Thursday, February 02, 2012


"Summer Morning, Trout Lake"
Oil on Panel

This painting is of the mountains above Trout Lake, just South of Telluride, Colorado. It's one of those places that seem almost surreal in their perfection, and I've painted this location quite a few times and failed to capture it's grandure. This time around, I kept it simple and focused on the mountains rising up above the lake, keeping in mind how small and inconsequential I felt standing on that lakeshore.

One of my favorite writers, Donald Miller, talked about this feeling in his book, "Through Painted Deserts," and I love his wording:

"It strikes me as I think about it, how beautiful we find massive structures, either man-made or organic. I wonder if we find them amazing because they make us feel small and insignificant, because they humble us. And I remember feeling that way back in Colorado, that I was not the center of the cosmos, that there were greater things, larger things, massive structures forged in the muscle of earth and time, pressing up into the heavens as if to say the story is not about you, but for you, as if to remind us we are not gods."

This idea is one of the reasons I paint pure landscape. I love how when I'm outdoors, the details of my everyday life just drop away as I stand in awe, humbled.