THE PLAN WAS HATCHED LESS THAN 24 HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE. It had been too long since we’d been out. Enough of town, traffic, chores, work, and deadlines. We didn’t have much of a window; we couldn’t leave until after work on Friday and had to...

ELLIOT GARFIELD IS A MAN OUT OF TIME. Not hourly time, though as a UPS delivery driver, he is in a perpetual dust cloud of a hurry on his route of graveled Northeast Montana backroads. And not seasonally, though he can seem time-deprived as he rushes...

ALTHOUGH THE EVENTS TOOK PLACE NEARLY 50 YEARS AGO, I still remember them as vividly as yesterday. A warm September sun hung suspended in the endless prairie sky, reminding me why my new Montana license plates seemed so proud of the sobriquet they bore. To the...

I’M STANDING ON THE CHUNK OF MADISON LIMESTONE in a meadow filled with grass and midsummer flowers. Asters, yarrow, buckwheat, prairie smoke with its Einstein-hair stamens, lupine with pods, yellow paintbrush, buttercups, delphiniums, grass, and piles of horse poop surround the rock and fill the...

THEY VARY IN THEIR STYLES, from narrative realism to impressionistic impasto, yet the artists featured here are united in their efforts to paint what they know, especially as inspired by life in Montana. For Kenneth Yarus, often that involves trekking into the hinterlands for his...

OBSERVATION IS CRITICAL TO THE CREATIVE PRACTICE of artist, writer, and naturalist James Prosek. Observation, and what American biologist E.O. Wilson described as “biophilia,” the instinctive bond between humans and other living systems. As Prosek explains, it’s a fascination with life and its diversity, “a...

ANYONE WHO'S EVER STRUGGLED WITH RELATIONSHIPS would probably benefit from studying the dynamic between bronze sculptors and their patineurs. Because it’s a slow, complicated, and involved process, many artists prefer to turn that work over to other artisans so they can, instead, devote their time...

THROUGH HIS DEPICTION OF SIMPLIFIED LANDSCAPES, painter Travis Walker speaks to a problematic perspective of the modern West. By reducing the intricacies of peaks and crevices, solitary doorways and empty streets, Walker clears the way for a new kind of narrative — one which exchanges...