Brad currently resides in Helena, Montana and has come to admire the unlimited painting inspiration throughout the area. Formally trained in natural resource management, he is passionate about wild places, land conservation, and accessibility to the great outdoors for all. He has served as a backcountry ranger in the Badlands of South Dakota and the Uintas of northern Utah, and has also conducted endangered salmon and steelhead conservation work throughout Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. When painting in the studio, Brad’s main inspiration comes from memories of recent trips in the field as he aims to capture the transient mood and lighting of a western landscape. His work is completed primarily in water based media as a mode to complement this unpredictability. He hopes that his paintings are an honest expression of the particular day and season of a landscape, and that this expression inspires others to further appreciate the natural world.
Brad recently participated in two artist residencies; one at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains with the Atlanta School in Atlanta, Idaho, and the other in the Steese Conservation Area with the Bureau of Land Management in Central, Alaska.
“Observing the same landscape over the course of a week, or the course of a season or the course of a year is a fruitful practice. The High Country series is a dark and stormy terrain full of hope in every direction. It is a reflection of slumbering seasons at the cusp of their awakening. It is an ode to big sky country, where the high plains meet mountains that turn a different shade of blue each time they are glanced upon. A new season is upon us, but for now, we celebrate the dance of subtle changes; one day, and one moment, to the next.” – Brad DeFrees