This is a view of the raging Kootenay River in British Columbia. Not far from here, we saw our first bear of the trip. He was right next to the road - just perfect for taking pictures. Someone told me they are so close to the roads this time of year because they love the dandelions - good to know someone does.
Special thanks to Mom for the bear picture and the correct Canadian spelling of Kootenay.
This is MacDonald Creek in Glacier National Park. It may have seemed like a gloomy day to some, but I thought it was just magical. Like all the rivers we crossed on our trip, MacDonald Creek was running very high. A park ranger told us that it gets it's whitish color from the glaciers grinding away at the native stone.
I just returned from a trip up north with my parents and my son. It was heaven. We passed through five National Parks in the US and Canada, and they all had something that took my breath away.
This is the view From the Saint Mary Falls - just above Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park. The first couple of days we were there, the clouds were low and it rained a lot. This day started cloudy, but by the time we got to St. Mary Lake, the sun was pouring through.
This was at the Heil Ranch near Lyons. I've been trying to do some plein air studies in the area in preparation for a larger painting, but every time I get over there, it rains. I've had a bit of luck just recently though.
This painting from February is available at Brushstrokes Gallery, 1059 South Gaylord Street in Denver. It is a part of a show entitled: "First Bloom" - the Daily Painters of Colorado's inaugural juried show. I was really impressed with the Studio/Gallery when I dropped off the painting. It's run by three very talented Denver artists, and it's in a really cool area just east of Washington Park that I didn't even know existed. There is a one block stretch of Gaylord street that is just full of really interesting galleries and restaurants surround by that cool old Wash Park neighborhood - if you've never been there, it is certainly worth the trip.
This is Coal Creek that runs through Louisville and Lafayette, Colorado. It's only started to rise, but with the snow-pack we have this year, it's gauranteed to get a lot higher. Our prayers go out to everyone elsewhere around the country who are having to deal with too much runoff already.
This was painted a few days ago near Lyons - now I'm sure that snow is all gone.
It felt more like summer today than late winter. The down-side is that the wind is blowing, and the foothills are on fire (again!). I'll be saying an extra prayer for my friends who live up near Jamestown and up Lefthand Canyon.
Here's another little plein air study done close to home - gas prices and aging vehicles are once again conspiring to limit the range of my daily wanderings - but that's ok - it just reminds me there's plenty to paint just outside my backdoor.
This is one of two recent paintings I did that were done on commission from a very wonderful client's photographs of Lake Louise up in Alberta. I was particularly excited about doing these paintings because the photos were just beautiful, and also I am going to take a trip up north to this region in June with my parents and my son.
This was my last painting of the day. I started this one with the knowledge that it was getting late and I probably wouldn't finish it, so I worked fast, trying to get as much on the panel as I could before everything was lost in shadows. When I got home, I was pretty pleased with it and I decided to call it finished. Sometimes trying to get to a more "finished" state, it's easy to cover up what made the painting fresh and bold in the first place.
From another fine day in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was ok sitting and painting in the shadows, but I forgot my prescription sunglasses and thought I was going to go snow-blind while I was snow-shoeing around.
I love this time of year! In the high country, the wind sculpts the snow into wonderous waves and hills and hollows, cliffs and ripples - and the low angle of the sun accentuates everything with long, blue shadows. Many days are overcast of stormy, but every so often, a perfect day comes along - warm and still and clear - those are the days I live for.
Well, I really enjoyed my time off with my son, but I'm looking forward to painting and posting in the new year.
This first painting for the new year was painted in Rocky Mountain National Park, near Glacier Creek. It had been cloudy and stormy for a couple of weeks and this was the first clear day. I snow-shoed off the trail a ways and started this one when the shadows were getting long. By the time I finished, I had lost the sunlight, (because of the high peaks just to the west, this happens about 3:30pm this time of year) and it made me think how easy it would be to head back too late and not be able to find the trail again. Thankfully, the times when I have headed back too late, nothing has ever happened to me - still - it made me think I should pay a little more attention sometimes.