1+1=1 Gallery > Artists > Brad DeFrees


Brad DeFrees

When painting scenes of our beautiful Montana home, my inspiration comes from memories of recent trips in the field as I aim to capture the transient mood and lighting of a landscape. My work is completed primarily in water based media as a mode to complement this unpredictability. It is my hope that these paintings are an honest expression of the particular day and season of a landscape, and that this expression inspires others to further appreciate the natural world in which we live. 

About Brad

Brad moved to Helena in February of 2020 and soon came to admire the unlimited painting inspiration throughout the area. Formally trained in natural resource management, he is passionate about wild places, land conservation, and accessibility to the great outdoors for all. He has served as a backcountry ranger in the Badlands of South Dakota and the Uintas of northern Utah, and has also conducted endangered salmon and steelhead conservation work throughout Idaho. He has also participated in artist residencies in Idaho with the Atlanta School and Alaska with the Bureau of Land Management. 

Artist Statement

When painting scenes of our beautiful Montana home, my inspiration comes from memories of recent trips in the field as I aim to capture the transient mood and lighting of a landscape. My work is completed primarily in water based media as a mode to complement this unpredictability. It is my hope that these paintings are an honest expression of the particular day and season of a landscape, and that this expression inspires others to further appreciate the natural world in which we live. 

The three piece series, “Christmas Eve, 2020”, documents the odd experience of being at home alone for the first time ever on the holidays due to Covid concerns and travel restrictions. These pieces were completed one after another on Christmas Eve from the interior of my house on Knight Street. They serve as an intimate look into my mind that day; my partner, who is an ICU nurse, worked back-to-back 12-hour shifts over the holiday at St. Peter’s Hospital, during the height of our community’s Covid cases. On Christmas Day, I video chatted with my family and we opened presents. While I am thankful for the technology of virtual meeting and the trusty US Postal Service for all of those packages under the tree, the best present this year will be seeing family in person, and hugs. 

I’m looking forward to being home again.