This neighborhood has been my home for the better part of a half century, about 30 million minutes. In the past few years I have begun to see it with fresh eyes, like the pre-teen who conquered the neighborhood with his friends, and ruled the backyard forest that is now the city's nature center.
Over the past few years my wife has transformed our modest suburban lot into an aviary with a collection bird feeders she has carefully curated. The silver maple out front has become a neighborhood for the birds and small mammals, occasionally attracting raptors and coyotes. The view from our bay window has been transformed. Lines of flight redefine boundaries, drawing me to places I haven't been since childhood, and to new lands and lines of thought. I can spend hours on my doorstep studio and at Westwood Hills Nature Center, drawing, enjoying the play of neighbors & nature, the echoes of childhood adventures, and the dance of marks they inspire.
SUMAC, ink & digital, 20x16"
THREE DEER, ink & digital, 24x12"
FRONTYARD MASHUP, ink & digital, 40x8.5"
FRONTYARD AVIARY, ink & digital, 10x10"
FRONTYARD AVIARY, ink & digital, 20x16"
LURIE'S HOUSE, ink & digital, 20x16"
SWEEP, ink, 24x12"
TURKEYS, ink & acrylic, 24x12"
SPRITES, ink & acrylic, 18x8"
BACKYARD, ink & pastel in Moleskine, 33x12"
FrontyardYARD, ink & pastel in Moleskine, 33x12"
MOONLIGHT CLOUD REGATTA, ink, 16x12"
FRONTYARD CAMPING, digital, 25x9"
NORTH SIDE, ink & acrylic, 12x12"
FOUR VIEWS, ink & acrylic, 24x24"
LICHEN, ink & acrylic, 12x12"
CASCADE_EAST BANK, ink & acrylic, 24x18"
North Shore, Minnesota is a thin line between a monstrous inland sea and a boundless, dark pine forest. Pick your peril. Face east, and face the serpent. Turn west, and face the dragon. Lessons of art history come to life, Renaissance paintings of St. George and the dragon, and Dark Aged illuminations of uncharted territory. The shape of these stories is painted in lichen across rocks and timber, there for the Leonardo in each of us.
Grand Marais and other North Shore settlements are variegated blooms of lichen smiling northward, clinging to a big dumb rock. Lichen thrive on clean moist air, and tough surfaces. I have never seen people so happy to work so hard to live in a place.
SPRING IN GRAND MARAIS, ink & acrylic collage, 19.5x12.5"
CASCADE MOUTH, ink, 9x12"
State Park SUMMER
Jay Cooke State Park has been my favorite muse for a few years. The park’s dramatic terrain makes it easy to play with the conventions of traditional landscape painting. Once in the park, the horizon disappears giving gravity permission to roam. Dark, angular, outsized rocks may be tossed across the composition like giant basalt dice. The St. Louis River muscles, swirls, sprays, meanders and pools, inspiring any manner of power and pace in a picture. The forest, like most Minnesota forests, twitches and sways to the rhythm of the day, offering endless, varied northland texture.
Quarry Park and Nature Preserve in Waite Park is another wonder worth a visit. Bring a $5 cash entry fee and a swim suit. Remember, cash.