Monday, November 05, 2007

An aside from the James Niehues story

In Out There on Friday, Nov. 2, I wrote a story about leading ski map artist James Niehues, who paints the vast majority of art used for trail maps in his Front Range basement studio. Reader Jim Strub wrote in after reading the cover to say he had worked with Niehues on a local project. Here's what Strub said:

Circa 1990 I had the privilege of spending some time with him when we were doing a new brochure for the Pikes Peak Highway. I was a member of City Council's Pikes Peak Highway Advisory Commission and wanted the graphic in the brochure to show the whole highway, not just the north slope section, as in the then-current brochure. The city hired James to do the job. First there had to be a photo for him to work from. So one very clear morning he and I, the pilot, and one other person went out to Pete Field and got in a "small airplane," like you mentioned -- two in front seat, two in back, unpressurized. We had instructions that the photo must also include the Colorado Springs Airport. To get that in, as well as the entire highway (including the southwest part), we had to go up to 16000' in the general vicinity of Divide. It turned out very well, although from his preliminary "draft" he had to remove some of his painted clouds because they hid sections of the highway that we wanted to highlight. As far as I know, the Highway is still using the Niehues rendition (above).

1 comment:

Brian Perry said...

I really enjoyed this article, and that image of Pikes Peak is great. It seems that with so much digital imagery available on Google Earth, we're all impressed with seeing the "real thing"- but I think that Mr. Niehues' "realer than real" is pretty inspiring stuff.

It makes you want to ski, as opposed to just showing you where you will be skiing. Give the man his check!