“Markleeville Memories: Paintings of a Sierra Town” is a beautifully bound collection of fine art that is guaranteed to dazzle. If you appreciate the glorious splendor of nature and would enjoy a whimsical stroll through Markleeville’s countryside, a tiny California town nestled in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, you’ll want a copy. Award-winning artist Charles Muench, author and creator of “Markleeville Memories,” shares some of his finest art and memories inspired by his life there. “It’s a novel waiting to be written” Muench says about this quaint corner of the world. “It’s a town with a history; a town with one foot planted firmly in today and the other dangling precariously on the edge between past and present.”Markleeville’s pristine beauty and vintage quality caught Muench’s attention and compelled him to move there. Packing up his studio in San Jose, he followed his impulse, determined to capture the magic of Markleeville on canvas. But he also wanted to connect with the people and have an opportunity to immerse himself in the quiet culture. “There is art in everything,” Muench tells us. With brushstrokes that he says are the “footprints of the artist’s emotions” and subtle variations that “fuel his fire”, he also shows us. But there’s more to “Markleeville Memories, Paintings of a Sierra Town” than art. Muench shares wistful stories about his former town; the cold dark nights spent with no power, conversation and beer at the Cutthroat Saloon and forever friendships that started with a delicious cup of hot chocolate. His heartfelt narrative will further your understanding of the man and his art. It’s not to be missed.The art dominates most pages with natural settings as the overall theme. Magnificent winter landscapes such as “The First Real Freeze” and “Last Light” will draw you in. Autumn panoramas and spring vistas provide a visual display on which your eyes can feast. Models are included in Muench’s repertoire. These lovely ladies are gracefully posed in the foreground while gorgeous scenery frames their exquisiteness. Muench was immersed in an upward mobile artist’s career in San Jose, when he received his calling to relocate to Markleeville. It spoke to him, he said, “from the bottom of a bloody Mary in Bishop, Calif.” But that was prior to 9/11. His move in date was Sept. 4, 2001. The days following are infused in all of our minds and require no explanation. But in spite of the shifting tide after the towers fell that flattened the art market and brought our country’s economy to its knees, Muench holds a strong affection for this Sierra town and it’s reflected through his artwork and his narrative. “Markleeville Memories, Painting of a Sierra Town” would make a lovely and unique holiday gift. It is priced at $60, which includes the cost of shipping. One might consider it pricey for a book of its size, only 57 pages, but it is a high-quality hardcover with a beautifully done dust cover and a keepsake to be sure. It includes 48 of Muench’s stunning paintings. Access www.charlesmuench.com for online orders or you can call 775-265-4454 to arrange to pick up a copy at Muench’s Gardnerville studio.