Abby Paffrath

Some of the hottest days we’ve had all summer were in late June when Abby Paffrath and I headed out to Fish Creek south of Wilson in search of inspiration for her contribution to our View22 project. Abby’s assigned property was Fish Creek Ranch, a great pairing for Abby who is an avid angler, and in two painting sessions about a week apart we visited spots overlooking the northern and southern ends of the property.

Abby’s preferred medium to work with is a process called batik. The batik process originated in Indonesia, and Abby’s work combines the beauty and inspiration of Jackson Hole with a centuries old traditional art form of the Balinese people. Traditionally, the batik process uses wax and dye technique to create images on fabric.

During our visit to Fish Creek, Abby used watercolors (and water from Fish Creek) to lay the base for what she would later craft in her studio with pigments and wax. She explained to me that her favorite part about working with batik is the mystery of what is to come; until the wax is removed from the fabric you are never entirely sure what the piece will become.

During both visits we started early in the morning and the early morning light and almost cloudless skies were perfect for capturing the creek and surrounding mountains. We didn’t linger longer than necessary and were finished before the heat of the day overcame us. Still, we both agreed we couldn’t help but wish that we had more time to stay and enjoy the calm, quiet beauty of Fish Creek.

– Roxy Pierson

Alissa Hartmann

I am so excited to be assigned to the Spring Creek Ranch easement just up Spring Gulch Rd. It is so close to town yet it feels like being miles and miles away from civilization. The turn-off is a little dirt road that takes me just far enough away where I don’t even hear any traffic. Instead, I hear a myriad of bird song including a woodpecker. More times then not I see a buck and I like to think it is the same one and that he might be getting used to me setting up my easel. To get to my first painting spot, I followed a steep trail up the hillside. Thankfully, all my painting supplies fit in a backpack because it is quite the climb! After about hiking for about 15 minutes, I am rewarded with a stunning view of the Tetons and the sprawling valley of cottonwood trees below. Perfect spot to begin my first painting!

– Alissa Hartmann

Amy Unfried

After I returned to Jackson Hole this spring after over a month away, it was not long before I went up to my foundry near Bozeman to work on the several pieces that were in process there, including my Trail Creek Ranch piece. I was pleased to find that it had cast well: the foundry had determined that the branch was too thick for a direct casting to be successful, so they made a mold of it and a wax replication which would cast beautifully, although by doing so it also increased the cost of making the piece and thus the finished price. It was particularly good that it came out so well, because the smaller “backup” piece that I had taken to them at the same time ended up not casting well at all, with the result that I abandoned that piece.

As usual there was work to be done on the metal to get it the way I wanted, and the five birds—three larger plus two very small—all needed to be positioned and welded on, and after sandblasting to create a uniform clean metal surface, the patina could begin to be applied. The patina artist is working on it in the photo above. Also shown is the piece with the patina finished — all five of the birds with impressionistic but recognizably colored plumage, and the bronze branch now indistinguishable from the wooden one. The piece, alongside other new pieces of mine in a similar state, is not yet waxed and is still awaiting being mounted on its wooden base.

Anne Muller

What a privilege it is to be a part of this important exhibit and what a magnificent experience this privilege has given me!

To stand on a bluff overlooking the land that the Oplers have put into easement, to feel the awe that such wild beauty demands, is to fully grasp the significance of Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Imagine tromping around late on a summer afternoon in knee-high meadow grass, wildflowers everywhere and a gentle wind always at your back. Throw in an instant friendship with the landowners and you have the experience of this particular shoot. It is the kind of work I feel I could do everyday of my life. I am grateful to have had this opportunity.

– Anne Muller

Annie Band

When I was asked to participate in the View22 Project, I was thrilled; so many JHLT properties are near and dear to my heart. I also was a little concerned about being able to finish a complex piece during my summer madness, but I just had to say yes. Then I found out I was paired with the Snake River Ranch, one of the most beautiful places in the valley. Living on Fish Creek Road I walk, run or bike past this property several times a week, year round. It holds a very special place in my heart.

