This tiny church in 'Chippewa City' on the edge of Grand Marais is not only a simple country church – it is simply beautiful inside. And the childhood home of the famous (native Ojibwe) artist George Morrison. I only had a short amount of time to sketch and paint this interior view, so it's a little rough and ready. But so is the actual interior!
A clear view across the Glensheen Historic Estate toward Chester Congdon's boat house.
Painted during a rough weather day of the Duluth Plein Air festival, along Minnesota Slip.
A faithful replica of a Sixteenth Century Spanish Galeon docked in Duluth Harbor during the 2016 Tall Ships festival.
How long will a llama sit to have her portrait painted? Just long enough, it seems. Painted on location at the Lake Superior Zoo.
The American Victory (former Middletown) sitting unused at Elevator M in Superior, Wisconsin.
Inflatable, adorable, and weighing in at 12 tons, this 'world's largest' rubby ducky delighted tens of thousands visitors in Duluth Harbor -- as well as this plein air painter.
That's the J.B. Ford -- built in 1903 -- waiting to be scrapped, but in no hurry to die.
A Purchase Award selection at the 2015 Grand Marais Plein Air Competition and Exhibition.
A Florentine artist creates a new work in the evening, which will be washed away in the morning by street cleaners.
One of four metal fish sculptures protecting Duluth's infamous blue Minnesota Slip Bridge.
That's Jerry Riach, a seasoned printmaker, working away in the Print Studio at the Grand Marais Art Colony – a center for fine arts education and exhibitions since 1947.
The North House Folk School in Grand Marais seems to have a daily blur of craft and artisan activity. Wood turning is one such example.
This elaborate fountain – donated by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, designer and sculptor of the famous Statue of Liberty – reminds me of fountain scenes painted by John Singer Sargent in Italy.
The setting is in Leif Ericson Park in Duluth – depicting the act of an artist painting en plein air. This painting received the "People's Choice Award" at the annual Members Show of the Duluth Art Institute (see News page).
One moment, a blank space on the gallery wall... the next moment, two stealthy curatorial assistants remount a painting for public viewing – at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Now the site of the new Pier B Resort hotel and marina, the Lafarge Cement Terminal was once an industrial landmark of Duluth.
A cold, windy and drizzly day at Lake of the Clouds in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park of Michigan. The day was documented in the local media world (see News page).
A favorite serpentine scene in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado.
The coastal landscape along Canada's half of Lake Superior is rugged and composed of magnificent wilderness. Bullers Bay is a particularly favorite spot for me.
Within Grand Portage National Monument are a series of reconstructed settings that depict life during the voyageur days. This scarecrow stands guard next to a summer kitchen garden. This painting was a Finalist – Second Place – in the 2014 Red Suspender Invitational (see News page).
One of three brilliant lighthouses that mark Duluth's iconic and historic ship canal.
Painted on location at Glensheen Historic Estate. The beautiful west porch of the mansion was a favorite hangout of the Congdon family.
What better to do on a Friday night in Grand Marais than to wash your car! ... and to paint a nocturne. This painting was an advancing entry in the 2014 Red Suspender Invitational (see News page).
Hat Point, just up the shore from Grand Portage National Monument, was named by the merchants and voyageurs of the historic fur trade during the Eighteenth Century across the lakes country of North America.
The first in a series of paintings based on the theme of "DOing". This is my friend Kevin working on one of his first ever plein air paintings... and appropriately dressed for the weather.
The Blue Water Cafe in Grand Marais ... shortly before closing time.
The first canvas in a series of 'Inside Glensheen' paintings; scenes from within the Glensheen Historic Estate in Duluth, Minnesota.
The second canvas in a series of 'Inside Glensheen' paintings; painted on location within the Glensheen Historic Estate. Marjorie Congdon had a most beautiful bedroom, with a perfect corner for reading or simply enjoying the sun through the windows.
A third canvas in a series of 'Inside Glensheen' paintings; painted on location within the Glensheen Historic Estate. The library at Glensheen is not only filled with well-read books, the room is filled with great paintings and, for a time, this painter.
In Grand Marais, Minnesota there's a tiny fish house museum. If you look through the doorway you'll see Woolrich-clad mannequins filleting wooden fish. I love it!
Enger Tower, high on the great hill overlooking Duluth, has a vibrant green beacon. This painter, perhaps like a moth, was mesmerized by its luminous call to paint.
I love this painting. The Lafarge (Portland) Cement Terminal is slated for possible demolition or as a renovated landmark and part of a new hotel, marina and convention center. Either way, I will miss this down ‘n dirty (and colorful) landscape.
It takes a while for summer to heat up the near shore waters of Lake Superior and the beach on Park Point in Duluth – but it’s well worth the wait. Residents and visitors alike enjoy beachgoing on a daily basis – for as long as they can.
Industrial scenes in Duluth offer endless possibilities for a plein air artist. It’s only a grain elevator, but I think this General Mills landmark to commerce is as interesting of an example of architecture as any skyscraper in New York or Chicago.
She was only parked here for an hour or so when I set up my easel, but the Blue Heron captain and crew waited for me to finish the painting before casting off.
The sign says 'no parking' but these colorful, almost play-toy-like railroad cars along Railroad Street in Duluth beg to differ.
A floating museum and a living snapshot of Great Lakes shipping, the William A. Irvin ore carrier sits handsomely in the Minnesota Slip in Duluth Harbor.
An 1885 renovated brewery located on the shore of Lake Superior, Fitger's is an historic Duluth landmark enjoyed both by day and by night. This was painted on a hot, steamy night in July.
The Fountain of the Wind sculpted by Doug Freeman is a uniquely inspiring public fountain found in Duluth's Canal Park... complete with a floating sea nymph and spitting sturgeons. It's engaging from all angles and at all times of day.
