A Salty End before the next Journey

In Montana a person is at the head waters of the mightiest river in in the western hemisphere, the Mississippi River. It is an amazing thought to imagine getting in your dug out canoe, putting it in the uppermost part of the Gallatin River near the continental divide, and in a few months, you will be dining at one of the finest restaurants in New Orleans. Just like that movie, Almost Heroes- “Sir, the food alone is worth the trip.” Searching for the spots that are at the heart of bigger bodies of water is as if an omnivore has discovered the babies in a nest. From a fisherman’s point of view the fish will get much larger the further downstream one is to wander. A fly fisherman’s point of view is to imagine the different entomology up and down that stream to catch tiny grayling with a midge at the top of the Gallatin River and marlin and stripers with foot long streamers at the end of the Mississippi. Why isn’t there a show that targets one river for an entire season? Some different flies for every occasion of species to be caught. I don’t know why I am talking more and more about watersheds of late. I marvel at the differences in colors, moods, and atmospheres that stream’s water can dictate. Even the small sound of water in a Japanese garden isn’t the largest flow but adds the perfect amount of ambiance and rhythm to a convention center in the middle of a city. As waterfalls are an attraction of unrest and power, rivers have an almost primal attraction about them. To hear the sounds a stream is making is almost a call of unrest for predators to where trout can be caught. Prey species will have to congregate to adapt and adjust to the structures or differences in a stream that has a drop off, or pool that is out of the ordinary from an even straight stream bottom.

The differences that make a river system work, is the same information of moving water for painters and fishermen to be drawn to. Where there is unrest, fishermen flock and a subliminal connection between the capture of prey and the understanding of that body of water is taken in. Take that up another notch and when looking for predators focus on the unrest in streams where their prey will reside and we find more predators. Predator is a loose term but it is an idea of taking rather than giving perhaps when it comes to the hierarchy of those that are eating and consuming over those that are all doing the same thing but the buck stops at the top in that scenario. To find the folks that are in charge of what happens along the bank of a stream is where the paintings need to be made. Consume and take in a fly cast painting that is being created in the places of unrest that draw predators to prey and the predators to places for predators. These paintings that are created in the manner in which the prey is harvested with a fly rod is a double intrigue to the predator persuasion. Another topic of discussion is trout being held at the mercy of the streams in Montana. When the rivers freeze over the long winters, and the the sudden run off begins, there are ice rounds the size of single wide trailers rolling down the stream. Like a steam roller crushing everything in its path as it goes rolling down the once simple flow of water has become a wild torrent of a hard icy rocks smashing river’s bottom and changing that river for the upcoming, calmer part of the season. In these conditions it would be impossible to create a fly cast painting in these conditions and predators would be hard to find.


YNP Fly Cast Painting the Calderon of Hell

Adventuring and Painting

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The Art will sell the art

Walking into the gallery there was a fellow with white hair and glasses hunkered behind his keyboard. I looked over the art on display as I walked around the gallery that was predominantly Native American artifacts. The wisdom that was passed on from that day forth by Bruce Vanlandingham that set the site on what art actually is, and its purpose, has been the standard to strive for in this journey of being an artist. He has forgot more about art than I will ever know.

Bruce Wisdom #1 “Just because a person paints pictures doesn’t necessarily make them an artist”

#2 “You want your art to be represented well?”


“Just because a building hangs pictures, it doesn’t necessarily make them a gallery. It doesn’t represent the art.” Then he looks right at me, “Do you know the difference?”

#3 “This gallery is always in a state of evolving”

#4“I want to know everything there is to know about a style of art and what the medium has to offer, when I have exhausted all there is to know, I move onto another idea”

#5 “I don’t do this (own a gallery) because I have to, I do this because I love the art”

#6 “Everything that Native Americans made was beautiful”

#7 “Resin is toxic”

#8 “The library is the most important part of this gallery”

#9 “If someone comes through the door with an artifact I have to know the tribe it was made, the time period it was created in, but most of all, I have to know how much I can flip it for. If I don’t know one of these things I am losing money and that is not my business model”

#10 “Drawing with silver is something they don’t teach you in college. It is what the masters used all the time for their sketches”


Headstone: I wish I would have worked one more day

This idea of creating art is an idea that is terrifying and almost irrational as to the practicality of a stable life. The questions that abound are “Why would anyone want to buy this art, Why would anyone want to buy my art, What am I doing” I then thought of all my life’s work put into one building and that building burns to the ground or if everyone’s building burnt to the ground. It doesn’t matter that the art was accepted, appreciated, there is now a hole in the human experience and someone at that moment in time had something to say. When countries go to war the first thing they do is knock out the culture from that country that is being taken over. It is destroyed and lost to time. The fact that someone had something to say and put it out into the world is the shaping of the type of society in which they choose to live as by the means of the acceptance of ideas and aesthetic appeal. Everything is a fabrication from the buildings we live to the money we spend. The time in between is all there is to leave a mark. Even the health of a society is dictated by the celebration of its cultures and visuals to exemplify a thriving place to live and the art shapes that time as being the idea that this society isn’t so war torn or starving that folks can afford the idea of a few folks running around and pushing ideas in how the necessity of survival is not the top of the hierarchy of needs. Driving the long hours the other day “Death and art are eternal”.