The Path Less Traveled
The Path Less Traveled Original Oil Painting by Stefan Baumann
40×30 Oil on Oil Primed Linen Canvas Stretched on Wood Bars
Lower Right – Baumann
Journal: May 13, 2008
This is day two of my journey into the Cascade Mountains near Mt. Hood, Oregon. I camped near the edge of a river that leads down to the Columbia River. I took a crooked wooden walking staff and my trusty compass, and set out into the wilderness following a trail that was made by passing dear foraging the forest. I made my way through the wild berry bushes, with thorns tugging at my pants and vest. I followed the stacked rocks searching for the twist and turns of the trail. Hikers call these stacked rocks “Trail Ducks.” They are rocks that previous hikers have stacked on top of one another to inform other hikers where the trail is located.
I decided to step away from the path and make a new trail, my own trail, not marked by deer or other hikers before me. This would be my own path, without signs or markers that will lead me to a place where so many have ventured before. I followed the river to an outcropping of boulders along the falling waters and sat down under the shade of an old black oak tree. The air was full of magic and electricity and the cool spray of the falling water dampened my head as I cooled down and relaxed. I imagined Lewis and Clark wandering in this very location during their exploration as they searched for a new route to the Western shores of America.
I reflected on my own life and my life as an artist, I wondered “What If.” What if I had never picked up a brush to paint? What if I was born in a city and not Lake Tahoe? So many things sculpt our life’s journey. Much of what happens to us are just coincidences, timing, the people we meet, and choices we make. If I had I chosen another path, would I have had the opportunity to inspire so many people, or would I be writing code on a computer? All I can say is this; my life and my chosen path has brought me to the magical possibility of inspiring millions of people through my art, through my classes and workshops, and through my PBS television series, The Grand View. This possibility to “Touch, Move and Inspire” people around the world to enjoy and create art and inspire others to do the same, happened because at an early age, I made a choice to travel The Path Less Traveled.
Currently held by the artist
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This painting will be displayed in Stefan Baumann’s One Man Show titled: “Reverence: An Artist’s Tribute to Nature” at The Orland Art Center in Orland, CA from September 1 through 27, 2014.