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Artists at Old Faithful Inn

'Inspired by Yellowston'e Artist Series at the Old Faithful Inn

The Old Faithful Inn has been charming visitors for over a century. It’s hard not to stand in the lobby and feel a sense of awe. There is no better place to hosts the many talented artists in our ‘Inspired by Yellowstone’ series..  Stop by the Old Faithful Inn Gift Shop to learn more about these incredible artists, their inspirations, and their love for Yellowstone.

My stories…

Disenchanted with their software careers, Michelle and her husband sold everything and bought a 1906 Dutch barge, Imagine. After ten successful years chartering as Barge and Breakfast, she wrote a travel memoir and true story Just Imagine: A New Life on an Old Boat.

She’s the author of a three-novel Dairyland Series. Sconnie was a finalist in the RWA SWFL Joyce Henderson contest.

Recently, she was asked by her friends, Laura Gillice and David Sowers, to write the story of their experience of losing their dog in Yellowstone.

Bring Jade Home is the true story of a young Australian shepherd, Jade, lost in Yellowstone National Park for 44 days. Yellowstone’s pristine wilderness and wildlife were at the heart of the story; how would a domesticated dog adapt to the wild and survive, and how would the creatures around her react?

Yellowstone’s beauty and danger is the backdrop against which a frantic search ensued, with people working against the clock to bring Jade in before winter.

Bring Jade Home’s happy conclusion is a result of the dedication of her family, hundreds of park employees, neighbors, and visitors. It demonstrates what was achieved by the generosity of spirit when a common cause brought out the best in people.

My inspirations…

The strength and vitality of Yellowstone’s wild character is unique and valuable. It gives hope to everyone who experiences its beauty. The natural infinitely changing wonders captivated me as a little kid on family vacations and inspired me to move here in 1978. I am more intrigued and drawn to this place every passing year.

I hope to open people’s senses through my work and help them to recognize the beauty and value of clean healthy landscapes and dynamic wildlife stories.

I want people to experience the same sense of humility and wonder in the presence of life and vitality that I had while making my photographs. By recognizing the value of Yellowstone, I hope my photographs encourage others to tell their own stories, help inspire reverence, and encourage them to help to preserve the place.

His story and inspirations…

Mat King, a Wyoming native wood artist, draws inspiration from nature itself. He uses naturally occurring shapes found throughout the western United States for inspiration that include mountains, landscapes, flowers and even the rocks. Each unique piece is handcrafted and truly one of a kind. He turns mostly natural, or live edge, pieces that are both artistic and functional in design.

“The incredible beauty of nature and the natural wonder of it all are inspiration for the arts. Yellowstone is unparalleled in its diverse landscape and the wildlife that thrive within it. The country is rough, wild and mountainous. This speaks to me and I try to portray it through my art. The natural edge, or live edge, pieces I turn show the fragile side of the tree as well as its rugged side. This is what Yellowstone is to me: rugged beauty that is extremely fragile at its center.”

“My work consists mostly of natural edge or live edge pieces. With this, the pieces show the “armor” of the tree and the fragile world it protects inside.”

“I would like people to see a correlation between my work and the landscape: respect for the tenacity and perseverance of nature. We must respect the land and all it fosters. Every tree has a history. Even in death, trees speak to us. There are stories to be told and lessons to be learned, be it through their bark, their colors, the insect holes or burn marks. The trees I turn continue to tell their stories.”

Antelope Santee Dolls are Native Plains Indian Dolls that are Made in Montana. Project Indigenous, founded by Mr. Scott Frazier, provides quality educational programs that teach from an Indigenous perspective through the humanities ( storytelling, dance, music and hands on activities). Mr. Frazier is a Crow Tribal member but considers himself a Santee survivor because his grandfather was a full blood Santee. With decades of experience in the environmental arenas, Mr. Frazier focuses on fields relating to the preservation and respect for Native lands, natural resources and Native cultures. Interconnection of Earth, Fire, Air and Water makes all things important to Mr. Frazier’s concern. Bringing understanding and insight to a wide cross-section of the general public is the primary goal for all programs presented by Project Indigenous.
Mr. Frazier was taught to do good work for the people by his grandfather, grandmother ,elders and parents. Project Indigenous and Ehnamani are examples of that teaching.
Many years ago Mr. Frazier was asked to form a non for profit to secure Traditional Ceremony. He formed Ehnamani (A name was given to him by his grandparents) as a 501c3 to validate traditional ceremony through a government record of measure. This measure is to help others while being able to participate as a representative for Indigenous people world wide.
Mr. Frazier was taught to do good work for the people. Project Indigenous and Ehnamani are examples of that teaching.

