The Art of Lake Champlain: Inspiring Landscape (2009) is a compilation of artworks collected to commemorate the four-hundredth anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s discovery of Lake Champlain.
50 artists have contributed landscapes depicting facets of Lake Champlain and its environs in various mediums and styles. The works used were not commissioned, but instead already existing pieces created by artists inspired by Lake Champlain throughout the past two decades with a few images collected from longer ago. The earliest was created in 1868 by Alexander Wyant.
There are many beautiful images included in this book. It’s very hard to choose a favorite, but for me it’s a tie between two on opposing pages that in their opposition showcase the dichotomy of the lake. One is a Harold Nathan Carlson watercolor depicting a storm relentlessly tossing about a ship, and the other is an oil painting by Tom Clifford that depicts a sailboat gently tilting in the waves with an epic view of the sky and mountains in the background (70-71). I like them both because its fascinating to see the contrast in the treatment of a ship on the same lake between the ferocious storm and the gentle waves. The two paintings are pictured below!
Poetry for Lake Champlain
The book is interposed with several pieces of poetry from Daniel Lusk. My favorite is a long poem entitled, “Lake Champlain Apparition,” about the lake’s mythical creature Champ. The final three stanzas are especially poignant:
Yet there is a fable
of three undeniable shapes
in the murky depths of the lake.
If not eons old, remember
–the enormous amphibian
of Lake Champlain
is not alone.
Is death not also, sometimes,
the large shadow
of something very small. (19)
If you enjoy the beauty of Lake Champlain or water featured landscapes in general I recommend checking out the The Art of Lake Champlain: Inspiring Landscape to enjoy a diverse interpretation of this natural masterpiece!