This painting comes from a walk I took one early autumn day into the east side of Kaposia Park in South Saint Paul MN. The combination of elements was captivating for me. It was a riot of color in the sunshine: the Caravaggio-like contrasty scene from dark to light, the blue sky above with its reflection below, along with the green, yellow, and orange from the trees repeated on the water surface, interrupted by the island of electric-green algae. The deep focus lined up perfectly from dark foreground tall stalks to mid-ground algae and the trees aflame in light to rank on rank of trees backing the view from the bluffs and leading up to the sky. The painting comes from my photograph captured that day but accomplished later in the studio as the weather outside dipped to -17°F, and as I recalled the feeling of the specific time and place. It is a vision of hope in the bleak mid-winter. I added the eagle in flight. It is a fantasy, not in the original experience, but Kaposia is a great place by the Mississippi River to view dozens of eagles - if not hundreds, at times!
I finished and signed this work on January 6th, 2022. Along with my hope for warmer weather (I'm pretty sure Spring will come again), this eagle is also a symbol of hope. Hope that we act (and react) to keep our democracy intact - as old Ben Franklin challenged - through this precarious time. Actively seek the truth, reject lies and false rumors. Let justice flourish for ALL people. Just as the proud eagle has returned from the precipice of near extinction in the 1970's, benefitting from careful human action, protection, and restoration.