Gallery Celebrates Western Impressionists

By Beacon Staff

“The West, more than any other region of the country, is a place of large vistas and outdoor experiences,” says Judy Cornell, owner of Two Medicine Gallery with her husband Jeff. That’s the impetus behind the gallery’s August show featuring three well-known western impressionists—Linda Tippetts, Bye Bitney, and Eric Jacobsen.

The gallery, which has long been known for its regional outdoor oil paintings and rare Glacier Park books, continues its tradition with the impressionist show. “The three artists featured in our August show represent a range of western impressionism, from Bye’s classical style to Linda’s plein air mountains and river valleys to Eric’s more experimental—or experiential—style,” explains Cornell.

One of Montana’s best known plein air painters, Tippetts displays some of her works in permanent museum collections in Arizona, Montana, and Washington D.C. In this show, her Glacier Park scenes weave a crimson red oil under purples transforming paint into the recognizable Grinnell argillite of Many Glacier and Wynn Mountain.

Many of Bitney’s oils in the show speak to water—a fisherman, a boy floating on an innertube, the day’s catch, sunlight on a beach, and Somers Bay. No wonder, he lives on the west shore of Flathead Lake, where he captures the movement of water with brushstrokes of color. “The biggest challenge in my painting,” he says, “is to satisfy my own expectations.” Two Medicine Gallery is one of only two galleries who carry his work.

Jacobsen, who is from Glenwood, Wash., uses vivid color in his works like “Green Vase” and “Turning Aspen” to convey mood. “I want them to be felt by the viewer without his or her having to analyze or think about them,” he explains. However, his “Unfortunate Sparrow” may make you ponder anyway.

To see Two Medicine Gallery’s Western Impressionists show, stop by the gallery at 123 Central Avenue, Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.