Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blue, Green and Grey


These sort of days, still and foggy, are typical of Grand Marais in the spring. In the summer months this scene is full of visitors exploring the harbor and marina, fisherman unloading their catch and students of North House Folk School building boats and other things that people push, paddle or pole.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Usual Parking Spot




This is the LL Smith Jr. A tug operated by the University of Wisconsin-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI). It usually shows up in Grand Marais every spring to give educational tours of water quality and other environmental issues regarding Lake Superior. It always ties up here, thus the name of the painting.

This is the feature painting for an exhibit of painting I'll be having at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais on September 5th. Visit www.neilshermanart.com or www.sivertson.com to preview the show.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Johnson's Bay


I really like this location, I just wish I could remember how to get back there. A good friend of mine took me there and all I can tell you is that there were a million beaver dams that we had to climb over. Plus the black flies were hidious.
Aparently during the fur trade, this lake was a good hiding place for maurading pirates looking to pilage rum and gun powder from unsuspecting voyageur canoes.
And what plein air painting trip would be complete without losing one of my shoes in a murky swamp hole and having to wrap duct tape around my foot as a make shift shoe. Thanks McGeyver!

Monday, May 11, 2009

You and I



I hope my grammar is right on the title. Anyway, these are the chairs at Nanibijou Lodge just out side of Grand Marais. I had a hard time titling this 8 x 10 painting. I wanted to capture the feeling of relaxation, contmeplation, romance, invitation and beauty. And maybe longing. How do you sum up that into a few short words? An old friend ended up being the inspiration.

Friday, April 17, 2009

October


This is a small sketch from the parking lot at the Pincussion Mountain overlooking Lake Superior at Grand Marais. I like how you follow the colors down the shore till they fade to grey and your nice and sleepy and then there is another slash of color to wake you up. To be honest, I really felt more obliged than inspired to paint this scene, but once I got the sky in and some good color down on the canvas the power of the day started taking over. I felt pretty fortunate to have captured such and incredible day. About a week later, all these colors were gone.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back Yard


This is a pretty typical scene in Grand Marais, MN. I painted this from the cozy interior of the Grand Marais Art Colony multi-purpose room during a painting work shop I was teaching (you're allowed a few comfortable witnter paintings a year). I'd go critque my students then come back and block in another section. If you are confused, its a trampoline at middle right.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009



Another painting that deals with scale. My friend Richard is painting in the bottom left corner of the image. Winter is a great time to paint these palisades on Clearwater Lake because you can get vantage points you normally can't when the lake is ice free. There was a road plowed up to this point and there were other trucks out on the lake, but we decided not to take an chance.

A friend was telling me a story of an ice fishing event that happened on this lake a number of years ago. There were so many cars on the ice that the ice started to sag and water starting shooting up through the holes that had been drilled.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Smoke'n Clouds


This is a studio painting composed from different sketches done along the north coast of Lake Superior. Scale is a huge part of living on the north shore. Things are massive sometimes and I wanted to give a sense of that with the boiling clouds against the little beach fire in the lower left part of the painting. I still need to add some one toasting 'mallows.

Winter at Clearwater Lake

My intentions this day were to hike to the top of this palisade and paint the view. Assuming that there would be a packed trail blazed to the top, I dispelled the need for snow shoes and left them at home. Of course there had been no visitors and the 4 feet of snow a the trail head stopped me in my tracks. Fortunately I had been struck by this scene earlier as I skied in so my efforts weren't in vain.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Arctic Paradise

This is Paradise Beach along the north shore of Lake Superior. I guess paradise is in the eye of the beholder, but I like winter and it brings it's own beauty to an area. I had started a painting facing a different direction when I turned as was captured by the lone pine tree. I think that happens often with plein air painters, start painting one thing and switch to something complete different because it strikes the heart harder. I like this quiet little painting and I'm glad I painted it.