MT. SHASTA ART
By Janet Tarjan Erl
Mt. Shasta has the distinction of being the highest mountain in the lower forty eight states of the U.S. It tops out at 14, 142 feet above sea level and is an impressive landmark of Northern California. It’s towering, massive features grace the surrounding countryside of Siskiyou County with memorable views; so naturally, Mt. Shasta draws a fair number of tourists to gawk at her immensity and beauty or recreate in her mountainous topography.
For the thirteen years I lived in Siskiyou County, I too gawked at her beauty and never tired of it. As an artist living in Siskiyou County I couldn’t help but be enamored with Mt. Shasta, so it’s no surprise that I depicted her in a fair number of paintings. Because my husband, Harry, and I frequently explored the back country of Siskiyou County, we had the opportunity to see her from various locations in the county. Whether we were climbing peaks in the Marble Mountains, hiking the ridges of above Yreka, or sking the flanks of Mt. Shasta herself, she would impose her beauty on the land in every kind of weather, season, or time of day.
Over the years I painted scenes of Mt. Shasta as landscapes, as backdrops for wildlife and equine art, and as illustrations for T-shirts and posters. I created the 1987 and 1988 Mt. Shasta Run/Walk art for their T-shirts and posters. I still see people wearing those shirts, and have been told they were very popular designs. I also created several of the earlier Siskiyou Century bike ride T-shirt designs.
When Harry and I lived on Black Mt., our house overlooked the Shasta Valley and Mt. Shasta still dominated the skyline – even at more than thirty miles away. This north view of the Mountain was my favorite – not because I lived there, but because the hummocks that dotted the Shasta Valley were so interesting. These hummocks consist of hundreds of humps, bumps and hills caused by a gigantic landslide that resulted from a catastrophic eruption several thousand years ago.
A good way to see this unusual topography is to drive the roads between the tiny community of Little Shasta and the community of Shastina. These remnant hummock hills are a humbling experience to see and should serve as a reminder of the potent force of volcanoes.
I hope you enjoy my interpretation of this beautiful mountain. Also, if you’re a Mt. Shasta fan, check out our Mt. Shasta prints, posters, gifts, and apparel. Maybe you’ll find a product you like.