Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Ice Over" 12" x 20"

The veiw from the Pincushion overlook parking lot can be pretty benign sometimes, but when the weather is in flux there can be some pretty cool scenes. This was actually painted last winter when things were seasonally normal: cold, lots of snow and ice cover on Lake Superior. I never really feel like I live in a remote location dispite the fact that I'm 100 miles from any major city (Duluth or Thunder Bay, Ontario). In the summer there is more people traffic and its warm and its easy to move around outside. But these kind of winter days really makes it feel like I'm in the middle of ho-dunk nowhere! Note: My profile picture at left was taken the same winter on a painting outing about 2 miles from my house. I might as well have been camping with Earnest Shakelton.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Hellooo Down There"

This is the painting done during the Grand Marais Art Colony Winter Plein Air Festival. A few of us skied into Rose Lake in the BWCAW (and along the Canadian border) a few miles and then climbed up a section of the Border Route Trail, a hiking trail that follows the border lakes.
This location is becoming one of my favorite painting spots. I think in part because it offers a variety of views, particularly aerial, and because it requires a some effort through the wilderness to get there. These kind of excursion sustain my love of wilderness travel and love of painting the wilderness. I think of the Group of Seven, who ventured into the Canadian wild for their images and Edgar Payne, who would horse pack into the Sierras with his paints and set up shop for a few months to paint. With painting these days, there is lots of pressure to "produce" and there are other painters to compete against for the painting dollar and time=money. Consequently the easy and convenient routes (literally and figuratively) to making a painting are taken. To me, there isn't alot of potential for growth (personally or painterly) in the easy. I could have stayed home and made three paintings this day. They may have turned out really well. Instead I only made one, given the time spent skiing into and out of our location. But it was a good one. And it wasn't easy (ask my friend Holly about my ski's and the trek over the Duncan Lake Portage). But I did grow a bit that day. Personally and painterly.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!"

Ice fishing has so much visual imagery that you can't NOT find a painting on an outing. It was particularly comfortable this day. It was warm and there was no wind and we were on a favorite lake of mine (for fishing and painting), Clearwater Lake. My friend was sitting on a pale (classic ice fishing furniture) eating lunch between jigging for lake trout. We got skunked for fish but I got a nice painting out of the day.

8" x 10" Oil on canvas