Eighth Month of Winter

"In the Eighth Month of Winter" Print Size: 21.5"x39"

Retail Price: $500 Sale Price: $250

Artist's Commentary

The Northwest began to change dramatically after the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Elk and grizzly bears were originally plains dwellers but were being forced into higher and wilder spaces by manifest destiny.

The wild carefree life had, also, changed into basic survival for some of the free trappers. They wouldn't work for wages or scar the earth. They preferred the environment into which the elk and grizzly were retreating. The plains were left to the "pork eaters" that brought disease and pollution and who the free spirited trapper held in disdain.

The original painting "In the Eighth Month of Winter" portrays basic survival of man and beast. The elk were forced into the mountains and the mountain man followed. Both seeking their own space and now it is May and both animal and man have empty stomachs. He is equipped with a flintlock rifle that he has come to depend on even with percussion ignition pieces available at the various trading posts.

The old flintlock could be fired using flint or similar material while the percussion required manufactured caps. His trips to Fort Bridger or other trading posts were for the "necessaries" and he would trade his hides and robes for the powder and lead that would maintain his desired lifestyle of freedom. Today he has been lucky and there will be meat in the pot tonight if he holds "true" and doesn't get a "flash in the pan". He will only take what he can use. He kills to maintain his own need and shares the remaining with the scavengers that are near by.

This area is in the Gallatin Canyon of Yellowstone Park and was not favored by elk in the 1800's. Today it is the home of the northern elk herd and would certainly have gladdened the heart of the early hunter. Today these elk are overprotected and have grazed themselves out of house and home. They now have nowhere else to go and are a major tourist attraction.

"IN THE EIGHTH MONTH OF WINTER" is a team effort study of survival. It joins other favorites like "When Starvation is a Flinch Away", "Camp Meat", and "No Second Chance" depicting the life of a free trapper in the 1800's. This work is reproduced from an original oil (24"x48") and is limited to 850 signed and numbered lithographs with 85 artist's proofs. It is printed on quality 100% archival paper, pH neutral number 1 grade with an image of 171/2"x35". It has been personally signed in pencil and inspected by the artist. The plates have been destroyed after printing.

Gary Carter

West Yellowstone, Montana

October 1986


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