Showing posts from August, 2018

Berthoud Pass - A Mountain Landscape

"Berthoud Pass" Colored Pencil While wandering below Berthoud Pass on a warm summer evening, the wilderness scenery was a sight to behold. It was Classic Colorado as a blue creek, born in the big peaks beyond, came crashing down through a thicket of tangled willows. A giant, yellow fir captured my attention and led my eyes back up to the snowy mountains whereupon the ribbon of cold water carried my gaze back down. This complex arrangement occurred in a narrow valley enclosed by a forest of dark pine, forming a visual barrier that precluded retreat. That carefully observed composition has become the centerpiece for a new colored pencil workshop I’ll begin teaching this fall. The two day, ten hour clinic will start with warmup exercises, progress to a simple step-by-step and then finish with the main demonstration - drawing the mountain landscape above. My friend and fellow artist, Ann Kullberg, is internationally know for her exceptional portrait workshops. Her cla

Birding at Evergreen Lake - A Kingdom in the Cattails

Birding at Evergreen Lake Spread out below Mount Evans, the Front Range foothills are an exquisite parcel in Colorado. There are dark forests, clear creeks, deep canyons and wide open meadows that support a diverse variety of wildlife but if it’s birds you’re looking for, Evergreen Lake is the place to be. Formed when Bear Creek was dammed, the lake is a birder’s heaven centered around a riparian ecosystem that hosts a vast array of feathered friends. Red-winged blackbirds appears to rule the roost from their kingdom in the cattails while barn swallows are masters of flight that own the airspace just above the water’s surface. Of course you’ll see some of the stereotypical waterfowl like Canada geese, crows, mallard ducks and prehistoric cormorants. There are also some more exotic species so on any given day you might see a great blue heron, a rufous hummingbird or a gang of masked bandits called cedar waxwings. At the pond, we’ve also seen a hooded merganser, American dippe

The Cedar River - A Blue Deluge

A blue deluge Flowing down from the wilds of Minnesota, the Cedar River winds its way through central Iowa and joins the Iowa River just before emptying into the mighty Mississip. The voluminous waterway streams through the heartland at a fairly fast clip as the swift current is not something you want to underestimate. The adjacent, fertile valley is distinguished by dark-forested hills and vast fields of corn. Back in the old days they called it the Red Cedar River because of the abundance of those junipers that thrive on the limestone cliffs overlooking the blue deluge. One evening while we were up in Waverly, we walked along the Cedar and were astonished by the diverse variety of colorful wildflowers that decorated the pathway. At Mount Vernon, a steep stairwell escorted the explorers down to the water’s edge where the Cedar’s true power was revealed. The American Midwest is a fascinating region to visit, characterized by high humidity, verdant hues and afternoons embroil

Alderfer Park - A Steamy Wilderness

Alderfer Park On a warm morning at Alderfer Park, a wave of clouds streaks across the sky, painting the landscape with blue shadows. The shallow ravine is running dry so yellow grasses have taken over the high ground. The golden meadow is absolutely bursting with a profusion of pink and purple perennials. As I continue to wander, a grove of aspen offers some cool relief while that field of wildflowers thrives in the mid-summer sun. Now in the forest, the light becomes dappled as it barely shines through a fresh canopy of transparent leaves. Even during an afternoon thundershower, descent from the steamy wilderness is a sweaty withdrawal. A wave of clouds The ravine is running dry Golden Meadow Field of wildflowers Dappled light A steamy wilderness