Showing posts from February, 2014

Bergen Peak Winter - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Bergen Peak, Winter" Colored Pencil On a misty morning at Elk Meadow, the hazy atmosphere creates an air of mystery. The solemn scene is painted with a limited palette of blues and the slightest hint of orange. Two snow-covered pines are set against a simplified background of soft-edged forms. Pale Bergen Peak is a monumental icon contrasting with the gloomy sky. A row of evergreens has become a battered barrier between the windswept field and icy mountains. In the foreground, a curious shadow weaves its way across an undulating surface of fresh snow. It's an austere landscape silenced by frozen tranquility. The sense of isolation and loneliness can be overwhelming. For some miserable souls, the long dark winter is a source of despair, but just as golden light touches the mountain crest promising a sunny afternoon so will there be better days to come.

Snowy Day Bergen Peak - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Snowy Day, Bergen Peak" Colored Pencil On a December morning, clear blue skies foretell bitterly cold temperatures. White as a ghost, Bergen Peak is a powerful apparition looming over the snowy landscape. Capturing such a remarkable moment in time is a fleeting opportunity that can't be missed. Golden light permeates the blank canvas, infusing the scene with passages of surprisingly warm tones. It's morning so the ponderosa pine cast long, transparent shadows that skim across the choppy terrain. Evergreens are sprinkled with fresh snow creating intricate patterns of white lace. Just like waves in the North Atlantic, the windswept meadow forms whitecaps that flow out of the foreground. The calligraphic line work is described by spirited dots, dashes and squiggles. The drawing is an expression of excitement and enthusiasm. Look at it from an optimistic point of view, we still have ten more weeks of glorious winter.

The Alpine Tundra - Paradise Restored

The alpine tundra The alpine tundra is a peaceable kingdom set high above the clouds and surrounded by jagged peaks. Located above 11,000 feet in Colorado, the high altitude biome is characterized by an extreme climate. Heavy snow, freezing temperatures, fierce winds and a glaring sun make this domain an inhospitable place to live. In Colorado's Rocky Mountains, paradise has been restored. Astonishingly, a distinct aggregation of plants and animals has managed to adapt to the arctic-style ecosystem. The unique creatures that inhabit such a lofty realm are a tight-knit bunch. They have learned to rely on each other in order to survive in such a harsh habitat. The flora in "the land of no trees" is dominated by dwarfed, perennial ground cover that grows and reproduces slowly. Some plants take two or more years to produce buds, which survive winters below the surface and then open brilliant flowers that bloom during the few weeks of summer. In the fall, an inner lig

Elk Ridge - A Peaceful Resting Place

Elk Ridge rises out of Elk Meadow "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone."  ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe Elk Ridge is an earthen pyramid rising out of a meadow of lush grass. The mountainous monument is a breathtaking prelude to the grueling ascent of neighboring Bergen Peak. A series of steep switchbacks lead up to the top where a pedestal of evergreens overlook most of the park. Great herds of elk are indisputable proof, confirming the landmark's distinct name. The familiar call of a red-tailed hawk is heard from above. Below, nervous ground squirrels search for food while a lazy lizard suns itself on the warm, gray rocks. Situated in the montane zone, the ridge crest is teeming with life. A red squirrel is the forest's quick-tempered lookout and imperial magpies are always making a ruckus. Meanwhile, mule deer are silent sentries moving discreetly between the woodland shadows. There's also an unexpected