Dustin Van Wechel, Art of the West
September-October 2018

Heading in the Right Direction
by Sara Frederick Gilbert

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On a recent trip to Glacier National Park, Dustin Van Wechel came upon a rugged old tree that stopped him in his tracks. Something about its trunk, which had folded over itself and the mist hanging in its branches, reminded him of a scene from a horror movie—which gave him an idea for a painting.

“I looked at it and I thought that it would make a great setting for a group of ravens feeding on an animal carcass,” Van Wechel says. “But I wasn’t interested in actually painting the carcass, I just wanted to paint it so that anyone who looked at it would know that’s what was going on.”

That’s exactly the kind of story that Van Wechel loves to tell in his wildlife paintings.