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The Gift

“God made Montana for the wild man, for the Piegan and the Sioux and Crow.

Saved His greatest gift for Charlie, said, ‘Get her all down before she goes.

You gotta get her all down cause she’s bound to go.’” Ian Tyson, The Gift, 1987.


Ian Tyson wrote this song to honor Charlie Russell and his great paintings of a changing Montana. It is a wonderful song that truly does honor Charlie's spirit and art. I have no claim to have such talent, but I understand the concept, and I chase it. The wild world is bound to go, and I want to “get her all down” before she does.


And Montana is a woman. I’m sure of it. From the ruffles of her skirted plains to her white frosted peaks, she is all woman. She is hot and cold, stubborn, and true. And Montana is wild. From Glacier to Yellowstone and most points in between she is full of untamed spaces and wild animals. I want to capture their image in a fashion after Charlie, to get ‘em all down before they go. Because the way things are going, they are bound to go.

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