Life in a tiny, remote mountain town on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park certainly has its perks - incredible scenery, abundant wildlife, endless recreation opportunities - but sometimes one can’t help but miss the cultural perks of living in a larger community. Enter the much-needed creative outlet that takes place regularly in the evenings in Gardiner, Montana: the Sip and Paint at the Tumbleweed Cafe.
We had the opportunity to attend the most recent Sip and Paint on July 21, and we’re thrilled to share the details for those seeking a town with both outdoor recreation and a little art. Yep, we really can have our cake (or in our case, Prosecco and chocolate) and eat it, too!
For a reasonable fee, participants receive all the supplies needed to create their very own painting (canvas, paint, brushes, aprons, and workspace). But the real treat, as we quickly learned, comes from expert instruction by local artist and Tumbleweed barista Rachel Rhoden. Before landing in Gardiner, Montana, Rachel’s primary job was leading participants through a step-by-step tutorial of how to paint their own masterpiece on canvas.
Seriously, Gardiner is a town of under a thousand residents, yet we’re bursting at the seams with talented locals all to willing to share their talents with locals and travelers alike. If you know where to look, that is.
From her witty anecdotes to genuinely contagious enthusiasm, we can honestly recommend you look no further than Rachel’s pleasant and enjoyable instruction at the next Sip and Paint. At the most recent event, participants tried their hand at replicating Rachel’s beautiful still-life painting (fancy art term we learned) of a jar filled with Montana wildflowers, lupine and Indian paintbrush.
Past events have included subjects such as a sugar skull on Cinco de Mayo (optional stencil included!), a frothy glass of Guinness on St. Patrick's Day, and a more challenging rendition of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic - the largest Hot Spring in North America.
But with a glass of liquid courage and an incredibly supportive atmosphere, even our clumsy hands that prefer writing to drawing or painting came up with something we were proud of. And whether participants hang their finished artwork on their wall or use it as a hasty regift at the next office Christmas exchange, there was something priceless about spending a few hours in the inspiring and cozy atmosphere of the Tumbleweed Cafe, brush in hand.
For a moment, we forgot about the overwhelming rush of peak summer tourism. We set our worries aside and simply enjoyed a few hours at a small cafe on the border of Montana and Wyoming, surrounded by good friends, seasonal employees, and travelers alike - our only intention to create.
Upcoming Sip and Paint events will take place on August 8, 25, and September 7. Participants should RSVP in advance by calling the Tumbleweed at 406-848-2225. Learn more by visiting the Tumbleweed’s Facebook page.
In addition to Sip and Paint events, the Tumbleweed offers a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options made with healthy, homemade ingredients, as well as a large selection of fiction and nonfiction works and unique gifts.