Heart of Montana Print
The "Heart of Montana" is an art piece that was commissioned for the annual Black Tie & Blue Jeans event of the Great Falls Symphony Association. It is one of the more involved art pieces I have created. It measures 16" X 20" and represents a broad range of skills and techniques combined into one effort.
First, since it was being created for a Montana event, it was composed of images that represent the heart and spirit of Montana. My Montana roots led me to create a floral design that is typical of the Montana style and was arranged to provide a glimpse of the Treasure State. The American West is still alive in Montana and the cowboy on the bronc speaks to the character of the people that tamed this country. The American bison once roamed the Montana plains in uncountable numbers and sustained the people, evidenced by the jumps in the Great Falls area. It features the state bird, the Western Meadowlark in one corner and in the opposite corner is Square Butte, a well known landmark in north central Montana.
I have some personal history with Square Butte that involves a blizzard that forced me to seek shelter in a church near its base for a night..., but that is not why it is included in this picture. This part of Montana is C M Russell country and if you study his art, you will notice that he often put Square Butte in the background of his paintings. It was a special landmark for him and it still stands tall today.
Russell used a buffalo skull with his signature to sign his art and the embossed skull on this piece was the most challenging part. It was most fitting that I created a 3-dimensional, all leather skull for the center of this piece.
This piece raised the most funds of all of the items auctioned and I am honored that I had the opportunity to create it. It was difficult to part with, so I had some prints created. They came out great and I will make 100 available that will be numbered and signed.