Monday, June 28, 2010

Prairie, two months after burn

The grasses are over my knees now and there are lots of buds forming on the flowers - I think it will be an amazing bloom. I have been going through my Alaska photos and bemoaning the fact that I did not take more. The camera gets between you and the experience; I was too busy looking, absorbing, feeling. I wish I had a video of the red phalarope spinning! And the landscape - I felt a strong resonance with my own inner scape, and I have been working on drawings of the tundra and pack ice. More reference would be good....
Starting July, I will be mentoring artist Emily Lynch for a year. This mentorship is funded by a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board. Check out Emily's great work on her new blog: Emily is a wonderful artist and an enthusiastic, motivated person - I am sure I will get as much out of this year as she does!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Two days before the summer solstice (which is tonight) found me across the arctic circle, at Point Barrow, the northern most spot in America. It was midnight with the full summer sun shining down, and a polar bear ambling towards us, about 200 yards out. It may have been my closest experience to the sublime.
photo 1 - I was with a great group of birders lead by, a birding tour company that I highly recommend. Here we are looking out at the pack ice towards the North Pole.
photo 2 - Barrow landscape
photo 3 - Polar Bear
photo 4 - Long tail duck

" It is the transience of gale birds, their seeming frailty in the toils of wind and sea, that stirs me most. To see a lone petrel arc across some desolate reach of ocean, as fleeting as the spray blown from the wave crests, is to risk innumerable intuitions of mortal solitude and transcience, ones own swift passage towards the void." - Peter Matthiessen

Monday, June 7, 2010


oil on board
6 x 8"

This is the view out my studio window, earlier this spring. On a day too cold to be out painting I stood inside and painted it in comfort. I won't be able to post for a couple of weeks.... I am going to Alaska! I am trying to have no preconceptions, but I am hoping to see lots of rare birds in breeding plumage; large, wild animals; and amazing landscapes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Grain Tower, Bay City WI

oil on canvas
6 x 8

I went to Chokio MN over the Memorial Day weekend. Chokio is my mother's home town, it is just a little west of Morris, MN, in the central farmlands. Along the way I studied and took photos of all the old grain towers that lie in the small towns along the rail road. I love the architecture and the simple shapes, the soft colors and the history. I have been thinking of doing a series of these buildings for a few years now, and this week I began doing small studies.