Our first weekend with lodge guests went by beautifully. We had sunny blue days, temps in the high 60’s, low 70’s and everybody was hiding somewhere. Well, hiding is perhaps the incorrect word but one party was fishing from their kayaks on neighboring Triangle, another took their canoe on a day canoe trip from Lake One to Ojibway and another spent their days fishing on Jasper. Sounds like everybody caught fish, too. Usually, when the days are this beautiful, fish are less cooperative. Apparently, the fish are fed up with quarantine as well.
Two of our our groups stopped in to see my growing, but un-hung art collection. That’s always fun for me. Many paintings have stories and while socially distancing, I waved my arms, pointed and told a few. It’s a bohunk thing.
I spent a good part of the time painting and figuratively “guarding the fort”. It’s insanely quiet so I’ve been able to get a long way on a whimsical landscape I working on right now. It’s almost done. Then, it’s back to a larger commission for which I developed painter’s block. Going whimsical/abstract-ish, helps me break out of the creativity killing fog that sets in once in a while.
For those of you sick and tired of watching and waiting with this China plague, if you are healthy, you can come out and play in the woods. Please practice social distancing when in the presence of people outside of your group. (yes – we know, we don’t like it either but it’s ridiculously easy here) Stay in a nice housekeeping cabin for ONLY $89.95 for the first 2 people and $10 each additional person. That’s for any cabin! (We try to fit it to your needs and size. Taxes not included. Total 9.875% Three night minimum rental required.) These rates apply THROUGH May 26. We still have openings and we’re a Mom & Pop resort, not a gargantuan center on a highly populated lake. We are surrounded by the BWCA. Bring your canoe. Go take a day trip. Hang out on Jasper. Roast a steak on the Weber. Live the simple life in the woods. Come look at art.
Give us a call. It’ll most likely be me answering. If I’m not in, please leave a message. We’ll call back. 218-365-5489
Winter is breathtaking in the Ely, MN area! It is less crowded and you have the freedom to move about as you like and at your own pace! Come up and stay just 5 miles south of the border for a Wilderness Art Retreat at Northwind Lodge! It’s a great way to explore your creative side either by yourself or with small group of friends or family. It is Art Classes and Vacation all wrapped into one unique experience at Northwind Lodge.
Our forests are covered in white and our frozen lakes are your invitation to explore your creative side in art. Listen to the quiet. Howl for wolves at night. Then, let the thrill of wilderness living be your guide during Into The Brush art session! After classes, round out your vacation by doing outdoor activities like cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, visiting the Fernberg Gallery (on premises), going to town (watch for wolves) or just relaxing. The entire experience is fun and and something you probably don’t do all the time at home. Plus, we are only about 4.5 hours from the Twin Cities (for perspective)!
The retreats are held all winter Northwind Lodge located 15 miles northeast of Ely, MN, 2267 Fernberg Rd. The 2-Day Program includes: 8 hours of instruction, all painting supplies, after-class independent painting time if desired. Meals not included. Class participants may want to bring snacks but can also return to their apartment very easily. Basic kitchen facilities provided in the apartment.
Apartment Housekeeping Unit – Comfortable, housekeeping, apartment-style unit with private driveway and entrance. Sleeps up to 4 in two bedrooms. One double bed in one bedroom, One double and one twin bed in the second bedroom. Located about 150 feet from the art studio building. This unit comes with satellite TV, gas range, refrigerator, microwave, basic cooking and eating utensils, bathroom with shower, toilet and lavatory. Bedding is provided. Please bring your own towels. Many of our guests request this rental year after year.
This 4 day/3 night Art Wilderness Art Retreat is only: $499.00* for up to the first 2 people*
*and $100.00 extra per person up 4 people
*Plus MN sales tax (6.875%) and local lodging tax (3%)
Call now for availability. Dec 13th 2019
1-218-265-5489 or 1-800-280-1078
Retreat Instructor Joe Baltich will be your instructor. He is an accomplished, commissioned artist proficient in acrylics. For a quick sampling of his works of the past 3 years, please visit instagram.com/joebaltich. For more details and other art programming for summer, please visit intothebrush.org.
