Southwest Montana Art Association Minutes – April 17, 2017

On April 17, 2017, President Suzan Strobel called the meeting to order and thanked Marge Fehrer, Eileen Kenney, LeeAnn Ramey, and Betty Hackman for the refreshments and Priscilla Westesen for brewing the coffee.

Two guests Molly McCall and Amber Blazina introduced themselves.

Suzan then explained that Sarah DeOpsomer from the Library Foundation has asked for help in sponsoring an art exhibit in connection with MSU’s Ivan Doig Symposium in September.  The show is called Re-Imagine Montana: National Parks, Historic Landmarks, Trails and Monuments Across Time, and features art created for artist-in-residence programs.  She recommended that we donate $500 to this fund to keep a close friendship with the foundation for their support in letting us use the library for our show in July and for letting us hold our meetings at the library.  Shirley Pass moved that the association donate the $500 and Linda Williams seconded.  The motion was overwhelmingly approved.

Next, Suzan said that Helen Donvan has agreed to plan the paint-outs this summer but wants input from members.  Is Tuesday at 9:30 the best time and day?  Does anyone have any requests for other venues.  If you have any ideas, you are asked to contact Helen at

Under announcements, Suzan said that Lisa Pressman and Sarah Mart will have an encaustic workshop on August 2-3.  TJ Cunningham will hold a workshop at Spring Hill Church from July 10-15.  For information, contact Linda Williams. Leann Ramey will be showing her work at the library in May and June.  Information was also circulated concerning a May and a September silk painting workshop.  B. Steward McCallum is displaying at the Town and Country during April and May.

Linda Williams and Jerolyn Dirks spoke briefly about a program to provide art lessons to give children representational drawing skills.  The lessons would be weekly at Pine Creek, Spring Hill, and Malmborg.

Linda Williams also said that Clyde Aspevig has invited us to his new studio within the next month.  More information will be forthcoming.

Before the refreshment break, Suzan reminded members that the art swap was going on and to look at items for sale along the window.  Also, she said that the May program would be Heather Cromwell, a local artist who began her career as a graphic designer and then turned to architectural design and fine art.  She has participated in many exhibitions and is a board member of the Bozeman Art Museum, and has volunteered with Arts Without Boundaries.

G. House, who was supposed to speak today, was ill.  Jerolyn Dirks filled in.  She said she had taken a workshop from Bryan Mark Taylor and had taken that work to the nth degree.  Taylor had talked about the difference between learning and mastering and used the term chunking or taking a deep dive into a narrow field.  He said there are hard skills such as perspective, atmosphere, etc., and soft skill such as personal interpretation.  One must master the first to be able to apply the second.  His and Jerolyn’s challenge to members was to choose one painting by a master and focus on one aspect of it.  Then try to copy it until you have mastered it.  Then do a daily study on the same topic until you have not only learned how but have mastered the topic.  Jerolyn said that we need to be accountable to someone by having a mentor or critique group to help us know when we are doing it right.  She also added that talent is a combination of commitment, passion, and practice.  She showed studies that she had done on trees and chickens and then paintings that have come from those studies.  She also explained the technique she had been using of painting on copper.

Jerolyn Dirks Study of Trees
Jerolyn Dirks Study
Jerolyn Dirks Study of Trees
Jerolyn Dirks Study
Jerolyn Dirks Study on birds and water
Jerolyn Dirks Study
Jerolyn Dirks Study Trees and Atmosphere
Jerolyn Dirks Study


Following her presentation, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Cher Genovese




Contact Linda at for T. J. Cunningham workshop.

Bonnie McCallum has a show now at Town and Country Campus – upstairs gallery .  Have a look!  Such a variety of interesting paintings.

LeeAnn Ramey, who showed there in February and March, will now be having a show in the Bozeman Library Atrium with reception May 5 from 6-7:30.

So far this year 6 paintings have sold (but if no sales, great exposure.)  Members of SMArts are now scheduled through the end of January 2018.