Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Yellowstone Story!

 Linda Aman - Aman Arts
The Yellowstone Story

"I promised my story here it is..."

Essence of Yellowstone through an Artist’s View
Color, Composition and Conversations of Yellowstone

Go to to see my art...

What is an Artist in Residence?

“Artist in Residence” is a volunteer position to create art in the park and promote National Parks. I registered online with the national parks and was contacted that they had chosen me for September 2018. What an honor!


I feel grateful for the opportunity and the experience of creating my art in the beautiful environment of Yellowstone National Park as Artist in Residence. Living in the park as the artist in residence for 20 days impacted my creativity as an artist and personal appreciations for the beauty that surrounded me. I was immersed each day in the beauty of God’s creation. I felt at the time I was back in the beginning of time. Seeing the melding of colors, shapes, lines, pathways of light and movement of the geysers, along with the sounds and wind, impacted my sense of awareness to another level; which, also impacted my work to new dimensions that I am only beginning to tap. 

Building Relationships

Yellowstone Staff and the Visitors of Yellowstone

The staff I worked alongside at Yellowstone Forever were simply just the best! They treated me like part of the YF family. They even invited me to their potluck dinner. They welcomed me from the first day and I miss them already. They were welcoming and professional to all the tourists and visitors of the park.

Jessie is amazing as an artist and director of the Yellowstone Forever Center
She is such a delight.

Some of the wonderful employees and volunteers at the Center

One day I had journalists and guests ask me about my art and experiences

Ok, these visitors are a little pampered!

I didn’t know what to expect for my time in Yellowstone. I knew I would create new work and have a fair amount of paintings. What I did not expect is to be amid hundreds of visitors who I would engage in my process of art in the way of showing and explaining what I was creating. One World War II veteran even wrote a poem for me.

Most of my work was done in my studio area in the hours after the Yellowstone Forever center closed. I generally worked on my paintings from 7pm to 2 or 3am so that I could respond to the public during the day and still accomplish my passion for painting.

Teaching and World Relationships

This young lady and her dad took the class I taught, he didn't speak any English.Teaching art there is no language barrier! 

These two little artists wanted their picture taken with a famous artist...made my day. Guess they made me famous!

This group just had fun getting to know each other and creating art. 
We did these classes from start to finish in 20 min. Wow!

Taught en plein air up on the hill...snowing lightly when we left.

A family with great art and wonderful memories.

 I taught free, mini watercolor classes for groups of tourists coming through. Teaching opened their world to a new experience in art, new appreciation and new excitement that they can do watercolor or other forms of art. They each took home an original painting of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful they created. Meeting and teaching people from all over the US and the world was wonderful. Everyone was on the same subject: the beauty of the park and the paintings they were watching me paint. There were no divisions, even when they couldn’t speak English…we were all just enjoying each other.  It was delightful.

“Hot” News of Yellowstone

One day a man walked right up to “Old Faithful” and laid down peering inside. The large crowds waiting for “Old Faithful” to erupt were yelling at him to get away for his safely…finally the rangers caught him as he was “getting away”. They arrested him and fined him is the last I heard. We saw it all happen in an instant and it was concerning. Seems he has done this sort of thing before.

Another day I went for a walk and took a picture of “Ear Springs”. When I took the picture I thought…“hmmm...a little more activity around that area”. I discovered I was a bit correct. Next day, it went off for the first time in 15 years, throwing out all kinds of garbage: coins, cans, etc. that had been tossed in over years. They even identified a baby pacifier dated to 1930. The Spring erupted the highest on record in 60 years to 30 feet! One item that flew out was a large piece of cement, so they closed the entire section for the rest of the season for safety concerns.

  Ear Springs 

Steamboat was another newly active geyser. At times the eruptions can be years apart, as much as 50 years. In September when I was in Yellowstone, it was going off every 5-6 days and up to 40 min. long and could be 300 feet in the air. Geyser Gazers are people who sit for hours, or even days, waiting for an eruption. I met one person who she said she had been there for days and had witnessed a number of Steamboat eruptions. She had a wealth of information and a lot of patience! This year Steamboat has been the most active ever on record. You can look on line to find what has happened since I left...a lot more activity.

Old Faithful 

My studio area had a view of Old Faithful that erupted every 60-90 minutes  depending on the longevity and height of the eruption. If it is high or erupts a long time or both it takes longer to fill and go again. I was getting pretty good at predictions after seeing more than 75 eruptions (I counted from all different viewpoints) though not as expert as the rangers/scientists whose job it is to predict the next time for “Old Faithful” to be faithful.

Old Faithful

Outcomes as an Artist - Visual Language of Yellowstone

In the outcomes, my work has new direction; more en plein air, land forms in realism as well as abstractions, and lot more experimentation. I felt being immersed by walking, hearing and the visual everyday of Yellowstone, transformed my understanding of the colors and conversations of the landscape. I created about 15 artworks in the park with countless others in plan. I definitely have added new directions to my works of art. I found time of solitude, interaction with hundreds of visitors and quiet spiritual thankfulness. I saw the landscape, the geysers and wonders of the hot springs with volcanic actions and colors. I watched the wild animals, bison, black bear with three cubs, deer and elk, wolves, mountain goats, antelope, swans, birds, pesky ravens, etc. I was often emotional at the creation around me, that I was privileged to view it.  Among my favorites are the Grand Prismatic pools and the Minerva Terrace.  I am looking forward to visiting often and will always have a heart for Yellowstone with the thankfulness of beauty.

Mama bear & baby bear...second cub was swinging from the top of a tree...

We stopped the pesky Raven from stealing the wallet from the bicycle pack...

Minerva Terrace

Prismatic Springs

Painting in progress from Prismatic Springs
See finished painting on website gallery link below...

View my finished paintings from Yellowstone here:


  1. What a great article! I enjoyed reading every bit of it and seeing the many happy faces of the people you interacted with. Art is a universal language! The paintings you created as a result of being there are amazing. The buffalo is wonderful as are the springs.

  2. Linda, what a rich experience for you and for your students. The art you produced is sublime!