A Painting 30 Years in the Making

“I’ve made many trips through the Adirondacks in the past 30 years,” says Tony Conner. “Most were times I was just passing through, but one spot along the Raquette River caught my eye every time I went by – no matter the season or the weather. With such an affinity for a landscape, it would seem to have been a logical place to set up and paint. Instead, the idea of trying to capture it in paint intimidated me to the point that I dared not try for literally three decades. During my last painting trip to the area, I thought I would drive by and take a look. And drive by, I did – four times. Each time I stopped, got out and looked at the scene, then got back in the car and left, driving a couple miles away then pulling over, turning around, and driving back again. Finally, on the fifth stop, I got out my gear and found a place to set up. And despite the advice I give others about taking it slow, I jumped right in!

“I’ve been asked whether painting is easy or hard. My response is that it can be anything from a friendly conversation to a battle royal! For this scene, which was completely compelling and absolutely intimidating, it ended up on the warm, friendly conversation end of the spectrum. It’s rare to have so many things in a painting go so easily and so well. This one scene, and the experience of finally painting it, changed my willingness to approach other challenging scenes and subjects.”

watercolor landscape painting of river
“Raquette River, Late Summer” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.) by Tony Conner

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  1. The Adirondack scene was easily recognizable to those who visit Raquette Lake area. Tony captured the scene in the ADK!
    There is a painting group, Mountain Air Painters, who are affiliated with View, an arts and cultural center in Old Forge, New York who will travel around the area even venturing to Raquette Lake to paint.

  2. Beautiful painting! Looks like he enjoyed painting it. Some paintings just flow and what a pleasure it brings to the artist and the viewer!

  3. Great story, Tony! Your painting is beautiful! I have often had the feeling on intimidation of a place that I feel so much a part of and fear a painting will never tell my story.


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