Fall colors at Blackberry, MN


Fall colors at Blackberry, MN – Oil on 11 x 14 Canvas Panel –  I got motivated to paint something colorful and fall like recently and decided to post it on the first official day of fall.

For those of you who are not familiar with Blackberry, MN, and I'm sure there are many, it's just seven miles east of Grand Rapids, MN on US highway 2 (now you know). It was founded more than 110 years ago by mostly immigrants. My grandfather was one of the town founders. In addition to having the farm at Blackberry he also owned and operated a bar in Bovey, MN where I've heard he kept the local mine workers well oiled for years. I suspect he was also a bootlegger too as his son, my uncle Vic in later years was the local bootlegger. He made wine and had a still, distilled his own booze and sold it to the locals.

Blackberry was a great place for me to grow up because as a child I was never without something interesting to do. Even in the long cold winters there were all kinds of sports, hunting, fishing, trapping, skiing, drawing, lots of local friends and scouting along with school activities. We were always busy with something although it was a relaxed lifestyle. Years later when life for me was very fast paced, officing on 5th Avenue in New York and constantly traveling to make a living, on many occasions my mind would wander back of the peace and serenity of life in rural northern Minnesota. Well, Enough history…

The idea for this painting came from a picture snapped on the property owned by my cousin Mike Andrews or his wife Pat and then posted to their web site
( http://www.mississippilodge.blogspot.com/ ). They have a beautiful log home of about 4500SF overlooking Mississippi Lake with shoreline on both Mississippi Lake and the Mississippi River. If you are interested in looking at the picture go to their web site then scroll down until you come to "fall colors", it’s the first picture. If you compare the painting with the picture you can see that I cropped it slightly and made a couple of other small changes to suit me. I hope Mike and Pat don't mind my using part of their image. The river in the painting is of course the Mississippi. My childhood home is about a half mile from where this picture was taken and just slightly up river. Your comments are welcome.

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Russell BakerSacramento, Northern California, United StatesAs a student in northern Minnesota I enjoyed being an artist. My uncle Charles: C. X. Carlson, a noted author, artist and muralist was a great influence me. I sketched and painted everyday until age sixteen or so, then it seemed as though life took over. Now, 40+ years later and retired, I have returned to the more pleasurable pastimes of my youth. This year, 2007, I started drawing, painting and playing music once again. It will be interesting to see where these endeavors guide me and how my skills in turn develop over time. Everything I offer here is an original. Some may be renditions of other works I find interesting, however originals just the same. If you see something you would like to purchase, email me.

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