Lake of the Woods


Lake of the Woods is mostly in Canada, where it straddles Ontario and Manitoba. It’s also in Minnesota, due to a mapping error by our Founding Fathers, who were unclear on the geography of the Upper Midwest.  That created a bump that sticks up above the 49th Parallel. By the time Britain realized that there was a piece of Canada that belonged to the US, it was too late to shoo American settlers out.

At 70 miles long and wide, with more than 14,552 islands and 65,000 miles of shoreline, Lake of the Woods is huge. What stops it from being part of the Great Lakes chain is that it drains north to Hudson Bay.

My intention had been to paint West Hawk Lake. This impact crater is Manitoba’s deepest lake, at 115 meters. However, it’s located on Historic Route 1, which was so rough that it was impassible even in our 4WD SUV.

Manitoba and western Ontario are, like Minnesota below them, a land of ten thousand lakes. This northern landscape was glaciated recently (in geologic time) and the lakes are remnants of glacial pools, tunnels, and lumps of ice that were buried in sediment and then melted. That makes for a beautiful, fertile and wild landscape.

In 2016, my daughter Mary and I set off across Alaska and Canada on a Great White North Adventure, which you can read about starting here. We arrived in Anchorage at the beginning of September and got home in mid-October. In between, we visited every province but PEI (been there, done that), and Yukon Territory. In retrospect, it might have made more sense to do this during the summer, since Alaska and Canada threw a mess of strange weather at us.

1 in stock


Lake of the Woods is 12X16, oil on archival canvasboard.

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