There is a sacredness when one experiences a waterfall for the first time. Roaring and powerful, yet serene and calming, waterfalls are one of nature’s most magical creations. Their beauty often takes your breath away, creating a feeling of pure awe.
"Feeling the energy of falling water is a unique experience. To capture that feeling in a painting is impossible... but the energy coming from viewing the painting is the next best thing." - M. C. Poulsen
Part of a vast ecosystem of infinite poetic beauty, mostly hidden from the public, the waterfalls of Yellowstone National Park have captured for decades the imagination of artists and visitors alike.
Re-known Award Winning Western Artist M.C. Poulsen was introduced in 2012 to “The Guide to Yellowstone Waterfalls and their Discovery”. Until then, most of the waterfalls in Yellowstone remained hidden and undiscovered. Yellowstone’s waterfalls had been painted in the late 1800s, most notably by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, who first captured the magnificence of a few falls creating the mystique that draws the public today to Yellowstone but, no one had painted the major falls nor the undiscovered ones!
Poulsen was mesmerized: he wanted to be the first one to capture on oil and canvas the major and undiscovered falls. So he embarked on a ten year journey, hiking and horse riding deep into the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park.
By painting the most spectacular Waterfalls of Yellowstone, Poulsen’s hope was to capture and reveal the insights of these cosmic beauties and share with his fellow humans the emotions he experienced. His paintings depict not only the beauty of the falls but incorporate Native American history and spiritual themes including wildlife and the settlement history of the area.
"Nothing in Nature stays the same. It is ever changing and ever evolving, simply capturing a moment in time." - Mike Poulsen
Poulsen’s paintings are a revelation, windows into a untouched, yet mysterious vanishing world, magnificently rendered by his artistic talent and touch …
“I wanted to tell the Yellowstone story in my own way” says Poulsen in his interview with Carrie Scozzaro, The Joy of Discovery, Big Sky Journal 2020.
M.C. POULSEN (b. 1952, Akron, Ohio)
Poulsen was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952. He moved to Cody, Wyoming at age thirteen with his parents to work the 15,000-acre cattle ranch purchased by his father. After serving in the Marine Corps, he studied art at Arizona State University in Tempe, then dropped out to study with his neighbor and artist James Bama, who featured Western landscapes and scenes.
Early in his painting career, Poulsen did landscapes, still lifes, and figurative scenes, but then became so enthralled by Western paintings he saw by Charles Russell that from then on he focused on Western works. Poulsen exhibited a one-man show at the Capitol Rotunda in July of 1992 in Washington, D.C. and was the first Western artist to exhibit in Russia as a cultural exchange.
Poulsen also has done commissions for private, state and federal organizations, including the Pentagon and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He participates annually in shows and exhibitions across the country, including those held by the Autry National Center in Los Angeles; the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana; the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.
His work is featured in galleries in New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, California and Arizona. He and his wife live in Cody on property next to his then family dude ranch he worked as a teenager.
“It brings me great joy to create something that might touch the soul of another.” - M.C. Poulsen