The members of Real Art Works gather periodically throughout the year to plan events and share creative ideas.
Donald M. Jones is a Montana based Wildlife Photographer specializing in all forms of nature. Don's images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with his camera in tow. What began as a young boy with binoculars swaying from his neck and a bird book wedged into his back pocket in suburban Chicago has now transformed into a living dream. All of Don's Wildlife subjects are just that, wild. Don refuses to photograph any subjects that are pets or confined to Zoos or Game Farms. His work is authentic and his message is clear: "Keep the Wild in Wildlife".
As a full-time Professional Wildlife Photographer since 1993, Don has established himself as a driven individual in a saturated market by continually offering his clients new and refreshing images and subject matter year after year. His more than 600 magazine covers, which he has been credited with over his career are a testament to this. Some of Don's clients include Audubon, Sierra, National Wildlife Federation, Field & Stream, Time, Outdoor Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Columbia Sportswear, Sports Afield, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Frontier Airlines, and LL Bean. Don currently resides in the small town of Troy, Montana with his wife and soulmate, Tess.
Recently retired from teaching, a career that spanned from Montana to Alaska, Sherry Hingley has returned home to Iron Creek in Troy Montana.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Sherry lived at a zoo while she was a child, thus her love for nature was rooted in her daily activities with the animals. From there she was transplanted to Montana where she graduated from High School in Columbia Falls, afterwards attending college in Kentucky where she eventually furthered her studies with a Masters of Education and a K-12 Administrative degree.
CurrentlySherry and her husband Monty are working on “reclaiming the land”. There is much to do when you own a house and have been gone for 11 years. Her artwork is watercolors with details created with pen and ink pointillism.
She has compiled a series of fish nature prints, striving for the colors and details that are evident in the wild.
Monty and Sherry have 8 children between them, 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren that they enjoy spending time with. They are looking forward to fishing, gardening and taking drives to soak in the Montana countryside.
Chris and Clint Oster have been making pottery since 2006. They live 35 miles North of Troy in the Yaak Valley. Their work is influenced by the beauty that surrounds them in the mountains…the budding larch, the ferns on the forest floor for impressions, the silhouette of trees on a high ridge, all combined with the blues, greens and earth tones of nature.
Their mugs, plates and platters, vases, and drink cups are made in small batches, with each piece given lots of attention from the forming, trimming the bottoms, to the unique glaze combinations that they have developed. They make each piece as if it will become your favorite mug, cup, or plate for years to come.
The Osters are retired teachers, hailing from the mid-west, who have come back to Clint’s birth state to enjoy the bounty that Montana has to offer. Their pottery is one of many joys of living in Montana.
Terrel Jones is a Montana artist who worked for the Troy School District as an art and foreign language instructor from 1983 to 2005. She is now retired and divides her time between painting and outdoor activities.
Terrel’s informal training includes three years of art education at WWU and ten years of living and teaching in Lima, Peru. Upon her return to the United States in 1979, she attended Western Montana College in Dillon, completing an Art Education degree in 1983. She received her Masters in Painting at the University of Montana in 1999.
Terrel seeks to express herself through merging the landscape and the figure, primarily the female figure. She credits South American Native art for her preferences in choices of color and patterns. Ms. Jones’ unique style has gained her recognition in Montana and surrounding areas.
Photo credit Valerie McIntyre
You can contact Terrel Jones for an appointment to view her art at the following: Terrel Jones 1788 Schoolhouse Lake Road Troy, MT 59935
Home: 406-295-5227 Cell: 316-617-8021
With an insatiable desire to learn how things are made and grandparents who “made” everything Deanise has dabbled in many art forms, creating since she was a small child, and loves them all.
As a young person she spent a lot of time with a grandfather who enjoyed “rock hounding.” Going out into the wilderness camping to collect stones specimens for jewelry making was what she enjoyed most. That inspired her desire to live in the “woods”, ultimately moving to beautiful Troy 32 years ago with her husband Doug and three children.
