Posted: Dec 16, 2012 1:44 PM by Mike Gurnett - MT FWP
Updated: Dec 16, 2012 1:47 PM
MISSOULA - Paintings with names like "Suburban Refuge," and "Bear's Den," are images by one of our nation's most creative artists, Monte Dolack of Montana.
Dolack is one of our nation's most popular contemporary artists. With all of his international exposure, this native son chooses to live in and mostly paint images of his home state. Monte's gift is to have the ability to view the world differently and his gift to us is the chance to see Montana in a whole new way.
Dolack grew up in Great Falls, the son of a Anaconda Company copper refinery worker. Dolack's grandfather was a coal miner.
"When I grew up I lived not that far from Charlie Russell's studio," he said, "and I had a couple of important teachers that encouraged my interest in art and it made a huge difference.
Dolack said he gets most of his ideas for paintings while driving back roads and flyfishing.
"You know in many ways Montana, living in Montana, there's so much that hasn't been explored by artists, creative artists. Ideas and material all over the place," he said. "You can visit a place like France and people have been painting the same scene for a thousand years and I think back on places I know that have barely been touched."
Dolack said all cultures tell stories through animals, and he sees an interaction between how civilization and wild spaces.
"Some of the humorous pieces actually have a more serious intent. The invader series is a series of paintings that are encounters between civilization and animals," he said, "Trying to find the right balance of humor and of narrative storytelling and of craftsmanship so I can create a painting that is believable."
Sometimes he makes us smile, other times he makes us think, but there's one thing for sure, he is always creating images that remind us how lucky we are to live in Montana.