Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mount Moran - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Mount Moran" Colored Pencil

On a sunny, summer morning in the Tetons, Mount Moran is a massive monolith that’s been exiled to the northern front. Isolated from the rest of the range, the remote mountain is extremely inaccessible and virtually unclimbable.

The chilling buttress is violet by nature but on this day a golden light infuses the scene with an inviting warmth that tempts the viewer to linger. There are no foothills to soften the blow as the massif rises suddenly out of a decorative forest of pine.

The placid peak deserves a dramatic portrait so crisp highlights and strong shadows define its chiseled features. Great glaciers have gouged its profile and relinquished eternal snowfields that glisten white all year long.

The serene mountain is named after artist Thomas Moran, who accompanied survey expeditions into the Rockies during the 1800s. Moran documented the extraordinary landscape of the American West through drawings, paintings and prints.

A disciple of J. M. W. Turner, Moran’s masterpieces eloquently express the light and beauty of our nation’s early frontier. When his enormous canvases were viewed by the fine folks back East, his work caused a sensation.

There is no doubt that Moran’s pictures were influential in the government’s decision to transform the Yellowstone region into America’s first national park. Awesome, austere and artistic, Mount Moran is a memorable tribute to one of my favorite artists.

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