Monday, October 28, 2013

The Plunge

The Plunge 12" x 16"
This is another view from along the Superior Hiking Trail atop Moose Mountain at Lutsen Mountain Ski Resort. I came here because I discovered this location the following year on my hike through this section of trail and the view is incredible.  The thought that kept going through my mind was how much this area reminds me of big western views. Obviously we don't have the snow covered "14-ers" in the back ground but we certainly have the big air. And the color. Holy cow the color! This painting doesn't even come close to how crazy the color was. Next time I'm taking a panoramic canvas because the scene continues off the left side of this canvas another 120 degrees! All reds and oranges.

Another thought that kept going through my head was the namesake of this painting. The Plunge is the name of one of the ski runs at Lutsen Mountain and it is not an exaggeration. I'm not an alpine skier so I don't know how many black diamonds this route holds but it's a 45 degree incline until you hit the lip and then it probably comes in around a 60 degree incline.  Yep! This is a SA-WEET spot!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Color Chaser

Gunflint Fall, 11 x 7

I've been painting the fall colors pretty hard this season. In the past I've always made sure to get a painting or two under  my belt before the leaves fall and I've gotten some good paintings but I've always felt like I let the season get away from me. It's a fleeting one after all.  This year I came up with a "hit list" of scenes I wanted to paint: scenes with big views and lots of air, scenes that were closer to or actually of Grand Marais, scenes with a water element to it and scenes of the Gunflint Trail.

If you haven't been there, make sure to put the Gunflint Trail on your Minnesota Bucket List because it's amazing and wild and beautiful and changing.  It's a cliched statement of the obvious but I have to say it: It's alive! What's even more amazing is how some of the oldest rock on the planet can make you feel alive!  Especially from a painters perspective. The scenes are endless. They are vast and they are intimate.  Places where the whisper becomes a bang and then cocoons you in its stillness.  If Tom Thomson and his cronies were painting today I could tell you where to find them: on the Gunflint Trail. Most likely around Larch Creek as there are copious rock outcroppings to summit for panoramic views. I try channel them every time I paint there because while the Gunflint is beautiful it's also rugged and rugged beauty can be hard to harness.  I dedicate this painting to the Group of Seven and crew. To their boot soles and canoe paddles and the paths they blazed for us to the beautiful amongst the wild.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Enger Tower to The Rose Garden, 3.8 miles

Height of Summer 12 x 16

Part of the Superior Hiking Trail winds through the city of Duluth, MN so as a change of pace I decided to do a couple of day hikes on a couple of sections.  Part of that pace change was that because there is no camping I didn't need to carry a tent etc. so I could carry my French easel and also have some larger canvas's than the usual 8 x 10 size.  Height of Summer was painted during my hike from Enger Tower to the Rose Garden.  The trail winds its way down through neighbor hoods and comes out on the Lake Walk near Bay Front Park.  I love when these huge thunder heads develop and how amazingly gigantic they are particularly when they dwarf the industrial landscape.  I also love the fact that this nationally recognized hiking trail has included the city as part of its "curriculum vitae".  I also did the section from Martin Rd to the Rose Garden (7.6 miles) on a really hot day and I must admit, it was quite nice to pop out of  Chester Creek and into the Burrito Union restaurant for a cold beer and a two fisted Fat Capitalist!