“Battle for a Paddle” Online Auction

Published on April 25, 2019 under News

We are excited to offer an online auction of eight hand painted canoe paddles starting on May 6. The auction will raise funding needed to complete the Flathead River Conservation Project and permanently protect 155 acres of open space with valuable riparian and wetland habitat vital for birds, fish and wildlife along the Flathead River which is part of a network of critical lands in the heart of the Flathead Valley.

The Battle for a Paddle online auction will include 8 one-of-a-kind hand painted wood canoe paddles by well-known Flathead Valley artists.  Participating artists who have generously donated painted paddles for the auction include Nancy Cawdrey, Colt Idol, Nick Oberling, James Corwin, Kenneth Yarus, Susan Guthrie, Lonnie Collinsworth and Joe Bottomly.   Each paddle is unique and beautiful, depicting scenes of our amazing Flathead River system as well as fish and wildlife of northwest Montana. We can’t thank the artists enough for showing their support for conservation along the Flathead River, and we look forward to offering everyone the chance to win one of these exceptional pieces of local art.

The online auction begins on May 6th and will continue until June 21st at 8:00 PM.  The end of the auction will coincide with the Summer Solstice Party on June 21st which is hosted by Flathead Land Trust and the Flathead Lakers at the Hormuth’s Rivers End Ranch along the North Shore of Flathead Lake. Auction winners of the paddles will be announced at the event.

To access the online bidding site, go to:  Bidders will then need to register on the site before bidding on the paddles. Contact us at 406-752-8293 with questions.

Battle for a Paddle Bid Items

Middle Fork Memories by Kenneth Yarus

Bid On This Paddle!

Kenneth Yarus was raised in Kalispell Montana, not far from Glacier National Park. The landscape inspired him, along with many artists who encouraged his passion. Using the John and Anne Taylor Scholarship he was able to pursue an Academic Education at the Ashland Academy of Art and Grand Central Academy of Art. New York City taught many lessons, and a longing for the wilderness was one. Ken returned to the mountains of Montana to paint plein air and large landscapes, aiming to capture the immensity and value of the mountains.  



Renarde Rapide by Nancy Cawdrey

Bid on this Paddle!

Nancy Cawdrey loves color, texture and pattern. Through her pursuit for texture and passion for color, Nancy discovered the spontaneity and brilliance she could create through her silk paintings. Painting on silk is a Chinese technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. Although silk painting is now her medium of choice, she continues to explore a variety of subjects in watercolor, oil and experimental media. Though few people realize it, Nancy often employs a mixture of media in her silk paintings. Through this overlaying of various media she creates buoyant color and texture with her combination of transparent pigment and the shimmer of silk.  A colorist with a strong sense of design, Nancy’s work always evokes a response, whether she is creating one of her signature western figure pieces, a breathtaking landscape, a quiet corner of Venice, or a vibrant floral.


Flathead River Tranquility by Nicholas Oberling

Bid on this Paddle!

Nicholas Oberling has lived in Montana and painted the landscapes of Glacier Park and surrounding Flathead Valley for 20 years. He received his training at the world famous Art Students League of New York City, and his landscapes and bird paintings have been featured in art galleries and competitions around the country. Nicholas Oberling often works on location and can be seen painting on Going to the Sun Road or on trails in the back country. He lives with Betsy Bittman, a fellow New Yorker and avid Glacier hiker and cyclist whom he met in East Glacier.


Tatanka by James Corwin

Bid on this Paddle!

James Corwin designs distinct oil paintings through a unique balance of gestural paint techniques and precise detail. Primarily focused on wildlife Corwin aims to engage the viewer through his dynamic compositions that stir emotion.  With an appreciation for both fine detail and contemporary art, Corwin exquisitely marries the two in each painting with detailed subjects and loosely constructed backgrounds often exposing the underpainting and raw canvas.  By providing utmost quality and innovation in his painting, Corwin creates a sustaining legacy of integrity and loyalty in his art and conservation.  James was voted best artist of Missoula, Montana in 2018.



Luminous Trio by Colt Idol

Bid on this Paddle!

Lifetime Montana resident Colt Idol has always been enamored with “The West” and all that is represents. After an injury-plagued high school and collegiate basketball career Colt decided to pursue art full-time. With the guidance of his father, Dick Idol, renowned outdoor personality and artist, Colt was able to develop his abilities and advance his knowledge of art-he had undoubtedly found his passion.

Colt is now 27 years old and lives in Whitefish, MT. He is represented by four galleries; The Dick Idol Signature Gallery, Coeur d’Alene Art Galleries, the Beartooth Gallery and Park City Fine Art. He participates in annual shows including the Out West Art Show, Miniatures by the Lake, the C.M. Russell Museum events and the Safari Club International.




Brown Trout by Lonnie Collinsworth

Bid on this Paddle!

Lonnie Collinsworth was raised in Deer Lodge, Montana, and he graduated from Powell County High School. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Western Montana College, and his Master’s Degree at Montana State University in Bozeman. Lonnie has been the Whitefish High School art teacher for the past 20 years. He is passionate about helping students develop their creative gifts. His students have gained recognition for their talents at numerous local and national art competitions. Lonnie was honored to be featured in the Daily Interlake on January 7, 2019.


Gone Fishing by Susan Guthrie

Bid on this Paddle!

Susan Guthrie, a fourth generation Montanan, has lived in the Flathead Valley for 32 years. She is a seasoned Art Educator and currently a full-time professor at Flathead Valley Community College. She earned a Master’s in Studio with New York University with temporary residency in Venice, Italy and Berlin, Germany. She also studied for a Master’s of Art History from Studio Art College International, Florence, Italy/Bowling Green State University, Ohio and her Bachelor of Science in Art and Music Education, grades K-12, from University of Montana Western. For three years Susan served as the President for the Montana Art Education Association. She is a three-time recipient of the Who’s Who Among American Teachers, was nominated by a student for The Claes Noble National Honor Society of High School Scholars. She has been selected as Art Educator of the Year for the State of Montana. Her work has received recognition twice for The People’s Choice Award at the Hockaday Museum of Art. Susan has traveled extensively and studied with Australian Master Watercolorist, Joseph Zbukvic, and South African Master Oil Painter, Ryno Swart. She has hosted solo exhibitions, one of which was selected by the Montana Art Gallery Director’s Association where thirty pieces of her work traveled for one year around the Western United States. She participates in multiple auctions and group exhibitions as her work has been featured in both Florence and Venice, Italy and Berlin Germany. She is an outdoor enthusiast, a practicing musician, and a lover of dinner parties and dark chocolate.

Logan Creek by Joe Bottomly

Bid on this Paddle!

Joe Bottomly:  I’ve been involved with art my entire life. It was my grandmother who introduced me to painting. After a happy and successful  career as a trial lawyer I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I enrolled in a three-year intensive drawing and painting academy in Florence, Italy. The curriculum was designed to train professional painters in the techniques of such masters as Sargent, Zorn, and Sorolla. That style, along with modern masters such as Andrew Wyeth, are my influences.

I spend half my year in the mountains of Montana and the other half along the coast of California.