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Conquering Everest

In 2016 I went on my first journey to Nepal with the major endeavor of seeing Mount Everest, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and the only of these marvels that I had not yet seen in person. Upon arrival in Kathmandu the aura of Everest lingers everywhere and when the time came for an up close experience in our sightseeing plane, Everest, indeed, took my breath away. Perhaps one of the most dangerous of all endeavors, Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, boasting a summit that claims the lives of 1 in every 4 climbers that reach it while putting into danger the lives of so many of the ever-present sherpa’s who support these climbers on each attempt. This adventure completed my experience of visiting all 7 natural world wonders and so, for me, it was also a coming full circle on another level. Some time after this life changing trip, we found ourselves in Rapid City, SD seeking some delicious Nepalese food and found our way to Everest Cuisine, a small, family owned restaurant nestled in the Rapid City Valley. This restaurant soon became our favorites and it was no surprise to find that this restaurant was rated #2 best in all of Rapid City! The food is absolutely wonderful and the service, above and beyond! After several visits I had occasion to talk with the owners’ son, Sam, complimenting him on the restaurant but pointing out that “Everest” was somewhat missing since there were only a few scattered photo’s of this majestic mountain which really did not do it justice. I suggested that an Everest mural would be just the thing to make this cozy place complete and soon thereafter, YKC was commissioned. The biggest challenge I faced was to scale the Everest image from their website into the mural size of 55 x 136 inches. Initially, I sought to apply the difficult Borglum method but then I turned to my esteemed colleague and friend Lorie Wolf of One Horse Studio in Oregon for scaling advice. Thankfully Lorie introduced me to a much less difficult method thanks to modern technology, and EVEREST started to take shape at the Y-Knot-Creations studio in Hurst, TX. This was indeed a labor of love and upon completion EVEREST will always be remembered as the first piece of my artwork that actually felt “finished”; a dilemma that many artisans experience with their projects…that awful feeling of “unfinished-ness”! The confidence I felt from this commission was confirmed by the loveliest compliment of another dear friend and very esteemed colleague, Theresa Cheek of Art is the Answer, Texas. Theresa so very kindly remarked that she could totally feel the connection I have with the mountain; something that I fondly consider a privilege. Once installed, I watched Mr. Sapkotas face at the reveal and it was heart filling to see how he and his son Sam got completely lost in the painting, marveling at how this majestic piece of their heritage had now come to life, right there, in their restaurant. My sincerest THANK YOU to the Sapkota Family for giving me this chance to create a once-in-a-lifetime commission and allowing me to “conquer” Everest in my own way, as an artist. NAMASTE

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