Brenda Wolf | “The Wild Side”

Great Falls artist shares animal portraits at 4 Ravens Gallery in Missoula

Art Beat

While artist Brenda Wolf calls Great Falls home, she says, “my heart is in the wild.”

It shows in her larger-than-life portraits of animals, typically painted in oils and pastels, that are on display through August at 4 Ravens Gallery in Missoula. She’s won numerous national and international awards including, most recently, the Best Critter award at the Dana Gallery’s “Icons of the West” show in Missoula.

Originally from New York City, Wolf was drawn to Montana’s wide-open spaces, rugged mountains – and the allure of cowboys – in 1998. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she has taught at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, the University of Great Falls, and Great Falls College MSU.

Wolf’s paintings belong to a diverse group of collectors, hanging on the walls of the CIA in Washington, DC, and in the homes of world-renowned composers and well-known professional athletes.

The imagery, she says, emerges from her subconscious and represents “some part of my emotional self.”

“Each animal speaks to me visually, coming to me in random

dreams or thoughts, which I then translate into sketches, and finally a painting,” she says.

The artist paints with her fingers and hands. “Early on I felt I wasn’t connecting with my feelings or making the visceral leap from painting to viewer,” she says. “So, some 30-odd years ago, I put down the brushes to capture that expression more closely and I haven’t looked back since.”

See her work at