28″ by 144″ | $32,250 | Oil on linen
Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as though it did not matter.
The first time I went up to this pinnacle was with my brother Drew and his wife Mary in the 70s. I was recently visiting the Jenny Lake Ranger Station talking with ranger George Montopoli. I asked what his favorite view was, and he said the Suprise Lake Pinnacle. I later went up and camped at Surprise Lake. The next morning at dawn, I went up there, and I was thinking “this seems really familiar.” And of course, it was. I had been up there with Drew and Mary way back in the day. So I went up there three different times at different times of the year. I was trying to get the dawn shots. And to me it summarizes everything I love about the Tetons and the Mountaineer’s View which was this epic 360 degree beautiful landscape with very little signs of man. Chinese painters and philosophers would talk about the mountains as the male element and the valleys as female. They are really talking about balance. And then you have the sun, which is outside of the natural world. It affects all of it…so it’s some sort of unifying force. So I was thinking about themes like this as I was painting.
The challenge for the artist – in terms of composition – is that the valley is flat and open, leading you on to open horizons, while the mountains are walled off and enclosed. The challenge is to combine these two elements in a way that is balanced and harmonious.
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