Into The Brush is the honored to be recognized as the local winner of Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Community Award by Lake country Power for its work with Stones Of Uplifting Light (SOUL) in providing emotional support for those who become unexpectedly terminally ill. SOUL operations in April of 2017 as a new program designed to share art on stone with people who are suddenly in the final stages of their life by working with an intermediary (family member, friend, acquaintance, etc) to find out some details about the afflicted individual and a more joyous time in that person’s past. Joe Baltich, lead SOUL artist, then paints that moment on stone and sends the art to the individual. No fees are charged for SOUL stones. Donations to Into The Brush are accepted but not required. SOUL recipients are generally not acquainted with SOUL artists and there is no contact between either party. SOUL founder and artist, Joe Baltich wanted SOUL to represent the kindness of strangers through sharing art. Although feedback has been non-existent (neither expected, encouraged, nor required) from SOUL recipients, Into The Brush has been gratified to hear through a few intermediaries that the various recipients were very moved by the gesture-in-stone-art and their families also very appreciative of the lasting mementos. A small, positive effect in a most difficult time is the goal all Into The Brush with SOUL. If you know somebody who is having a rough time and faced with harsh realities, Into The Brush encourages you to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Into The Brush thanks Lake Country Power for their recognition of the SOUL program and is pleased to be a part of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives!
You heard it right here, folks! Northwind Lodge is the first Boundary Waters Artfitter in the Ely, MN region. Art lessons in the wilderness full of beautiful things waiting right here for you to enjoy?
You also get time to relax, fish, sit by the beach, and just be. You and your friends can make a 6 day adventure an annual event.
Not only can you come up and stay at a really nice resort in housekeeping cabins near the Boundary Waters, you can enroll in the art program sponsored by Into The Brush right at Northwind Lodge!
When you take this “art vacation” at Northwind Lodge, it is completely “artfitted” meaning that your art materials are all provided as well as a guide who takes you into the brush and helps you observe beautiful wild things artistically for a few hours. Then, follow your guide back inside to the art studio where you learn to paint what you saw and get “into the brush”. It’s tons of fun and when your adventure is complete, you will take home with you a new skill set and the confidence to get “into the brush” at home. So, after being artfitted at Northwind Lodge, you can take home more than just some really great memories. You take home exposure and skills.
How about this possibility? You want to paint but your spouse is into fishing? The way we structured our artfitting, you can take the program and the spouse can go out on this pretty lake we call Jasper in search of some really nice bass, bluegills, northern pike and walleyes. It’s a win-win for you both!
Here’s are some of the things we paint: Rock Paintings Canvas
This is a moose on canvas. We strive to
get you to this level but it may take a few tries.
Never give up!
You also will be painting on wood
and on glass:
These are some examples of what you can expect to be doing with Into The Brush 6 day programs. Don’t even think for a minute that you cannot do this and think of the fun you’ll have when you return home! Plenty of time to practice and perfect your technique!
So, why not give us a call and book your Art Vacation, right now? 1-800-280-1078. You can also email us at email@example.com
For reasonable rates that include all your gear and discounted cabin rates, Click Here
Through close observation of the elements of the wilderness by a direct, get-your-hands-dirty, experience led by me, students will learn to appreciate what is here and spread the word, not to mention build a foundation for art application and appreciation.
Right now, with the constant push of environmental extremism, traveling and enjoying the wilderness is becoming more difficult and is resulting in turning people away who don’t understand all the incessant rules and boundaries put in place by environmental ideologues and government. And then, there is also the pampered nature of today’s people. Everybody is afraid of everything.
Instead of feeling the wind in their faces and witnessing the brilliance of the sun on their backs while sitting on a rock in silence, I find that people are turning to their artificial world of electronics and man-made experiences which involve the presence of lots of other people (cruise ships and Disneyland are two examples) instead of enjoying the peace, solitude and abject beauty of Minnesota’s northwoods.
