Inside the Mountain Gates
Watercolor by Helen Brown, 29" x 35"
This watercolor depicts where the Missouri River enters the Rocky Mountains. From the journals of Lewis and Clark, “We entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen. These clifts rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the hight of 1200 feet. Every object here wears a dark and gloomy aspect. The towering and projecting rocks in many places seem ready to tumble on us…for the distance of 5 ¾ miles, the river is deep from side to side nor is there in the first 3 miles of this distance spot…on which a man could rest the soal of his foot…..I found a place sufficiently large to encamp my small party….from the singular appearance of this place I called it the gates of the Rocky Mountains” [sic].
West of the Great Divide
Watercolor by Helen Brown, 12" x 24"
This rough map depicted in watercolor follows the route Lewis and Clark took from the Missouri River at the Great Falls (of Montana), up to the Continental Divide.
Lewis & Clark
Watercolor by Helen Brown, 20" x 16"
This statue of Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark stands at Seaside, Oregon overlooking the Pacific Ocean, their halfway
Inspired by the discoveries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark made during their travels, Helen Brown, a watercolor artist from Sunriver, Oregon, began working on a series of paintings depicting the iconic Expedition. A former resident of Montana, Helen spent her childhood hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains and developed a love of that country before migrating to Oregon in much the same way Lewis & Clark resettled out West.
My Journey with Lewis and Clark features a series of watercolor works that include scenes that the Corps of Discovery may have seen along the way, botanicals that they first reported for science, and animals that had yet to be documented. Some of the pieces are inspired by Brown's own experience hiking in the areas of their exploration. For others, she focuses more specifically on accurately depicting the birds, animals, or geography that is pertinent to this period of discovery. In several cases, she used actual statues as subjects, including that of Lewis & Clark in Seaside and of Sacajawea in Portland's Washington Park.
Helen Brown paints on rice paper with a technique similar to batik. She is a member of the Tumalo Art Company, an art gallery in Bend, Oregon as well as the Watercolor Society of Oregon and the High Desert Art League.