I have been an artist all my life and I still remember the moment I was first bitten by the art bug. I was a little boy of maybe five years old and was sitting on my grandmother’s lap as she, an artist of some renown in the Chicago area, was pencil-sketching, on a piece of scrap paper, a drawing of the dishes left on the table after breakfast.
While she chatted with my mom, I watched this incredible three-dimensional scene literally jump off the paper…I was simply AMAZED! I’ve never forgotten that moment, as I knew from that instant that I wanted to be able to do THAT! Having witnessed my interest in art, that same grandmother eventually lavished upon me the tremendous gift of an elaborate (and perhaps fairly- expensive) art kit, the likes of which I have not seen since. It contained all manner of mediums, materials and instructional books with which to explore my emerging creativity. I spent countless hours working through all those lessons and to this day can still recall some of those wonderful illustrations in my mind’s eye.
Growing up in the wide-open spaces of rural Nebraska, I came to appreciate, from an early age, magnificent, endless skies and the quality of the long, golden light at day’s end. Searching for whatever Nature I could find, I spent long summer days, from sunup to sundown, roaming the countryside with my dog…something I continue to do to this day.
Although I now instead roam the high wilderness backcountry of the Rocky Mountain West and the windswept Red Rock Canyon Country of southern Utah ( with my dear little dog, Miss Penny ) my love of that golden late-day light stays with me and continues to be a prominent theme in my work. My photography, at first born of a need for original source material as reference for my Watercolor and Pastel Paintings, also centers around those magic hours, early and late, when shadows grow long.
My sincere wish is to bring you the reader, through my paintings, photos and written essays, a sense of the profound solitude that can be found in remote and unspoiled wilderness. I believe that it is vitally important that we retain our connection to Nature…not only for our own sanity and well-being, but also so that we might value it enough to endure the compromises and make the difficult decisions required to maintain the integrity of wild places. I feel that our ancestral hunter-gatherer still exists deep within us and that each of us can, in our own way, realize a genuine and meaningful relationship with the natural world around us.
I have been extremely fortunate to have spent so much time experiencing the quiet of the woods and feeling the peace of the wilderness. I truly hope that, through the words and images presented here, you might be able to begin to feel the serenity that awaits you as well.
Thanks for joining me “on the trail” …it’s a worthwhile journey!
~ Jimmy Lange