As our wilderness exposure declines, silly uninformed notions like nonsensical rumors of bear/wolf/animal attacks rises. (Watch out for Yeti’s- they steal children) Stories of physical exertion on portages bloom into nightmarish tales of woe. And even seeing a mosquito fly past is cause for major alarm. (you might get a disease and never live to see another cruise) The thoughts of attacking animals, horrifying bugs, and grueling efforts over rough, rugged terrain, despite being complete and utter ignorant, exaggerated, baloney, moves more ignorant people away from wilderness. In the last 5 years, we have witnessed a major falling off of customers. You can’t believe how many are SHOCKED that their iphones have no reception here at the lodge. SHOCKED – I tell you! Like they are gonna die a horrible death within seconds because they can’t check the weather or make a call. They don’t want to drive out on our brand new road anymore because they have no or spotty phone reception. That’s INSANE! Ignorance contributes to the vicious, and growing cycle of avoidance and these people turn out in droves to do things that are not rustic in nature but “safe” because they have cellphone signals. They attend car shows, flea markets, flower shows, and the like. (Oh, wow….like that is SO exciting. I apologize for making fun, but the complete wussiness of it all makes me snort with derision. What has happened to everybody in just 5 short years?) This trend of digital defense and reliance simply MUST be changed! You won’t become a Jeremiah Johnson by taking an Into The Brush course at Northwind Lodge, but hopefully you will develop a bit more self confidence and reliance of living without a constant digital safety net. A little common sense applied, pay attention to the weather and have a GREAT time!
As a result of false fantasies of doom, our future wilderness visitors simply no longer go especially today with this whole, ridiculous “safe space” mentality. And, as people forget all about wilderness, it will fade in the minds of future voting populations thereby turning it into merely “another usable resource” to be processed for its elements such as its vast clean water and minerals right at the surface as opposed to its beautiful aesthetics. That would be a terrible shame especially since I grew up right here and consider the Boundary Waters Canoe Area my backyard. Having guided day fishing trips for almost 25 years all over the place, the very thought of the future destruction of the Boundary Waters region by today’s disinterested kids and government restriction, kind of makes me ill. I blame people’s wussiness, unbending addiction to electronics, and environmental zealotry for the drop off in visitors to this great northern wilderness. There’s more to life than looking at one’s cellphone and worrying about safe spaces, micro-aggressions and white privilege. That’s all these kids talk about today while forgetting wilderness other than protesting everything outside of the wilderness boundaries to protect the wilderness. By effect, they are doing the exact opposite and bringing about its demise in the more distant future.
I intend to change these ridiculous attitudes and save wilderness via observation and painting. Get in a canoe and go for a paddle. Hop in a boat and go for a ride. Take a walk in the brush and realize that you won’t die a horrible death by animals eating you. Then come home and paint about it. Stop whining about ridiculous, man-made-up problems and learn to do something spectacular. Then show the world what they are missing as they stare down at their iPhones while walking off of cliffs.
So, in my effort to “save the wilderness through all people being welcomed to it for a new-found purpose of learning to paint”, I formed “Into The Brush”. Sure, there are other ways to bring about wilderness awareness, but painting is in my wheelhouse and it actually has long lasting value as opposed to just coming up to take a canoe trip. Tying the two together will have untold, long-lasting wonders for the one doing it.
Real wilderness brings something for everybody, including woodsmen, artists and city folk. If we are going to “save wilderness” it will not be by having select groups controlling stringent, unbending guidelines and rules. When the zealots have died off, there will be no one following their footsteps from the upcoming young crowd. It will be up to an older, more dedicated group to re-sow the seeds for wilderness through observation and paint. Wilderness travel and living is not a risk-free event like today’s college students now have to have for everything they do. In wilderness, you can still drown if you don’t know what you are doing on water and don’t take simple precautions that you will learn in this experience.
Ultimately, saving wilderness will only occur by giving the common man a reason to enjoy and appreciate all the blessings of wilderness through real activity and participation. Into The Brush is not an organization for zealots and pretenders. It is here for ordinary people seeking to truly appreciate everything that wilderness brings to everybody. It’s time we get “into the brush” in more ways than one.
Based on my own experiences I believe you can learn how to paint and have a great time doing it for many years. All most people need is a foundation to build upon. The problem is that if you were to head out to the big box art store and walk into the painting section with all those brushes, canvases, canvas boards, easels, paints, and etc., I think it is pretty overwhelming. You can’t make up your mind. You don’t want to buy a bunch of the wrong stuff. You can’t really find someone to ask and you don’t know what to ask because the help is not always comprised of artists who use this stuff. Their job is usually to find something for you and to put more product on the shelves.
