Showing posts from March, 2014

Wild Iris Loop - A Storm is Brewing

Wild Iris Loop It's a warm, winter day at the Alderfer Open Space. The tranquil hike is a regular walk in the park. Eastward, long shadows are cast toward a trio of rocky crags while puffy white clouds drift across a clear blue sky. Known as the Three Sisters, the local landmark is gleaming in the golden light. The evening's events are routine. Black crows gather in the yellow stubble while a herd of wary deer emerge from the dark forest. In the summer, this place is a lively meadow full of riotous wildflowers. In March, it's a bowl of broiling, back-built maelstroms that bury the foothills in heaps of heavy snow. Out for a lovely stroll, everything in my little world is just fine until suddenly the landscape changes. My peaceful promenade is interrupted by a disruptive squall of winter stew. Heavy clouds descend onto the scene and the panorama of sweeping, white peaks melts into the gray firmament. Caught in an eerie forest of lodgepole pine, the murky dusk gets

Rockwell Kent - Searching for God in Greenland

"Early November: North Greenland" It was the summer of 1929 and a small sailing boat named Direction cruised into Karajak Fiord off the west coast of Greenland. When a sudden williwaw struck, the overmatched vessel foundered leaving its three-man crew shipwrecked. Artist Rockwell Kent packed his rucksack and set off into the wild. Kent hiked, climbed, scratched and clawed his way across the frozen tundra in a desperate search for help. After a three-day trek, Kent finally stumbled upon a lone kayaker fishing in the ocean. The native Greenlander guided Kent to a nearby village where the kindhearted locals rescued Direction and helped repair the damaged boat. Rockwell Kent was an experienced adventurer, architect, carpenter, lobsterman, sailor, printmaker, illustrator, writer, dairy farmer and political activist but mostly he was a painter searching for God in the most desolate places on earth. Rockwell Kent was born in 1882 in Tarrytown, New York and later studied

Pikes Peak - An Inspirational Mountain

The majestic, purple mountain Towering over Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak has been inspiring artists, explorers, gold seekers and presidents for over 200 years. In 1806, from out on the fruited plain, Zebulon Pike first beheld the majestic, purple mountain. He named it Grand Peak but early trappers and soldiers refused to call the megalith anything but Pikes Peak. Zeb felt compelled to climb the challenging alp as he led a party of trailblazers in a failed attempt to reach the summit. Upon his return, he wearily admitted that the mountain would probably never be climbed. The half-marathon distance from base to the summit was finally attained in 1820 and by 1873 the U.S. Army had established a military installation at the top of Pikes Peak. President Ulysses Grant hoped that meteorological data gathered from the summit of the high peak would assist in predicting volatile weather patterns circulating toward the east. He believed the valuable information would be critical in forecas

Osprey - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Florida Osprey" Colored Pencil It's a nature moment in the Sunshine State. Florida is a birder's paradise flush with a multitude of exotic birds. Perched on a weathered post, a hungry osprey clutches its impressive catch. Bathed in a golden light, the raptor's vermillion wings contrast with the muted turquoise sky. The regal head is defined by an array of tufted feathers and bright yellow eyes. The razor-sharp beak and arching eye-stripe are beautiful, dark accents. Sometimes called a sea eagle, the majestic osprey is neither hawk nor eagle, it's in a class of its own. This "Lord of the Waterways" is outfitted with a tackle box full of adaptations that make it one of the world's foremost fishers. Huge, powerful wings are composed of water-resistant feathers. When submerged underwater, the osprey has closable nostrils and third eyelids which act as semi-transparent goggles. The broad feet are lethal, featuring curved talons, an adjustable

Simplification in Art - An Arduous Process

"Longs Peak, Colorado" Acrylic My childhood was spent roaming the sandhills of western Nebraska. We rode horses, swam the river and climbed Courthouse Rock. I come from a family of creative artists. Our little house on the prairie overflowed with color and creativity. Mom paints her garden with a floral palette while Dad is a Western artist and retired high school art teacher. There were no formal lessons for my two younger brothers and I, just an endless supply of paper, pencils and encouragement. We worked independently but sometimes we’d tape several sheets of parchment together and make gigantic murals of exotic animals, sports figures or Star Wars battles. Dad never led us down the path. Instead, we each struggled to find our own voice in a forest full of noise. After four years studying fine art in the whispering pines of Charon State, my wife and I grabbed the world by its tail and settled in Denver. Years passed as I worked commercially depicting American s