Martin atop 14,157-foot Mount Sneffels
Views along the trail to the summit of 14, 060-foot Mount Bierstadt
Lisa Dianne Martin, a native of Fruita, has summited all 58 Colorado fourteeners* (mountains with elevations of 14,000 feet or higher) and painted the view from each plein air-style — an extraordinary mission she started in 2014 and completed in 2016.
“I fell in love with two fourteeners before I ever decided I wanted to start climbing them: Mount of the Holy Cross, because of its historic significance, and Mount Bierstadt, because it is named after one of my favorite artists,” she says.
Martin has taught herself to paint quickly, as weather conditions can change in a heartbeat at high elevations. Most of her summit-top paintings are completed in less than 45 minutes.
“When the sun is out, my paint dries almost instantly; the wind could easily carry away my painting; and it has snowed several times on me in the middle of painting,” she explains.
Martin plans to paint from all of the fourteeners in the continental U.S. before she sells the originals.
Follow Martin’s adventures on Instagram: @paintthemountain.
* There is a debate about exactly how many fourteeners there are in Colorado. The Colorado Geological Survey says there are 58 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation. Others use this logic: To qualify, a peak must rise at least 300 feet above the saddle that connects it to the nearest 14er peak (if another exists nearby). We’ll let you make up your own mind!
Photo Credits: Martin atop Mount Sneffels, Lisa Martin; summit of Mount Bierstadt, flickr/James Tiffin Jr.