By Fitz Maurice
This oil painting, “Crown, Glacier National Park, Montana,” will be my crescendo at the Hockaday Museum of Art show in Kalispell, Mont.
Glacier is known as the “Crown of the Continent,” hence the title. It is my hope that this painting shows the deep blue mysteries that resonate in this park. Visiting is a monumental, life changing experience that requires snow boots in June.
Six years now I have been on the quest to travel to and paint each of the 59 national parks in America.
I am on this quest to help protect and promote the national parks by helping you to be aware of how very vulnerable they are to our own government and to our own human polluting ways.
I also love to create in our national parks because the monumental beauty is inspiring and I feel empowered to capture in paint the truth that is inherent in nature.
After all these years of road travel and painting, my National Park Paintings series will premier at the Hockaday Museum, which is affiliated with Glacier National Park in Montana. The two-month show opens June 7 and an artist reception will be held June 28, the best time to be in Glacier National Park.
It is also a good time for a sponsor to help the artist realize the quest’s conclusion in capturing imagery of the eight national parks in Alaska and supporting the exhibition travel throughout the U.S.
Come see Glacier and my museum exhibition of 30 oil paintings,15 drawings and prints this summer.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is the only road into the glacier field. This engineering feat tends to open towards the end of June; prior to that you might not be able to drive in to see the glaciers.
I found this to be a reality as there is usually 15 feet of snow or more that has to defrost before the road can be opened to public vehicles.
The other phenomenal thing that happens because of the snowmelt is all the wildlife comes out of hibernation. I saw it in close range and was able to shoot the best photographs of bears with cubs, big horn sheep and all kinds of critters running around wild with spring.
There are several ways to get to Glacier National Park besides air travel. Take the train from Irvine to Portland., Ore., and from Portland right into the front gate of Glacier National Park. The train is a very romantic way to enter this epic national park.
I will be teaching art workshops, giving tours and painting on site with the Glacier Conservancy-Hockaday Hikes Program.
A visit should be at the top of everyone’s list because the glaciers are almost all gone.
So are you coming to Glacier this summer?
Well, Laguna Beach, I’ll need your pat on the back as I head out, as the cowboys say. Heading up to big and wide open Montana to discover and capture the crystal blue mysteries of Glacier.
See Fitz Maurice’s quest work at nationalparkpaintings.com Work by the lifetime artist and 30-year south-county resident has been exhibited and collected internationally.
Photo: Laguna Beach artist Fitz Maurice amid the snows of Glacier National Park, which straddles the Canadian border.
“Crown, Glacier National Park, Montana” serves as Fitz Maurice’s capstone for a Montana museum exhibition of her National Park Paintings series.