Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

P.O. Box 2301
Estes Park, Co 80517

The 2016 Windows to the West Art Show and Sale convenes more than 50 of the country's top contemporary Western heritage artists in one of the most beautiful mountain settings in America at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The three-day sale and exhibition in Estes Park, Colorado, June 3-5, showcases more than 200 new pieces of art, with rich opportunities to meet the artists and discuss their unique depictions of Western landscapes, wildlife and traditional Western American life.  Windows to the West is a charitable benefit event sponsored by the Estes Park Western Heritage Foundation.

Works in Progress

Just Outside the Park

James Reid

Cow in water photo #2

Every September I spend a week or more in the Teton National Park and Yellowstone Park gathering reference for my wildlife paintings.  This year when observing a cow moose feeding in the water near Wilson Road, just outside the entrance to the Park, I was drawn to how the reflections of the dead trees created a great design with all the fingers on the tree images pointing to the moose. I took a lot of photos of the cow moose and the scenery.  (Click any of these images for an enlarged view.)

I have a great library of my own photographic animal references after more then 30 years of these fall visits to the Teton and Yellowstone Park. That's one reason I like painting wildlife, it's so much fun to spend time with these majestic animals observing their behavior and taking in the beauty of the environment they live in.

Initial sketches

Starting the Work

When planning the painting, I knew I wanted a large bull moose, not just a cow, as my subject.  I started the design with thumbnail drawings.  These are very simple thumbnails, because I knew in my mind what I wanted to do, except whether to have a cow and bull or just a bull. 

I decided on the middle one and, after looking through my reference photos, found a good bull reference and he was facing the other way, which I liked.  And I liked the high horizon with the reflections being the predominate element in the painting.

Bull moose photo #4

I really like the greys of the dead trees reflecting and knew painting them would be fun. Greys have a lot of hints of other colors and I enjoy mixing colors to make different greys that bind the painting together. The brighter orange of the meadow grasses should make a beautiful statement.

At the Canvas

These were the only preliminary drawings I did. Then I went to the canvas and drew the bull first, with thinned down paint, just enough paint to draw and wipe off to correct. The animal needs to be drawn very accurately with necessary detail. The foreground and background not so much, just a few lines for a guide and then I block in color and pay close attention to values. I like paintings like this, there's no doubt what the center of interest is, the bull moose.

Moose and lodgepole reflections--Work in Progress

At the stage shown in this photo, I'm establishing the drawing and blocking in color without getting too detailed, moving along until I get the entire canvas covered; making everything as accurate in drawing and color as possible, so there isn't much correcting as I go back through and finish. 

I'm never sure how long a painting will take to finish. I'm a perfectionist, so that sometimes gets in my way. I also usually have more than one painting in progress at a time. Painting is such a problem solving adventure that it sometimes helps me to set the painting aside and come back to it later with a fresh eye and renewed enthusiasm.