Working with stones and beads to create jewelry led to her need to know how beads were made, and the love affair with all things glass began. Lampwork bead making, glass fusing and stained glass are all part of her repertoire of artwork.
Being creative in his own way, building hot rods and working with metal, Doug, upon his retirement, became interested in working with stained glass and has been a part of their Glass Cabin Studio for the past four years.
Much of Doug and Deanise’s inspiration comes from their beautiful surroundings in northwest Montana. They love bringing the arts to their community by being a part of RAW and are always willing to perpetuate their craft through teaching others.
“It may be that our cosmic curiosity is a genetically-encoded force that we illuminate when we look up and wonder.” Neil deGrasse Tyson
“It is said that when a tree dies,
it’s spirit may be released and depicted only through the hands of a carver.”
Milli Beal has always had a passion for creating beauty, but it wasn't until she moved to the beautiful little town of Troy in 2007 and fell in love with the majestic beauty of her wilderness surroundings that her passion for creating transcended into art.
Shortly after her arrival in Troy, Milli was introduced to woodcarving by Canadian artist Robert Kirk, and immediately discovered that she had a natural ability to transform a discarded piece of tree into what is known as "the spirit of the tree" in ancient folklore. Nothing is ever drawn on the piece beforehand, instead, she allows the piece itself to dictate what it will look like as she carves. That introduction has morphed into all types of woodworking and creating art from natural elements as seen in her beautiful birch baskets, Woodland Ornaments and Magnets, and Antler Jewelry.
Milli enjoys hiking through the dense forest with her husband Gary and their dog Magnus, gathering raw materials that can be crafted into art; birch bark, antler sheds, moss, vines…. to her, the forest offers up a myriad of natural elements just waiting to be transformed, and nothing is more gratifying than releasing the beauty veiled beneath decades and even centuries of decay.
Each of her designs come solely from her mind’s eye and reflects how the individual piece speaks to her. They are as unique and mysterious as the forest itself, thus no two creations will ever be exactly the same.
Since eight years old when he first pulled a piece of thick rebar, yellow-white hot, from a fire, and saw how he could so easily twist it around a pipe, Scott Rodich has been fascinated by the properties of hot steel and the ease at which it could be shaped and worked.
Years later, when Scott was wandering around at a barter fair, he stopped to watch a blacksmith pull a hot bar of steel from his coal forge and start drawing it out on the face of an anvil. After observing for a while, he said to the smith, “I always want to try that.” The Smith, now working the piece of steel with a hammer at the tip of his anvil’s horn, paused for a second, looked up and said, “Well.” That’s it, just that one word.
Well that, “Well,” built a fire under Scott. He returned home, and in the ensuing weeks, he bought a few books at used book stores, scavenged up some basic tools, built himself a small shop and pretty good coal forge, and beggared the family by buying an old, almost worn-out, used anvil. At first, the metal work was just a hobby; then the hobby became a sideline business. Eventually, as he acquired more skills in the trade, the one-time hobby, and his long time passion, became a full-time profession.
That was thirty-four years ago, and there have been changes. Scott has retired his coal forge and replaced it with a propane one, built a bigger shop, and now works with other metals and materials as well. One thing hasn’t changed; he is still up in the Yaak bending steel and making things, doing just what he is meant to do.
Paul Stark began his interest in photography at an early age as a member of the Cub & Boy Scouts earning merit badges. His interest continued throughout his work life which covered much of the western United States. He took several classes in photography along the way, using this expanded knowledge to do wedding photography, graduations, and portraits in his off work hours.
Paul has always looked for interesting things to record with photography and is inspired by beautiful landscapes, moving water, stunning sunsets, wild animals, wildflowers, and most of all his family.
