“Lake of the Crags” is located in Hanging Canyon in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. It has always been one of my favorite places to hike in the Tetons. In this painting, I wanted to capture the feeling of being in the mountains as opposed to looking up at them from the valley floor. This is my personal view as a climber and mountain guide for most of my life. One of the difficulties in painting this subject from this perspective is that the amount of detail the eye sees is overwhelming. The task was to drop out some of the detail and organize the scene in a manner pleasing to the eye and yet maintain enough to capture the feeling of the place. I also found the contrast between the busyness of the rocks as juxtaposed to the stillness of the surface of the lake and the open sky restful to the eye.
My personal tendency, as an artist and mountaineer, is always to be looking up at lofty summits and dramatic panoramas. However, I have found that looking down at ones feet, on occasion is often worthwhile. Standing on the shore of the outlet of Ramshead Lake, in the Grand Tetons, I was fascinated by the patterns made by the tangle of driftwood in the crystal clear waters. It caused me to ponder the ancient trees that had struggled for countless years to survive in the rugged conditions of the high mountains only to succumb to time and find their way to rest beneath the surface of the still waters.