Clouds Over the Rocky Mt. Front

Private Collection

The Rocky Mountain Front is a truly special part of Montana, where the prairie rolls up to meet the mountains. The Blackfeet call this “the backbone of the world.” This rapid change of topography creates an amazing diversity of plant communities which accounts for the wide array of birds and wildlife that occur there. Even the weather is affected by this place. This painting was inspired by a trip a companion and I made near the summer solstice. That particular day there was no wind, which is quite unusual on the prairie. Residents of this area joke that you can usually throw your hat against the side of your house and it’ll stay there all day! The absence of wind allowed the late afternoon clouds to float and morph into different shapes unaffected by the sculpting effect of the breeze. The June rains provided the prairie with enough moisture to put on quite a floral display as well.