A Cottage in Winter

 

In the late 1800's, Gustave, a young man from the old country, emigrated to the new world carrying almost nothing but hope. In his new country, he found an unskilled job and eked out a living doing manual labor.

After saving for many years, he and his new wife, Julia—also a recent immigrant, finally were able to buy a plot of wooded land on a nearby lake and build a small cottage for their growing family, with the addition of their first child, Mildred.

The three lived in the cottage on the lake for 15 years before Gustave was sent to France to serve in the infantry in World War I. Seven months later, a message reached Julia from Europe with notice that Gustave would not be coming home; he had fallen at the Second Battle of the Somme.

Julia was unable to stay with Mildred at the cottage afterward. The small house stood vacant and dilapidated and the lot became overgrown over the years, nearly to the point of eliminating the cottage from view and memory.

Until many years later, when Julia’s great-granddaughter, Catherine, learned about the forgotten old cottage, located the small lake and plot of land, and began the project of reconstructing the deteriorated building. She found a corroded tin box under the floorboards of the rotting structure and found that it contained Gustave’s pencil sketches of the floor plan and other sketches of the finished building from more than a hundred years ago. Catherine used those sketches to guide her rebuilding project, sticking to the original plans as much as possible.

Last winter, after three long years of work, Catherine completed the building and hosted a gathering of family and friends to commemorate the new cabin and to celebrate the lives of her great-grandparents, the immigrants who first built their lives, and this small cottage, in the new world.

Woodblock print with watercolor
5.5" x 7.25"; Edition of 50
$200


(names, events, and story are fictional)

 

Small Bay

 

Underneath other papers in the battered tin box that Catherine found beneath the floor boards of the old cottage, she uncovered a fragile journal with sketches and writing in it.

The journal had apparently been kept by Catherine’s great-grandmother, Julia, who interspersed sketches of the area around their cottage with diary entries. Wirh some of the sketches she wrote a description or explanation of the scene she had sketched.

On the last page of the journal was a sketch titled, Small Bay. Underneath it, a note, which appeared to have been added later: “Gustave’s favorite place to fish — a little cove across the lake — we called it the Small Bay. He caught a lot of fish there and we ate many good meals from his catches. The day before he left for the war was a cool, beautiful sunny day, so we rowed over to Small Bay one more time.

"He dropped off Mildred and me on the shore, and I found a perch where I could watch Mildred throw stones into the lake while I drew this sketch. Gustave sat fishing in the rowboat for a nice long while, and was happy to catch our supper one last time.

“I wanted to give him this sketch to remind him of us and this place while he was away. But in the commotion, I forgot to give it to him before he left, so I made another drawing just like it and mailed it to him in France. When they returned all his things, I found the frayed sketch folded in the shirt pocket of his uniform.” 

 

Woodblock print with watercolor
3.5" x 4"; Edition of 20
$125


(names, events, and story are fictional)

 

New woodblock print - Cascade Waterfall

 
 
 

A new woodblock print, with watercolor, of a scene characteristic of the Cascade River on the north shore of Lake Superior. The river has carved out rugged paths in the rock, leaving both falls and pools throughout the forest in the hills just above Lake Superior. This print is a one-block print in black with watercolor added after printing.

5.5" x 4"; Edition of 24; $200.

 

Woodblock print - White Pine Camp

 
   White Pine Camp  - woodblock print with watercolor

 White Pine Camp - woodblock print with watercolor

Woodblock print of a camping trip to Minnesota's north woods, south of the 49th parallel, where there are white pines tall enough to loosen your imagination and brighten your mind. Camping next to them is like acquiring new 150 year old neighbors strong enough to have stuck around and shared in the geographic and meteorologic habitat since your great-grandparents visited for a night or two in the same place, if they'd had the chance. 5.5" x 4"; Edition of 20; $200