Editor’s note: This article is by Lou Varricchio, editor of The Sun. It is republished here with permission.
Vermont artist Bob Mullen quietly set sail from the dock of the Lake Champlain Sailing Center in Burlington June 9 to start an eight-week-long voyage to paint the shores of Lake Champlain.
Mullen has explored and painted remote regions of Alaska and northern Canada. But he is perhaps best known for a painting of a Kodiak bear charging at him on a wild river in Alaska.
This is Mullen’s second Vermont painting expedition. Last year, he hiked and painted the length of the Green Mountain State. This year, Mullen decided to tackle Lake Champlain as nature’s artist’s model.
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to sail the length of Lake Champlain and to paint some of the exquisite wildlife along the way,” Mullen told The Sun-Vermont Eagle. “I am thrilled that I can capture some of this unique experience through my artwork and am grateful that I will be joined by other artists who share my passion for wildlife and one of Vermont’s greatest geophysical features – Lake Champlain.”
Mullen set sail on The Artful Otter, a Vermont designed and built sailboat from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. The vessel, while a robust 20 feet in length, can still look mighty tiny on the broad lake.
Mullen said seven other artists will join him, one at time, throughout the passage and ending Oct. 3: John C. Pitcher of Dorset, Vermont, Sue Westin of Dorset, Vermont,
Bonnie Rowell of West Bolton, Vermont, Kathryn Devlin of Waterbury, Vermont, Patricia Pepin of Bromont, Quebec, Cole Johnson of Deposit, New York, John Potter of Red Lodge, Montana, and Jean-Louis Courteau of Morin Heights, Quebec.
The paintings from Mullen and his fellow artists participating in the voyage of the Artful Otter will be sold with proceeds going to the Vermont Wildlife Coalition. Some of the proceeds will also be given to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and the Lake Champlain Committee.