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Northport Blues - A Comforting Tapestry

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Northport Blues Located on the distant side of the river, Northport is concealed in the faraway Sandhills of western Nebraska. From a high overlook, the idyllic valley is a comforting tapestry woven together from cottonwood trees, corn fields and cattle pastures. While out on the prairie wandering with the pack, it feels like you can march a million miles without ever seeing another soul. We accompany a little creek as it makes a lonely journey through remote ranch land until the confluence with the doleful North Platte. A herd of horses grazes near the riverbank but their curiosity is perked by the stranger who approaches their barbed fence line. Broncos are more prevalent than people as they are an important part of the very fabric that binds this frontier society. The region has been in a terrible drought but as a result, dry air allows warm light to infiltrate the peaceful vale. With not even a patch of snow, there is no White Christmas but on this special evening while roamin

Sprague Lake Winter - Colored Pencil Drawing

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"Sprague Lake Winter" Colored Pencil “Through art we can change the world.” ~ #twitterartexhibit It’s a rough day in the Rocky Mountains but some of the prettiest hues on the planet can be seen at lonely Sprague Lake. A breaking storm gradually reveals a dynamic landscape distinguished by rugged beauty. Concealed in a remote corner of Glacier Gorge, the reservoir is graced with coarse grandeur. During a tenacious winter, arctic weather crashes through the valley creating a callous environment. A relentless force of frigid cold has infiltrated the turquoise tarn, freezing it solid. Casualties of an immortal west wind, the remains of fallen timber are strewn along the obscure shoreline. Applied with a single layer of pure pigment, an icy palette of predominately blue emphasizes the already melancholy mood. The broken trees are angled in such a way as to exaggerate perspective lines, producing the illusion of deep space. The solemn wilderness is topped by primordial pe

Guardians of Snow - Colored Pencil Drawing

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"Guardians of Snow" Colored Pencil It’s the morning after a potent storm and Bergen Peak is a silvery citadel commanding a sparkling valley. Sprawled out below a turquoise sky, the backcountry landscape is blanketed by an encumbrance of fresh powder. A ridge of supple conifers forms an impenetrable maze protecting the secluded kingdom from the busy world beyond. The Guardians of Snow glitter in the pristine surroundings, creating a vibrant mosaic of dark shadows and white highlights. Up close, the forest is an abstract arrangement of nebulous shapes filled with a combination of flat and shaded hues. Blue, violet and gray are stippled across the page in free-flowing passages of pure pigment, exaggerating winter’s icy palette. The somber color scheme betrays the glorious mood evoked from trudging through deep drifts just after dawn. Not even the frigid cold that grips the foothills can dampen the festive mood permeating a coming new year.

Canyon of Fire - Colored Pencil Drawing

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"Canyon of Fire" Colored Pencil It’s summer on the desert plateau and an acid-green river slices through a blazing gorge. The ecosystem is an unbearable furnace where frustrated flora somehow survives the fierce environment. A sweeping arrangement of enigmatic shapes is smudged into the picture’s foreground. The intentional smear inspires experimental effects that become contagious to the rest of the composition. A garish-yellow sky radiates sour light that flashes through the infernal chasm. The sulfur peaks in the distance are softened by a subtle wash of smoky-violet haze. Engraved into sandstone, the Canyon of Fire can only be conjured by a violent color fusion of ochre, mineral and tuscan. The Devil’s Abode dares the visitor to venture ever deeper into dangerous territory. This rugged Ravine of No Return is riddled with a hostile array of yucca, cholla and prickly pear. Trapped in a boiling abyss of vertical walls, a steep slide of saffron offers a glimmer of hope

Sangre de Cristo Sunrise - Light Conquers Darkness

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Sangre de Cristo sunrise Winter nights in the high country are obscure, eternal and inclement and the inkwell of black firmament is glittered with a profusion of silver pinpoints that contradict the startling silence. It’s a beautifully eerie combination of contentment and discomfort. Down in southern Colorado, there’s a mountain range that’s as rugged as it is remote. Rising out of a desert situation, the chain of needle-sharp peaks extends all the way into New Mexico, transporting its picturesque allure across state lines. The mountains are called Blood of Christ and if you ever witness a Sangre de Cristo sunrise, you’ll understand why. Just before dawn, the first solar rays are reflected off of snowy summits, creating a rosy alpenglow that astonishes the retina. The steady transformation unfolds even more dramatically when a setting, full moon shines brightly in a purple sky. The crimson sierras come into full relief as the forceful contrast between light and shadow defines th

Bishop Castle - Not for the Faint of Heart

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Bishop Castle Rising out of Colorado’s remote Wet Mountain Range, Bishop Castle is a royal symbol of hard work, creativity and perseverance. Jim Bishop began building this unfinished, medieval fantasyland 60 years ago while using nearby rock and timber so the fortress blends neatly into the local environment. The scary keep is designed to shoot straight skyward as a labyrinth of stone and iron ascends to dizzying heights. Not for the faint of heart, a strenuous climb up a spiral staircase is required to reach the summit of this monster house. Once you reach the top, vertigo sets in and things begin to sway as intermittent gusts of cold air make your balance unsteady. The acrophobic experience is exacerbated by open windows, suspension bridges, exposed ledges and sketchy railings but the views are incredible. Back down in the lower bowels of the austere bastion, a grand ballroom is illuminated by a series of beautiful stained-glass windows. Interesting details can be found through