Jane Latus Emmert

Montana Artist

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Brochure - Acre Show Las Vegas

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on April 27, 2013 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (3)

I'm so excited about the Acres Show in Las Vegas! Be sure to stop by and say "Hi!"

I'm in booth #1905

 

Hot off the press! Check out my brochure -
http://issuu.com/jlemmert/docs/montanajaneart_brochure_2013_smaller

Winter in Montana

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on January 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

It is winter in Montana and that means that my outdoor activities change.   Most winters I snowshoe or cross country ski or downhill ski, but THIS winter my husband took me on a new adventure.

We fished the river in the snow.  I thought he was crazy to try it--and he IS crazy about flyfishing....but, I'm an adventurer, so I dressed warmly and went along.

It was a two-day adventure and I have to admit that on the first day I wasn't enjoying myself.  It was a "warm" winter day and instead of snow we got rained on for hours.  I am not a fan of being cold, but WET and COLD falls really low on my list.  The Forest Service roads were snow-packed and the rain turned them into an icy mess.  Our 4WD Ranger shimmied a bit as we moved from one fishing hole to another and when we got out of the truck we looked for patches of pine needles or twigs to step on for traction.  Once we got off the road, the snow down to the river was crunchy and we were able to easily navigate down to the river.  I stayed back from the snow covered edge of the river because I didn't know where the river actually began and I didn't want to get my feet wet.  I had nightmare thoughts about slipping into the river and getting hypothermia or having a heart attack from the cold.  My mind really wasn't on fishing--not the relaxing, summer, peaceful fishing I am used to.  My mind was on survival.  

Casting was difficult because the eyelets of the flyrod got iced up which meant the line wouldn't slide through easily.  I tried mending and roll casting (methods for moving your line without pulling it all in each time) but I never caught any fish.  My hands were cold and my attitude was grumpy.  It was difficult to change out a fly with numb hands and when I snagged a tree with my back cast I was ready to quit.

My husband caught a few fish and the intermittent rewards kept him casting.  He is an optimistic fisherman.   He knows there are fish in the river and he BELIEVES he will catch one soon.  By this time, I was a pessimistic fisherwoman.  The rain had soaked my jacket and gloves and I was cold, wet and miserable.  I am being transparent here--Montana Jane feels like whining sometimes.  I was NOT having fun.  So, I went to my contingency plan.  I always have a contingency plan when I fish, because if the fish aren't biting or the weather is nasty, I want to still enjoy my outing.  So, I headed to the truck, warmed it up, stripped out my wet gear, ate a sandwich and read a book.  I may have even napped.  :)  When the gray day turned toward evening I called out to my husband and asked if we could head out.  I knew we were 17 miles from the highway and I didn't want to end up stranded in the wilderness because of the bad roads.  Thankfully, he's a good team player and came immediately because he heard the concern in my voice.  It took us nearly an hour to drive 17 miles and I was grateful when we hit pavement again.


It was hard for me to talk myself into going fishing the next day, but the rain had turned to snow and the gentle flakes were far more inviting than the torrential rain of the previous day.  I asked my husband for advice, learned a new roll cast technique and took his favorite fish-catching flies.  They worked.  I caught several fish and really enjoyed the day.  I'm glad I tried again.  I had a delightful day with my husband and felt a secret glee at catching fish as large snowflakes fell.  Next summer, when I'm sweating as I flyfish in the summer sun, I'll remember this fishing adventure and long for the cool sport of winter river fishing....minus the rain.

I'd love to hear about your winter adventures, too, so feel free to share them here.

Art Show season

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on July 6, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

It's art show season and I'll never forget the woman who once said, "It must be so much fun to be an artist and just hang out at art shows."  Obviously, she'd never done it.  Just last week I was desperately hanging onto my awning which (even with cement weights) was threatening to become a kite.  As I watched, a gust of wind came in and blew all of my shrinkwrapped prints right out of the print stand and knocked over my 8x10 framed oil paintings standing on easels.  Some wind!  Some fun!

