Maroon Bells (my first of several paintings I've made featuring this famous mountain in Colorado) is something I started in the late 1990s and reworked several times since then. The date on it is 2004, which was the year of my last update. And now, I've developed so much more as an artist that it's tempting to tweak it some more. We'll see if I do that or not.
Most images of these wonderful mountains feature a lake in the foreground. As it was, I had to hike to this spot from the entry gate where I parked, and the lake is another two miles (3.2km) toward the mountains from this spot. I had already walked 6 miles / 9.7km from the gate -- 6 miles is where the Bells first come into view -- and I was pretty tired by then, especially after carrying my camera bag and tripod the whole time. And it was mostly clear when I started out, but then began clouding up -- typical for Colorado weather! So this is as far as I went, and after walking back to my truck -- 12 miles / 19.3km round trip, I felt miserable and called in sick to work the next day!
I did see deer during the hike, but they weren't where I showed them in the painting. OK -- so I cheated! ☺
Thankfully, I have photos of Maroon Bells and the lake from a previous year in June when the road was open and I could drive to the parking lot where the lake is. In autumn, so many people want to go there, they close the road to all vehicles except for tour buses that haul people back and forth from nearby Aspen. I didn't have time to find out where in town the buses stopped, hence the hike.
SO -- if you ever get a chance to go up there, I highly recommend it. Late September - early October are the peak times for fall color, which doesn't last long. Find out in advance how and where to catch the buses, unless you REALLY like walking!
www.SouthwestSpaces.com or www.MarkJunge.com
www.FineArtAmerica (for prints)