In September I enjoyed a vacation to glorious Lake Superior in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I spent a week exploring Minnesota’s North Shore – a rocky coast against the deep blue of the world’s largest lake by surface area. You can learn about all my travel adventures on my sister blog ‘American Nomad’ – adelelassiter.com
I spent a large part of my trip hiking and focusing on nature photography…and getting inspired for a Great Lakes series of paintings throughout the fall.
I wanted to share a few of my pieces on Adele Lassiter Creative the stories behind the art:
Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin is ‘waterfall country’ – with hundreds of dramatic cascades. Minnesota Highway 61 (North Shore Drive) on the western shore of Lake Superior has countless trails, scenic views and easy to access towering falls that are hidden jewels.
While, I always knew Minnesota’s Lake Superior shore was scenic, words cannot describe God’s majesty here. It reminds me of the rocky coast of Maine or Oregon, which dark jagged rock formations. Wandering rivers plummet over the rocky cliffs, thundering with awe inspiring grandeur.
Over the course of the week I saw over thirty waterfalls, and will continue to paint many of the imagery throughout the fall, but one of my favorites was The High Falls of the Pigeon River.
Located right on the edge of the Canadian border in the Grand Portage State Park (MN), The High Falls of the Pigeon River pummels 120 feet, roaring into the chasm below. This is right on the cusp of the historical important Grand Portage. You can read more about The Grand Portage on my sister blog and on the NPS website.
The High Falls of the Pigeon River are the tallest falls in Minnesota (shared with Canada) and accessible via a short walking path (around a mile roundtrip). You literally hike to the edge of the US/Canada border.
The Grand Portage State Park and Welcome Center – run by the local Anishinaabeg Ojibwe Tribe. To learn more click here.
A portage is carrying of a boat between two navigable waters. In the era of the fur trade, this area was difficult to pass and demanded a portage to the Grand Portage Trading Post on the shores of nearby Lake Superior. The traders who then take the goods across Lake Superior towards rivers and lakes to Montreal and beyond.
Waterfalls can be difficult to paint, because in nature waterfalls are dynamic and alive with movement. You have to create layers and detail brushwork to create the mist and thunder of a waterfall. I’m still working on perfecting this skill, but think I did a decent job with my interpretation of The High Falls of the Pigeon River.
One thing that struck me about Minnesota’s North Shore is the rocky cliffs reminiscent of Maine or Oregon. The dramatic craggy iron rich visits, coupled with boreal forests invite explorers to sit back in awe.
There is nothing more peaceful that sitting by a lake (or the ocean) and simply be quiet, listing to the crash of the waves. Lake Superior quickly pulls you into its spell.
I wanted to show the clear deep blue-green of Lake Superior and the lush boreal forest in my interpretation of the lakefront.
I will continue to paint Superior Country and blog my artistic journey.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
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