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A Look Inside


An unusual sensitivity to his subject is reflected in all of Bakke’s work.  His love of nature and color jump out of every painting. His ability to capture the essence of people and animals is evident in all of his portraits.

The Way We Were by James Bakke Montana Artist - 48x24 Oil
The Way We Were

Family at Homestead in Gilford

48" X 24" Oil, 1990

The Way We Were Original Photo by James Bakke Montana Artist
Bakke Family Homestead by James Bakke Montana Artist - 36x28 Oil
Bakke Family Homestead

The Way it Was

36" X 28" Oil, mid 1970's


“From todayʼs vantage point, prairie farms in the ʼ30s and ʼ40s without electricity or running water seem like life of a few centuries ago rather than a few decades....

Not an Outhouse by James Bakke Montana Artist - 16x20 Oil
Not An Outhouse

16" X 20" Oil, 1975


“This painting was done in 1975 from a photo I took in the ʼ60s at the junkyard of my folks’ homestead. It depicts the remnants of the kerosene stove which had stood in the kitchen of our house for at least forty years. In the winter the big “Monarch” woodstove served not only to cook meals, but also kept that big kitchen toasty warm. As our home was a three-story manor house, the first floor was cool, even on the hottest of summer days, when it was 100 degrees in the shade—and there was no shade....

Lost in Reverie by James Bakke Montana Artist - 30x25 Crayola
Lost in Reverie

St. Mary's Lake - Glacier ntl Park


30" X 25" Crayola, 1960's


“St. Mary’s Lake is so visually overpowering that it leaves many viewers with a true visceral experience of the glory of nature.”  JB

Francis In Plaid Skirt by James Bakke Montana Artist - 25x30 Crayola
To Vincent from James – The Sunflower


25" X 30" Oil, 2001


“This painting was done in 2001 from photos I took in my garden the previous summer. The sunflower, the ultimate symbol of summer, was a major motif in the work of Vincent van Gogh—one of the world’s all-time great artists. The combination of color and emotion in his work has never been matched in the century since....

Seceret Pasture by James Bakke Montana Artist - 48x24 Oil
Seceret Pasture

The Kauffman Home on Wild Rose Lane in Whitefish


48" X 24" Oil, 1993


“James is one of the good ones! And I can tell you the name of every horse in this painting.” Doc Kauffman                                     

 Courtesy of  Dr. David V. Kauffman   

Sunset For The Great Northern by James Bakke Montana Artist - 36x24 Oil Painting
Sunset for the Great Northern

Great Northern Railway, Whitefish


36" X 24" Oil, 1983


This painting was done in 1983 from photos in the mid-sixties. The setting is the railroad yard where I worked for thirty-three year directly in front of the car-inspector’s shack where I was employed in the official position of ‘Grand-Exalted-Laborer’! Car inspectors and laborers worked on freight trains and passenger lines when Whitefish was still a required inspection and servicing point for the Great Northern Railway. On the left is a covered ice wagon with metal frame and canvas sides which could be rolled up to load the 500 pound blocks of ice.....

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