However, I DO love art shows.  I love meeting people, hearing their responses to my art and selling directly to the art collectors.   After months of relative isolation in the studio, art shows allow me my "people fix."  Of course, by the end of the weekend I'll have laryngitis again from all of the chatting, but I love it!  If you're in Whitefish, MT this weekend please stop down for the Whitefish Arts Festival down Central Avenue to the train depot park.  Hours:  Fri and Sat 10-6, Sun. 10-4.  Come enjoy great food, fantastic art and sunshine (we hope.)

A New Year...and New Adventures

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on January 6, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It's January 2012 and I immediately start thinking about end of the year paperwork/taxes.  I'm an artist!  I only do paperwork because I HAVE to do paperwork.  For me to tackle something huge like tax paperwork I have to first break it down into small steps.  I can't rush into it.  I can't randomly throw papers around and hope they arrange themselves into a well-organized file for the accountant.

In the same way, when I start a painting, I have to take time to organize my thoughts, make small sketches and work my way INTO the painting process.  Some days I want to just jump in and paint...but the end result is usually a bit grim.  Today, I'd like to challenge you to take time to breathe and stretch and sketch BEFORE you paint.  Enjoy the whole process...the planning, the dreaming, the thinking and the feeling.  What I try to capture on canvas is the feeling I felt when I saw a particular landscape.  There's a reason I feel called to paint it--and I don't want to lose that feeling along the way. 

Happy 2012 and may the process of painting give you great joy!

De-cluttering the studio--and life

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on November 4, 2011 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, I cleaned my studio.  I got a new easel and it was larger than theold one and didn’t fit in the same compact space.  I tried re-arranging the furniture, but itwasn’t enough.  My studio felt cramped,crowded and inefficient.  So, I startedeliminating extra storage units and seldom-used equipment.  Now, when I walk in my studio it feels openand airy and exciting.  I think of theother rooms of my house and areas of my life that are cluttered with“stuff.”  Life isn’t about collectingmore “stuff.”  It’s about sharing andloving and creating.  I am ready to facemy easel because there is room to focus. Consider de-cluttering your studio (and your life) and see if youbreathe easier and feel freer to create.

 

Knowing when to stop

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on September 21, 2011 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes I push myself--as an artist, as an outdoorswoman, as an advocate for good causes, but sometimes I stop.  Quit.  Take a break.

Last weekend my husband and I tried to float the Middle Fork of the Flathead River in pontoon boats while we fished.  Coordination was an issue for me right from the start.  The pontoon boat is lightweight and over-reacted with each stroke of my oar as I tried to keep facing downstream.  The current spun me, the wind blew me back UPSTREAM at times even in a strong current and I was feeling overwhelmed.   I didn't even pretend to care about my fly in the water--I was trying not to break my flyrod or tip my boat over. 

We stopped at a gravel bar to fish a nice hole from the shore and I was happy there, but when we climbed back in our boats the wind increased and I was pretty miserable.  I was trying not to whine.  I was trying to push myself to endure, but my frustration was showing.   My husband told me we were still at a point where we could pull out and get back to the truck--but if we went much further then we were committed to a four hour float.  I didn't want to quit and he saw the struggle on my face.  He reminded me that this outing was supposed to be fun, not torture--so I let myself quit.  I don't like to quit and I felt like a failure at first.  Then, I realized that I wouldn't have asked any one else to keep going in a similar situation.  I gave myself permission to be equally kind to myself.

Sometimes when I paint I push myself to fight through the struggles--and sometimes I let myself  "quit."  I have canvases in progress...paintings that aren't quite right and sometimes  I give myself permission to set them aside.  Another day the magic might flow through my fingertips and I'll know how to finish the painting.  If not, then I use those paintings as a learning tool.  Please don't think that every painting an artist attempts is a masterpiece.  We have our share of bloopers.  So, give yourself permission to experiment.  Try something new.  Be brave enough to try something difficult and if you accomplish your goal--celebrate!  And if you have to quit, take the lesson learned and carry it with you on your next attempt. 

I know that I'll float the river again, but I'm SURE I'll practice a bit more first, and I'll choose a day when the wind is calm.  Happy painting (and fishing!) from Montana Jane.


