Lou Renner, LRFA
Lou RennerSanta Cruz, California
"I have been climbing mountains for more than 35 years now. From early on, I drew my climbing goals with either pencil or charcoal into my alpine journals. I then used the drawings as a way to get to know the mountains of my dreams. Many of my older drawings are topographical maps which warned me of avalanche or rock fall potential. Some offer me insight into the natural flaws of the peaks, the gullies or the hanging glaciers. Maggie, my painting mentor and loving wife once asked me why not put color to my drawings. Color...I needed a medium that would allow me to take my tools into the heights. My choice needed to be small enough to be carried in a rucksack that already was filled with climbing gear, ice axes and rope. My mixed media came forth in the form of bronze pens, color pencils, wax pastel and oil pastels. My journal was replaced with flat black Canson boards and canvas boards.
“In the 1990's, I started to paint borders, or what I call 'Story Books' around my images. These borders tell of a journey or of a passage that I have experienced while climbing or painting. Inside the borders, I draw small images, blocks, or shapes that reveal a story of the mountains that I have come to know. The shapes sometimes tell of a lightning storm that I had to flee from, of glaciers that have receded, or of rock falls that have changed the routes that I had hoped to climb. They tell of my own personal journey up the rock or ice walls — was there an element of spiritual light offered or did the abyss heat the blood in my veins?”
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