Greg Lecker of Minneapolis is a plein air (or open air) painter. He also is a master naturalist, and regularly writes on Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Nature Notes blog.


"Painting as a Language: Material, Technique, Form & Content." It's a textbook recommended by my mentor, painter and arts administrator Jeffrey Ebeling. I've been taught much about painting materials and techniques but less about other aspects of what defines art. There is a difference between subject and content, and it requires the in-depth probing of a book such as this one to understand the difference.


Artists Annie Hejny ( and Lindsy Halleckson ( are two northeast Minneapolis artists I admire because of their artistic processes and environmental themes. Both painters travel to nature — waters and skies — to gather inspiration and, in the case of Hejny, art materials themselves.


"Arctic Epiphany, Svalbard" — words, music, photography and video from Leslie Leong's Arctic Circle residency. See a related talk on YouTube ( Her words, images, and musical selections are enlightening to anyone concerned about the impact of climate change in the Arctic.


Soundtrack segments from the new movie "Rocketman," a biopic of Elton John, as well as original recordings from the singer-songwriter. Growing up as an artist is sometimes challenging. Stories from another's life offer advice and encouragement. Plus, the music is timeless and the words offer endless poetry.


My current exhibition at Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery in Grand Marais (closes Sunday) is an opportunity to for me to spend time in this North Shore community offering outdoor painting demonstrations and an artist talk — and to learn from fellow nature lovers.