In Memory of Alan Brutlag, Friend and Art Collector

Every banner photo on this recently re-designed website is a close-up detail taken from one painting.

It was a painting that my friend Alan -- who also happened to be a collector of my art -- commissioned me to paint for him about three years ago.  Since 2011 Alan had become a frequent stop-in visitor to the studio, and we talked often about the rolling glacial moraine between my studio and the town of Battle Lake, eighteen miles to the north.   We both shared an interest in local history and geology.  

"In the Leaf Mountains" 36" x 48" Acrylic on canvas, 2014

"In the Leaf Mountains"
36" x 48" Acrylic on canvas, 2014

Alan had a certain area in his home where he wanted a new piece of art to hang.  I told him about a specific scene that I had driven past, just east of Highway 78, that I wanted to paint.  I started working on the canvas, and Alan would stop by to see the work in progress.  Every time he visited, he was extremely enthusiastic, although the transformation between visits was dramatic because of the many successive layers of paint.  After several months, "In the Leaf Mountains" was the end result.

Sadly, last year my friend Alan was diagnosed with frontal lobe Alzheimer's.  The decline was dramatic and very rapid, and he passed away a few months ago.   He was very enthusiastic about this painting, and when I re-designed my website this spring I thought it a fitting tribute to his memory to use sections of it throughout the pages of the website.  If any of his friends or family read this, I hope they'll agree.