A Little About My Art and Myself

Thanks for joining me again.  Or if this is your first time with me, Welcome.  I have been painting since I was about 12, when my parents gave me a set of Oil Paints for Christmas.  I went to a very small school in North Central Wyoming, no Art Classes available, I just kind of “pecked” away at it on my own.  I have always loved to paint and create, so thought about a Career in Art Education, did 2 years at Sheridan JR. College, receiving an AA Degree in Art Education.  In the early 70’s I married my wife, Sandy, also an artist.  Through our first few years art was not an option, we were to busy trying to make a living and support our family.  In 1979, I left my job, and we opened our first Art Gallery in Dayton, Wyoming.  Very small and very inexpensive, but we soon found it was TOO small, so moved to a larger Gallery in Ranchester, Wyoming, thus beginning our Professional Art Careers.  In the early 80’s we, being “eccentric” artists, sold out everything and made the move to Montana, with everything we owned, 2 kids, 2 dogs all in a 1972 Volkswagon Van. We bounced around NW Montana for a few years, found our “Homestead” just North West of Eureka, Montana, I n 1984 and this is where we still reside.  Through the years, raising family, working, keeping a small ranch going, Sandy left the Arts, found many other interests and continued to support my desire to be an Artist.  The first several years were lean to say the least, doing Fine Art Shows around the Country in the before mentioned 1972 Volkswagon Van.  Camping out, or staying in the van, to save money.  However, I pursued my dream diligently, and eventually started to make a few dollars over my expenses.  Needless to say, I have worked at some strange jobs to remain a full time Artist.  Looking back over the last 40+ years, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  I have an awesome, supportive Wife, three Awesome Daughters and 5 Beautiful Grandchildren, and have lived in an area that inspires my Art everyday.

Through my Art Career I have owned 2 Art Galleries, closing Elk Camp Arts, Gallery and Showroom, in Eureka, at the end of 2014.  Yep, I retired, except for working on the Ranch, AI’ing Cattle for local Ranchers and Homesteaders, and picking up some of my favorite Fine Art Shows through the year, and painting 5-8 hours daily.  I love rainy days, they are spent in my Studio, doing what I love to do, Create.  I love sunny days, they are spent on the Ranch, in the Garden, or roaming our beautiful mountains in search of unique scenes, rocks, stumps, etc that will eventually end up in one of my paintings.  Evenings are usually spent in my Natural Canvas Art Studio, painting and watching “Old Western” Movies, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart are my favorites.

In the past, before Elk Camp Arts, Gallery and Showroom, every year I started doing Shows around the 4th of July, and usually did a show somewhere in the United States every weekend until the last weekend before Christmas.  Lots of travel, meeting some of the Greatest People in the world, other Artists.  Throughout these wonderful years I have won many “Best of Show”, “Peoples Choice” and a few “Artists Choice” Awards at Fine Art Shows.  In the 1990’s I was invited to be in the “Artists of the West” book, a collection of 119 Artists from the North West.  This was a huge honor for me, I have done shows with most of the Artists in the book, and a few we have cultivated a unique bond and friend ship that only Artists can.  In 2008, I was honored as the Montana SBA, Home Based Business Champion of the Year and also the Region 7 SBA Home Based Business Champion of the Year.  Another great honor for this “ole” Cowboy Artists.  Then, in 2009, I was given the Honor of being the FIRST, Treasured Montana Artist, by Secretary of State, Linda McCulloch and had 18 of my Original Paintings hanging in her office in the Historic Montana Capitol Building in Helena, Montana.  Secretary McCulloch held a reception for me.  What a day, hobnobbing with Legislators, the LT. Governor, having my photo taken with these and others that were there.  This with out a doubt is the Greatest Honor I have received in my Career.

Now, retired, I am working on many new paintings and projects, including, just starting a new Wholesale business with my Hand Painted Glass Ware.  I did my first Made in Montana Marketplace Trade Show in Helena this last March.  I am back on the road to a “few” of my favorite Art Shows,  mostly local, and I am spending some Wednesday afternoons at our Local Farmer’s Market selling some of the Veggie Plants that we raised that we couldn’t fit into an acre of garden.  Even in this slow economy, Life is Good at Nature’s Peace Ranch, Natural Canvas Art Studio, and Elk Camp Arts.  Thanks again for joining me, be sure to check out www.elkcampart.com and join me on facebook.

 

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