Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Meadow Flowers

I saw a nice photograph taken by Travis Melin from Ely, Minnesota.  He took it in a meadow near Tom's Logging Camp on scenic Hwy 61 near Two Harbors, Minnesota.  Richard Abraham, an artist, said he recalled the words of a customer of his who remarked while looking at one of his paintings, "no sky, no buy".  Well, that seems like a challenge to me.  I also remember a photographer, when we were visiting Paris, say to me "remember...close-up, close-up, close-up".  So, I'm off on a series of paintings, that at the moment, I don't seem to be tiring of yet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homage to Rydberg

In 1976 I bought a poster created by Steven Rydberg for the Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company.   I'm hanging some of my painting at the Ginkgo Coffee shop in St. Paul on December 9 - mid January 2013.  There is a nice large wall there that can accommodate larger work.  So I used Rydberg's poster as inspiration to make a large image that is a homage to his beautiful work.  It's 40" x 30", acrylic on canvas.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quick Paint

As part of the Grand Marais, MN Plein Air Painting Festival last week about 50 artists gathered on Artists' Point for the challenging Quick Paint.  We had 90 minutes to complete a painting.  Our inland sea, Lake Superior, offers beautiful views of water and rocks that sing with the ever changing patterns of color and light.

Night Paint

Also, as part of the Grand Marais, MN Plein Air Festival last week I attempted my first night painting.  I sat down along the harbor under a street light and donned my battery operated cap from Home Depot that has three LED lights on it.  I looked back towards the downtown area and quickly edited out all the hard stuff to paint like sailboats and buildings and added in the fun stuff like the stars and a shooting star.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Frog Bay Tribal National Park

On the south shore of Lake Superior is a beautiful new park.  The Frog Bay Tribal National Park recently opened to the public.  It's on the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation near Bayfield, WI.  It has a nice trail that goes through a dark, mossy forest down to the shore that opens up to this view of the Apostle Islands.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Gunflint Trail

We have often stayed in Grand Marais, MN over the past years.   But, this is the first time we took the time to drive north on the Gunflint Trail.  Near the end of this beautiful 60 mile drive there was an area near Seagull Lake that had burned down in a forest fire a few years ago.  The landscape was slowly recovering from the fire that destroyed all the trees and one benefit was that wild blueberries were growing here now.  I painted this scene looking down this sandy, gravel road that led to the wild blueberries.


Each year when we travel to the North Shore of Lake Superior we find a new favorite place to visit.  This summer we took a walk along the only section of the Superior Hiking Trail that follows the shore of the lake. It's a few miles east of Grand Marais.  We came to this nice, human scale structure that some people refer to as a tombolo.  I enjoyed trying to capture the feel of the place in a small 11" x 14" plein air painting.

Art Perchance 2012

It's time for the annual summer fundraiser of the Friends of the Institute at the MIA .  On Thursday, August 16th from 6 -9 p.m. each time you win a carnival game you'll win a chance to go home with one of the works of art donated by artists like me.  This year my painting is an abstract titled  "Over the Sofa".

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Grand Marais, MN

We enjoyed a trip to Grand Marais.  There's a nice overlook of the city up on the start of the Gunflint Trail on Pincushion Mt.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Downhill Ride

We rented this gray-haired people mover in Lanesboro, MN.  We set off on the Root River Trail and went to the small town of Whalan about 3 or 4 miles away.  We turned around and pedaled back to Lanesboro.  The odd thing was we were having so much fun that it felt as if we were going downhill the whole ride.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vincent Van Gogh

I enjoyed reading the new biography of Vincent Van Gogh by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.  It took the authors ten years to research and write the 900+ page book.  It was a sad but a life affirming story.  His death at age 37 followed by the death of his brother Theo six months later ended a remarkable tale of sorrow. The paintings remain an unmatched joy in the history of art.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mark Ostapchuk

There is an excellent exhibit of abstract paintings by Mark Ostapchuk in the MAEP Gallery of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  It's rare to see beautiful, interesting abstract work.  The colors are so rich. Congratulations to this local artist.  It's up until April 1, I can't wait to see them again.

It inspired me to paint this titled "Woven Wall Hanging".

George Morrison

George Morrison told his life story to Margot Fortunato Galt in the book Turning the Feather Around.  He is one of my favorite visual artists.  He was inspired by Lake Superior.  "I saw the seasons coming this year.  Here on the lake, it's so temperate and it's so rich.  Every moment the horizon is present.  The horizon has been an obsession with me for most of my life...  I think of the horizon line as the edge of the world, the dividing line between water and sky, color and texture...  From the horizon, you go beyond the edge of the world to the sky and, beyond that, to the unknown.  I always imagine that I am there.  I like to imagine it is real."

There was a wonderful solo exhibit at the Minnesota Museum of American Art:  Horizon: Small Painting Series, 1980-1987.  The many paintings, only about 6" x 14", were masterpieces.  All referenced the sky, water and shore of Lake Superior.  Always the horizon line about one quarter of the way down from the top.  I never thought such small paintings could be so powerful.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reservoir Woods Park

There is a secret forest in Roseville.  The 120 park is home to a new water reservoir for St. Paul and a nice stand of red pine trees.  After taking a walk there, I decided to paint an impression of the tall, straight pines trees.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Road Trip

A visit to the 1968 exhibit at the Minnesota History Center got me thinking about what I was doing back then. In 1968 I was living in Colorado Springs. I remember the drive from Colorado Springs up to the Denver airport to pick up a copy of the New York Times. My friend, Peter Lehmann, had grown up in New York City and couldn't stand to be without the Sunday Times. In 1968 you couldn't get the New York Times Sunday edition until Monday afternoon in Colorado Springs. Well, this necessitated what would become the weekly trip to Denver to get the paper. The first car I owned was a 1960 VW beetle (the little yellow buggy). It had a 36 hp engine, no gas gauge and a wooden 2x4 for a back bumper. It did have a reserve tank if you ran out of gas, so you could just turn the valve under the dashboard and you had another gallon to get to the nearest gas staion. On these weekly trips to the airport Peter seemed to be fortified by drinking strong Medaglio D'Oro coffee and smoking unfiltered French Gaulois cigarettes. This car also made a memorable trip to Chicago with Peter. We had to post bail at the Cook County jail for Terry Miller who had been arrested for protesting during the Democratic National Convention. As my short term memory is diminishing, my recollection of events 44 years ago seems to becoming more vivid.