Painting Memories

B1Misty Morning, _355DSC_0011

Morning Mist, Boundary Waters            22″ x 30″                     watercolor

The older I get the more memories I tend to paint.  I did some of my final graduate research work in the Boundary Waters not far from Ely, Minnesota.  My mode of transportation was by canoe and hiking. Ever carried a three man canoe up a steep cliff? It can be exhilarating! That is, if you don’t fall.  In those days we could portage and paddle into Canada; no questions asked. 9/11 changed a lot of things. These days my travel is limited but my sketchbook is full.

We would take turns paddling and dead heading. Dead heading was the term we used for the fellow in the middle who sat while the other two worked the bow and stern. I got a lot done when it was my time to rest. I had plenty of water all around and my small travel kit of paints and brushes. Now I find myself poring over old sketches and photos from those days.  Time has acted as a filter and helps distill the images I recall so well.

Maybe the color is a bit more intense or maybe I’m a little more generous with it these days.  I still have other images to refine.  Imagine, if you will, leaning against the trunk of a pine tree, peering over the edge of a stone cliff at a sea of blueberries glowing in the dappled light of the sun. I can still see those berries. Thankfully, at this stage I don’t have to concern myself with momma bear who would bring her cubs to dine on the succulent treasures. I’m not sure which one of us liked the wild berries more.

This tree in this painting, like an old friend, was one of our sentinels that marked our way and let us know we were nearing camp on our return.   I hope it is still standing. It stood on the far side of the lake adjacent to our camp site. These days I’m living on another lake and I am blessed to enjoy the ever changing light and the glow of evening as well as morning. These are the subjects that lend themselves so well to multiple layers of watercolor washes.

Want to know more about watercolor glazing techniques?

Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor, Vol I by Dr. Don Rankin is available direct from the artist at  A revised edition of the original classic.

On-line classes coming soon on a new platform:

The new classes will be available in two versions.  Students will be able to choose to participate in a fully interactive version or a view only version. We are in the editing phase of all new content. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

About masteringglazingtechniquesinwatercolor

Watercolor painter and author of several watercolor books on painting technique. Recent inductee/recipient of the Marquis Life Time Achievers Award.

Posted on April 24, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Catherine Burnett

    This painting is impossibly beautiful. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

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