I go far out into places where human beings are small and insignificant
to sense my place in them.
Shirl has been a creative soul all her life. From the art cart in first grade through college Art, onto plein air painting and now living and painting in her studio and home overlooking Yellowstone National Park. Full circle for an artist who is inspired by wild landscapes and the creatures that inhabit them.
These days, she is often working plein air at dawn or dusk to experience the glorious but fleeting color harmonies, the constantly changing reality. Many days are begun by heading into Yellowstone in the dark to catch the spectacular color transformation of sunrise at a particular spot. Or hiking to a remote destination with her easel in her backpack. It’s a sport to capture that light on canvas before it is something different and the color is gone, or a cloud moves in to change everything, or the sun crests the mountain to shine bright on what was just a shadow... or the wind kicks up and blows the whole thing over!
Promising pieces go to the studio as studies and references for larger works. Sometimes the goal is to incorporate even more from that plein air experience - the wildlife that passed by or maybe the colors at that exact moment before the sunrise that felt like magic in the air. Then, if they pass the studio test, they are hung in the gallery to be shared and to show the initial spontaneous emotion of that outing.
Shirl spends hours in nature capturing time, moments really. Time well spent to share with others and teach them of nature’s possibilities - of that magic that hangs in the air of wilderness.