Joanne Hennes

Artist Joanne Hennes will show “Solitude” and other work at her gallery during two shows that combine art and music. The first show is Saturday.

Joanne Hennes knows how to put detail in a painting.

“Climbers tell me they can pick out their routes in my paintings,” Hennes said. “The mountain ridges are just that recognizable.”

The longtime Jackson Hole resident began her painting career in the Swiss Alps, so her incredible attention to detail shouldn’t be a surprise. Painting the Tetons, with their peaks, waterfalls and wildflowers, is what’s been driving her artwork for half a century.

“I was 10 when I first came here on vacation,” Hennes said. “After I saw the Tetons I didn’t want to go back to Illinois.”

Hennes will host art shows from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 at her gallery, located at 5850 Larkspur Drive at the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Estates.

The shows will combine art and music.

“Music mixes well with art,” she said. “I like them together.”

On Saturday, Sergei Galperin, a violinist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, will play between 2 and 3 p.m. at the gallery before heading to Teton Village for the Grand Teton Music Festival. He will perform a duet with another violinist, David Taylor. Pianist Scott Holshouser, a principal keyboardist with the Houston Symphony, and his son Sean, will also perform at the gallery that afternoon.

On the 15th, the mood will switch from classical to opera, jazz and country western. Pianist Nancy Riddle will accompany Alison Keffer, a soprano opera singer. Keffer’s husband, Sage, from Nashville, Tennessee, will bring lively guitar music to the evening.

Visitors will be treated to Hennes’ oils, watercolors, limited-edition lithographs and giclee prints on canvas. They will also see silkscreens, made from silk Hennes purchased in Thailand .

“They just come out so much more vivid on silk,” Hennes said. “You couldn’t get those colors with oil.”

She finds her greatest inspiration in towering mountains, tropical jungles and rugged coastlines. In the winter you can find her in Hawaii capturing waterfalls with iridescent paints. She has also traveled extensively, from the deserts of Egypt to the peaks of New Zealand.

Around her home Hennes has paintings of the Sphinx of Giza in Egypt, markets in Istanbul and beaches in Tahiti. But the best view may just be the one from her bedroom, looking straight out to the Tetons’ snow-capped peaks. Hennes spots bears, owls and bison from time to time in her backyard.

Hennes said that with a telescope she can see some of the ridges on the Grand Teton that she paints.

“I can just watch the sun and the clouds move through,” she said.

Hennes used to have a studio downtown, but she said she’d much rather look out her window now than have only “hot asphalt” for inspiration.

When in Jackson Hole she tries to get in the high country as much as possible. And after 50 years she still manages to discover different places to paint.

“I’m always finding somewhere new, but I haven’t climbed the Grand,” she said. “It’s about the closest thing you can get to the Matterhorn in these mountains.”

Hennes’ favorite location in the park is Lake Solitude. She used to ride up to campsites high in the mountains on horseback with her husband and friends.

“We’d make plans on Jan. 1 to get one of the campsites,” she said.

She described the place where they pitched tents as surrounded by Indian paintbrush and glacier lilies.

“We’d put wine bottles in the snowfield off to the side of our campsite,” she said.

Hennes also remembers the effort of getting the perfect setup for a painting that’s still one of her favorites.

“The first year we came, I couldn’t cross Cascade Creek,” she said. But the second year, I managed to with the help of a walking stick and the arm of a friend.”

When working with oils Hennes uses a palette knife to give her work texture and perspective.

“I like to play with light and shadows to give images a nice depth,” she said. “I really work to make the foreground stand out and have there be distinctions between the mountain, the sky and the trees.”

Hennes has a different technique for painting the atmosphere.

“Square brushstrokes ruin clouds,” she said. “I like my sky smooth.”

You may have seen Hennes’ work exhibited in leading galleries and museums in the West and Hawaii. She recently completed a set of 37 wildflower watercolors for Jenny Lake Lodge and an oil painting of Lake Solitude for the Moose visitor center in Grand Teton National Park.

Contact Kylie Mohr at 732-7079 or

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