Her inspirations…

Jamie Anne Blake loves to paint and enjoys writing. She has most recently published a children’s book entitled, “The Adventures of Buffalo Joe and the Blackbird with the Broken Wing.” Her husband gave her the idea for the book, which is set in Grand Teton National Park—one of their favorite places. 

 Watercolor painting has always been Jamie’s preferred medium– she loves the fluidity and looseness of it! Although since studying illustration, she equally loves digitally painting on Photoshop, which can still give a desired watercolor affect. Put a paintbrush or a Wacom tablet pen in her  hand and she’s one happy girl.

 

Jamie’s current project is working on her second Buffalo Joe book– a dream come true! Although, she is always accepting commissions and looks forward to many more artistic endeavors. 

My inspirations…

Yellowstone as a place is inspirational.  After my first visit in 1996, I was drawn to this area like no other place.  Because Yellowstone is so special, it motivates me to try to photograph it in ways allow the viewer to feel the specialness of the place.

Yellowstone isn’t reflected in my work, it is my work.  Most of my major work, most successful photographs, are of Yellowstone and it’s wild inhabitants.  But I want to show it in its grandeur because it’s difficult to portray the grandeur one has of seeing it in person through a photograph.  I’ve photographed Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone many times but few images truly portray the greatness and overwhelming feeling of seeing it in person.

When people see my work I’d like them to leave with an appreciation for not only what Yellowstone is as a national park, but also for what setting aside large tracts of habitat does for nature.  Nowhere else on earth are such a large area of geothermal features protected from development.  Nowhere else in the lower 48 states is there an intact ecosystem with all the native wildlife involved in that ecosystem.  I’d like people to learn and understand that wolves, bears, and bison are part of this landscape that they’re worth protecting and keeping in our wild places.

My inspirations…

I think we, as residents of Wyoming and Montana, have a tendency to take Yellowstone National Park for granted.  I know I did, until I had my first signing in Yellowstone in 2009.  Before that time the international status of Yellowstone was beyond my realm of thinking.  Sitting at my signing desk, in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn, for just a few hours my first day, truly opened my eyes to how this wonderful park, with its thermal features and wildlife, is a remarkable treasure.  I found that I am truly lucky to call Wyoming my home.  Ten years and four (and a half) children’s books later, I never get tired of my book signings in Yellowstone, nor meeting and greeting all kinds of people from all around the world.  But the biggest thrill is having someone from a foreign country bring one of my books home with them, in their well-traveled suitcase, and share my messages about Yellowstone National Park with relatives and friends on the other side of the world.  It simply doesn’t get any better than that.

My inspirations…

Yellowstone as a place is inspirational.  After my first visit in 1996, I was drawn to this area like no other place.  Because Yellowstone is so special, it motivates me to try to photograph it in ways allow the viewer to feel the specialness of the place.

Yellowstone isn’t reflected in my work, it is my work.  Most of my major work, most successful photographs, are of Yellowstone and it’s wild inhabitants.  But I want to show it in its grandeur because it’s difficult to portray the grandeur one has of seeing it in person through a photograph.  I’ve photographed Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone many times but few images truly portray the greatness and overwhelming feeling of seeing it in person.

When people see my work I’d like them to leave with an appreciation for not only what Yellowstone is as a national park, but also for what setting aside large tracts of habitat does for nature.  Nowhere else on earth are such a large area of geothermal features protected from development.  Nowhere else in the lower 48 states is there an intact ecosystem with all the native wildlife involved in that ecosystem.  I’d like people to learn and understand that wolves, bears, and bison are part of this landscape that they’re worth protecting and keeping in our wild places.

Their inspirations…

As a photographer and historian, I’m inspired by “the beauty and the history” of Yellowstone National Park. Photographs of Yellowstone from the late 1800s fascinate me; I’ve enjoyed figuring out where these images were taken, and using my own camera to create matching images of the same locations today. Working with photo collector Bob Berry of Cody, I study how people experienced what was then a young (and the first) National Park. The resulting then-and-now photo pairs are revealed in our book “Yellowstone Yesterday & Today”.

Yellowstone continues to inspire me as I expand on this theme in the book “Treasures of Our National Parks Yesterday & Today”, which includes additional then-and-now photo pairs of Yellowstone as well more than 20 other National Parks.

