Snake River Basin: 72 Paintings — New Book by Mark W. McGinnis

srb book cover - 2013-10-26 at 15-19-36

Available in Paperback or Kindle versions at Amazon.com

Artist’s Statement

As I type these words I look at the blood vessels running through the back of my hands and fingers bringing oxygen and nutrients necessary for my life to continue. The Snake River Basin is much the same — its vast system of rivers, streams and lakes brings sustenance to one of the most beautiful regions of the United States.

The Snake River Basin stretches from the river’s headwaters in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming to the convergence of the Snake River with the Columbia River in Washington State. It encompasses nearly all of Idaho, a large section of Eastern Oregon, and parts of Washington, Wyoming, and Nevada. It is the drainage system for over two dozen mountain ranges including the Sawtooth, White Cloud, Bitterroot, Teton, Blue, and Owyhee.

There are also over two dozen tributary rivers that flow into the Snake River. These include the Boise, Big Wood, Clearwater, Palouse, Grand Ronde, Malheur, Payette, Weiser, Powder, Salt, and a great waterway in its own right, the Salmon River, the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states. Add to this the seemingly countless named and unnamed creeks, springs and lakes and you have one of North America’s most diverse and beautiful areas.

I lived most of my life on the flat lands of northeastern South Dakota. It is a place dominated by the enormous, ever-changing sky above and subtle beauties below. In moving to Idaho I was confronted with a vastly different environment. These paintings were a way to become acquainted with this region.

It was not my purpose to create photographically accurate images of the sites I chose. I filtered my visual experience through my perception, creativity, and skills and offer the viewer an experience of the Snake River Basin through my interpretation.

I traveled to all the sites depicted in this series and did photographic research. To be present with the trees, rivers, mountains, and air of the place was critical to the project. Back in my studio, I used my visual research and experience to create the paintings. The actual place depicted in each painting contains ten, twenty, maybe one hundred times more information than my painting. My goal was to select what I found of most interest in regard to place, color, and pattern. Deciding what to paint and what not to paint — what to edit out and what to emphasize was a primary part of my creative process.

The original paintings are all 11” X 14” on Fabriano Artistico Soft Press 300 pound paper. The painting medium is Golden Fluid Acrylics for the interior sections of the works and Maimeri Metallic Acrylics for the borders. The paper and fluid acrylics were chosen specifically as both are well-suited for both opaque and transparent painting techniques. This fusion of opaque and transparent ways of applying the paint to the paper is something I have been evolving for many years and continue to do so with each painting.

As with many of my projects in past years, this undertaking was a kind of self-education — an education of place. I hope the paintings might also help to reinforce the idea that the Snake River Basin is a great treasure. In the 20th Century this remarkable water system was manipulated and used for power, agriculture and mining. This created many benefits for some of the people of the region, but also caused much damage to the natural system. In the 21st Century my hope is that we preserve what is still here and restore what we can.

Mark W. McGinnis

Eight New Paintings for the Snake River Basin Project

Below are eight new paintings for the Snake River Basin Project. They are from the eastern  regions of the Snake River basin in eastern Idaho and western
Wyoming. (eight more paintings to go and the project will be complete!)

 

Snake River Basin: Pontneuf River, South Fork, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGin
Snake River Basin: Pontneuf River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Snake River at Massacre Rocks, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Snake River at Massacre Rocks, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Upper Mesa Falls on Henry's Fork, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Upper Mesa Falls on Henry’s Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Fall River, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGin
Snake River Basin: Fall River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Buffalo River, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Buffalo River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Shoshone Lake, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Shoshone Lake, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Lewis River, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Lewis River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

Snake River Basin: Jackson Lake, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Jackson Lake, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six New Paintings for the Snake River Basin Project

Below are six new paintings for the Snake River Basin Project. They are from the more northern  regions of the basin in northern Idaho and eastern
Washington.

 

Snake River Basin: Potlach River, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Potlach River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake River Basin: Clearwater River, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Clearwater River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake River Basin: Palouse River, South Fork, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Palouse River, South Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake River Basin: Palouse River, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Palouse River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake River Basin: Palouse River Falls, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Palouse River Falls, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake River Basin: Palouse River Canyon, 11" X 14", acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Palouse River Canyon, 11″ X 14″, acrylic, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

 

 

 

Earth Day and the Parasitic Painter (a morality tale)

srb-salmon river

Snake River Basin: Salmon River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300lb. paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

Once upon a time (and space) there was an unfolding and expanding universe. Among its seemingly countless galaxies is our Milky Way galaxy. Within the Milky Way galaxy are seemingly countless stars, one of which is our own sun. In the debris that circles that sun is rock called the Earth. On that rock has evolved seemingly countless life forms, one of which is a robust parasite called human beings.

