inspiration

Inspired By Mountains

By

Catherine Bell

Everest. Olympus. Fuji. Ararat. Kilimanjaro. Denali. These names stir deep feelings. What is it about mountains that makes them so inspiring?

The Mystery

Not so long ago people thought of mountains as the homes of Gods and monsters. Only a crazy person would venture into the mountains and their chances of returning weren’t good. Mountaineering as a sport has been around little more than 150 years. Before that, mountains were left largely to the imagination, like the surface of the moon or the lost city of Atlantis.  

Monstery Mountains!

Mountains make their own weather, and this changeability creates mystery of its own. Some mountains are shrouded in cloud so much of the time that people have doubted they really exist. You might wait days or even weeks for a clear view, before finally being rewarded with a glimpse of a peak so distant it seems impossible to reach. Who knows what you’d find there if you ever dared to go?

The View

Before the Wright Brothers, your best shot at a birds-eye view was to look down from a mountain. 

The highest view

Mountaineers often set out for a snowy peak in the dead of night when the snow and ice are firm underfoot. I’ve had the magical experience of crossing moonlit snowfields with the stars glittering above me in the clear night sky, and the tiny lights of a mountain town nestled in the valley thousands of feet below. It feels like being suspended in the heavens. 

Our Impressionist Range print turns the starry sky into more than just a backdrop for mountains. 

Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog turned the view from a mountain summit into a metaphor for self-reflection, or perhaps the unknown future. This painting remains popular among Philosophy professors, for whom it suggests a keen mind rising above the clouds of confusion to see the bigger picture and glimpse some truths.

Wanderer in a Sea of Fog

Our Valley of Fog print captures this feeling of being above the clouds, enjoying a view that would be completely hidden from down in the valley.

Misty Mountains Delicate Light 36" x 24" Framed Canvas Wall Art

The Experience

If you’ve ever climbed a mountain, you’ll know them as a place to push yourself to your physical limits. Strength and endurance, danger and fear, stories of heroism, profound victory and loss all bring meaning to the role mountains play today. 

Grindelwald Glacier

Mountains also speak of purity. “Clear and clean against the intense blue sky the snowy summit of Kinchinjunga,’ British Army officer and spiritual writer Francis Younghusband wrote during a 1904 expedition to Tibet, ‘ethereal as spirit, white and pure in the sunshine … We are uplifted.’ ” Aside from a few famous, heavily trafficked peaks like Everest, most mountain summits see very few visitors. There are still unclimbed peaks in the vast wilderness of Alaska, where you could be the first person to ever set foot. 

Russian mountaineer Anatoli Bourkreev touched on the spirituality of mountains when he wrote, “Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”

The Palette

You can enjoy a wide variety of color palettes in mountain art depending on the season, vantage point, and scale. From lush green foothills to brown grey rocks, blue-tinged ice and deep hued skies, you’ll find a striking array of colors. 

Sage Ridges + Pantone

Our Sage Ridges print offers a peaceful, distinctly Zen feel. For a cool, classic feel, a black and white photograph of icy summits brings out the striking contrast between rock, snow and sky. Our Alpine Sunrise print provides a modern take on this, with hints of Ansel Adams. 

Alpine Ridges

Inspire me!

Artists and photographers have waited for the perfect moment -- a sunrise, a cloud formation, a blossoming tree -- to capture the essence of a mountain landscape. Our prints allow you to taste the inspiration of mountains without having to wait out the weather or endure the icy cold. If you enjoy that sort of thing, we can help you bring it home with you, whether you’re celebrating the mountains outside your window or reaching out to them from the flatlands of Kansas or Florida.

Wherever you are, surround yourself with Inspiration


Wall Art from Birdhaus Design