It has been my privilege to find and “re-photograph” more than 100 places where early Yellowstone photographers placed their cameras. At each site, I am transported in time and place as I view the old photo in context with the modern landscape. For me this is a tangible connection to the past, almost like visiting the park in the 1800s. By documenting the exact locations for readers and sharing them in our books, I hope anyone who loves Yellowstone’s beauty and history will have a similar experience.

I think our books of then-and-now images in Yellowstone are fun and informative to look at. I especially like to watch kids flipping through the pages and commenting about change and similarity. I also hope the books and images help people of all ages understand that “preservation works”, and that all visitors can have a role in maintaining Yellowstone’s natural systems. Some places look virtually unchanged from 145 years ago, others have changed naturally, and some have been gradually modified over time by the millions of people who have come here since 1872. Millions more will surely visit in the future. By treading lightly, we can help preserve the landscape and ecosystem for these future generations of visitors.

My inspirations…

The strength and vitality of Yellowstone’s wild character is unique and valuable. It gives hope to everyone who experiences its beauty. The natural infinitely changing wonders captivated me as a little kid on family vacations and inspired me to move here in 1978. I am more intrigued and drawn to this place every passing year.

I hope to open people’s senses through my work and help them to recognize the beauty and value of clean healthy landscapes and dynamic wildlife stories.

I want people to experience the same sense of humility and wonder in the presence of life and vitality that I had while making my photographs. By recognizing the value of Yellowstone, I hope my photographs encourage others to tell their own stories, help inspire reverence, and encourage them to help to preserve the place.

Her inspirations…

Author Caroline McClure’s world has been rocked by rocks ever since she was a young girl. Living and working in Yellowstone National Park for more than a dozen years allowed her to explore the fascinating world at her feet. You may see what she sees in these rocks, or you may see something entirely different. The lesson is to notice and protect them. All the Yellowstone treasures featured in this book were photographed (and remain) in the park, safe in their natural settings to capture the imaginations of fellow rock lovers, for future generations.

My inspirations…

Yellowstone as a place is inspirational.  After my first visit in 1996, I was drawn to this area like no other place.  Because Yellowstone is so special, it motivates me to try to photograph it in ways allow the viewer to feel the specialness of the place.

Yellowstone isn’t reflected in my work, it is my work.  Most of my major work, most successful photographs, are of Yellowstone and it’s wild inhabitants.  But I want to show it in its grandeur because it’s difficult to portray the grandeur one has of seeing it in person through a photograph.  I’ve photographed Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone many times but few images truly portray the greatness and overwhelming feeling of seeing it in person.

When people see my work I’d like them to leave with an appreciation for not only what Yellowstone is as a national park, but also for what setting aside large tracts of habitat does for nature.  Nowhere else on earth are such a large area of geothermal features protected from development.  Nowhere else in the lower 48 states is there an intact ecosystem with all the native wildlife involved in that ecosystem.  I’d like people to learn and understand that wolves, bears, and bison are part of this landscape that they’re worth protecting and keeping in our wild places.

Frank Lee Ruggles has about as mysterious and impressive a resumé as one can imagine. He carried a machine gun for four years as a U.S. Army Paratrooper, was a First Sergeant in the Virginia State Guard as a Military Police Officer, and even parachuted with the 82nd Airborne division into Panama.

He then was inspired to go in a completely different direction by following in the footsteps of his photographic hero the late, great Ansel Adams. This former military-man-turned-critically-acclaimed photographer held the esteemed position as an Official Photographer for the United States National Park Service from 2007 through 2011, a position only held by a handful of people in the 100 year history of the NPS. In combining two such different lives, Ruggles has found himself in the role of Warrior-Artist, and he is using his unique skills to advocate for the conservation and preservation of our national parks and other natural places.

Montana craftsman Rich Holstein fashions wood picture frames from fir flooring circa 1904 and 1936 that was removed during recent renovations.

My inspirations…

I think we, as residents of Wyoming and Montana, have a tendency to take Yellowstone National Park for granted.  I know I did, until I had my first signing in Yellowstone in 2009.  Before that time the international status of Yellowstone was beyond my realm of thinking.  Sitting at my signing desk, in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn, for just a few hours my first day, truly opened my eyes to how this wonderful park, with its thermal features and wildlife, is a remarkable treasure.  I found that I am truly lucky to call Wyoming my home.  Ten years and four (and a half) children’s books later, I never get tired of my book signings in Yellowstone, nor meeting and greeting all kinds of people from all around the world.  But the biggest thrill is having someone from a foreign country bring one of my books home with them, in their well-traveled suitcase, and share my messages about Yellowstone National Park with relatives and friends on the other side of the world.  It simply doesn’t get any better than that.

