Petoskey 231.347.4337

Traverse City 231.941.9488


Painting Grandeur: Journeys of a National Parks Artist

June 1, 2017 – September 9, 2017 all-day

Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms
their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir


Muir perfectly describes what it feels like to paint in America’s National Parks.  A kind of peace accompanied my days and the wind did blow its freshness into me (at times disturbing my easel). Nevertheless, it was invigorating. You become part of a wild landscape, and there’s nothing like painting wildness. You feel the place. It becomes a part of you.

It’s all very heady.  There you are, invited to paint some of America’s most beloved and iconic landscapes by The Department of the Interior—for an entire month!

As with all plein air work there is the struggle to do justice to the landscape; to do a good painting. I heard voices cheer me on, voices of the past. Moran, Bierstadt, Russel, Remington, and many others chimed in. Their paintings floated through my mind like sun-tinged clouds. “Relax,” Remington said, “You can do this.” Bierstadt sang, “Alles klappt Heidi!”

I began my work– but not before paying homage to the land and its history–the very history of ideals and efforts that made our National Parks, “America’s Best Idea.”

To the people who worked tirelessly to preserve and protect this American Collective Dream, and to all who continue to do so— thank you.


About Heidi Marshall

Heidi Marshall is a plein air pastel painter from Northern Michigan. She was a creative director for advertising agencies Saatchi and Saatchi and Y&R. Heidi graduated from Albion Collge with a bachelors in fine arts and received a masters in English from Wayne State University.

In 2013, Heidi was one of ten national artists chosen for The National Parks, Artist-in-Residency program in Whiskeytown National Park, northern California. This prestigious plein air competition offers selected artists the opportunity to spend up to four weeks in an artist’s cabin in Whiskeytown to produce new works. Located 3 1/2 hours north of San Francisco, the Whiskeytown program allows professionals the opportunity to become part of the long-established tradition of artists working in and sharing the splendor of our national parks.

© 2018 Crooked Tree Arts Center | Designbot Creative