5 US National Parks to Inspire Your Artistic Musings

The national parks of America have inspired the artistically-minded for centuries. From the cave paintings at Zion to national treasure Mark Gudmundson’s legendary park art work, the stunning scenery and timeless beauty draws artists from far and wide. But where should a budding artist head for the best waterfall inspiration? Or the best views and the most welcoming parks? Check out this comprehensive list for the best inspiring parks to set up your pallet and easel.

Mountain and Meadow
Image courtesy of Flickr – Stuck in Customs

Grand Teton

Grand Teton ranked by many luxury tour operators such as www.audleytravel.com as one of the top national parks, because not only is there an abundance of wildlife to whet anyone’s appetite, the scenery here in Jackson is simply unrivalled for those looking for landscape art inspiration. The vast prairies of the old West surrounding Jackson are flanked by some impressive snow-capped mountains, and Jackson hole in winter has to be one of the most majestic spots to document the snowfall this beautiful expanse of park.

North Cascades

Celerbating its 45th anniversary this year, the Washington-based North Cascades national park opens its doors once more for its Skagit Artist-in-Residence program. The 10th annual Artist-in-Residence program offers local and resident artists the chance to submit proposals of their work to be exhibited in the park. With an emphasis on celebrating the natural beauty of the park, the artist program aims to encourage more artists into the park to paint, chalk up or design in a way they feel best celebrates North Cascades.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Another park getting in on the Artist-in-Residence is Rocky mountains national park, in fact they have been for several years, welcoming a wealth of artists to the parks to document the natural beauty. Visula artists famed for their landscape paintings of the American West like George Catlin and Albert Bierstadt have been captivated by Rocky mountain in the, and the park want to keep this tradition alive.

Zion

A park less about vast open spaces and more about history and fantastical architecture is Zion national park. Thousand-year old civilisations left their mark with cave-dwellings and large mud huts erected in these parks, and it is still possible to explore the petroglyphs and pictographs around the park today – an altogether unique source of inspiration for the modern artist.

Yellowstone

Yellowstone has lots of opportunity to capture water in motion; the pools here are all thermal and mostly a deep turquoise in colour which makes a great foreground to the blue sky and emerald green ferns lining the banks. Venture away from geyser-land to the north of the park and you can capture the towering mountain peaks of the Lamar valley, if you’re lucky a moose might stop to pose for the picture.

Whatever kind of scenery attracts you to art there’s no doubt that the American national parks will captivate you in a way you could never have imagined. Whatever your style you should always remember to bring extra supplies and test out colours before you go as some spots in the park may take time to reach. There are often guides available to help you set up, especially in parks with artist programs, just ask at the nearest ranger station when you arrive.

Grand Teton ranked by many luxury tour operators such as www.audleytravel.com as one of the top national parks, because not only is there an abundance of wildlife to whet anyone’s appetite, the scenery here in Jackson is simply unrivalled for those looking for landscape art inspiration. The vast prairies of the old West surrounding Jackson are flanked by some impressive snow-capped mountains, and Jackson hole in winter has to be one of the most majestic spots to document the snowfall this beautiful expanse of park.

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