Overview of art exhibit in museum

This exhibit was displayed in the Expedition Room in summer 2015.

Exploring Yellowstone Through ART

Twenty-six professional and amateur artists—current and former residents of the county and the park—are represented. Subjects are as varied as the park itself, including landscapes, geothermal features, wildlife, and more. Artists chose varied mediums, including oil, oil encaustic, acrylic, watercolor, oil pastel, colored pencil, and stained glass. A brief story about the artist's inspiration behind each piece is included as is artist contact info. Please contact the artist directly regarding their featured piece, which may be available for sale. Some sales benefit the museum! Artists may also have other works available.

Yellowstone has a long history of inspiring artists. Before the park was created, artist Thomas Moran, along with photographer William H. Jackson, documented the wonders of the park, helping build support for its preservation. Since the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, thousands of artists have followed in their footsteps, finding inspiration from the park’s wild places and wildlife. This relationship between the wonders of nature and the desire to interpret them will continue to enthrall artists far into the future.

Artists share their interpretation of place, conveying the history and culture of an area in ways that cannot be duplicated. The viewer gains not only a greater understanding of place but art also possesses intangible and ineffable qualities that enhance the viewer’s experience. 

A Place They Go To Die painting by Janie Campe

Janie Camp
The Place They Go To Die
Oil on linen, 16 x 20

This remote area at the end of the South Arm of Yellowstone Lake is an archaeological site known to some early Native Americans as “The Place They Go To Die.” I was moved by the scene’s mist and forest-fire smoke coloring the morning sun. The mood evoked a beautiful eeriness reminiscent of a place where one might rest in peace.

Elk in Yellowstone, oil painting by Linda Barnsley

Linda Barnsley
Elk in Yellowstone
Oil, 11 x 14
$200* All proceeds benefit the museum

Every time I visit Yellowstone I am inundated with ideas for future works. As a wildlife painter I travel through the park with my camera at the ready, never knowing what I will find. This bull elk was captured in late afternoon on a winter’s day—fading sunlight highlighting the frozen landscape.

Acrylic Painting of Virtual Wonder by Puci

Virtual Wonder
Oil on prepared cotton fabric, 18 x 24
$750* 20% benefits the museum

What is our role in Yellowstone National Park today? To explore how our contemporary world engages with the park’s natural environment, my visual dialog speaks of an indirect relationship. I entered the park via the virtual world of Google Maps & Street Views, composing my own digital snapshots as an eager yet distant viewer—much like the visitor in the painting.

For Our Children painting by Margaret Bach

Margaret Bach
Yellowstone Magic
Other works available*

The low light in the geyser basin at Old Faithful is always magical, bathing everything in a pinkish, golden light. My family, consisting of my husband, Orville “Butch” Bach, and our two daughters, Caroline and Alison, loved to ride our bikes at this time of day. Butch was a seasonal park ranger, and every year we traveled from Tennessee to Old Faithful for the summer.

Slow Flow painting by Bob Newhall

Bob Newhall
Slow Flow
Oil on canvas

Painting plein air is my great pleasure, with roots running deep in a Montana childhood where I roamed freely in fields and mountains. I began painting at age twelve and never stopped. Yellowstone is the soul of this country, revealing the land as it has been for thousands of years. Painting in Yellowstone connects me to its unbroken past.

Pastel painting of bears and Old Faithful geyser by Mimi Matsuda

Mimi Matsuda
Worth the Wait
Soft pastel on board
Prints available*

Millions of people visit Old Faithful. It is a wonderful, supernatural and shared experience. Children earnestly work to earn their Junior Ranger awards. Ravens, faithful regulars to the geyser area, observe humans. Here, I depict bears after the tourist season. I was a park ranger naturalist at Fishing Bridge for eight summers and now work fulltime as an artist in Bozeman.

Yellowstone Falls painting by Monte Dolack

Monte Dolack
Yellowstone Falls
Archival digital limited-edition print
Prints available*

I spent the summer of 1969 working and living at Mammoth. My job was six days a week and did not pay very well, but we spent a lot of time soaking in the hot water on the Gardner River and took beautiful drives and walked around the park every chance we got.

