with others. My work has been featured in and on the cover of the Treasure State Lifestyles of Montana magazine. Find Ruth on Facebook: Ruth.buglady
Translating Montana Landscape & History through Ancient Techniques
I consider myself a multimedia artist and attempt to bind my work together through themes that explore aging beautifully, landscape patterns, and antique craftsmanship in clothing and objects. I believe that a part can illuminate the whole by shifting how we see our world…
Susan and her husband have explored the Great Outdoors of Southwest Montana together for the last 40 years. She paints the open spaces, cultural landmarks, delicate streams, and wild rivers they have enjoyed. Her artworks reflect the stunning beauty and vibrant energy of this place they call Home.
Susan uses the medium of watercolors to loosely recreate familiar scenes, stir our own imagination of the natural world, and evoke the pride and inspiration associated with being in the presence of healthy waters, vividly colorful skies, and “purple mountains’ majesty”. Susan offers affordable, quality, Montana-made Artworks.
Gifts for you to give to others, gifts for you to give yourself.
Observing is becoming a lost art. As an avid lover of detail, my mission is to bring into focus what people might normally pass by. Photography is my medium of choice because I can capture true-to-life images which provide intricate details to the viewer, capture moments of “extreme beauty”, or give a look into moments of history. I am fascinated by both the Big Sky and the rest of nature under it. UnderTheBigSkyImages.com
Fashioned by Carol Ann
I have been involved with all sorts of crafts since I was a kid, mostly using fiber of some kind. I have often worked fabrics or yarns that I purchase in my travels. My most recent project is a jacket made with silk obtained in Thailand. However, knitting is my long-term interest. Since moving to Montana from New Jersey, I have found that the scenery, slower place of life and wonderful new friends have put me in a place very conducive to craft. For years I made my husband shirts and sweaters and always sewed in a tag that read “Fashioned by Carol Ann”. It got to the point that he would check to see where l put the tag before he looked at the garment. Hence, the hang tags on my work.
My art reflects my love of vibrant color and rich textures. Using mainly a palette knife, I am able to blend paint colors into an impressionistic representation of the subject matter. The result is a painterly version of things in my life that bring me joy and make me smile. My subjects range from nature’s flora and fauna, to all creatures great and small. If I can capture even a small part of the beauty this earth provides, I will have accomplished my goal! Passing on the joy and smiles to others is just icing on the cake. www.susanmoncada.com
The natural world has always been my muse. My escape. My salvation. My spiritual beacon. My voice has always been through art, not language. As American painter Edward Hopper said: “If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” In school, I became enamored with science to uncover the mysteries of nature. Although I learned the answer to many of these questions through my professional training as a naturalist, then veterinarian and pathologist, I have increasing reverence for the myriad of mysteries that remain unsolved by science. Thus, I return to creating art in an attempt to capture that mystery…. the spiritual world of nature. While painting and pathology are seemingly widely disparate endeavors, they have similarities in discovery of patterns, colors and shapes. It is not my desire to capture a realistic image when I paint. In contrast, I prefer a looser, more impressionistic approach, leaving the viewer an opportunity to make their own interpretations and draw their own conclusions. My goal is not necessarily a finished painting, but to savor the creative process. To quote another scientist, Albert Einstein said “… creativity is intelligence having fun.” I enjoy the ride.
“Metal is clay” is something I heard a long time ago.
My journey with metal has shown me this is true.
Thru fire and force I create the world around us in immovable metal.
Sharon Tash Reynolds
Sharon is well known in Southwest Montana for detailed and well-executed drawings and paintings depicting Beaverhead County. She began drawing and painting as a child. Area artist, Kay Harrison, was an early influence on Reynolds work, followed by High School art teachers Daryl Johnson and the late Jim Corr. Like many artists, she used the kitchen table on which to make art, but at the present time, she enjoys a studio in her home. Although she worked in oil early on, after having children, she found it easier and safer to make pencil drawings. Recently she has been exploring acrylic paint.
Reynolds enjoys “telling the story accurately and honestly” as authenticity is important to her. Mostly using her own collection of photographs for inspiration, she doesn’t edit out the wear on a saddle or the sweat of a hard-working cow horse. Her years as a ranch woman shine forth in her realistic renditions of ranch life and animals.
Stacie is a Montana artist, born and raised in Missoula, Montana. She has been living and working in Dillon since 2018. Stacie enjoys spending time with her family, especially her school-aged daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys designing and making jewelry of all types. Stacie has worked with a great variety of materials including leather, metals, crystals, gemstones, resin, and many, many more. She is always creating new pieces to wear and to sell and is always working on items that are unique. When time allows, Stacie posts new pieces on her Etsy website, SAWDesignsByStacie.
Carolyn M Young
My intent as an abstract painter is to share a sense of wonder, joy, and hope. Color is a key component in this expression along with the interaction of shape, line, and space. Allowing intuition to guide my decisions results in freedom of expression and a sense of being in flow. A dialogue takes place between inner and outer world, a conversation with spirit. My figurative work portrays those spirits that protect and guide us, those we cannot see, but whose presence we sense.
Painting is a process of exploration and discovery. It allows me to remain a student knowing that I cannot predict what will show up in the work. Wonder is an essential element. This quote by Michael Mew says it well: “The meaning of a piece often becomes apparent only in the end. It’s like finding a secret message that you unknowingly sent yourself.”