Beauty in simplicity

June 13, 2011


Below is one of the recent finds in Monte’s stored property.  The pencil drawing of Pintails in flight above a  small, leafless tree is a simple and clean drawing.  Monte had many pencil drawings he chose for some reason not to frame or apparently try to sell, possibly because as explained before, they did not meet his perfectionist artistic eye for some reason or another.



Additional Art

June 6, 2011

While remaining items of Monte’s estate were being sorted, other items of original art were discovered.  These items included sculptures, pastels and pencil drawings.  In all, approximately thirty-five additional pieces were located.  On top of these items, editions of Nature Society News from 1980 with articles of Monte, a copy of the earlier posted portrait brochure and other documents were found.

Along with the other pieces of artwork, pages and pages of sheets of thin tracing paper with waterfowl sketches and other unfinished drawings were found.  These pages are indicators of how much time and effort Monte put into his finished products.  Many of these drafts were the first steps in Monte’s later finished pieces.

In addition to these items, approximately 200 hundred other unpublished items have yet to be posted.

Because of financial restraints, an unfortunate aspect of Monte’s early work involved his use of paper products of a lesser quality.  To save money, Monte purchased paper products in bulk quantities.  Because of the lesser quality, in some of his artwork the yellowing of these paper products have occurred.

Monte passed away two years ago from today.  He was 69 years of age.

With his passing, so many answers about his art and influences will remain unknown.  Many, through years of conversation with him, are known, but just as many are not and never will be.   As previously typed and re-typed, the one thing known for sure and something that can never be pointed out enough, was Monte’s love and passion for the natural world.  From its beauty to its horrific brutality, Monte’s respect, wonder and love for nature never wavered.

A few weeks ago, Eric, John Morrow and Mark Holloway gathered together like in the past.  Of course this time, Monte was not present.  The spots usually visited when the four of them would gather in the past were stopped by.  These spots included the Emiquon Refuge near Havana, the Banner Dike Road, the east end of E. Monterey Road, the area of the N. Duck Island Road and other country spots.  When Monte was alive, he would speak of how things used to be and the history of the area.  Sadly, with time, changes occur and not all are for the best.  The appeal of the area at the end of the Banner Dike Road has diminished because the city of Canton has built a monstrosity of a water pump house.  Also, until recently, a person could drive on a gravel road off of the N. Duck Island Road that would lead to the dam that separates Rice Lake from Big Lake.    This road is now blocked by a locked gate.

Above is a photograph of Monte and his children, Eric and Kathy.  Kathy is holding a young Fritz.  Fritz was well-known for being one of the meanest creatures around except when it came Sharyl, Monte’s wife.

Above is a photograph of Eric, Kathy and Monte arriving at Big Lake by boat due to flooding of the Illinois River.