Tagged: Montana


Pulled into Spokane after a 10 hour bus ride from Bozeman. I left at 3 AM which meant I got to see western Montana as the sun came up a bit before we neared Missoula. Awe inspiring countryside. The Tamarack or Western Larch trees were super dramatic as their needles had turned golden yellow shortly before they were to fall off. They only grow west of the Continental Divide which made for a glorious welcome to crossing the Great Divide.

Hit Spokane and found my way to a sweet little cafe, The Alpine Bistro and Bakery Company, where I recharged with a rustic soup and sandwich. They make huge sweet rolls and I tore into a mammoth cinnamon bun with cream cheese icing the following morning before giving a demo at Spokane Art Supply that afternoon.


Right next to my hotel was a Whole Foods-esque Co-op grocery store with a second story juice bar and dinning room that sported a jaw dropping view of the mountain range to the north of Bozeman.

Love the trees out west and set about to draw a few on the MSU campus when this gorgeous largish bird  went flitting about. Black head and neck, white under belly, tail feathers longer than it’s body length, iridescent blue black back and wings with white scattered throughout it’s wings. Magnificent. And BOLD! Saw it hold it’s ground by the base of a pine tree while a dachsund trotted up to sniff around. I though folks would be equally excited when I described it to them but nope. “It’s one of them damn Magpies”. “They’re worse than pigeons and they kill cats”. What? They kill cats?? Next I thought I’d hear they carted off small children. However, several folks, including a couple birders spoke of their tenacity. Part of the Corvid family, which includes Jays, Crows, and Ravens,  Magpies are described in Wikipedia as one of the smartest animals. One of the very few who have shown self-recognition in mirror tests. Big vocal range and good mimics. I became an immediate fan.


The above drawing was whipped out in the early morn before heading off to a number of demos and the veg was actually a turnip not a beet. I used some ballpoint on these pages but mostly turned to the Pitt Brush Pens, And with the exception of the tan page with the turnip drawing, these drawings were done in a sweet little leatherette covered Rhodia sketchbook.



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