Phone: 406-291-2012 - 406-291-0026
With a passion for sewing that began at an early age, Kathy Jones grew up making much of her own clothing and home decor, and was always hemming jeans for everyone in town. It wasn't until she took an Art Quilting Class in Lake Tahoe, that she was introduced to the world of non-traditional sewing.
In her Art Quilts you will find original hand dyed or silk screened fabrics, creating exciting scenes and interpretations of nature which inspire her daily in her beautiful Northwest Montana surroundings.
Kathy believes that living in Montana is all inspiring in itself, and being around creative people is infectious.
David inherited a wood lathe from his father's uncle, but never used it until he built a workshop in 2006 and began making wooden spatulas to give to family and friends. He soon realized that what he remembered from his eighth grade shop class wasn't going to get him very far, so he signed up for classes at the Woodcraft store in Spokane. That move changed his life. He bought a new lathe, then another, then another, and went to workshops taught by Russ Fairfield, Trent Bosch, and Mike Mahoney.
David's style is evolving from utilitarian to artistic as has the name of his business. It started as Eagle Woodcrafts, and is now Yugen Woodcrafts. Yugen is a Japanese word that has been described as meaning an awareness of the universe that evokes an emotional response too deep and mysterious for words.
David hopes that you find yugen in his work.
Woodworking Phone: 406-293-9686
Mary's love for drawing and painting began as a child: sitting on her father’s knee, coloring and drawing; drawing paper dolls and designing clothes for them with her older sister; making posters for school projects. At several jobs she volunteered to illustrate for brochures or articles. When she went to college she did not major in art, however she did work in as many art classes as she could. Mary also took several art workshops along the way. As an employee at Salish Kootenai College, Mary wrote and illustrated an infant curriculum, Circle of the Infant and a brochure: Children of the Salish and Kootenai Indians which the college published. Her main media is watercolor and colored pencil.
Mary considers it an honor to be part of the RAW gallery, and is available for consignment work - landscape art, and portraits of children and pets.
Becky has been creating jewelry since 1995. Her inspiration comes from many sources, from a spectacular stone that nature has spent thousands of years molding, an exquisitely hand-crafted glass bead, vibrant color combinations, and other artists' endless creativity. Her techniques include fused glass, fired-silver clay, wire-wrapping, mixed media, soutache, quilled paper, zipper art, and enameling. Each piece has been individually designed, so no two pieces are alike, which is what keeps her going in pursuit of her obsession. Exploring new methods will be her never-ending quest.
Becky is also a needle felting artist working with wool to create several collections including Wild Birds, characters from the Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, Irish Gnomes, and Egg Carton Critters. Each needle felted character she makes takes on its own personality. Her felted wool and paper quilling projects have extended into creating framed pieces. She extends her heartfelt thanks to all of her customers!
Originally from Livingston, Montana, Carol Uptagrafft lived in Big Timber until the age of nine when her father accepted a job in the Midwest and moved the family to Massillon, Ohio, and seven years later, to East Chicago, Indiana where she graduated from Roosevelt High School. After graduation Carol attended Indiana Northwest in Gary, Indiana, eventually transferring to IU in Bloomington, Indiana where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art and a degree in art education.
Carol taught art in the elementary schools in Seymour, Indiana for six years, simultaneously earning her Master’s Degree in Art Education. When her parents retired back to Montana in 1976 and settled in Libby (Big Timber winters were too cold and windy), Carol followed them back to the west shortly thereafter. She settled in Spokane, WA where she met and married her husband, Patrick. They eventually moved to Idaho where Carol taught elementary education for the Lakeland School District for 23 years. She has two children, a daughter who is married and an artist living in Seattle, and a son who is in the Coast Guard stationed in Port Angeles.
