Monday, March 30, 2009

Late Winter

We finally got some decent snow last week. It arrived late, but we'll take it nonetheless. I almost forgot how beautiful snow is. It's been a while since I have seen it. It's like meeting an old friend again. You remember all the great things about also remember a few of the not-so-good things as well. Snow is one of my favorite subjects to paint. It is so filled with so many colors and it can create a variety of moods.....from sullen and melancholy to bright and exuberant. I was able to get out and get at least one painting in before it all melted, though. Trouble with Spring snow...... it melts fast and one must play carpe diem before it vanishes before our eyes. This is a scene I painted from some ponds on an open space not far from where I live. I brought the foothills a little closer to give a feeling of intimacy. The warm colors of the willows against the cools of the mountains made for an interesting and soothing relationship. Most of all was the reflection of the snow banks on the water. They were so soft and absolutely gorgeous. It stopped me in my tracks, and there you have it.

"Late Winter" 9 x 12 field study oil on canvas

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Greater Than Us

Nature, in all of God's creation, can bring us to such humility. With all our pragmatic and calculating minds, and with all the man-made towers and bridges, transportation, and technical advances that makes us feel so mighty, we need only to look around us and see how much greater is that that surrounds us. Not that we should feel insignificant, because of all of God's creation, we are His masterpiece. There lies the rub.......the responsibility to use His wisdom that has been planted within us to care for and transcend the easy road, to a higher calling. This is one of my more spiritual paintings that reflects God's mighty and gentle beauty and perfectness. This scene is located just outside the humble mountain hamlet of Allenspark, Colorado. It's a very quaint and rustic location where Heaven and Earth meet.

"Greater Than Us" 32" x 26" Oil on canvas

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mill's Lake

"Mills Lake" 28" x 22" oil on canvas copyright 2010 Jake Gaedtke
One of my favorite lakes located in Rocky Mountain National Park is Mill's Lake. It's a good solid hour long hike. Sometimes longer, depending on the weather and season. It's one of the larger lakes in the Park. It is so pristine and with the backdrop of the cathedral-like mountains that surround it, it is simply spectacular. I make it up there at least a couple times a year. It's a place where I can paint and be alone and absorb all that's there. It's a popular destination for the average tourist, so I see quite a few people up there in the summer from all over the world. The one thing that strikes me is how universal this creation effects everyone the same way. Like music, we can all understand this beauty that is beyond us, no matter where we are from or what our life's experience may be. If you have the oportunity to witness this miracle........if you can experience the handiwork of God in this place first hand and not come away from it changed, or at the very least humbled, you have no soul. I recently made an attempt to express the reason I go to this place so often on canvas. It is a painting I intend to put in the upcoming Colorado Governor's Art Show. Like many artists, I am never completely satisfied with my work, and this one is no exception. I know it may be a "postcard" type scene of a magnificent place, but I really don't know how else to describe it. Besides what's wrong with telling the truth? It is a picture-postcard place.