Passing through La Crosse, WI in 2014 during the Mississippi River paddle, headed to the Gulf of Mexico.

Passing through La Crosse, WI in 2014 during the Mississippi River paddle, headed to the Gulf of Mexico.

Ellen Kolbo-McDonah

Ellen Kolbo-McDonah is an educator, practicing artist and author from rural Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Seldom venturing on an expedition without her paints and sketchbook, her style reflects the Adventurism Art Movement, described in greater detail on her website. In 2014 (May-Sept) Ellen completed a 2,350 mile source-to-sea paddle on the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in her kayak Inspiration. This artistic journey is described in her book;One Woman's River: A Solo Source-to-Sea Paddle on the Mighty Mississippi, and showcases her art created and inspired by the expedition. In 2015 (June-August) she completed a section of the Jefferson/Missouri River from Twin Bridges, Montana to Pierre, South Dakota, and in 2017 reached the confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri, a 2,334 mile journey. During the summer of 2018 Ellen was a member of the Spirit of Norway kayaking team, paddling and camping on thirteen fjords near Bergen, Norway. Ellen has shared her passion for creativity and paddling during artist-in-residencies at elementary schools, featured speaking venues and art galleries. In 2017, Ellen’s painting Saving Higgins Eye Clams was awarded Grand Prize Fine Art in the Mississippi River Photo Shootout competition. Her art studio is near the Black River and Mississippi River and is covered with art produced from creative trips by canoe and kayak into the wilderness.