*Monte Dolack Gallery
139 W. Front St., Missoula, MT 59802
406.549.3248 or 800.825.7613
info@dolack.com, www.dolack.com
Painting of Fringed Gentian by Marsha Karle

Marsha Karle
Fringed Gentian
Other works available*

Fringed gentian like their feet wet, so they bring to mind countless soggy little spots around the park—the border of a hot-spring runoff channel or a tiny hillside seep. This flower was named the official Yellowstone National Park flower in 1926, but my husband Paul and I admire it most for its fabulous color, which poet William Cullen Bryant described
as “Heaven’s own blue.”

Painting of Peregrine Falcon by Christine Tiscione

Christine Tiscione
Yellowstone Peregrine Falcon
Giclée on canvas, 24 x 30
$2,875; $625 prints*

The setting of Yellowstone works to amplify the character of these high-soaring birds. It is because of their majesty that I felt compelled to create this portrait.

*P.O. Box 2363, Livingston, MT 59047
Find Christine Tiscione Fine Art on Facebook
Oil painting of grizzly bear sow and cub by Lyn StClair

Lyn StClair
Gimme Shelter
Oil on birch panel
Other works available*

As an artist, Yellowstone is one of my greatest sources of inspiration, and grizzlies in particular. These bears are caught in the moment before the sow ferried her cub on her back across the Yellowstone River on a cold, snowy spring day. I’ve never seen this behavior before and moments like this keep me going back to “Parkadise.”

P.O. Box 1403, Livingston, MT 59047
Find Lyn StClair on Facebook
Emerald Pool oil painting by Robert Spannring

Robert Spannring
Emerald Pool
Other works available*

The unique landscape with its changing textures and colors inspire me to paint the many geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park. I painted this hot spring pool plein air in Black Sand Basin.

*39 Yellowstone Trail, Livingston, MT 59047
Painting of Bull Fight by Paul Tunkis

Paul Tunkis
Bull Fight!
Other works available*

Buffalo have become an iconic symbol of Yellowstone National Park. I can think of nothing that expresses the wildness of the park more than the fall buffalo rut. Bellowing bulls, threat posturing, and finally, great clouds of dirt and dust partially obscure the great shoving matches. The noise and thunder comes to fruition in spring with newborn calves.

*E Street Gallery, by appointment
119 S. E Street, Livingston, MT 59047
Oil painting of Storm Point by Shirl Ireland

Shirl Ireland
Against the Odds
Oil on linen, 15 x 17

This piece was painted plein air on Yellowstone Lake at Storm Point. A tricky place to paint, some days the wind blows so hard my easel won’t stand up. And so the title inspiration—this gorgeous group of trees, set against a large burnt section, defying the odds and growing tall and strong to stand up against any wind and weather.

*Elk River Art, PO Box 1112, Gardiner, MT 59030
www.shirlireland.com or www.elkriverart.com
Oil painting of early explorer in Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Tom L. Roberts
Tom L. Roberts
Early Explorers of the Yellowstone                    Oil on canvas
Other works available*

I have a deep love of the West and its history, nurtured by working as a park ranger in Yellowstone for twenty summers. Here is my interpretation of what the scene looked like when independent fur trapper French-Canadian Baptiste Ducharme viewed the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River near today’s Artist Point, c. 1827. 


Oil encaustic painting of Isa Lake, Craig Pass, by Paul Boruff

Paul Boruff
Isa Lake
Oil encaustic on board
Other works available*

I am always inspired by the magnificence of Yellowstone Park. Isa Lake, named for Isabel Jelke of Cincinnati, Ohio, is no exception. In this painting, I was compelled to paint the beautiful lily pad flowers and mysterious waters on the Continental Divide near Craig Pass.

Oil painting of coyote in willows and snow by Dan Downing

Dan Downing
Yellowstone Observer
Oil on board, 16 x 20

I have had the extreme good fortune to live, work, and paint in Yellowstone Park over the last thirty-four years. As busy as the park continues to be in the summer months, it is still possible to walk in the woods only a few hundred yards and feel as if you have the place to yourself—to be a Yellowstone observer. 

Oil painting of bison cow and calf by Betsey Hurd

Betsey Hurd
Heart of the Park
Other works available*

Yellowstone is home to many of the West’s best and charismatic megafauna, and to me, the American Bison epitomizes what is strong and beautiful and enduring in our world.

