12
Mar
17

Alberta Falls

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Alberta Falls,    10×20″ canvas, signed

Spring is upon us and the waterfalls of the sierras will be raging soon. Such spectacular falls have inspired American artists for over 2 centuries.

Do an internet search for “Hudson River School, waterfall” and you will see many fine paintings of the cascades of North America. These painters of early America recognized the intense and sublime beauty of the North American Wilderness. This was a pivotal stage in the evolution in the development of Human aesthetics, which, up to that time, considered wilderness to be a hap-hazard tangle of disorder. Men like Asher Durand, Thomas Moran, and Albert Beirstadt saw beauty in that hap-hazardness, and I have always distilled this aesthetic appreciation down to the leaning tree, the downed tree, and the dead log. This is the element that places the North American Romantics at a distance from the Europeans that taught them. In a word, it was “wild,” not kept, tended, or groomed. Hap-hazardness had beauty just as it was. This was revolutionary.

Still, one had to find that sweet spot–a best location to view the scene. It fascinates me that this is so–that we have to hunt for the right composition. It raises so many questions about beauty and Nature.

Thomas Cole didn’t bother. He just created compositions of wild scenes that were influenced by what he had seen in his travels. Photographers do not have that luxury. We have to hunt, and I enjoy the hunt.

This image is 90% Hudson River school, 10% Ansel Adams, whose years in Yosemite yielded many photographs of waterfalls, often with dead logs strewn below them.

My image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is of a small yet quite exquisite wild fall. This is printed on canvas to refer back to the Hudson River School. It is part of a series of prints that have a 2:1 ratio. This one is 10 x20”. Normally it is priced at $250, now you can use your tax return to get it at half-price for $125 (until tax deadline, 4/15/17))

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