Some of those places offer starting art courses which can be free or at nominal cost, but the problem I find is that you are in a larger metro area. You find out how to begin. You go home to your kitchen table with your new kit and what the heck do you start painting? It’s probably a really nice kitchen in your home, but it is not conducive to painting scenes on canvas from memory. You feel like chopping celery or beating up a poor, defenseless, egg. I find it hard to draw inspiration from a beaten egg or celery. That is why we are Into The Brush in northeastern Minnesota.
Out in the Wilderness – inspiring minds want to know how to capture it in paint
Into The Brush is a learn-the-basics painting program out in the northwoods of Minnesota at Northwind Lodge. With every breath you take, every step you make, I’ll be watching you you’ll be watching something new to lay down on canvas. Now, I know you can get subject matter in the city as well, but you really need to enjoy angular, linear, and round things. There are many artists who paint architecture and do a really great job of it. It also serves as a wonderful source for practice painting and study. But, OMG, is it boring…. Pretty difficult to beat a beautiful lake, a creek and a waterfall white, bathed in lush green leaves and blue sky back drop. That is our property right here. Wake up to that every morning and tell me you don’t feel like painting something. Take one of the lodge kayaks from our beach and paddle around Jasper Lake. Tell me that you can’t find anything to paint after 2 hours on the water from a duck’s eye view. Listen to Jasper Creek as it travels to Jasper Lake and see what the sound can inspire you to paint. Pretty difficult to find that in a metro area. I mean, beauty exists everywhere, but it’s easier to find if it’s REALLY obvious. Takes all the work out of finding inspiration and you can go home and paint a portrait of your pots and pans anytime thereafter. My favorite was in one of the two art classes I took in college. I got to stare at a huge pile of old shoes and boots and a smashed up tuba. Try to draw garbage and find the will to keep on drawing. I can’t believe I had to pay money for THAT! I learned nothing of value for 10 weeks. I didn’t pursue art in college as I would have had to smoke illegal substances to survive it. How can anyone make something SO dull? The wilderness out your cabin door here is anything but dull. The most lowly blade of grass is beautiful here. I believe painting and art should never be an exercise in tedium.
If you want to take the time and energy, I’ll help you get started with your own painted rock and other surfaces as well including canvases and glassware depending on which which package you select. How about selling your work in the future. Often, I hear that artists don’t sell their work because they only want to create it. That’s great, but how does one buy more paint? Plus, nothing says paint another one like applause AKA money. Will you become a millionaire by selling your work? Gosh, I really do hope so. Nothing would make me happier! Will you sell some of your works? Maybe so, maybe not. Is that your goal? My recommendation is to “lightly” make it your goal. Dream about it in the back of your mind and don’t get all dejected if you don’t sell one right away. Actively selling your art is a whole ‘nother ball of wax, meaning a completely new and separate venture. Let’s keep that goal because a capitalistic spirit does wonders for learning but the “art part” tempers the entire personal experience with enjoying the path more than anything. The path in painting remains the inspiration to paint. One really can’t begin with “painting for dollars” in one’s mind. It does not work because thinking about what will sell first limits your thinking to guessing what somebody else might be thinking. It can be done, but you need to become one with the paint or at least get comfortable with it first. It’s the blending of colors, following shapes, and observing, interpreting and emulating the details that has to be applied in order to paint well. One also needs to draw inspiration and not forget that there will be moments of “blankness” just like writers (another artform) are so afflicted on occasion.
The end result of your painting is the end of the path for that piece. If you sell it – WOOHOO! The best part is the affirmation that someone else values your work enough to take it home with them. That is very inspiring in itself, but the competitive human spirit many times tells one to “beat” that last work. People tend to strive for a “better” end result on the next piece. And, if it doesn’t turn out, you can always repaint and try again! Determination and practice always aid in the development of any skill. Give it a good shot and see how it goes for you.
At Into The Brush at Northwind Lodge, the goal is to learn key points that separates artists from people who believe they can’t paint. Based on my own experiences, which I realize are different than everybody else, I still maintain that with proper attitude, a little bit of guidance, and exposure to wilderness, most people will be able to do something in a short amount of time. Lay down the foundation and the house will go up.