Bonnie Zahn Griffith


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Mentoring Emerging Artists
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MEDIUM: Oil Paint | Pastels
SPECIALTY: ✔ Generalist ✔ Plein Air

“From the ground up, the stretch of the landscape, the embrace of the colors, the magnitude of the terrain and the physical earth all shape my vision from my heart; so my love of the land.”

An artist of the western landscape, Bonnie Zahn Griffith works in oils and pastels, using the rich pigments of pastel and oil to create paintings that have the brilliance and the bold color we see in the landscapes of the in the western United States.  These mediums allow her to bring depth and texture, light and mood into her paintings. She creates work that draws the viewer in to imagine the time of day, the temperature, the sounds, the smells.

Griffith wants the viewer to experience the work and get lost in it – if only for a moment.  

“My love of the landscape prompts me to paint it. I look for a story to tell when I look at the sagebrush hills, the lush river lands, the wheat fields, the intense greens of spring in rich mountain valleys and the ever changing colors of the desert.” 

The mediums allow her to tell that story with strong color and intensity.

“If I have been able to create a piece that brings the viewer to experience that…then I have done my job.”

Griffith’s work is done both en plein air and in studio.

pastel painting of a forest and river
Artwork by Cam Forrester
pastel painting of a winter road
oil painting class of painting a river
pastel painting of a winter field
oil painting class of a field


Listed below are this Mentor’s specialty skills. Join this group if you want to grow in these areas.

Specialty: ✔ Generalist ✔ Plein Air



Colour and Composition


Technique Demos


Providing Art Critiques


Teaching to Self Critique



Shows & Exhibits


Artist Statement and CV



Pricing Artwork


Approaching Galleries


Running Your Art Business the Day to Day


Studio Time Management


Want To Know When A NEW GROUP Opens?


oil painting of a river at night

Born a child of artist parents, Griffith grew up on a ranch near the rough Missouri Breaks in central Montana. This remote area allowed for self-directed adventures and entertainment - drawing, painting, reading, horseback riding and daily ranch chores. Encouraged by her parents, this self-proclaimed artist began creating art at age 5. Famous artists like CM Russell, O’Keefe and Payne became favorite sources of reference and inspirational information.   

She has studied with Scott Christenson, Lorenzo Chavez, Robert Moore and other instructors.
Griffith is a Signature Member and executive board member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, a Signature Member of and past President for the Northwest Pastel Society, a juried member of the Landscape Artists International, Plein Air Painters of Idaho and an associate member of the American Impressionist Society. The current Chair for the Meridian (ID) Arts Commission, she curates and advises the city’s Initial Point Gallery. She is a former Executive Director of WaterWorks Art Museum, Miles City, MT, and has served as a curator for art galleries in Washington, Montana and Idaho.

Living in southwestern Idaho Griffith works out of her Crooked Creek Art Studio, paints at plein air events throughout the western US. She exhibits work at numerous galleries throughout the west including Cawdrey Gallery, Whitefish, MT; Earthworks, Yachats, OR; Combine Art Collective, Walla Walla, WA; and others. She teaches workshops in pastel painting techniques (Studio and Plein Air) and multimedia art. Her workshops are scheduled at various locations in the west and at her studio in Meridian, ID.