Capturing America's Beauty
This is the intriguing story of an artist who pursued his driving passion for seeing and painting America's most beautiful and inspiring natural wonders. "Yonko," the alias he inscribed on his paintings, began his odyssey in 1973. During the next 13 years, his journeys reached 316 National Parks and National Forests in 36 different states and Canada. He did oil paintings in about 280 of them. A well-educated and gifted computer programmer, he worked as a well-paid Senior Systems Analyst in Atlanta during the early 1970s. He grew up enjoying the outdoors and longed for a way of life that could give him more freedom to enjoy it. When he became bored with office routine and big city life, he started taking short vacations to begin painting the outdoor scenes he loved so well. He started touring small towns and rural America, but soon discovered the more spectacular nature scenes in National Parks, Monuments, and Forests. He then focused his travels on these locations and made well over a hundred backpacking trips to see and paint them. All Yonko's painted canvases are currently stored in a climate-controlled room in his brother's home. This 40-year-old treasure of 600 oil paintings of our country's most spectacular natural wonders has remained hidden from the public. Yonko has now agreed to have them sold. I have transcribed this story of Yonko's travels from his own words recorded in about 15 handwritten journals.