- The Artist
This summer we spent two months ,driving over 6000 miles to spend time with friends, explore the western United States, draw wildlife and visit our galleries. Not only did we spend some wonderful quality time with old friends, but we also made several new friends and set up an exhibition at a new gallery in Whitefish, Montana ,near Glacier National Park on the Canadian border.
We started by visiting our friends Dub and Sharon Bartlett in Chapel Hill ,Texas and then drove over to visit Clark and Mary Mcnaught in new Braunfels ,Texas. We had so much fun exploring new areas with them and reminiscing about our shared adventures in Africa. We visited the UFO museum in Roswell New Mexico, and explored Dinosaur National park in Utah. We got to do some beautiful hikes with our friend Markeeta Brown in Taos ,New Mexico and visited Telluride ,Colorado for the first time. We spent a few days with Paul Silver our artist friend in Salida, Colorado and ended up back with our friends Don and Leslie Roth in Driggs Idaho.
Staying at Thistledew cabin in Driggs is one of our favorite retreats. There, we got to see our friends Steve and Yancy Sietz ,who built a beautiful home, coincidentally only about a mile from our cabin . Of course one of my favorite things in the world is to visit Earthfire Institute and see my good friend Dr. Susan Ehrlich there. She is an incredible conservationist and one of my favorite folks to sit down and chat with. Earthfire allows me to spend hours with their wolves, bears and North American wildlife observing their movements, musculature and expressions for my artwork. They are building an incredible expansion and I am looking forward to seeing the new bear habitat that they are building .
Our friends Don and Leslie, who owns Thistledew cabin have become wonderful friends and we enjoy spending time with them hiking, and "hunting moose" on the Teton River.(Of course, I mean "hunting moose "to draw)-
We visited our friend, Sam Sung's expansive home and airplane hanger in a wonderful airplane subdivision near Alpine, Idaho. Sam lives in Hong Kong, but has a beautiful home in Alpine ,Idaho that he can fly his jet into and park on his own property. As an international businessman, Sam could display art from any artist all over the world and I was quite honored that he picked my artwork for his beautiful home.
Just before we left home we found out that our old South African friend Matt Lindenberg, who is the CEO of the Global Conservation Corps ,was going to be showcasing a film he produced called"Rhino man" at the Jackson Wild film awards while we were there. We met Matt at the Atlanta art show eight years ago when he was beginning work on" Rhino man", which is a film following the challenges and lives of young African men who aspire to become anti-poaching police rangers. It's an incredible story that, as life would have it, takes some very dramatic and, sometimes sad, turns.
Rhino man was chosen to be in the top finalists for awards at the Jackson Wild film festival, which is the" Oscars of nature films". We were honored to be invited to the premiere of "Rhino man" and invited to the gala award ceremony as well in Jackson. What an incredible group of filmmakers at that event! National Geographic, the BBC, the Jane Goodall film Crews,and all the Earth's foremost wildlife photographers, naturalist, and videographers were there. We got to see previews of all the latest wildlife and nature films being produced that are going to be televised on Netflix, broadcast television, and Prime over the next couple of years. We were bummed out that Rhino man did not win an award ,but just to place in the top finalists at the Jackson wild event was quite an accomplishment. We are looking forward to Matt entering again in the future.
While we were in Idaho, we did a side trip up to Whitefish ,Montana near Glacier national Park. Guy and Tammy are some wonderful friends we met at the Southlake show who are building a beautiful home in Whitefish. Thanks to them and my North American wildlife work, we were asked to exhibit at the Dick Idol Gallery in Whitefish. So we went up there to make our first delivery of artwork and put an additional coat of fixative on a piece called "Destiny is all ",that guy and Tammy bought for their bedroom there.
I was so pleased to meet Colt Idol and his wife Jennifer and get to know the wonderful staff at the Dick idol gallery in whitefish. They were very nice and really made us feel at home and comfortable in our new surroundings. We spent a couple of days at glacier Park, hiking and getting to know the park even though we were there the day before it closed for the season. Despite only sporadic sunshine, it was really beautiful and we can't wait to go back on a sunny warm afternoon.
We returned to Driggs and Thistledew so that I could draw Wolves at Earthfire. We had a wonderful chance encounter ,and made a new friend at a little music concert in Tetonia. At the concert (more of a" country shindig" a a small local bar) we met Phil Freed and his son Wyatt. Both are pilots ( Wyatt for Jet blue, and Phil after an historic stint in Vietnam) and we became instant friends it seems.
We ended up visiting our friends Ged and TERESA Caddick who have one of the most beautiful, isolated, and comfortable log cabins we have ever seen near crested Butte Colorado. Ged and TERESA own Terra Incognita Tours which specialize in wildlife and cultural adventures all over the world. Jim and I have so much in common with them, it really is quite enjoyable to spend time with them in the wilderness. We did some beautiful hiking and since we were there in early October, the Aspens were just awesome and golden, yellow, and Red leaves.
We ended our trip in Pagosa Springs visiting my old friend , and jeweler,Crystal Martinez on her beautiful ranch. I got to see my old horse that I raised Breva, and spend some quality time horseback riding and drawing horses.
We spent a night in Dallas with our mentor and old friend Dr. Rick Redalen. He is really one of the founders of Arts for Animals with us because of his wonderful advice and support! Of course I have lots of good photographs following so that you can better follow our Outwest adventure this year.