On the Road

Categories: 2024 January-February Issue, Landscape, Lillegraven, Linda, and Oil.

On some level, Linda Lillegraven has been drawn to the wide-open spaces of the Western landscape for most of her life. She remembers visiting national parks with her family when she was a child. When they’d stop at an overlook and get out of the car to take in the view, she’d see her dad’s face light up. “He’d say, ‘This is God’s country,’” Lillegraven says. “The enthusiasm he had, the love and reverence—he really loved the big open spaces, and I think I caught that from him.”

The idea of painting those spaces didn’t occur to her, however, until she was in the midst of pursuing a Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Utah. That’s when she spent a summer doing fieldwork in the northeastern corner of Utah, where she walked miles every day completely alone. Even while mosquitoes and black flies were biting her, she discovered how much she loved the Western landscape. And that’s when she realized that she wasn’t quite like the other scientists she had met during her degree program.

“By then, I had met a lot of scientists who I could tell loved what they were doing,” Lillegraven says. “They thought about their work all the time and were excited about coming up with new ideas.”

Read the full article in the January/February 2024 issue.

Oil of the moon rising over water by Linda Lillegraven

Rising Moon and Singing Ice

30″ by 40″

Oil of a house on stilts on the prairie by Linda Lillegraven.


18″ by 24″