Below Burnt Rollway Dam and Wordsworth

This painting was done en plein air in Eagle River, Wisconsin, where we have a cabin in the woods, and finished in my studio later. At Burnt Rollway Dam there is a lock and a lift for boats and pontoons going up and down the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. I painted this at the canoe landing (left foreground). My husband is an avid Musky fisherman. Somehow we are going to combine plein-air painting and fishing this summer, most probably with an arrangement like this, where he leaves me on shore for a while.

Here is an excerpt from Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”:

…For I have learned
To look on nature…
And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods….

I too am a “lover of the meadows and the woods”, an inveterate hiker in the North Woods and in the hilly, pastoral landscape of Southwestern Wisconsin. I’ve been to Tintern Abbey too. Wales is gorgeous! The above lines will remind readers of the Bible, I think and hope, of Romans 1:20.
Burnt Rollway Dam, 9×12 on untempered masonite panel, Private Collection

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