Roughlock Falls Relaxation

September 30, 2017

Roughlock Falls Relaxation

8 x 8″ Watercolor on Claybord

Roughlock Falls is a favorite of visitors to Spearfish Canyon.  No matter how many times I see it, I witness something new.  Not only are the falls compelling, but looking up at the beautiful canyon walls and color-infused meadows in the area are also visual gifts.  I love this beautiful spot in Spearfish Canyon, and I have painted numerous versions of Roughlock Falls in the past year.  This and several others are currently available at Prairie Edge Gallery in Rapid City.


Spearfish Canyon Colors

September 29, 2017

Spearfish Canyon Colors 4x4 WC on Claybd 16Spearfish Canyon Colors

4 x 4″  Watercolor on Claybord

This miniature painting of Spearfish Canyon depicts the beauty of nature that I was fortunate to experience yesterday.  I took my paints and my camera and my hiking boots, and had a marvelous fall day.  The colors are outstanding, and if you are in the Black Hills, you might want to make a point of getting outside to see them in person!  If you can’t, here is my little rendering of what I experienced.  This, and similar paintings I have done of the Black Hills are on display at Prairie Edge Gallery in Rapid City.

September 2018 Workshop in Olhão, Portugal

September 27, 2017

in 2018, consider joining me in a painting holiday at the amazing Art in the Algarve School in Olhao, Portugal.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand yourself through engagement in creativity as I lead a course through watercolor painting and journaling. Contact me at bhdutton@gmail with questions and to receive a hard copy of my brochure.  This course is limited to 12 participants.  Please check out:

Page 1 of Brochure

Page 2 of Brochure



Black Hills Fall Palette

Black Hills Fall Palette

6 x 6″

Watercolor on Claybord

Fall is an enchanting time in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and inspired this miniature painting.  This is the PERFECT time to get out to Spearfish Canyon to see the beauty that is there.  

Foreign Currency II

September 20, 2017

Foreign Currency II 24 x 36 WC on Clayboard 13Foreign Currency II

24 x 36″ Watercolor on Ampersand Claybord

This is a favorite painting of mine, because of the lively and complex composition.  Don’t even ask me how long it took me to paint this piece: I couldn’t possibly guess!  My creativity style is to work on a series of paintings instead of just one painting at a time.  That allows me to not get tired of a piece and rush through it: but instead, I shift from one painting to another as my time and energy allows. This gives me opportunity to “live with” an artwork and decided next steps that I will take during the painting process.  With my trade bead series of paintings, this reflection time sometimes it even helps me determine which direction the painting should be viewed! This series of work is my Rendezvous collection: rendezvous coming from a French word brought to the Plains, meaning to come together. During the rendezvous, trappers, traders, and Native Americans would meet annually to exchange goods, stories, and culture.  This painting’s title comes from the fact that the goods traded were a form of foreign currency in this global trade scenario.

Thread of Trade

September 18, 2017

Thread of Trade BlogThread of Trade

12″ x 36″ Watercolor on Ampersand Claybord

The first bead paintings I did were inspired by glass trade beads hanging vertically at an outdoor rendezvous festival that I visited in Riverton, Wyoming. The rendezvous is held annually at the same site that was first established in 1838.  See their website for more about this very unique experience:

The trade beads I saw there have continued to impact my work: the magical glassy quality that was amplified by the sunlight shining through them continues to capture my imagination.  The history of trade contributes in large part to my current paintings, as I look at global trade from a contemporary perspective.


The Fashion Trade

September 14, 2017

The Fashion Trade 24x26 WC on Clayboard 12The Fashion Trade

24 x 36″ Watercolor on Claybord

I find it fascinating that much historic trade between cultures was driven by fashion and luxury goods, as it continues to be today.  Consider that as the early trapper/traders came over to the “New World”, beaver skin hats and other goods made from the fur became the height of fashion. Items from Europe such as copper pots, metal knives, and trade beads were highly desirable to the Native Americans, and thus trade was established.  Beads were highly desirable as trade goods because the technology for making them was confined to very few countries and was highly guarded. Thus, this painting prompts thoughts about how human’s desire for fashion and adornment was something that drove early trade practices and contributed to the intersection of cultures. Trade in fashion and resources where items are manufactured continues to shape today’s global trade.


September 8, 2017

e Heat 8x8 WC on Claybd 15 copy“Heat”

8 x 8” Watercolor and Ink on Claybord

Something precious and beautiful created through heat and fire.  Like life itself.  Glass Trade Beads provide me with a motif to examine global trade as well as my life experiences.

Cultural Connection

September 6, 2017

e Cultural Connections 36x24 WC on Claybd 2015“Cultural Connection”

24 x 36” Watercolor and Ink on Claybord

A broad expanse of ocean connects continents and cultures. The human race is not as divided and different as we may believe. This is one of my favorite of my paintings thus far, because it shows peaceful tranquility along with the imagined found treasure that may have emanated from another culture. The threads of innovation from across the ocean  are presented to me upon my home shore. 

Left Behind

September 5, 2017

e Left Behind 6x6 WC on Claybd 15“Left Behind”

6 x 6” Watercolor on Clayboard

What is lost from sight is often left behind. Yet, what has been discarded and forgotten can be once again rediscovered and reinterpreted.  That is what intrigues me about artifacts from the past: they hold history. History often contains many sides to a story, and it is important to realize that only some perspectives are presented in the recording and retelling of history. 

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© Bonnie Halsey Dutton - All artwork is copywrited by the artist. Images may not be reproduced without the permission of the artist.