Lost Treasure From 2017

Every Which Way 2500

“More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has ever been taken from the earth” ~ Napoleon Hill

When I’m out and about exploring interesting and beautiful places with my camera in hand it is not unusual for me to slip into a kind of hypnotic trance and the subjects of my photographs seem to choose me rather than the other way around.  Over the course of a year I can acquire thousands and thousands of Raw images.  As you might imagine I spend hours upon hours scouring through digital files, looking for and developing the creme of the crop while the ones that aren’t quite so obviously great fall through the cracks become forgotten.

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Being the creature of habit that I am, as I become introspective about the year that was each December, I pull that imaginary shoe box full of “negatives” from the top shelf of my imaginary closet and I look through them one more time in hopes of discovering lost treasure.  The images in this post are just a few emerging stars from 2017, all taken in late summer at the Oregon coast.

There is always a specific reason that I click the shutter release when I do but sometimes it takes a second or third cutting to remember why.

Hidden Treasure 2500

Magic Momemt 2500

Gravity 2500

Inspiration Tuesday

What the mind of man can Conceive and Believe, It can Achieve. ~ Napoleon Hill

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Reflections And Refractions

If you have a dream that you wish to bring to fruition while you walk this earth you are not alone. Look around and you will see that the world is filled with people who have common ambitions. A person who takes great risks against heavy odds in order to transform a vision into a tangible creation is by their very nature an Artist. It really doesn’t matter whether we are looking at Michael Angelo, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs or perhaps Yourself, all Artists find that the road to success begins at the moment an original thought pops into the mind and sparks a flame that cannot be extinguished.

reflection BLOG

“Water Colors”

For me, inspiration always occurs when I least expect it, when I see something plain in a new way that makes it extraordinary. I went for a walk along the banks of the Platte River on Saturday. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon, yet in comparison to some of the places I’ve found myself in recently, the setting was barely above mediocre. I had to literally, look below the surface of the big picture in order to find the excitement that I now feel when I look back at the images. These photographs are not an end result. They are the moment of conception of a new idea.

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“Platte River Afternoon”

Alexander Supertramp And The Great NorthWest – Part 5 ~ The Hill


The Hill

A person wanting to drive a vehicle to the coastal mountains of Canada has only three choices. We had already tread the well kept pavement of Highway 1 out of Vancouver to the interior and made our way north to Williams Lake. There is also Highway 16, the heavily travelled Yellowhead Highway to Prince Rupert which was a few hundred miles north of us. It was our intention all along to head West on Hwy. 20, the third alternative which would take us to our destination, Bella Coola and Grizzly Bears feeding on Salmon.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is a huge swath of wilderness, perhaps the most remote area I’ve ever travelled to, including Alaska. Highway 20 is called the Freedom Highway, perhaps because if is over 300 miles with very few signs of civilization, or perhaps because a long stretch of it is free from pavement, guardrails, passing room and reasonable inclines. Soon after leaving Williams lake, I learned the hard way that even trying to do 50mph was unwise due to the likelihood of a Deer, Moose or Bear jumping out in front of us. At one point, after a brief distraction of some sort I looked up to see an elk as tall as my hood standing dead center with my trajectory. The loud scream of my locked tires sliding on pavement seemed to last forever and everything moved in slow motion. For an instant that seemed like an eternity, I accepted that our trip had been prematurely ended with the slaughter of a beautiful beast and the demise of Alexander Supertramp, what a bummer. Somehow, some way the giant creature vanished as quickly as he had appeared and we were continuing down the road like it never even happened.

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Nimpo Lake

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Alexander Supertramp at Nimpo Lake

We made it roughly halfway to Bella Coola before dusk and found a campsite at Nimpo Lake where we watched the sunset, ate dinner and went to bed. We went to sleep that night to the calming melody of a loon and the melancholy cry of a real life lone wolf, sounds that don’t exist where we come from. At sunrise, I stood on the shore and took in the beauty of the deep blue lake and the surrounding mountain ranges in the Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. A float plane taxi’d across the lake in the cool morning air then lifted into the azure blue sky for a morning of sightseeing. After a breakfast of instant oatmeal, we lowered the top of our mobile bungalow and headed down the road with a long trail of dust streaming in our wake.

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Tweedsmuir Air

The two thousand foot descent into the Bella Coola Valley is affectionately known as the Hill. Over two thousand miles into our journey and it had all boiled down to a one lane dirt road with 18% grades and spine tingling switchbacks. This section requires one foot on the brake, two hands on the wheel and an earful of advice on how to drive from your spouse. To be fair, I would not have been a happy passenger either. I was glad to be in control. To make matters worse, we had watched a number of youtube videos from “The Hill” and had worked ourselves into somewhat of an unnecessary anticipatory frenzy. Obviously we lived to see another day and I can now say that I drove “The Hill” twice, once down and once up.

