Monte and the Fall

October 31, 2012

Autumn was probably Monte’s favorite season.  One reason, of course,was the abundance of all the vibrant colors during this time of the year.  Often times, fall settings were observed in Monte’s pieces and allowed him to create wonderful contrasts of color of this time of the year.

Below is an reposting of an oil painting of a buck deer standing in a stream near an old, withered tree during the fall.  Monte could never bring himself to sell this painting and one gentleman gave Monte a standing offer if he ever would decide to sell the painting.

He never did.

Oddly though, near the end of his life Monte felt more comfortable staying near his home while when a younger man, he did enjoy travels over highways and country roads during the time of peak fall colors.  These travels included the annual Spoon River Drive and trips to Galena, Illinois.

Another aspect of his enjoyment of the fall dealt with the migration of waterfowl in the Big Lake area.  When environmental factors were just right, during times of migration, large numbers of waterfowl would make a stop in a farmer’s field along the Banner Dike Road known as the Prairie Lane Road area.

Fall also meant the time to start beautification projects around the Banner home.  This included adding decorative spindles to the front porch of the Ellis home and mixing colors to add color to wood trim and other parts of the Ellis home in preparation for the upcoming winter, which meant a time of gray and little color.



Unanswered Questions

October 20, 2012

As earlier mentioned, during the last half of the 1970’s, Monte purchased a cabin along the Illinois River on the Banner Dike Road.  Around this same period, he also purchased a large printing press and had the printing press in the kitchen to this cabin.

In hopes of creating a method to easily reproduce his artwork for a consistent stream of revenue, Monte created lithographs and other artistic items for printing.

Below are lithograph created images from this period.  For some reason, Monte created the first image with only a buck deer.  Later he added a doe and made other modifications to the illustration.

If one looks closely enough, finer detail has been added to the second illustration.

It is not known why he decided to make these changes and, again, the changes could have simply been due to his never-ending critical eye and manner of self-critique.

Below is a previously published image of the flimsy, uneven walk way leading from the Banner Dike Road to Monte’s cabin, formerly known as the Riverbank Gallery. The wooden slats and walkway would bounce when walked upon.

It would have taken brave souls to help Monte move a large printing press over this walkway.

It can’t be recalled where Monte purchased the printing press or what he did with it when the State of Illinois ceased issuing leases for the cabins along the Banner Dike Road and demanded cabin owners tear down and remove the remains of their property.

Monte’s Sketchbook

October 13, 2012

Below are images from one of Monte’s sketchbooks.  Along with the sketches are details about the animals regarding their size and behavior.

Some of these come from his own direct observations. 



Monte was quite fond of the calls of Loons.





Two Early Paintings

October 6, 2012

Below are two of Monte’s early paintings.  The first is of two foxes and the earliest of the two. This image shows a distinct style observed in Monte’s earliest works.  It is unknown who owns this painting and most likely, it is a painting Monte would have like to have reacquired due to his discerning eye and the imperfections he would have perceived in the image.

The second image is an unfinished painting Monte did not complete due to unknown reasons.  Often times, Monte would start paintings, then set them aside and either never work on them again or come back and make changes or additions.

Often, Monte would study his hanging pieces of artwork and make mental notes of changes he would like to make and from time to time make those changes.  Other times, he would dwell on the changes and never make them.  It is possible this was on purpose so he would have an excuse not to sell a particular piece of artwork.