Plein Air Art Class

Several Great Falls area artists gathered this past Saturday at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park near the town of Ulm to capture images of this unique park.

Organized by Studio 706 Art Guild, the workshop featured Diane Hausmann of Fairfield teaching oil painting. Participants painted using a method known as “plein air” – a French expression which means “open air”.

When you think about it, this technique challenges artists to work quickly because light conditions are constantly changing, the wind can blow and dust can swirl. The temperature Saturday hovered around 80 degrees (with a breeze) so the park provided plenty of challenges for this workshop!

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park has dramatic vistas – rolling grasslands, the rocky-faced cliff and an impressive feature named square butte in the background (one of two buttes that inspired western artist Charlie Russell).

When you are at First Peoples, a glance to the northwest yields distant views of the Rocky Mountain Front. A stark white teepee offers yet another iconic background to inspire artists.

Not an artist? You can still let yourself be inspired by First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park.

Take a drive out to the park and enjoy the views.

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