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Flathead Lake in NW Montana is a hub of recreation and boating in the summer time. I often drive home from Kalispell to Bigfork in the evening and the views rarely disappoint. The delicate shades of the sunset are a counterpoint to the glowing light of the landscape below.
Evensong, 9" x 12", Pastel on archival board, $450 framed.
The Swan River flows into Bigfork Bay which is in the northeast corner of Flathead Lake. Before it hits the rapids called "The Wild Mile," it is mostly a tranquil river flowing lazily through farmland in the summer time. Winter is another story completely.
I was inspired to paint the colorful reflections in this section of the Swan River from the deck of "The Nest." It was a fairly warm spring day and we plein air painters took advantage of it.
A Tranquil Moment, 9" x 12", Pastel on archival board, $450 framed.
Coming home from cross country skiing one winter day, I snapped a photo from the car as we passed this warmly-lit scene. The colors on the snow reflected the winter sun and shadows while the darkness of an approaching storm provided a backdrop to the landscape.
Shadow Play, 11" x 14", pastel on archival board
This painting came from a day spent outdoors in the Nine Pipes National Refuge. It is a stunning landscape awash with birds and the Mission Mountains as the backdrop.
12" x 16"; Pastel on archival board. $525 framed. To purchase, please contact ARTfusion Gallery in Bigfork, MT at 406-837-3526 or email@example.com.
This is the Lewis and Clark River on a very damp late Fall day. The autumn tones against the blue gray mist was striking!
12" x 9"; Pastel on archival board. $325 framed. To purchase, please contact Francesca Droll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-837-5776.
Spring in the Swan Corridor near Condon in northwest Montana is a challenge for an outdoor painter. One is always waiting for the light that is so often fleeting as the heavy clouds move through. At this moment, an autumnal sun illuminated the meadow beyond. This was painted onsite with a few touches added in the studio.
12" x 9", pastel on archival board.
We had spent the day painting fall color at a friend's 30 acres north of Bigfork. It was early afternoon when we finished up there and I wanted to check out a place that I'd heard about. South I drove on the Swan Corridor and found the spot. However the sun was already over the mountains and everything was in the shade, I took a few photos and headed home. On my way back, I decided to explore a wildlife refuge that I saw when I had passed it. The light was golden, spilling over the mountains and creating patterns of light and shadow filtering through the trees. Swan Valley National Refuge.
12" x 16", pastel on archival board.
A group of painters got up early and headed into West Glacier. The day started fairly warm and clear and quickly got cold and inclement. I did a study on site, capturing the nuances of light and color on the mountain and in the reflections in the stream. I painted this larger piece in the studio using the study as my guide. McDonald Creek looking south, Glacier National Park.
16" x 20", Pastel on archival paper. $795 framed. To purchase, please contact ARTfusion Gallery in Bigfork, MT at 406-837-3526 or email@example.com.
On the western side of Flathead Valley there are "pothole ponds." A natural up welling of springs that create ponds throughout the farmland. Every year a multitude of migrating birds stop here to feed in the fields and rest to continue their journey north.
9” x 12”; Pastel on archival board.
This scene was painted on location in the early morning light with the view toward Glacier National Park seen in the background in the notch between the mountains. This pond is home to many waterfowl and is a resting spot for migrating birds.
9” x 12”; Pastel on archival board.
©Francesca Droll; Cannot Be Tamed (Red Rock Falls, Many Glacier, Glacier NP); 16” x 20”; pastel on archival board; $795 framed. To purchase please contact ARTfusion Gallery in Bigfork, MT at 406-837-3526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
©Francesca Droll; Where the Trout Play; 15" x 20"; Pastel on archival board. $900 framed with museum glass. To purchase, please contact Francesca Droll at email@example.com.
This side stream of the middle fork river was a very popular spot for the flyfishers. We also caught numerous fish although we kindly threw them back to their watery worlds to live another day.
©Francesca Droll; Emergence; 20" x 16"; Pastel on archival board. $875 framed with museum glass. To purchase please contact ARTfusion Gallery in Bigfork, MT at 406-837-3526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When light emerges through the trees and shines highlights on the water, magic happens. The water reflects prisms of color.
©Francesca Droll; Golden Seduction, 18" x 27", Pastel on archival board. $1,200 framed with museum glass. To purchase please contact ARTfusion Gallery in Bigfork, MT at 406-837-3526 or email@example.com.
In the evening, for just a few minutes, the sun would shine its last rays on the slope opposite us on the river. The golden glow on the water was stunning and unforgettable. We sipped our wine and told stories of our past while the river flowed by and whispered its own story.
©Francesca Droll; October Song, 20" x 15", Pastel on archival board. $900 framed with museum glass. To purchase, please contact Francesca Droll at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time moves on and the seasons change from lush green to vibrant yellow. It is the last symphony of color before winter closes in and the colors rest in preparation for Spring's leafy explosion.
SOLD-©Francesca Droll; The Last Pass, 7" x 14", Pastel on archival board.
Every evening like clockwork, an eagle would fly up and down our canyon fishing over the river. It was a stirring sight to see it soaring and gliding over us, its white head glinting in the sunset light.
©Francesca Droll; Mystery Calling; 12" x 9"; Pastel on archvial board.
'Mystery Calling' evokes a sense of discovery as you continue around the bend. This painting was started on site overlooking the middle fork of the Flathead River and finished in the studio.
©Francesca Droll; The Golden Season; 14” x 11”; Pastel on archival paper.
This scene of Ashley Creek was painted during the change of seasons with the beautiful golds and lavenders reminiscent of autumn in the Flathead Valley. Started on location and finished in the studio.
Inspired by the reflective quality of the snow and the low winter light illuminating a path through the woods.
16” x 12”; Pastel on archival board. $525 framed. To purchase please contact ArtFusion Gallery in Bigfork, MT at 406-837-3526 or email@example.com.