A Paper Trail
Scattered on a studio floor, tacked above a desk, bound in small books or stored in archival drawers, an artist's work on paper has always been of particular interest to me. Follow my gallery wanderings and studio visits to discover unique works on paper.
A holiday visit to the Teton Mountains in Jackson, Wyoming brings only one thing to the mind of an enthusiastic skier. Powder. How do I get some, guaranteed, and then, how do I get some more? It is not easy. This year, we arrived in Jackson to scratchy slopes and rocky bowls. But we started the valley snow dance, and the clouds moved in, dumping several feet of perfect pow pow for our week’s stay.
Most après ski in Jackson is made up of a hot tub and a cold Snake River brew. I broke with the ranks one evening, however, to check out the local art scene. The village of Jackson is home to several established galleries showcasing a wide variety of decidedly “western” art. Teepees, cowboys and mountain vistas abound. Native American art is popular and wildlife studies have a heritage in the proximity of the National parks, home to bison, moose, bear, bobcats and more. Having seen the snowy backs of bison on our way into town, I focused on sketches of life in the valley during the winter months, skiers excepted.
Mary Roberson, presently exhibited at Altamira Fine Art in town, illustrates Yellowstone’s wildlife while camping in the Park. Her affinity for these animals at rest or on the prowl for sustenance is remarkable.
Theodore Waddell sees himself as an artist in the modernist tradition. A native of Montana and a rancher for many years, Waddell has spent hours observing his horses and cattle along the riverbed and against the Bridger Mountains.
I saw the work of Georgia-based artist Helen Durant on my final day in Jackson. Hearing the Four Seasons Hotel had a notable collection of fine art; I toured the halls in my boots. Durant’s formidable bears, in a poorly lit hallway en route to a conference room, took my breath away. I assumed they were painted on paper due to an uneven surface on fine, unstretched canvas and its protective glass covering. I had to include the bears in my Jackson menagerie. The fellow wolf, drawn on paper by Durant, shows her virtuosity on this medium as well.