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There’s a good reason this pic sucks!



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Freedom Highway

Just like with the Elk, when we arrived at the valley floor the paved highway resumed and it was the Hill never happened. Over the course of the next four days, we would become very familiar with the final twenty mile stretch of highway to the coast as we drove it daily in search of Grizzly Bears. But as we saw it for the first time there was a heightened level of appreciation for the mountains and glaciers and rivers. Before the sun set that first night we stood along the banks of the Atnarko River and waited for our first Bear sighting. Sure enough a 600 lb. Boar was “snorkeling” his way down current toward us and with Bear Spray and my camera in hand, I trembled as clumsily began taking pictures. Grizzly Bears feeding on Salmon..Check. We camped for the night along the River, cozy and warm within the confines of the hard and soft sided Alexander Supertramp. Every now and then the peaceful sound of the river would be interrupted with a ”Shhhhh…did you hear that? what was that?”

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“Who Sees Who?”

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snorkeling bear


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“Atnarko Sunset”

The Imagination Is A Great Kaleidoscope


“Life on this earth may be likened to a great kaleidoscope before which the scenes and facts and material substances are ever shifting and changing, and all anyone can do is to take these facts and substances and rearrange them in new combinations” ~ Napoleon Hill

In the words of King Solomon, “There is nothing new under the sun”. I suppose the same could be said of the moon. I am not the first artist in the world to be mesmerized by the mystical beauty of a moonlit night and I’m certainly not the first person to have the urge to paint such a scene. I’m also not the first person to paint a tree, a skier or a log cabin.  If I can take any credit at all for the originality of my work it is due to the combination of subjects that come from an inner place of “feeling” or from my imagination.

The dictionary defines Imagination as “The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses”.  This is not to say that a painter of realism who uses reference does not use his or her imagination, not at all for the process of converting that reality to the canvas demands an imaginative mind. For me, I am finding that when I free myself from reference material as much as possible, I give my imagination or my ability to “feel” the greatest opportunity to perform.

If you watch the video posted above, you will see that this painting was totally ad lib. The only reference material used were sketches of skiers that I created with my imagination. As the composition was laid out on the canvas I put in the shape of a pond on which I was going to place ice skaters. As work on the painting progressed, the work started talking to me and it said “forget the pond, go with skiers”, so I did.

Three Questions That Will Change Your Luck

“Most who attain the higher brackets of success seldom do so until they have gone through some event that reached deeply into their souls and reduced them to that circumstance of life which most call failure.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Opposites attract?  I beg to differ.  It’s been my experience that when it comes to good and bad fortune, otherwise thought of as luck, “Like attracts Like”.  Have you heard the old saying that bad luck comes in three’s?  It is more likely closer to the truth that we allow bad luck to feed upon itself several times in a row, before waking up to the idea that we have the ability to alter our consciousness, thus ending the chain reaction.

When something goes wrong, terribly wrong, it is our tendency to become defensive, regretful and angry.  Our first inclination is to feel sorry for ourselves and from there we focus our minds on fear, hoping that something else bad doesn’t happen.  In my experience, bad luck will not even end at three unless I find within myself the strength to alter my own mind-set, rejecting fear and embracing hope.

Less than one year ago, I was living in a train wreck of hard luck, a sequence of negative events that seemed endless.  Cancer in the family, business disappointments being associated with people I did not trust and respect were the headliners, but my string of like kind fortune didn’t begin or end with these circumstances.  It really seemed as though things would never go right again.  Today, the cancer appears to be defeated, I am moving forward in business and I am wiser in choosing with whom I am associated.  Above all, I am off to a great start in the pursuit of my passion to be a successful artist and well, a lot of things are really going right.  What caused my luck to reverse course so abruptly?

I think everything really started to turn around for me when I picked up and read The Law Of Success, a thousand page book written by Napoleon Hill a hundred years ago.  I didn’t just read his work, I studied it as if my very life depended upon it.  I began to understand that my own mind more to do with my own luck than any external force or circumstance.  I began to believe that I deserved a better life than the one to which I had become accustomed and low and behold, little by little, hope returned.

My transformation didn’t occur overnight, it took many months.  I still struggle with the pain and anger over past events but I now know that I have the ability to alter my course.  When the beast rears its ugly head and I begin to dangle my feet in those turbulent waters of despair again, there are three questions that I can ask myself that somehow seem to get me quickly back on the path of good fortune.

WHAT IS GOING RIGHT?  This list should be as long as your arm if you have the mindset of thankfulness.

WHAT IS GOING WRONG?  This list should be short if you disallow things that are temporary.

WHAT DO I WANT?  You have to be able to say it to get it.

If you are having a rash of really bad luck and you are losing hope that it will ever end, I hope that you might ask yourself these same three questions.  It may be the beginning of a string of great luck.