Thunder in Denali
While on my trip to Alaska, we enjoyed a 6 hour train excursion from Fairbanks to Denali. It was the highlight of the land tours. We saw snow-capped mountains and wildlife around every turn.
As we neared Denali National Park, the train slowed down to about 5 miles per hour as we entered a tunnel. Upon emerging, everyone in our observation car was in awe. The cliff off to our left dropped straight down over 200 feet to the Tanana River. We saw eagles soaring, bears hunting salmon in the river below and Dall sheep hopping from ledge to ledge on the rock outcroppings on the opposite cliffs. It was truly a sight to see and inspired me to create that moment in this artwork.
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons - I love colors!
While vacationing one year in Michigan, my husband and I visited Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, along the shore of Lake Huron. The beauty of the pine trees boasted in the lavish national forest, which provided a background that dramatized the fall foliage. This was a moment that captured the tranquility of peace that “harmonized” the surrounding lighthouse and keeper’s quarters.
Morning Walk is dedicated to my late brother Tom, who loved old toys, the beach and boats. Tom, who was also blind from retinitis pigmentosa passed away at the age of 49 in 2013.
I started with a mother and daughter on a casual stroll along the boardwalk in a seaside town. I then added a little boy representing my brother Tom. I couldn't resist naming the toy store after him. Look close to see the B, L and T.
Springtime at P.I.
Lighthouse Cove is the first of this series. After meeting my husband, who was a fan of lighthouses, I started to become interested in the history and the beauty of these Guardians of The Sea. While my vision was still good, we traveled extensively along the East Coast and the Great Lakes visiting every lighthouse we could get access to. Unfortunately, I never took any photographs of this particular lighthouse but had the image in my mind and when deciding to start this project, this had to be number one.
Matthews House is typical of most New England lighthouses. They are built on rocky, stone outcroppings close to the waters edge. Maine is also known for their narrow gauge railroads that can easily traverse through the many forests hauling out trees to the local lumber mills. While riding on a narrow gauge tourist excursion train, we came through an opening in the pines and seen this candid moment. I couldn't resist thinking about the book of Matthew, chapter 7 verse 24-25:
...I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
AUTUMN IN HARMONY
In 1983, I took my very first camping trip with my (future) husband and his parents to Presque Isle, Erie. While there, we wanted to see the Presque Isle Lighthouse but discovered that it was a private residence for the commander of Coast Guard Station Erie and private property signs were around it. For many years this lighthouse was hardly visible from the road or the beach because of overgrown trees and shrubs. In 2014, the US Government handed the lighthouse over to a preservation society that promised to restore it and open it up so the people could enjoy it. In 2016, The Presque Isle Light Station Corporation (PILSC) opened the partially restored lighthouse to the public. As the PILSC raises funds, they continue the restoration work. Today the Presque Isle Lighthouse shines in all of it’s glory. I could not miss the opportunity to paint this majestic lighthouse that is in my home state.
Alaska, by far, is the most beautiful state I have ever been to. The scenery, the wildlife and the vegetation is just breathtaking. In this painting, Scotch Cap Lighthouse is one of the few that dot the coastline. While visiting there, I saw Bald Eagles, moose, caribou, bears and salmon. It was fascinating to see the eagles swoop down and pull a salmon out of the water and take it back to their nest to feast on. My 2 week journey to Alaska was too short to behold everything there is to see and do. I hope you enjoy America's Majesty.
When my husband and I travel in our RV across the Unites States, we always try to include a ride on an excursion train. A few years ago, while visiting Branson, Missouri we took a trip on the Branson Scenic Railroad. Being pulled by a restored 1951 General Motors EMD F-9 diesel electric locomotive, we rode in an authentic 1947 BUDD Zephyr Vista Dome observation car. The 40-mile round trip took us through the Ozark foothills into Northwest Arkansas. On the trip we went through numerous tunnels and crossed the historic 910-foot-long Barren Fork Trestle. The view and scenery were breathtaking. This painting captures the Ozark Zephyr leaving the station in downtown Branson and crossing Lake Taneycomo, headed south on another excursion.
Breezing Thru The Ozarks
Sometimes we all experience a journey in our life. Be it good or bad we go through it and persevere. Sometimes that journey will be a train excursion to places new to us or a medical diagnosis that is challenging. Weather you see bald eagles and the red, white and blue or only visualize it in your mind, it is great to know that America is working on a cure for eye diseases so that everyone of us can experience the beauty that America has to offer. God Bless America and the American Journey.