There is a beautiful spot on that planet called the Snake River Basin. In one of the Snake River’s many valleys, near the Boise River, one of the Snake’s seemingly countless tributaries, there lives a parasitic painter called Mark McGinnis. Being new to the region the painter decided to explore the area and paint what he found. He found great geographic diversity: mountains, deserts, forests, rivers, lakes, streams, creeks and more. While the parasites had done some DAMage to the system it still maintained much of its beauty and life-giving bounty. The parasite painter hoped that his paintings might inspire others to preserve and maybe even, in time, restore this lovely area of the earth.

He was able to hope this because of a rather painful evolutionary trait the parasites had developed called consciousness. It had enabled the species its great success and also enabled it to damage its hostess, the Earth. Now that same consciousness had the capability undoing some of the harm it had wrought and the parasites created a holiday to honor that new consciousness. The parasites, not being too imaginative, called it Earth Day.

copyright 2013 Mark W.  McGinnis

(presented to the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Boise ID, April 21, 2013)

18 New Paintings for the Snake River Basin Project

The following are 18 new paintings for my Snake River Basin Project. They are mostly from Southwest Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Central Eastern Idaho. All are 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper.

srb-mores creek -lr copy
Mores Creek, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-owyhee river
Owyhee River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-malheur-south fork
Malheur River-South Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-powder river valley
Powder River Valley, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-malhuer river
Malheur River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-billingsley creek -lr
Billingsley Creek, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-malard river gorge-or
Malad River Gorge, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-1000 springs
1000 Springs, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-snake river at 3 island crossing
Snake River at Three Island Crossing, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-shoshone falls on the snake river crossing
Shoshone Falls on the Snake River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-snake river valley
Snake River Canyon, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-spring near shoshone falls
Spring Near Shoshone Falls, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-salmon river
Salmon River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-bruneau river canyon
Bruneau River Canyon, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-salmon river-north fork
Salmon River-North Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-salmon river-north fork 1
Pahsimeroi River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-salmon river-east fork
Salmon River-East Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-lehmi river
Lehmi River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2013, Mark W. McGinnis

21-28 Snake River Basin: A Testimony in Painting

The following eight paintings are my most recent additions to my Snake River Basin series. All but the Boise River painting are located in central Idaho, most in the Sawtooth Mountains.

srb-springs on payette river (lr)
Springs on the Payette River, South Fork, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-boise river near 9th st bridge (lr)
Boise River Near the 9th Street Bridge, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-payette river, south fork 2 (lr)
Payette River, South Fork 2, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-boise river near 9th st bridge test
Redfish Lake Creek, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-redfish lake-lr
Redfish Lake, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-pettit lake-lr
Pettit Lake, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-big wood river-lr
Big Wood River, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis
srb-big wood river near headwaters-lr
Big Wood River near Headwaters, acrylic on 300lb paper, 2012, 11″ X 14″, Mark W. McGinnis

The NEW Snake River Basin Series

Yes, the NEW Snake River Basin Series. I am afraid the PREVIOUS Snake River Basin Series, consisting of large scale multi-panel pieces, was too much for my physical limitations and I have had to revision my approach. This new series will all be 11″ X 14″. acrylic on 300# paper. The Snake River Basin encompasses most of Idaho, and parts of Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. It is my hope to sample much of this region in the coming years.

Snake River Basin: Payette River, South Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Salmon River, Near Headwaters, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Lower Salmon River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Jordan Creek, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Snake River in Hell’s Canyon, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Weiser River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Payette River, North Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Owyhee River, North Fork, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Little Salmon River, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis
Snake River Basin: Boise River in Flood, 11″ X 14″, acrylic on 300# paper, 2012, Mark W. McGinnis

Snake River Basin #4: Celebration County Park on the Snake River

This is the fourth paintings in a series of works expressing the great variety of the Snake River Basin that includes most of Idaho and extends into sections of  Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.  The painting is done on seventeen Claybord panels and  painted with Golden Fluid acrylics. The size is approximately 70″ X 50″. It was done in 2012.

Snake River Basin #2: Shoshone Falls

This is the second paintings in a series of works expressing the great variety of the Snake River Basin that includes most of Idaho and extends into sections of  Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.  The painting is done on eight Claybord panels and  painted with Golden Fluid acrylics. The size is approximately 72″ X 48″. It was done in 2011.

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Snake River Basin #1: Malad Gorge

This is the first paintings in a series of works expressing the great variety of the Snake River Basin that includes most of Idaho and extends into sections of  Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.  The painting is done on nine Claybord panels and  painted with Golden Fluid acrylics. The size is approximately 68″ X 68″. It was done in 2011.

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