The Bob Marshall Wilderness

In August of 2008, I spent a week on horseback in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness with my wife and a few close friends. No electricity, no vehicles, no plumbing, no roads. On the first day, we rode for nine hours to an elevation of 7,200 feet. We climbed mountains, rode through valleys, traversed streams, trotted across meadows, and walked through burnt forests with black ash everywhere.

Our guides were a married couple, Greg & Ann, and I told them I’d paint their portraits. In the paintings, they’re both riding the same horse, which is how they were photographed. Rather than taking poetic license and switching one of the mounts, I thought that keeping it the same nicely symbolized their marriage. I used the same palette and painted them simultaneously.

Leigh atop Trapper
The Bob Marshall Wilderness ~ Kathy Loh, San Rafael, CA 2008 • 10 x 8
Greg in the Bob ~ Private collection, Choteau, MT 2009 • 20 x 16
Leigh works on canvases side-by-side
Ann in the Bob ~ Private collection, Choteau, MT 2009 • 20 x 16
A Sketch from the Bob ~ Martin Droll, Longmont, CO 2008 • 14 x 11

I painted “Greg Rounds up the Horses” prior to the portraits to get the feel of the setting. It is less fully developed than they are. However, it gave me the chance to experiment with painting horses, bringing in the highlights and shadows of the background, and play with some of the colors we saw on the ride in the foreground. This painting was lost in transit when it was sent to a recipient.

Greg Rounds Up the Horses ~ (whereabouts unknown) 2008 • 24 x 18