I ventured to Alaska before there was an oil pipeline and fell in love with the gnarly spruce trees, intense weather and mountains I could touch. Very different from the landscape in St. Louis. I was looking for different.
The spruce trees: those scraggy, wizened, lanky conifers danced onto the first page of my sketch book.
Wildlife artist Bill Berry was my mentor. After two years of study, he encouraged me to pursue my art education in more depth so I journeyed to Colorado.
I returned to Alaska after graduating from Rocky Mountain College of Art in Denver. I had to return. Those gnarly spruce trees had etched a place in my heart. Alaska has become my home.
I sketch and paint in my studio or explore outdoors with a portable easel, brushes and paint en plein air (painting outdoors in the open air).
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Golden cadmium yellow oil paint. Luscious juicy orange. Playful purple. Dark mysterious ultramarine blue and sincere cerulean blue. They sit impatiently in their assigned places on the palette. A large scoop of titanium white dominates the upper left corner.
I’ve been planning this new series of paintings for a long time. Bears. Polar bears. Nanooks. I have many reasons to paint them.
These bears are huge. Powerful. Terrifying. Their shapes intrigue me. I study them until I see them moving in my minds eye. They invade my studio and take over my thoughts.
24″ x 18″
oil painting on stretched canvas by Raven
She is the first of the series. A star. Emerging out of pigment in a new way. Brushstrokes move the pigment around until a bear emerges. She comes through bold and strong and gives me courage to paint more.
This polar bear guards the front entrance of my treasured Ravenista’s home.
She welcomes you if you are a friend.