To understand how America was made, one need only go back and look at what people created, their responses to the events and environments they lived in. There are currently two unique opportunities available that will take you back to other times in very different ways. Both are based on things that occurred around 60 years ago – one building on centuries of songs and the other forging a path into the world of contemporary art, ironically, going on at almost the same time.
On the first full day of spring I was cross-country skiing, breaking trail through about 6-8 inches of powder – on top of an 18-24” inch base of snow that’s been here most of the winter. It was warm and sunny, the snow a bit sticky, and as I enjoyed the late winter experience I thought of the ways we Adirondackers know it’s really spring.
So in no particular order, here are some tell-tale signs that it is actually spring in the Adirondacks. They don’t all have to happen – if you notice a few, spring is on the way.
Unlike today, when every little finger of every branch of every evergreen is carrying a » Continue Reading.
Nocturne: a work of art dealing with evening or night especially; a dreamy pensive composition for the piano that has a soft and somewhat sad melody. – 2014 Merriam Webster Dictionary
It was Valentine’s Day, about 8 pm, and I walked out the back door, stepped into my x-country ski bindings, put on my gloves and slipped my hands through the straps on my ski poles, flipped on my headlight and silently glided into the stillness of the night. As I looked up the trail, snowflakes filtered down glittering into the beam of my light.
As an artist, I know snow isn’t white. Perhaps some of the more scientific oriented folks who read or contribute to the Almanack can offer scientific explanations. I’m going to tell you how an artist perceives snow.
This little painting, “Up Near the Black Pond Cut”, practically went viral when I posted it on my Facebook page in early December. It had nearly 300 “shares” and over 50,000 views!
It’s a winter scene – but there’s almost no white snow in it! I think the color and the light is what made it such an appealing painting. It was based on photos I’d taken last winter at the » Continue Reading.
The current exhibit at the Adirondack Artists Guild in Saranac Lake will intrigue you! As featured artist of the month, Burdette Parks, a very accomplished Adirondack photographer, has chosen to show viewers a different side of the coin. Heads and tails – I mean tales….
When you walk towards the back of the gallery space to the featured artists section, you are met with a stunning array of beautiful, distinguished faces looking back at you (and one goofy one), plus a few looking elsewhere. All square and all black and white and luscious shades of gray (probably more than 50!) with black backgrounds. Burdette is active at Pendragon Theatre and during the course of the last few months, he set » Continue Reading.
I climbed steadily over rocks and boulders, some the size of large pieces of furniture, for half a mile as I worked my way up OK Slip Brook. Sometimes in the thick growth along the shoreline, sometimes rock-hopping right up the brook itself. After a good 30-40 minutes, I came around a bend, crossed several sections of the brook at a gravelly section, and the falls came into sight ahead.
OK Slip Falls – around a 250 foot drop – sun coming in from the side, dark rocks, a small drop visible at the top, then the water comes over a ledge and drops almost the entire way, cascading into a pile of » Continue Reading.
This weekend marks the 7th Annual Artist at Work Studio Tour (Sept 27-28-29) in the northern Adirondack region. Nearly 50 artists in the communities of Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Wilmington, Jay, Au Sable Forks, Bloomingdale, Onchiota, Rainbow Lake, Paul Smiths, Gabriels and Lake Clear are participating.
Some artists have taken part every year; there are 12 “new” artists; and 2 other artists are in new locations. There are painters, photographers, potters, mixed media artists, fabric, jewelry, glass, wood and metalworkers, printmakers, and more.
With September ushering in the relentless turn of colors that eventually becomes the black, white and grey of winter solitude, there is a healthy abundance of colorful art to treat the eyes. And some black and white too.
Of great significance is the fact that we once again have three new exhibits opening on Friday September 6 and more importantly, they represent, conservatively about 150 collective years of making art!
Jeri Wright, an accomplished photographer who lives in Wilmington, is having a retrospective exhibit of sixty-five years, yes, six and a half decades of photography. She must have started as a child with a Kodak “Brownie” camera! Has she made the transition to » Continue Reading.
Several weeks ago, during the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Aug 15-18, several things occurred which were wonderful to witness. First of all the event was very successful: 75 artists from all over the northeast registered; over 200 plein air paintings were on display in the Town Hall in Saranac Lake on the final day of the event and half the artists sold at least 1 painting; 55 little donated 5×7 paintings were auctioned off; over $4000 in awards were given out, including a “People’s Choice” prize of $100.
A lot of people came out to watch the artists at work at the various venues over the course of the event, » Continue Reading.
The 5th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival will be taking place Aug 15-18 in the Saranac Lake area. Be forewarned – there’s going to be a lot of “wet paint”! Here’s a quick rundown of the schedule:
Thursday Aug 15: 10-3 “Paint the Town” Day. Downtown Saranac Lake. Silent Auction starts at 4 pm. 3rd Thursday ArtWalk from 5-7:30.
