Some years ago, while riding horseback in the Bitterroot Range with a friend, we came upon this interesting maze of rocks and fallen timbers high up in the mountains, says Terpning regarding the inspiration for “Camp at Cougar’s Den.” Upon close examination we could detect the smell of a cougar in the small cave-like enclosure. The whole scene took on an even more primitive and wild nature and I knew that this den could be the setting for a story. I realized a camp scene would be a logical choice, with Blackfoot raiders out to create some mischief and stopped for the night before traveling on.
Howard Terpning’s devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary palette, brushstroke and the ability to evoke emotion have made him the most lauded painter of Western art. “Camp at Cougar’s Den” was recipient of a pair of awards at the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Museum of the American West: The Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Painting for Exceptional Artistic Merit and The Patron’s Award for Work Most Popular with the Patrons of the Exhibition and Sale.