Finger Painting in Glacier Park | Educational Program

Explore the hands-on technique of finger painting.

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Distance

2 Miles

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Elevation Gain

800 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy

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Cost Per Person

$100

Hike Overview

Join us as we view Glacier National Park through an artistic lens. This course will explore the hands-on technique of finger painting. We as artists will put down our paint brushes and use our fingers as tools while deepening our connections to the natural world. Whether gazing upon the Middle Fork or inspecting a Douglas fir cone, participants will gain further admiration for this park and its wildlife. As we take the time to observe the beauty before our eyes, the course will focus on preparation and observation skills, with a beautiful work of art as the final product.

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Finger Painting in Glacier Park | Educational Program

Hike Overview Continued

Instructor: Elizabeth Mordensky

Join us as we view Glacier National Park through an artistic lens. This course will explore the hands-on technique of finger painting. As artists we will put down our paint brushes and use our fingers as tools while deepening our connections to the natural world. Whether gazing upon the Middle Fork or inspecting a Douglas fir cone, you will gain further admiration for this park and its wildlife. As we take the time to observe the beauty before our eyes, this Glacier Institute course will focus on preparation and observation skills, with a beautiful work of art as the final product.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather).
We will meet at Glacier Institute Field Camp at 7 a.m. for coffee and introductions. The group will then go over the basics of finger painting, discussing preparation, composition, color blocking, and detail. The group will practice sketching and preparing their canvas for paint. We will walk around Glacier Institute Field Camp and begin to discuss how to pick a scene to paint. We will enjoy sack lunches at Glacier Institute Field Camp, before continuing our discussion in the afternoon. Participants will get hands-on practice with using their fingers as paintbrushes. By the end of the course, participants will have a finished piece of art to take home. We will have a viewing of the group’s final products. The course will conclude at 4 p.m.

Food: Please bring a trail lunch, snacks, and plenty of water for the day.

Park Entrance Fees: Participants are responsible for purchasing their park entry passes prior to the course. These can be purchased online at: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74280

Equipment: Water Soluble Oil Paint. Winsor and Newton are very popular, but many brands make these. The key is that paints need to be Water Soluble an eco-friendly for easy clean up without toxic chemicals. Two 3/4″ thick canvases. The smallest size recommended is 16″x20″ but 18″x24″ is better if travel restrictions aren’t an issue for you. Finger painting works best on a larger scale. We may only paint one painting, but you need the second canvas to safely carry your wet work home. Finger painting can be quite quick to create, so you may have the opportunity to paint on the second canvas as well. You can opt for thicker canvases if you wish, but unless you have a wet carrying case for boards, you will want at least 3/4″ thick canvas for my method of carrying wet work home. A pallet knife with this shape is useful if you need to scrape off any area you are unhappy with. We will have picnic tables available to work on, but if you prefer to paint upright, then you can bring either a standing easel or a tabletop easel. Some of you may have a wet painting carrying case if you have done plein air painting in the past, but if not, you will need to protect your wet painting: here is the supplies you will need: Two pieces of cardboard cut to 4″ larger than the size of each of your canvases. (Example, if you have a 16×20″ canvas, your piece of cardboard should be 20″x24″) Either a box to set your painting in or a large plastic trash bag.

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What to Expect On Your Finger Painting in Glacier Park | Day Course

We will explore the hands-on technique of finger painting in Glacier National Park. We will take leisurely strolls around Field Camp, and along the shores of Lake McDonald. We may walk over loose rocks along the shore. The hike will be up to 2 miles with up to 800 feet in elevation changes.

Hike Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier
  • Instructor: Elizabeth Mordensky
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers less than 2 miles and up to 800 feet elevation change.
  • On-site parking available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13 hikers per trip.
  • This program has a minimum guest count of 3 people. In the unlikely case we don’t reach that number, you will be notified prior to the event.

What to Bring

Please remember that weather in NW Montana during all seasons can change quickly from warm and sunny to freezing at any time of the year. We recommend checking the weather prior to your trip. Please also check your course information sheet for specific gear requirements in addition to those listed below.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or a sturdy pair of hiking shoes
  • 2 liter sized water bottle or Camelback
  • Day Pack with plastic bag liner or cover
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant & lip balm
  • Camera (optional)
  • Trekking poles, if you like to use them for hiking (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Field Notebook notes and sketches

Download complete checklist here