The View of Katahdin From Chimney Pond on an October Evening diptych, oil on panel, entire piece is 8x24in In A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, he writes in reference to a painting by Asher Brown Durand titled "Kindred Spirits" ca. 1849. "Nothing like that view exists now, of course. Perhaps it never did. Who knows how much license these johnnies took with their stabbing paintbrushes? Who, after all, is going to struggle with an easel and campstool and box of paints to some difficult overlook, on a hot July afternoon, in a wilderness filled with danger, and not paint something exquisite and grand?" I like this quote because of Bryson's nod to landscape artists and the regard toward the difficulties of such an endeavor. Exquisite and grand are two words that well describe Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine and one of the most striking rock massifs in America probably. Many artists have come to Baxter State Park the home of Mt. Katahdin to be inspired, I now feel fortunate to join the other artists who have painted and observed the earth that scoops and digs, rises upward and drops deeply into the myriad of nooks and crannies, recesses and cavernous channels that lead up to summits and down into basins and valleys.
Dangerous and difficult are yet another two words that well describe any
route up the mountain for those seeking a closer look. Well worth the
effort though, whether or not my Katahdin works ever receive an ounce of
recognition good or bad, the paintings, and the experiences having gone through
to get those paintings have been revealing and inspiring to me. The
intensity of the image above reflects the intensity of the journey. There
is a calmness that also appears in the work behind the aggressive slashes of
color, lie subdued hues and meaning also present in the journey. Intense
as the hike and climb is on the outer physical being; the inner is calm and
reflective. So is the mountainous outside rough and rocky, its inner soul
presents itself to those of us more in tune with nature as a quiet peaceful and
lonely rock. Loud and lawlessly unforgiving it has taken lives, or lives
have been lost to it rather. It has also given life to those seeking it.
It is a place that will not soon be forgotten. It is a place I