Written by Bob Bahr
One of the most gratifying achievements for an artist is to get a solo museum show. For Wanda Mumm, her exhibition now on view at the Hockaday Museum of Art, in Kalispell, Montana, is a “dream fulfilled.”
Mumm reports a good turnout for the opening on April 27. “Everyone was very pleased with the exhibit and we received many compliments,” says the longtime SKBer. “Les was happy to show off his framing and the field easel he sells, as well as retelling the story of the day of the yellow jackets. It was a very exciting night and a dream fulfilled to have a museum show.”
The exhibition is titled “Wild Impressions,” and it features both plein air and studio paintings derived from scenes in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park. Mumm commented on the selection of her paintings in an artist statement. “It is often difficult to express the full experience of working ‘in’ a painting as it develops,” Mumm states. “It, of course, includes the visual image, but it also encompasses the smells, the sounds of the birds and the wind in the trees and the rushing waters in the rivers and streams. My goal is to emote all of these senses in my paintings. From the first moment I capture a scene, my mind begins to organize the component parts, bringing into play the overlapping shapes, colors, lighting and mood. There are decisions to make regarding what to put into the painting, what to leave out and to determine the focal point, as well as how to enhance the composition with subtle, fitting additions. This mental composition is called the ‘Grand Vision.’ All is possible at this point!
“Everything in you is at work as you begin to apply paint to the canvas…. It is a sensuous feeling as the paint flows off the brush with your every arm movement. Whether I am in the field or in the studio, my mind takes me back to that place in the wild, with the wind softly blowing and the scent of wildflowers wafting around me. Some pieces practically paint themselves with less mental effort and others ‘task’ the artist’s very being, and challenge the artist’s analytical abilities to pull off what is in his or her Grand Vision.”