cruise control

This week Margot, Ruby and I will stand in a room of white walls and bright lights. Lots of people will be there studying over 30 meticulously, lovingly crafted paintings* made by the hands of my husband.

It feels a bit like a birth. So much thought and energy and planning, working toward this day when it OPENS. And then. Then, whatever comes next.

Crazy Intersection, oil on board

Andy and I both have art degrees. We graduated and wondered what now? Would we fall into a rhythm that didn’t include making stuff? Or, would we find ways to cultivate this piece of ourselves that we spent years and money getting comfy with? I remember early conversations, vowing to each other that we’d be true to our creative impulses. I always wondered, silently in my brain, if it would happen. I don’t think Andy ever wondered. Because making is akin to skiing is akin to breathing for my man. Necessary and important.

At Least We’ll Have a Ski Resort in Our Backyard, oil on board

A whole lot has happened in our lives these last few years. We had kids, changed jobs, grew ideas. Amidst the change, we regularly met in our studio to make stuff. He’d paint his impossibly accurate marks while I kicked up dust at the sewing machine or some other messy thing. I have always been inspired by and envious of Andy’s drive and dedication to art-making, squirreling away 10 minutes here and there to paint the bumper of a car; for him, it doesn’t matter whether his work is seen or not, bought or not, liked or not. He paints. He is 100% motivated by his heart. I love that.

Riding the Range, oil on board

So, this week, a posse of family and friends will fly and drive to the city of Helena, Montana to celebrate my awesome, talented, generous, sexy husband, Andy Cline, for the opening of Cruise Control. And I can’t wait.

His work left our home last weekend, crates and crates of himself. To celebrate we spontaneously popped up to a friend’s cabin with pals and he fished the whole next day, ambling down the Bitterroot with childhood friends. Read about our adventure and how Margot gave me the nudge I needed in this week’s mama digs: chasing rainbow.

Truly, I have always believed that, one day, Andy would make art full time. It’s coming. And this wife is PROUD and honored to witness his brilliance.

In addition to being a rockin’ artist, dude is an incredible dad to our kids. 
Yep, love him.

*Of the 30 works on view, six are for sale. The rest have already been purchased. If interested (you should TOTALLY be interested), contact the Holter Museum.

23 Responses to cruise control

  1. Wow–those paintings look like photographs! He does an amazing job!

  2. I’m curious…is “Crazy Intersection” the on/off ramp for I-90 at the west interchange in Deer Lodge (known in my family as the McDonald’s exit)?

  3. Andy is so talented! I have always wished for the ability to paint but we are all given talents to create “art” in different forms. Good luck with the opening!

  4. TRB Holt says:

    Yup! I love him too!

    See you in 2 days….xoxo

  5. Marti says:

    Those paintings are quite epic. They seriously look like photographs.

  6. Amanda says:

    SO beautiful. He is so great.

  7. barbaras says:

    I have loved Andy’s work since the first time I saw it (don’t remember how/when). Wish Sarah had bought me one then as I know she talked about it:). Realistic paintings are my favorite… I’m no art critic, but I’ve ALWAYS felt they show so much talent (ask anyone in my family..I’ve talked about this for years and years)..
    Good luck with the show!

  8. Lisa says:

    Those paintings are amazing! He is so very talented.

  9. Fabulous paintings! You truly SHOULD be proud. Thanks for sharing and all the best to Andy!

  10. Peggy says:

    He’s already sold 24 paintings??? That is amazing, and wonderful, and so incredibly exciting! Can’t wait to hear more on the opening!

  11. Dana says:

    Amazing! I am always so blown away by anyone that can create something. His painting is such amazing level of talent
    Thank you for sharing these.

  12. Joan says:

    Well put Nicole. He is an amazingly patient artist and dad. Truly terrific at both. Tryly a terrific son. xoxo

  13. Ha does SUCH amazing work, truly talented and obviously patient to get those tiny details in and stay at it. You have great reason to be proud!

    Its great that you both were able to stay creative together. I’m a creative soul and even the fact that I work in an office drives me nuts. I’m the stereotypical artistic girl with messy piles of paper all over my desk, and noodles on notepads in colored pens while I take orders on the phone.

    Still trying to figure out how to mesh everything together. Maybe I never will! Thats Ok too.

  14. Kristine says:

    The first time I saw one of Andy’s paintings, I had to study it for a while to see that it was NOT a photo! He really is amazingly talented. Good luck to him! Such an exciting time for your family!

  15. Clancy Tice says:

    I think the Crazy Intersection is near Big Timber, looking at the Crazy Mountains. But I could be wrong. In any case – I really want it. Wish I had the funds! Good luck Andy!

  16. Sarah Jean says:

    We’ll be there with our boys to see Andy’s art this weekend. We just moved from Denver to Helena and I found your blog through Katie’s – so glad I did.


  17. Sarah says:

    Amazing art! I seriously had to do a double-take because at first I thought I was looking at photographs. Loved Mama digs this week too! Trying to say YES more often!

  18. Daniele says:

    WOW WOW WOW. There are not enough adjectives for how amazing his work is. Brilliant.

    OT- thought you’d find this interesting. And ridiculous.

  19. I love Andy’s subject matter and how the human element shares space with the wild.

    Also love how he is motivated 100% by his heart. You can’t ever go wrong with that outlook.

    And, one more: love how you celebrate him.


  20. Ellie says:

    Wonderful paintings, and a wonderful tribute from you to him. Wishing him all the best for his opening day.

  21. Amazing work. I had to convince myself that they are not photographs.
    Congratulations to you both!

  22. KWQR says:

    Love it! Safe travels & enjoy celebrating your very talented man.

  23. Susan S. says:

    LOVE Riding the Range! I used to see all-hatters in Wyoming all the time. Makes me dreadfully homesick for big, blue skies, quiet, meadowlarks and COLOR!

    As a novice art appreciater, one of the many things I appreciate about Andy’s work is that it relieves the pressure to see the painting as either a “pretty picture” in the trees and flowers sense or as a stark statement on humanity’s defacement of nature. There are elements of dreamily gorgeous countryside and of jarringly harsh industrial reality in his work, but they blend on the canvas the same way they juxtapose themselves on I-90, which is the inspiration for so much of his work. The first thing one of Andy’s paintings does is document geologic timelessness and human transience co-existing in the same moment. There are degrees of beauty and ugliness in both, and Andy captures that, often with a wry little grin hidden in there somewhere.

    Of course, that’s just a small kernel of what there is to appreciate about Andy’s work, but it’s the first thing that grabs me whenever I look at one of his pictures.

    Congratulations, Andy! Great stuff!