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Christmas in Montana 2015 - A Special Project with Triple Creek Ranch


Summer is in the air here in Montana, and I am enjoying viewing the season's arrival through my studio windows each day. I am currently working on a group of new works and concepts for some approaching show deadlines, as well as for my galleries for the upcoming busy summer season! I am anxious to see what will emerge along with the vibrant greens of Spring, and I will post new paintings and announcements as they come available in the coming weeks!

A major project that I am focusing on this spring is a very special collaboration and event that I am working on in conjunction with Triple Creek Ranch....it is another "Christmas in Montana" painting in my series that has spanned over the past 23 years. This project is one that you can follow along with us on if so inclined, right here on this blog page, as the painting unfolds over the next few months.

One of several distinctive details of this project is that this is the ONLY original painting in my "Christmas in Montana" series, that will be made available for purchase. ALL of the proceeds from the sale of this original painting of "Christmas in Montana 2015" will be donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and the Montana Parkinson's Foundation.

To learn more about all of the prominent details of this unique project, please visit my page featuring "Christmas in Montana - A Special Project with Triple Creek Ranch". I am honored to be able to work with Triple Creek Ranch on this important fundraising effort to help benefit these two causes that are close to our hearts.

June 14, 2015: Well, the printing process is in full swing for this latest "Christmas in Montana" limited edition print series and greeting cards...you can scroll down below to view how the painting process evolved along the way each week on this piece, from the beginning sketch to the final brushstroke. Limited edition lithographs, as well as a limited edition of Giclée prints done on canvas with hand painted highlights, will be released by July 1st....as well as boxed greeting cards. You can view purchasing options on the "Christmas in Montana - A Special Project with Triple Creek Ranch" page, starting July 1st, 2015. If you're interested in placing a bid on the original painting itself (the only Christmas in Montana I have done that will be made available outside of our family...), AND help support both The Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Montana Parkinson's Foundation at the same time, you can find information regarding the silent auction bidding process that will take place on this painting, on the above page link as well!

June 7, 2015: Following is post number eleven, featuring the painting as I begin to work on finalizing the border and title layout for the finished lithographs and greeting cards. The gold metallic highlights will be added on a separate "plate", during the printing process on the lithographs and cards, and I will be painting the gold and copper highlights myself, on each limited edition Giclée that will be released of this image on canvas, as well. More details about these products, and this project, to follow in next week's post!

May 31, 2015: Following is post number ten, showing more layers and details that I have added to the horses, snowy foreground, and snowflakes in the air! The trees also needed more layers of snow in them, and I added more detail to the bottom row of cheerful patterns and sleigh bells. I added the "wrapped lights" elements around the top and bottom borders, in honor of a farmhouse near our home...the family decorates their home, barn, fence lines and weathervane outline with rows and rows of white lights every December. It is a cheery sight that I look forward to seeing each year as we drive to and from our home, and I can only imagine how much work it is for them to put these lights up every year. In order to give the piece more warmth however, I painted the white lights in vibrant yellow hues...it gives the illusion of bright shining lights, but to my eyes does not add even more colder white tones to the already-cool snowflakes falling, and chilly hues in the snowy foreground. The yellow hues add a warmer "balance" to the piece. I added some more darker values to the graphic border in the foreground, as I need those darker tones to accentuate the gold metallic highlights that will be added during the printing process...I am going to "pop" the border more with these highlights when the prints are produced. The American Flag must be in this piece, in honor of this great country we are all so truly blessed to live in. More to follow in next week's post!

May 24, 2015: This ninth post reveals more layering work in the snow in the foreground, as well as in the background distant mountains. More color is working its' way into the horses, and the details in the bottom section of graphic elements, cheerful sleigh bells, and flying snow from the running horses are emerging as the piece unfolds. More to follow in next week's post! Pat and I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of those and their families, who have served, do serve, and have sacrificed a great deal for our country, on this Memorial Day weekend.

May 17, 2015: This eighth post shows the beginning layers in the snowy areas in the foreground, and early layers in the horses as well. It needs more color! More to follow in next week's post...!

May 10, 2015: This seventh post illustrates a close-up of beginning layers on one of the horses in the scene. I was beginning to wonder when I was finally going to start using some color in the piece(?). At any rate, these initial layers in the horses will stay or ultimately go...they are merely a roadmap for me in laying out my initial layers in the horses. Snowy fields are yet to be seen! More to follow in next week's post.....!


May 3, 2015: This sixth post illustrates my beginning to add details to the background trees, as well as the softer values in the mountains in the distance. In keeping with the vibrant hues and playful theme, I am letting some of the vibrant background colors continue to show through in some spots. The horses are beginning to fill in with the base colors, and the foreground is showing another layer of detail and depth. The dark values will push the sleigh bells to the forefront in the final stages. More to follow in next week's post....

April 26, 2015: This fifth post shows my beginning layers in the hues of the sky and the darker values of the trees in the background. The bright gold in the sky will show from underneath the blue values in small spots, creating a cheery contrast with these blues. I am leaning towards a crisp blue Montana winter sky, as opposed to a sky filled with snow. I will see where this takes me in the following stages! More to follow in next week's post....

April 19, 2015: This fourth post demonstrates the progress made from last week's post (see timeline below). This painting is certainly pulling me towards vivid, happy colors! I have filled in the background with base colors of red, orange, and magentas, and am beginning on the details of the horses. More to follow in next week's post...:

April 12, 2015: This third post shows my progress from last week's beginning rough outline in red. I have begun filling in the areas blocked out, with initial base colors that will beginning the layering process. I find I am being drawn towards a palette of warm, happy colors in these bottom layers, as you can see by the reds, oranges, and golds being the predominant hues. More to unfold in next week's post...:

April 5, 2015: This second post shows my starting outline, following last week's post featuring the painting's rough sketch layout. I am choosing the color red to be interwoven in the background, as red reminds me of Christmas and the joy of the season. More to follow in next week's post....!:

March 30, 2015: This first post features my initial rough sketch, the very first step I take when beginning a new painting, and each week I will post an updated image to this blog page, as my progress in transforming this painting from a starting sketch to the finished piece is made. I hope you will enjoy viewing the process as much as I know I will enjoy painting this piece, in the continuation of my "Christmas in Montana" series!

It is impossible to convey, in a simple black and white sketch, the colors that I have in my head for this painting! In describing a little of how I envision this in "technicolor", I want this to be a lively scene of horses in the midst of a snowy romp on Christmas Day....the finished painting will incorporate a multitude of vivid hues, loose brushstrokes, and energy!

A limited edition of prints, as well as greeting cards, will also be published of this finished painting by July 1st, 2015.

Here are a couple of my previous "Christmas in Montana" releases, "Fishing Santa", released in 2000....


and "Bearing Gifts", released in 2005...


More to follow in next week's post, and thank you for reading!!

And...here's to Spring! May you and yours enjoy all of the promise and beauty that it brings.

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