“Every cloud is a struggle, every ripple a hardship, but at the same time, there is always light breaking through. In life you need to experience both sides of this sky to gain appreciation for the light.” -Mackenzie Thorpe
In this Mackenzie Thorpe original pastel on paper, a single figure stands at the edge of a dock, overlooking a calm lake, as the moon shines brightly through the clouds. Signature to Thorpe’s style, the man is wearing a dark coat and big sturdy shoes. He’s holding a vibrant red umbrella, similar to the red hearts depicted in many of Thorpe’s other works.
The calm lake is framed on either side by many, highly detailed evergreen trees that softly reflect on the water. The dark storm clouds seem to clear as the moon shines through, suggesting that the worst days are behind us. Thorpe utilizes clouds as a metaphor for the struggles that we experience in life. To gain an appreciation for the light breaking through, like the moon in this image, we must also understand the darkness. Every cloud represents a struggle or hardship in the central figure’s life; As they clear, he can make room for hope in his future.
At first glance, this image feels somber, still and quiet as the figure is completely alone. However, it is a clear representation of hope, acknowledging that our struggles will always come to an end. The red umbrella and bright moon provide a stark contrast to the dark tones in the rest of the image. It shows that even on the darkest days or when we feel most alone like the figure on the dock, we can still find love and joy. Thorpe firmly believes that we must go through the hardships to be able to appreciate the joys in life.
This artwork is an excellent example of Thorpe’s artistic talents as his work is honest and immediate. He uses his hands and fingers as an extension of the pastels to expertly blend the subtle colors in this landscape. His incredible use of blue tones in this image provide soft transitions between the clouds and the lake. He draws exactly how he is feeling in the moment, capturing the essence of our human existence.
The breathtaking evergreen trees growing next to the lake in this image are very similar to the foliage you will see in and around Lake Tahoe where Marcus Ashley Gallery is located. This iconic Mackenzie Thorpe artwork, along with several other artworks, is available for sale at the Marcus Ashley Gallery in South Lake Tahoe. The gallery invites you to visit and share your love of art with them, explore the great wilderness of the Sierras, and find yourself at a home away from home.