Oil on Canvas
40 x 40″
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe”
This painting is done in one colour – raw umber (with a little black). It is essentially an extended underpainting (‘pentimento’) – this is how all of my works look before I add colour. I used a grainy old photograph of John Muir to capture his likeness. This spiritual adventurer had the weathered skin and the thoughtful expression of one who spends a lot of time contemplating the natural world. I wanted to capture that with an uncomplicated palette and a quick brush. The surface of this painting has warmth, depth and energy, like the man who inspired it.
“John Muir was a Scottish-born American naturalist, whose writings contributed to the preservation of Yosemite and other natural parks, and helped spark the modern environmental movement. He is the founder of the Sierra Club, which numbers hundreds of thousands of members.
Muir was perhaps this country’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist. He taught the people of his time and ours the importance of experiencing and protecting our natural heritage. His words have heightened our perception of nature. His personal and determined involvement in the great conservation questions of the day was and remains an inspiration for environmental activists everywhere.
In 1871, Muir found living glaciers in the Sierra and conceived his then-controversial theory of the glaciation of Yosemite Valley. He began to be known throughout the country. Famous men of the time – Joseph LeConte, Asa Gray and Ralph Waldo Emerson – made their way to the door of his pine cabin.
Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization — with three million members and supporters. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. More recently, we’ve made history by leading the charge to move away from the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption and toward a clean energy economy. For more information, see our Mission Statement.” -The Sierra Club
Sources: vault.sierraclub.org, sierracollege.edu