Oil painting of thermal area in Yellowstone by Noelle Sullivan

Noelle Sullivan
Hell's Half Acre
Other works available*

In Yellowstone, we often face the unimaginable: fiercely boiling lakes, black ravines, limpid orange pools, and aquamarine chambers sinking to nowhere. We are small creatures floating on uncertain ground. When I stand at the heart of Midway Geyser Basin, surrounded by steam, I feel disoriented and ready to rethink reality. Where am I, and where am I going?


OIl painting of wolf by Doris Davis-Gallagher

Doris Davis-Gallagher
What Are You Doing Here?
Oil, 17.5 x 14.5

Since moving to Montana twelve years ago, I focus on Yellowstone Park for inspiration. I seek to portray the animals as fellow beings, inhabiting and influencing our shared world. We encountered this wolf walking along the road in Lamar Valley. He gazed at us as if thinking, “What are you doing here? This is my territory.” And indeed it was.

Oil painting of elk in Phantom Lake, Yellowstone, by Pamela Earleywine

Pamela Earleywine
Phantom Lake
Oil on canvas, 16 x 20
$900* 30% benefits the museum

Phantom Lake is in Yellowstone Park, about eight miles north of Tower Fall. Fed by Oxbow Creek during spring runoff, it is usually dry by mid-summer. Last spring I drove down the hill above Phantom Lake and found two bull elk in velvet standing belly deep in the water. Seeing something like this makes me happy; I enjoy painting unusual scenes.

Colored pencil drawing of bison by Gilaine Spoto

Gilaine Spoto
Bison Outside the Arch
Colored pencil on repurposed birch
Other works available*

When I visited Yellowstone in the spring of 2003, I saw bison leaving the park through the Roosevelt Arch. I moved to Gardiner in 2004. Every year I watch their ebb and flow along Yellowstone’s boundary according to their nature and the tolerance of the surrounding community.

Stained glass wolf paw by Elenor Graff

Elenor Graff
Wolf Track
Stained glass, obsidian, petrified wood 
May be available*

Old Faithful, Petrified Tree, Obsidian Cliffs, and the Lower Falls are represented in the pads of the wolf track, along with an American Bald Eagle. The tree is created from petrified wood found in my yard; the cliffs, and the wolf claws, are made from obsidian found outside the park. Incorporating organic materials creates a unique piece of glass art.


Soda Butte painting by Kelly Hartman

Kelly Hartman
Soda Butte Cone
Other works available*

Growing up and living in Silver Gate, the cone is a sign that I am almost home. Its color, shape, and surrounding scenery make it a wonderful subject to paint. An October 1889 article announced that the cone, in decline and soon to crumble away, could be moved to the opposite bank if a railroad was constructed there, keeping the feature inside the park. But there it stands over a hundred years later. And indeed it was.


Oil painting of sunset in Hayden Valley by Gianna Dryer

Gianna Dryer 
Sunset in Hayden Valley
Oil on linen
May be available*

In 2010, I discovered Yellowstone National Park and plein air painting. The park inspired me to start painting its scenery and wildlife. While enjoying the beauty and wonders of the park, I happened to be in Hayden Valley at sunset and came across these bison grazing near the river. I now work in Yellowstone fulltime.


Painting of Roosevelt Arch with young girl swinging from arch

Katie Mahony
My Playground
Museum Collections*

My childhood was anything but ordinary. Growing up in Yellowstone National Park meant substituting video games with hikes, sagebrush forts, and dodging wild herbivores. It meant playing kick-the-can over buffalo pies and counting my classmates on one hand. When I revisit my childhood home, nostalgia creeps in every time I see the Roosevelt Arch. I seek to capture that unadulterated bliss from when I was young—both in this painting and real life.



Acrylic painting of moose in winter by Nataliia Wise

Nataliia Wise
Peeking Through
Acrylic, 16 x 12
$200* 50% benefits the museum

My inspiration to begin painting came from living in Yellowstone. This piece was inspired by Yellowstone in winter—my favorite season—when the park is especially beautiful and peaceful. Every living being is conserving energy or sleeping, preparing for another summer. This creates for me a feeling of serenity and of gratitude for being able to immerse myself in this uniquely preserved natural place.