Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Spirit of the Rum II

"The Spirit of the Rum II"
pastel on Wallis, 12 x 16 inch
copyright 2010 MaryAnn Cleary

This is another pastel of the river that runs along my backyard. This beautiful river, the Rum River, is designated as a Wild and Scenic River. What this means is that the integrity of the river is preserved and protected. It is meant to prevent damage from uncontrolled development and preserve the beautiful scenery surrounding it as well as the wildlife seen along the river. Turtles, birds, eagles, hawks, deer and more. The river is 148 miles long and it begins in Lake Mille Lacs and finally ends by flowing into the Mississippi River.

The name of the river has history as well. The Sioux called Lake Mille Lacs the Spirit Lake. Apparently, the Europeans mistranslated "Spirit" to "Rum".

The waters of Minneosta are precious and they should be preserved and cared for so that the generations to come are able to enjoy their beauty and recreation.

A print of this pastel is available here at Fine Art America..

peaceful water art, nature paintings, landscape paintings

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Spirit of the Rum

The Spirit of the Rum
12 x 16 inches
copyright 2010 MaryAnn Cleary

A pastel painting done of the river along my back yard. It is a slow moving river and is typical of most rivers in Minnesota. The name of this river is knows also as the Spirit River by Native Americans.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Mystery of Maritta Leach

 The Mystery of Maritta Leach
oil on linen, 8 x 10 inch
copyright 2010 MaryAnn Cleary

This past week a friend and I did some exploring for possible painting sites to do on location. We met near Duluth in Carlton, MN and headed to Jay Cooke State Park. Our first stop, an old pioneer cemetery, located about a mile from the park visitor's center. A short hike up a few wooden stairs and we found ourselves in an open meadow surrounded by old maples, oak and poplar trees. Greeting us at the top of the stairs stood and old headstone with a small American flag placed beside it. Looking out into the clearing, one could see a few, still-standing, old and tilted headstones along with several sunken areas of unmarked grave sites.

The grave sites, many well over or near 150 years old, had been left to the elements of time, sinking unnoticed into the ground. One of the few still identifiable is that of Maritta Leach. The story of her ending engraved on her tilting stone. She died almost 150 years ago on July 3, 1862 at the age of seventy. Questions begin to percolate within me. Who is this Maritta? It said on the headstone that she is the wife of W.C. Leach. Did she have children? Where did she live? What did she do? She had to be tough to live to the age of seventy during the mid-1800s.

One area of the cemetery seemed to contain an entire family with several children living only a month or two. The Ottos. Looking at the dates and the inscriptions, a father died and a couple of months later his 38 year old son passed, too. So many questions without answers arise. One can only speculate what happened. Sickness. Consumption. Or some other unknown.

The cemetery is a peaceful place and has a nice energy flowing around it. The sun hit the grave sites casting mysterious shadows - a perfect place to spend the afternoon painting.

The journey of an artist, especially those of us who enjoy painting on location, is finding those areas that have more questions than answers. They give inspiration. The head stone of Maritta is a glimpse of that delightful day of my explorations as an artist on location.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dancing with the Old Birch Trees

 Dancing with the Old Birch Trees
pastel on paper, 12 x 16 inches
copyright MaryAnn Cleary

This pastel painting in my latest attempt at this media. With each one, I do learn something new. This pastel is a studio piece done from a reference field oil painting, two black and white studies and a reference photo that I took. The color notes from the reference oil painting study proved invaluable. Photos do not capture what my eye sees in the field at all.