I love to visit the formal gardens at the historic Glensheen Mansion in Duluth. On the grounds are an endless array of colors and shapes for an artist to consider.
A pleasant path in Lester River Park. The rich, vibrant greens and distinct shadows were stunning... and a joy to paint.
A late winter snowstorm with those giant flakes we all love. And heavy snow laden bows -- made even more beautiful at night.
Spring in the Bay of Duluth, with a migrating gull resting on the rocks.
The historic Duluth Armory is coming up on its 100th birthday (2015)... a place of great history and inspiration. Just ask Bob Dylan and he'll tell you why this venue played a significant role in the fostering of his own legacy. Visit http://www.dulutharmory.org/history for more info.
I found the shapes and colors of these grand material stockpiles to be inviting and perfectly beautiful for an oil painting. That limestone pile is pink, green, blue and and a lovely warm gray.
A gift of flowers to be remembered forever – placed on a Chinese altar table, with a porcelain bowl. I loved painting the light penetrating the closed window blinds as much as I did the flowers.
Yes, it was a cold December night when this was painted – but I couldn't resist setting up the easel to capture this prehistoric scene at Duluth's "Bentleyville Tour of Lights" display.
Mr. Woolson was the last surviving veteran of the Civil War, who died in 1956 at the age of 109. He was a member of a Minnesota regiment during the war. Another casting of this beautifully sculpted statue can be found at Gettysburg.
This is under the bridge at Tischer Creek in Duluth. Fresh melt water produces my favorite color -- Indigo.
Nearly everyone who visits Duluth's Enger Park comes upon this historic Peace Bell located in the park's Japanese Garden – and no one can resist the urge to strike the bell with its wooden log, sending out a deep resonant gong that permeates the air.
Traveling into the Mount Zirkel Wilderness in northern Colorado is a special treat at any time of year. Yet, the golden orange aspen trees and ochre colored meadows are especially inviting for a painter.
A swirl of late September colors along the Elk River in northern Colorado. The cottonwood trees were colorful magnets for painting.
Deep in the canyon of Fish Creek Falls, a favorite destination for visitors to Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Yes, the autumn colors were really this intense at Buffalo Pass, at the southern edge of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Even the locals were commenting they hadn't seen colors this rich in decades.
Hallett Peak is an iconic mountain that rises high above Bear Lake, in Rocky Mountain National Park. Quickly capturing the evening light in the Rocky Mountains is a dream for any plein air painter.
This painting was my Quick Paint entry in the 2012 Grand Marais Plein Air Painting Competition and Exhibition. It depicts a favorite location on the Artists' Point. The act of painting at this location was indeed a spiritual event.
Out behind the Dairy Queen – late at night – in Grand Marais, Minnesota. This painting received First Place honors (Black Ribbon!) in the Night Paint category of the annual Grand Marais plein air painting festival.
The Lake Superior shoreline community of Croftville – just outside of Grand Marais, Minnesota – is home to this orange lichen covered rocky shore.
A late September trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was splendid for plein air painting. Vibrant aspen colors dotted the entire landscape.
This is roadside advertising at its best – complete with black spray paint and blue shrink wrap plastic. I loved painting this scene.
In a state of permanent dry dock, the Nels J – a former commercial fishing boat – now serves up hot dogs for visitors to Duluth’s Canal Park.
The summer kitchen hand had just stoked that fire in the historically accurate clay baking oven – outside the Great Hall and Kitchen at Grand Portage National Monument. The smoke baited me to paint.
One of those lovely spring days in Bayfield Wisconsin. The “Island Queen” car ferry to Madeline Island patiently awaits at dock for the visitor season to begin.
On the way home from Grand Marais I stopped to paint for one hour at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This pine is situated on the approach to Ellingson Island.
Also known as Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum, the cribs is a relic of Duluth’s historic waterfront. In summer, teenagers jump off this structure into the cold water of Lake Superior.
A detailed view of “The Determined Mariner” – one of several landmark sculptures located in Duluth’s Canal Park.
The William A. Irvin – an historic Great Lakes iron ore carrier – is now a floating museum in Duluth Harbor. The entire ship is the color of iron ore, right down to the water.
A quick study of the historic Fitgers Brewery complex in Duluth – from the Lake Walk in the late afternoon sun.
It was cloudy for a solid week at Camp Menogyn on the edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness – yet the subtle colors of snow and ice made this scene cheery.
After a long summer of paddling and portaging, these canoes enjoy the ‘rest’ of winter, while their occupants have flown to warmer climes.
The light, the colors – the grape vines, the olive groves, the cypress trees, the strade bianche (white roads) – are a few of the reasons why painting in Tuscany is so special. This is what it really looked like on a hot and sunny October day.
Forthcoming fierce winds and torrential rains meant I had to paint quickly at this olive grove. Painting on location – 'en plein air' – is not only challenging, it can be exhilarating and memorable. I think the storm clouds looming in the sky made for a wonderful painting.
Hewn stone streets and pedestrian pathways finger their way through the Tuscan hill town of Radda – a perfect example of a medieval fortified city. A magical place to paint.
Julian Bay is located along the eastern shore of Stockton Island, a designated wilderness within Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The tombolo of Stockton Island is truly an 'Eden' on earth and a place that I will return to forever.
The white road (strada bianca) that leads into San Fedele descends a steep hill lined with cypress trees. The shapes and colors in this place are unlike anywhere else I've been.
One must travel by boat and have permission from The Nature Conservancy to visit Susie Island (of the Susie Islands on Lake Superior, near Grand Portage, MN). Magnificently calm weather and beautiful light provided two days of good painting in the islands. This painting was included in the 2011 Grand Marais Plein Air Painting Competition and Exhibition.