When her mother passed away and left Carol a mobile home, she and her husband Patrick bought a lot and had the trailer moved to south Libby. They have remodeled it and have enjoyed returning to it monthly to embrace life in and around Libby. Carol and her husband enjoy hiking, fishing and snowshoeing. After 35 years of visiting her parents, it has been fun to be able to relax and appreciate the beauty of the area. Carol enjoys painting and pottery, teaching a children's summer pottery class for the Citizen Council of the Arts in Coeur'd Alene for the past twenty years. During the school year she teaches an afterschool art class at Twin Lakes Elementary in Rathdrum. Lately, Carol’s art interest has focused on rosemaling (Norwegian folk art), tole painting (mainly signs) and Christmas ornaments dabbling in watercolor and a bit of pottery.
Tess Jones’s admiration for the natural beauty that surrounds us, a passion for gardening, an appreciation for artists and their work and her own passion for art led Tess to explore the world of gourds. Gourd art, Tess’s obsession, all started with a big gourd that she bought at a pumpkin farm in Ohio. She took her little sister, Ildiko, to a pumpkin farm in Ohio after her mother died, to try to comfort her. It was here that she spotted a mound of moldy gourds. Tess found one that was still green and mailed it home to herself in Troy. Thanks to the internet, she began researching about what to do with a green gourd that was beginning to mold. After many hours researching and no straight forward answers Tess just jumped right in…cut the top off with a saw, cleaned the inside and took the seeds out. Tess planted those seeds and began to grow her own gourds. Tess enjoys the entire process from seed to creating. Crafting with gourds combines her love for gardening and all of nature (the greatest artist) with an art form that allows her to combine each with her appreciation and love for art. Tess creates bird houses, musical instruments, jewelry, ornaments and decorative pieces for the home. The sky is the limit for what can be created with gourds! I thank my mother, husband (Don Jones) our sons Jake and Luke, and friends at RAW for encouraging me to create and display my artwork at this lovely shop!
A nickname from my mom that forever stuck and is now my trade name!
I'm a local home grown gal glad to be back home in Montana! I Grew up in Libby on the Kootenai River with my 3 siblings, what a great life! After being away for 15 years, Montana was calling me Home, I moved back to the area about a year and a half ago to help open up the CHC dental clinic in Troy as the hygienist. Built a home in Troy and couldn't be happier!
Katiekins started about 10 years ago at a lull point in life where my creative nature took over. I have always loved figuring things out, creating my own designs rather than using patterns... and that's what makes my pieces so unique. They are all just a little different and created and inspired as I am making them!
I have a natural flair for fabrics and the way they come together. I make everything from potholders, table runners and coasters to custom aprons and quilts! Come and see my work at RAW! If you have something specific in mind, let me know, I'm willing and open to custom items!
Holly and Morgan Coyne are the definition of an artistic team when it comes to wood working. Morgans creativity knows no bounds as he builds beautiful coat and gun racks, serving trays and wall plaques, which Holly then brings to life with her skillful, wood-burned interpretations of local wildlife and beautiful landscapes.
Born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, Morgan has always loved the arts, a love that propelled him into the world of graphic design at the Art Institute of Seattle. Falling in love with the Northwest, its majestic mountains and breathtaking beauty, he moved to Montana in 2016 to be closer to nature and the simpler life it offered.
Holly has always loved working with children, and her creative abilities were unleashed when she engaged them in various art projects. A desire to be closer to her son who was attending the University of Montana proved to be the incentive she would need to step out and start a fresh new life, leaving the Sunshine State behind and moving cross country to Montana in 2013. She now works as a Special Education Paraprofessional and continues sharing her creativity with her students.
Holly and Morgan met shortly after he arrived in Montana. They were a perfect match, sharing a deep love of nature and various outdoor activities. It wasn’t long before their love of the arts began to mesh and Into The Forest Art was born. Most of their creations come to life on recycled barn wood, pallet board, and any aged wood with character that they can transform into works of art. Holly and Morgan exchanged vows at a beautiful outdoor ceremony in July of 2019, and now live in Kalispell with their 3 dogs, Nico, Roxy and Summer.