Friday Aug 16: 9-5 “Paint the VIC” Day. All the artists will be out on the trails at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. From 5-7 there is the opening reception for the “Plein Air Invitational” – a show of plein air » Continue Reading.
The month of August brings a lot of great art to view in our region, but especially in the Saranac Lake area where there are six new exhibits opening plus the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Aug 15-18.
Bluseed Studios, 24 Cedar St., starts off the month with “Paper Migration”. This is an international collaborative exchange between Bluseed and a cooperative of artists in Mazatlan, Mexico. Saranac Lake residents have had the pleasure of seeing one of the Mexican artists working outdoors on a large painting in Berkely Green. Bluseed always has exciting, cutting edge shows and this collaboration, between Adirondack artists and Mazatlan » Continue Reading.
I tried to document life in a Great Blue Heron nest last year and it ended abruptly when all three babies vanished in early July, most likely as dinner for a bald eagle or great horned owl family. I had somewhat better luck this year.
April 29, 2013 – I checked the heron nest I’d been watching in 2012 – the pond, still with some ice, appeared empty, no herons around. There was snow in sheltered places along the trail. According to the Cornell Ornithology Lab web site “Heron FAQ’s” page, their herons laid eggs between March 28 and April 6 in 2012. I tend to think that the » Continue Reading.
In a recent Mountain Lake PBS e-newsletter, something caught my eye. Like many, I suppose, I get too many emails and often give many nothing more than a quick scan, if that, before hitting the delete button. But there was a little, green, Adirondack summer image with the words “Songs to Keep” superimposed. What’s this?
The teaser text read “The story of a woman who traveled the Adirondacks collecting rare folk songs that are being rediscovered and rerecorded 60 years later. Help make this project happen by investing in it!”. It hooked me and I clicked. Not only am I very glad that I did, » Continue Reading.
Living in the Adirondacks is all I need – I’m inspired by the landscape I see and often by the kind and friendly people I interact with as well. This past week I experienced a different kind of inspiration – more like an immense gratitude for this special place on the planet.
One hundred artists attended the Publisher’s Invitational Paint Out hosted at Paul Smith’s College. I wrote about my experiences at the 2012 event, because I was inspired then too, but this year’s event merits additional attention.
The story of my heron nest may have come to a premature ending for 2013. I think the nest has been abandoned.
I don’t know if it was the days and days of cold, hard rain or some other natural cause, but the nest in the dead tree appears to be empty. When I hiked in the first day the rain let up and the sun started to come out, I spotted a lone heron sitting in a tall white pine along the shore of the pond – but none in the nest. Prior to all this rain, I’d quietly watched the nest from several different vantage points » Continue Reading.
If you’ve been reading the Adirondack Almanack for a while, you may recall my emotional writing about the heron nest I found in the spring of 2012, and the three charming youngsters that were about half-grown when nature intervened and they became dinner for some predator like a large owl or a bald eagle. I was devastated as I’d been quietly visiting the nest site for weeks, observing and photographing the heron family. You can see a YouTube video of one of the parents feeding the three youngsters here.
I’m happy to say, the herons are back on the nest. Or » Continue Reading.
It may be due to some weird alignment of the stars, or a movement to start “Cinco de Mayo” early, but Friday May 3 there are four great art events in Saranac Lake.
With good timing, it could be possible for one to make all four events, but it’s more likely choices will have to be made.
I’ve been gone for 10 days visiting family and so upon returning to the Adirondacks and waking up to blue skies and sun (and 21 degrees in April!), I decided to get out in the woods and check out one of my favorite little trails and see how far along spring actually was. I was especially interested in seeing the heron nest I’d found last spring, just about this same time, to see if the herons were back.
The ides of March spawned a remarkable confluence of art and artists in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Two exceptional exhibits opened that evening that were marveled at by crowds of fascinated people, in spite of occasional white-out blizzard conditions.
“The Past Through the Eyes of the Present” opened at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and will be on display through April 12. I’m not sure who initially had the idea for this, but I know artists Parmalee Tolkan and Tim Fortune sent out the letters that invited artists to participate. The subtitle of the show is » Continue Reading.
A man from England, who came to Saranac Lake to cure a respiratory illness in 1922, and ended up operating a grocery store for 60 years has turned out to be a well loved and fondly remembered citizen of the village – and the subject of an art exhibit!
The Adirondack Artists Guild, of which I am one of 14 members, has a gallery at 52 Main Street in Saranac Lake. It’s an old, three story building from the last century, situated between the Sears parking lot and the Waterhole. We knew all along that prior to being used as an art gallery that it » Continue Reading.