As the first jeweler involved in the project, I really want to create something iconic and evocative, yet easy to wear. I was completely staggered by the flowers blooming this summer on the Ranch, and it has been hard to avoid focusing entirely on wildflowers while wandering about. The mule’s ear has given way to swathes of helianthella in shocks of sunlit yellow, and many other more subtle and divine blossoms. I’ve sketched and photographed several times on the property this summer and am deciding exactly where my piece will go. I want to capture the lightness and joy of the flowers within a framework that specifically honors the Snake River Ranch.

I love the fence lines wandering off against backdrops of cottonwoods, aspens, firs, and mountain ridges. The flowers erupting everywhere may have to be the focus for me, illuminated with some brilliant gems. Perhaps a hinged choker that captures that sense of wandering and living in the moment, filled with blooms…

– Annie Band

Beedee Ladd

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This painting session is scheduled for October 2013! Sign up to receive email updates from us to the right so you get our blog posts right in your inbox!

Ben Roth

I’ve always been intrigued by bonsai and their gnarled, twisted character and have wished that there were more around to paint and print. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Land Trust has any holdings in Japan, but while out hiking along the Snake River, I was struck by the abundance of our unaltered version to the stately bonsai – the exquisite sagebrush.

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Jenny Wolfrom recommended the Spring Creek Ranch easement on Spring Gulch Road for sagebrush observation and she was on point. It was fun to go up a new drainage in the valley and I really enjoyed the Dr. Seussian, spindly aspen trees and meandering trails. I was looking a picturesque sage bush with the elegance of bonsai and didn’t find the exact one but several that were close, so I studied them, did some sketches and created the shape I was envisioning.

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I’m in the process of painting the original and then will do a five color screen print next week. My hope is for an edition of 50. I’m painting the bush without background and treating it as a portrait.

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-Ben Roth

Bill Sawczuk

Years ago when my wife, Joyce, was working for the Jackson Hole Historical Society, Jack Huyler was writing his first book about the good old days in Jackson Hole. We were invited to a potluck at the Rocking H and Jack read excerpts from his book around the campfire. I had a chance to look into the barn and thus look back into time. Hundreds of horse show ribbons are hanging from the ceiling in the aisle between the horse stalls. The ribbons are now faded and tattered and most of them are many years old; each one with a story of a horse show long ago.

The painting session was my second opportunity to paint the barn and I chose the opposite angle which gives a different perspective on the size of the barn. The barn has been well maintained over the years, so it shows its age well. You can’t help but to think back to the heyday of the Rocking H and its predecessor, the Bearpaw ranch. What a life those dudes of long ago had! Now the ranch and buildings are preserved with a Land Trust conservation easement, and its history will continue.

I set up my easel near the barn and three horses that have the run of the place were pretty interested in what I was doing, so they periodically would come over to me, visit, and check my progress. I believe that they were pleased since they didn’t give me the horse laugh. Three feet over from me, a hole in a cottonwood contained a flicker’s nest. The mother was in the process of an afternoon feeding of the little ones and she was hesitating to go into the nest the first time. She saw, however, that I was pretty harmless and soon she was used to my presence and proceeded to bring big, juicy bugs every few minutes. She kept this up for the three hours of my painting……….whew!!!!

The painting turned out well, and with a few additions in the studio, it should be a nice piece representing Jackson history and a real Land Trust gem.

-Bill Sawczuk

Bobbi Miller

Bronwyn Minton

Bronwyn Minton created this View22 piece from Karns Meadow in early July. She was paired this location because it is central to her “sense of place”, as she lives nearby and walks by it nearly every morning.

Bronwyn is the Associate Curator of Art at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and has worked in a variety of mediums to create works that are often inspired by the complexity and elegance of the natural world.

Her View22 piece is reminiscent of her “Borderlands” installation on display at the St. John’s Hospital Birth Center – 51 three-dimensional rubbings of native plants, each mounted behind a 1″ thick piece of plexiglass and hung together to create a single installation. Each rubbing was created from plants that Bronwyn collected, to create “the experience of looking through a magnifying glass or a microscope.”

For View22, Bronwyn collected native plants from her neighborhood open space, Karns Meadow, to create a set of graphite and acrylic on board panels meant to be displayed as a pair.

Later in July, Bronwyn returned to Karns Meadow as one of the local artists invited to collaborate with the Exquisite Gardeners for the Land Trust’s FoundSpace project, a community art installation to celebrate Karns Meadow, built from found objects gathered on Land Trust protected properties.

– Leslie Steen