With April 15 fast approaching, let me distract you momentarily from your cramped check-writing hand and the giddiness* that accompanies filling out tax forms. Let's focus on something good those taxes make possible, something that has long been called "America's best idea", something that will take the edge off writing that next check: our national park system.
Funded by about 1/10th of 1% of the federal budget (according to my research assistant Ms. Google), the wonders contained within our parks are a treasure of a different order. These treasures are obviously well-valued, with over 300 million park visits last year. [Disclaimer: a sizable number of those visits were mine.] And with the National Park Service's Centennial this year, visitation is expected to break records.
In years past I was the designated Artist-in-Residence at three national parks, where I spent several weeks living in a park and painting it every day. My months in Rocky Mountain National Park, Acadia National Park (where I was their first official A-i-R) and Yosemite National Park provided a great opportunity to experience these places intimately, and to reflect through my painting on the natural wonders heaped upon us Americans.
You can see a few of my National Park Residency paintings here.
(Four of the Yosemite paintings are recently finished and available, as are two from Acadia.)
Also connected to the NPS this year, I'll remind you that my next exhibition's subject is the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, an under-recognized national park running right through the Twin Cities for 72 miles. Minnesotans: raise your hand if you knew about this park. See?
America's River, Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, June 11- August 6
My sincere gratitude goes to the dedicated folks who continue our national parks legacy with boots on the ground, pens to the paper, and whatever else is necessary.
And my thanks to you and our taxes, which ensure our "best idea" will be around for good.
PS. It's been a while since I posted new paintings. I have been in the throes of travels and creating the works for America's River, and also doing groundwork for a far bigger project .... more on that later....but for those who are subscribed for it, I will soon send a sneak preview of new paintings, starting with some gouaches.