Thursday, September 2, 2010

Warm Fall Days

Sitting under the canopy of giant pines enjoying the last of the warm days of summer. I can see that the sunlight has begun to change. Warm fall light, perched low on the southern horizon is consorting with the landscape. Fall is a wonderful time for photographs.

Click to view more fall images.

Warm light hangs in the air, filtering through trees, and extending across the still pools of Lapwai Creek. Blue shadows are broken with the intense reflection of near by aspen.

Photographs from the image library of Mark Lisk.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Grand Canyon Monsoon

They said it was going to be hot in the canyon, but I had no idea. July in the Grand Canyon. Water, and late afternoon monsoon rains our only saving grace. The daily temperatures 106 to 114, with lows in the upper 80's and low 90's.

View from ledge camp

Water spilled over the canyon rim falling several hundred feet. Countless small water falls from the afternoon thunder storm cut through the ancient schist that forms the canyon walls, inspiring pointed thought. 

Silver Grotto

Travertine Falls

Monday, June 28, 2010


Alone on a ridge, the quiet onlooker. An observer to the passage of time, gathering stories that span many cultures and generations. With no voice for expression, I put my hand on the giants in an attempt to gain some wisdom and influence. Speculating on experience and listening through contact.
These images from Mark's recent travels to the St. Joe National Forest. Crystal Lake Wilderness Study Area.

Monday, June 21, 2010

50 Series

Every year Jerri Lisk creates 50 new 4x5 inch original paintings for her annual 50 Series. These paintings are based on sketches collected during the years wanderings. This years collection is exceptionally diverse touching on her enthusiasm for aspen, and zeal for desert canyon lands.
 It is an exciting show and one that Jerri looks forward to year after year.
This collection of 4x5 inch original paintings will be on exhibit in our downtown Boise Gallery during the months of July and August.

A series of sketches from an aspen grove in the Dixie National Forest, The Grand Staircase of the Escalante.

Canyonland series of sketches from the Owyhee desert.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The shuttle driver

The Owyhee desert, has an unlimited amount of unique landscapes, many of which are not easy to get to. The old adage, you cant get there from here applies in many instances. In  late winter and spring that adage is even more crucial. Wet roads are impassible and you will be stuck for a while.

May and June weather in the Owyhee Canyonlands is a bit dicey at best. A good rule of thumb in the desert is,(always carry a tarp, extra provisions, and a good shuttle driver). When I say good shuttle driver I mean, someone with  exceptional driving skills, but more importantly, entertainment value at camp. You never know when you may be stuck face down in the muck. 24 hours of rain equals 24 more hours under a 12x12 tarp with your close friends waiting for the desert to dry out.

Patients will eventually be rewarded with the spectacular photographic images in Americas newest wilderness area.
Dan Gottsch, "The Owyhee Jackass". For shuttle info email

Note,Dan is quite a good tarp pole dancer.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cathedral Valley

The Cathedral Valley is one of my favorite places to photograph. A small state park in southern Nevada. The eroded benonite cliffs create caverns and monoliths that are very conducive to black and white images as well as color. 

"An interval.
A peripheral,  short lived,
captured in a photograph.
Never to be duplicated."
                           -Mark William Lisk-

Images from last weeks trip through Nevada in route to a warmer climate in Arizona.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Between Two Canyons

The desert can inspire and change the heart of the beholder. That is true for the inclination and evolution of Jerri Lisk most recent series of paintings, Between Two Canyons.

 Her current show at the Calvin Charles Gallery in Scottsdale Arizona marks her transformation into a desert series of colorfully illustrated works, from the Owyhee Canyonlands in her home state of Idaho, to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It was a cold week on the South Fork of the Owyhee River. High temperatures in the lower 40's and lows below freezing, formed ice in our water bottles and morning snow on our tents. The freezing temperatures were made tolerable by the jaw dropping landscape and the tales of an incredible woman that accompanied the trip. This was not an ordinary excursion, on this trip was a woman who in the 1920's grew up in an old homestead on the banks of the river. Her father worked hard, in a hard country, building  a life for her family in the Owyhee Canyonlands. The stories were amazing.