I Love to Teach

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on September 2, 2011 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I used to coach gymnastics and I promise I could teach anyone how to do a cartwheel in half an hour or less if I could get them to work through the building blocks necessary to have the right coordination of movements. 

 

 I feel the same way about teaching art. I can teach people the building blocks for drawing and painting and if they practice they'll get better and better.  Mostly, I want them to feel the joy I feel inside when I paint!

 People aren't just "born" artists.  They learn, they practice, they produce painting after painting (and believe me, a lot of them are NOT masterpieces) and they get better and better.  I love it when the lightbulb comes on in my students' eyes and they achieve a painting they like....or part of it that they like.  Each painting is a learning process and that's what makes it so much fun.  I wish you the joy of painting and drawing and doodling today!

Painting Every Day

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on August 24, 2011 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

People often ask me if I paint every day.  The honest answer is no.  I try.  I really try to paint every day, but life happens.  Laundry, dishes, bills, car repairs, visits to the elderly, grocery shopping--you know the list!  But, I also try to group those errands and tasks into certain hours of my days and then I have learned to schedule in my painting time as my most important task of the week.  It works!  I think that my commitment to schedule (and protect ) my studio time has made a huge difference in my success as an artist.  I show up for work every day.  Sometimes I'm the marketing agent, sometimes I'm the framer and sometimes I'm the artist, but I'm doing the work every day.  I limit my errand running and bill paying to the end of the day when my artistic mind is worn out.  I'm a morning person so I like to paint when I'm fresh and excited at the beginning of a new day.  I encourage you to set aside time to be in your studio.  Make it a priority--and watch how much you grow as an artist.

Glacier Park hike in the Two Medicine area

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on August 11, 2011 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (3)

I know I'm "Montana Jane," and some people think I'm tough because I flyfish, hunt, hike, ski and bike, but I'm not a rough and rugged hiker.  I have friends who can hike 19 miles over mountain terrain in a day.   A good day for me is 5-6 miles.  Usually when I'm "hiking," I'm in the woods hunting game, so I move slowly, carefully and deliberately.  In Glacier National Park hiking is an art.  You're surrounded by incredible beauty and yet if you gawk at it too much you'll trip over a rock or tree root in the trail.  I find myself continually scanning the scenery, then the trail, then back up to the scenery and down to the trail.  To forget to look up is sinful.  To forget to look down can be painful.

The deep snow this year has created spring-like conditions in the Two Medicine valley right now.  Wildflowers are blooming in profusion and there is still snow clinging to the shadowed recesses in the rock walls.  It is a beautiful hike, well worth the time and effort.  If I can do it, you can, too!


Oil Painting in Glacier National Park

Posted by Jane Latus Emmert on July 29, 2011 at 8:22 AM Comments comments (1)

The weather was gray and cloudy in Glacier Park this week but I camped and painted anyway.  Each year I promise myself I'll take a week out of my busy life and relax in Glacier.  This was my week.  I set up my white art awning in my campsite just past the fire pit so if I needed extra warmth I could start a fire.  (Usually when I do that I get smoke in my awning space instead of warmth, but it's a good theory, anyway!)

A few years ago I was selected to be an "Artist in the Wilderness" and I spent 10 days in the Bob Marshall wilderness in a rustic Forest Service cabin.  The goal of the program is to allow artists to expand and explore their craft.  I loved the experience and even wrote a small book as part of my program called "An Uncivilized Woman."  The premise of the story was that my time in the wilderness convinced me that deep in my soul I'm an uncivilized woman and wish to remain so.

That experience motivated me to make my annual getaway to Glacier National Park.  I paint the majestic mountains reflected in the pristine lakes on some days, but on others I stay under my awning and paint using experimental colors and textures.  I give myself "permission to play" with the paint, with textures, with design and colors...and my soul sings inside of me.  I wish I could bottle and give away the joy that bubbles up inside me when I paint.  If everyone could feel this feeling then the world would certainly be a better place!

One challenge to painting wild and free is thinking about whether other people will like what I've created or not.  I have to let go of all of those feelings and again give myself "permission to play."  Play and play and play!  I think you'll see my joyful, playful attitude in this newest piece.  It makes me smile every time I look at it!



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