On Sunday, July 14, the Bigfork Art & Cultural Center hosted a group of plein air painters at the charming Purple Mountain Lavender Farm in Lakeside. Cheryl Hanes (Exec Dir of BACC) provided a wonderful experience with goodies to get us through the morning and a delicious lunch from Vessel (in Bigfork) to replenish our energy for afternoon painting.

The farm is located on Blacktail Mountain in Lakeside and overlooks Flathead Lake on one side with the lavender covered hill on the other. The farm grows over 30 varieties of lavender for culinary and herbal use. They have a quaint little shop and host tours in July and August.

We had a beautiful day in a perfect mountain setting and it only rained on us once. Luckily, the rain passed quickly and we didn’t have to retreat for cover. The lavender bushes were spread over the hillside with some delightful accents sprinkled in the fields like an antique pickup truck, bird bath, and vintage table & chairs among other items.

These three paintings were done on site, they are all 6” x 8” using soft pastels. They are studies for possible larger studio paintings. For an artist like myself who loves purple, it was heaven on earth to get to use purple with complete abandon!


Pastel Painting of Purple Mountain Lavender Farm.

©Francesca Droll, Purple Mountain Lavender, 8″ x 6″, pastel on archival board.


Pastel Painting of Purple Mountain Lavender Farm.

©Francesca Droll, Lavender Tea for Two, 6″ x 8″, pastel on archival board.


©Francesca Droll, More Than Lavender, 6″ x 8″, pastel on archival board.