I did not hear her complain about the cold, or hardships of the past. She was a positive woman, drawing strength from memories, and a lifestyle gone by.  View more images of the South Fork Owyhee.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day

Reflect on  Earth Day, the competence of an unrefined world. Feel the simple unmistakable influence of the earth on your mind and spirit.  An authority capable of moving one to introspective thought. As all inspiration and truth is derived from the natural world. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Black and White Desert

Consider a landscape void of color. A world of shape and repetitive pattern, a terrain of natural design, This is the true North American desert. Colorless, and bleached, are much of the 5 North American deserts. 

Filled with strong shape, rhythmic texture and a sea of monochromatic tones that are perfect for the black and white image. 

Black and white is often overlooked as a photographic option in the desert. Many people are drawn on the strong color of the red rock country. Don't stop short, look past the obvious and concentrate on the pure natural composition that is presented so intense in the desert environment. The rhythm of the desert is remarkable.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Owyhee River

Standing in an unseen footprint of a man I will never know. The visibility up and down the canyon is awe-inspiring. The unheard has undoubtedly felt the warmth of the sun, as it crests the lava cliff on the opposite shore of the river. Nameless heartbeats in the form of the sun spreads across the desert floor casting subtle pattern in the fragile chalk cliffs of the basin. The Owyhee River Canyon,  one of America's newest wilderness areas.


There is not much that compares. The Owyhee rivals the Grand Canyon in distance. Stretching from the Northern edge of Nevada at it highest point, the river flows north west through the the south western corner of Idaho, then into Oregon and on to it confluence with the Snake River. This is one of America's most rugged, and least known Wilderness Areas.

William Fox, from the book, "Owyhee Canyonlands" writes.
"The region where Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho conjoin--not abut, but conjoin, as in combining into one another to form a unique region--is off the map. That is, it commonly takes three road maps to capture some sense of where you are. "Some sense," as in not all, as the three states represented are of widely differing sizes and shapes, yet have to be crammed onto sheets of standard-sized map paper. There's nothing you can do with scissors and tape to fix it,either: the maps are all of different scales, so the edges never match up. All this just to put together a schematic of the Owyhee Canyonlands, the deeply riven sage brush-steppe that is one of the largest roadless areas in the lower Forty-eight. That means you can fly over it, walk into it, and in some cases float through parts of it--but you can't drive into much of it. This is a good thing."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Portrait of the West

Big sky, endless horizon, steep canyons, arid landscape, these are just a few of the expressions that typify the unique nature of western America. In the west, the landscape Seems to shape its inhabitants. They become part of its iconic vista.
Mark Lisk will be exhibiting, 75 Black and White photographs from a recent collection, “Portrait of the West”, at the Lisk Gallery. This exhibit mixes the impassioned landscape you have come to know in Marks work with the unique complexion of the America Cowboy.

Join us on March 4th, 2010 for a glimpse at the true west. First Thursday Art Walk in Downtown Boise, at the Lisk Gallery, 850 main street.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ground Hog Day

There are no shadows at the Roswell Marsh on this Ground hog day. Looks like six more weeks of the somber contrast that accompanies winter light.

Long tall grasses blow in the cold winter wind at the Roswell marsh near the Idaho-Oregon border. Much of this wild landscape is overlooked. Too wet and alkaline for farming, it is able to stand on its own as a natural wetland and habitat for a wide variety of birds and waterfowl. Don't be to eagar to photograph the coming of spring, take advantage of this fleeting, and unique opportunity before the winter is gone.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winters Isolation

There seems to be no direction to the light that blankets the bare branches of these trees. It is this lack of directional light that helps in promoting a feeling of isolation and loneliness. Black trunks contrast the stark flat background, and also contributes to the intense emotional feeling. Light or the lack of light is often overlooked as a necessary element in a solid composition. In fact it may be the most important part.

Images from the Great Basin Desert: Owyhee Canyonlands, One of Americas newest wilderness areas.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winters subtle light

For a few minutes the sun seeps through the cold blanket of fresh snow contrasting the cold blue landscape and transforms bitter to welcoming. Winter is surprising and full of subtle detail not present in other seasons. Its low and diffuse light is full of delicate aspects that enable the photographer to capture and create extraordinary perspective.

Images from the Great Basin Desert. The most northern of the 5 great North American Deserts, Known as the "Cold Desert".

Monday, January 4, 2010

Annual Solo Exhibit-Patrica Rovzar Gallery (Seattle)

January is an exciting time for Jerri. It is her annual solo show at the Patricia Rovzar Gallery 1225 Second Avenue, downtown Seattle. This is Jerris 7th show with the gallery January 7th - February 1st. To view images on line go to: or visit the home page at