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Arts Council presents weekend painting workshops Aug. 5-6

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By Sarah Gianelli EBS Associate Editor

BIG SKY – The Arts Council of Big Sky is offering two weekend painting workshops Aug. 5-6, led by established Western artists Michael Untiedt and Nancy and Morgan Cawdrey.

Untiedt, a Denver-based oil painter, will lead a plein air workshop entitled “Working on Site;” and Nancy Cawdrey and her son, Morgan, will lead a silk-painting class. Both workshops will be held at Ophir Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Untiedt’s two-day workshop will entail one day of painting in the outdoors, followed by a day in the studio to complete the work started the day prior. Untiedt will be painting in oils, but participants are welcome to paint in any medium.

An expert at “nocturnes,” or moonlit scenes, Untiedt’s depictions of the West—sagging barns, spirited cowboys, aging mountain men and dramatic skies—exude a luminous timelessness. His paintings often draw from memories growing up on the sweeping prairielands of southeastern Colorado. Untiedt is an award-winning artist and experienced teacher with a playfully philosophical bent. His works are represented in galleries and museums around the country. He’s also participated in the Arts Council’s annual art auction.

“My role as art instructor is to help each artist find their ‘path of best steps’ to creating art,” Untiedt said. “[And] building on personal strengths to develop an individualized creative voice. … My teaching is directed toward individualized guidance based on individual learner needs.”

Mother-son artists Nancy and Morgan Cawdrey teach various silk-painting techniques in one of two weekend-long workshops being
offered through the Arts Council on Aug. 5-6. PHOTO COURTESY OF NANCY CAWDREY GALLERY & STUDIO

“Silk Painting” will be a fun, exploratory class led by multidisciplinary artists Nancy and Morgan Cawdrey. Nancy is a signature member of the Montana Watercolor Society, and her work is exhibited in many private and corporate collections across the country and in Europe. She maintains a gallery with her son, Morgan, in Bigfork, Montana.

The Cawdreys will present short demonstrations of a variety of ancient and modern silk painting techniques including gold and clear “gutta resist,” “no flow” technique, wet-on-wet, dry brush, washes, detailing, and more. Participants will leave with at least two finished, frame-ready pieces. The workshop is open to artists of all levels.

“I took this two-day class at Nancy’s studio in Bigfork earlier this month,” said Arts Council Secretary Linda Goldinger. “[It was] so much fun! Silk painting has been done in Asia for centuries and has been big in Europe for years, but it’s still somewhat of a phenomenon in the world of Western art.”

A welcoming reception for class participants and artists will be held Friday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. Both workshops will take place Aug. 5-6 at the Ophir Elementary School in Big Sky. All levels of experience are welcome, but participants must be at least 16 years of age.

For more information and to register call the Arts Council at (406) 995-2742 or visit

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