Painting with Eyes Open

February 22, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

White Mtn Mini 5: Mt Monroe from Crawford PathWhite Mtn Mini 5: Mt Monroe from Crawford PathThe Crawford Path reveals new views at every turn. At one end of the Presidential Range it is a great introduction to all the summits ahead. Watercolor on paper. January 2015. The original has SOLD, but prints are available in the Hinterlands gallery of I recently saw an optometrist for a ‘routine’ eye exam as per order of my new primary physician. I’ve never had problems with my eyes and I've also never had anything more than a chart-reading test and quick look by a general practitioner to gauge their state of health.

So I was extremely unprepared for the hour-long ordeal of bright lights shined into my eyeballs at various angles, yellow dye being dripped onto them, numerous metal things brought really, really, really close, and having my pupils dilated for most of the exam (with the effect continuing for hours afterward). Why didn’t anyone warn me about this?! Turns out my eyes are fine, but now I have yet another annual-ish medical thing to NOT look forward to.

But it’s important. My eyes mean a lot to me as an artist. I know there are plenty of masters who are blind or visually impaired, like local ceramic artist Kurt Kuss (aka The Hairy Potter), the late Sargy Mann, and even Monet at the end of his life. But I am grateful for the gift of sight and hope to keep it. There are so many beautiful places I want to see, experience and paint in this world while I can.

White Mtn Mini 17: Sunrise Reflection on Star LakeWhite Mtn Mini 17: Sunrise Reflection on Star LakeThis is a scene from early morning on Star Lake, a tiny glacial tarn between Mount Adams and Mount Madison on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire's White Mountains. I love the glow of the sun on the water and all the plants growing around its edge. Watercolor on paper, 5x5" with 9x9" frame. The original painting is available in my on-line retail store at The Northeast’s mountains are probably one area I will never stop exploring. I once again have a week-long hiking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire planned for July. I intend to move more slowly through the landscape this year and stay in one place multiple nights, rather than moving on to a new camp or hut every night.

I want to take in all the little nooks and crannies and side trails that I would not see by moving along the main route toward each day’s destination. Having a full day to explore one area will allow for a lot more sketching and possibly some finished plein air watercolor pieces.

I can’t wait to sit and watch closely as cloud shadows slide over the summits. I wonder if there are ravens still nesting off the Crawford Path near Mount Franklin. I want see wind gusts ripple over the surface of the tarn just below Mount Eisenhower, and sit on a rock off the summit of Mount Clay, staring into the Great Gulf.

I want to soak it all in through my working, open eyes and give thanks to everything that allows me to be there. 



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