My inspirations…

Yellowstone as a place is inspirational.  After my first visit in 1996, I was drawn to this area like no other place.  Because Yellowstone is so special, it motivates me to try to photograph it in ways allow the viewer to feel the specialness of the place.

Yellowstone isn’t reflected in my work, it is my work.  Most of my major work, most successful photographs, are of Yellowstone and it’s wild inhabitants.  But I want to show it in its grandeur because it’s difficult to portray the grandeur one has of seeing it in person through a photograph.  I’ve photographed Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone many times but few images truly portray the greatness and overwhelming feeling of seeing it in person.

When people see my work I’d like them to leave with an appreciation for not only what Yellowstone is as a national park, but also for what setting aside large tracts of habitat does for nature.  Nowhere else on earth are such a large area of geothermal features protected from development.  Nowhere else in the lower 48 states is there an intact ecosystem with all the native wildlife involved in that ecosystem.  I’d like people to learn and understand that wolves, bears, and bison are part of this landscape that they’re worth protecting and keeping in our wild places.

Montana craftsman Rich Holstein fashions wood picture frames from fir flooring circa 1904 and 1936 that was removed during recent renovations.

Artist John Potter was raised in the Upper Great Lakes country – on and off the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin – where he grew up with an abiding love for the Natural World in the forests of the Great Northwoods.

He often paints en plein air, bringing his small outdoor studies home, where they are then used as reference to create his larger studio works. Working directly from Nature, he firmly believes in the all-pervading Divinity found in the Natural World, and is always striving for an honest expression of light and color. John spends many hours in the field, observing and studying light, mood, atmosphere, the land and sky. He carries paints and a sketchbook whenever possible, travelling extensively – but his favorite subjects remain the rugged mountain scenery of the American West.

My inspirations…

Yellowstone as a place is inspirational.  After my first visit in 1996, I was drawn to this area like no other place.  Because Yellowstone is so special, it motivates me to try to photograph it in ways allow the viewer to feel the specialness of the place.

Yellowstone isn’t reflected in my work, it is my work.  Most of my major work, most successful photographs, are of Yellowstone and it’s wild inhabitants.  But I want to show it in its grandeur because it’s difficult to portray the grandeur one has of seeing it in person through a photograph.  I’ve photographed Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone many times but few images truly portray the greatness and overwhelming feeling of seeing it in person.

When people see my work I’d like them to leave with an appreciation for not only what Yellowstone is as a national park, but also for what setting aside large tracts of habitat does for nature.  Nowhere else on earth are such a large area of geothermal features protected from development.  Nowhere else in the lower 48 states is there an intact ecosystem with all the native wildlife involved in that ecosystem.  I’d like people to learn and understand that wolves, bears, and bison are part of this landscape that they’re worth protecting and keeping in our wild places.

Her inspirations…

From her first visit to Yellowstone National Park, at the impressionable age of 8, author Elizabeth “Betsy” Watry has been fascinated by its long cultural history. Specializing in 19th century and early 20th century cultural history, Watry has focused her research on that period in the history of the park.

In her book “Woman in Wonderland: Lives, Legends and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park,” Watry lends her focus to some of the women in park history. The book, she says, is a glimpse of the everyday women of Yellowstone, their contributions and accomplishments.

Montana craftsman Rich Holstein fashions wood picture frames from fir flooring circa 1904 and 1936 that was removed during recent renovations.

My inspirations…

“Thermal Puddles” are a decorative kiln glass series that are inspired by the thermal pools found in Yellowstone National Park. I am fascinated by the geology of “The Park”. Looking deep, down into the earth the rings of bold color get hotter as the color changes. Microorganisms live in the shallow water which help create the amazing color along with the presence of different minerals exposed to the heat from the earth.

A reaction occurs when fusing sulfur and copper-bearing glass with silver foil. The reaction is very much like what happens in the park with the same minerals and extreme heat present. Rings of bold color form and no two are exactly alike.

Modern Relics Thermal Puddles are the thermal pools you can touch. The bowls are tactile and present; they represent the change brought on by the processes that occur at the core of the park, the caldera. They are a physical example of the science that occurs in Yellowstone National Park and a beautiful addition to any home that will bring back memories of such an amazing place.

While visiting with guests about my glass artwork, my hopes are that they learn a little more about the geology of the thermal pools. The same minerals are present in the many colors of glass and when exposed to heat from the kiln they change. Much like what happens naturally over thousands of years. I have recreated a little science that they can take home. A thermal pool they can touch.