We spent the holidays in northern Minnesota where my wife’s family lives. They’re located just south of the Canadian border not far from International Falls. If you follow the winter weather, you’ll know that International Falls often competes with Peter Sinks at the top of Logan Canyon for the coldest temperature in the lower 48.
So, what on earth does one do for a week when the daily high temperature is stuck south of zero? Neither hockey nor curling interest me. Ice fishing with the locals is just crazy. Believe me. Driving a pickup across the ice to your fishing shack is out of the question. My sincerest apology if you’re a dyed in the wool northerner – but I’m walking, and I really don’t care if the ice is umpteen inches thick.
I found myself indoors sipping hot chocolate, wearing fuzzy slippers, and surfing the web. Along the way, I stumbled upon an artistic muse or two. There are lots of exciting watercolorists to be discovered online and we can all learn by studying other people’s work. So, let me share some of my favorites with you.
For starters, you might try looking up Peter Eugen, a Swedish painter who does crisp, cold watercolors of lakes and forests (also pop portraits of famous people). He calls himself “Mr. Nobody”. He is not nobody. I think his work is stunning. Another, somewhat older muse is a French watercolorist called Marc Folly. If you google him, you’ll find watercolors with unusual compositions and lots of wonderful, granulated pigment. Finally, try searching for a Turkish painter named Rukiye Garip. She does striking, almost photographic watercolors often of reflections or things that can be seen through shallow water. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else out there that does that quite as well as she does.
Here’s hoping you will enjoy the work of these artists as much as I have.
The Cache Valley Chapter has remained very active over the last few weeks. Our winter exhibit is still open at the Artists Gallery in Logan and Scott Bushman from the gallery presented the awards at our reception on December 11th (thanks to Brenda Brunello for the photo). In addition, we held a successful silent auction in support of our scholarship along with pizza and a gift exchange at our December 14th meeting.