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                                   About the Artists

You can find our more through us at our blog Alaska and Beyond through Artists Eyes.

                                                               Ladies First

                                                            Karen's Artist Statement

Watercolor has a mind of it’s own and, although I also have a mind of my own, I am constantly challenged by the medium.  That’s one of the joys of painting in watercolor.

My personal approach to painting tends to be intensive while I’m in the mood, and then I tend to step away for weeks or longer.  During the time when I am not wielding a paint brush I am consciously observing details in nature, the play of light on subjects, and compositions while snapping many photos as reference for future paintings.  These non-painting times are my incubation periods where I absorb visually and mentally both my surroundings, books pertaining to art, and works by other artists that speak to me.

My so called “slumps” are actually times to recharge my batteries.  Spending hours beach combing and watching patterns in waves, driftwood, stones, and feathers always gives me fresh insights.  

It is truly a blessing to live in such a wild area as southeast Alaska with it’s wealth of visual images.  I want to convey that beauty and the need to safeguard it to the viewer.  To me this is a way to share my joy in the wonder of God’s creation and if I can do that, my efforts will have been worthwhile.

My current focus is on wildlife, pets, birds, flowers and studies of feathers, stones and wood, but our plein air group, Fresh Air, has given me an incentive to also move into landscape subjects.  There is so much that I want to capture!

When I truly feel “inside” my painting my heart sings with joy.  That is how happy I am to paint!!

                                                              Don's Artists Statement

As a youth I loved to hunt and fish more than anything.  During that time the extent of my artistic endeavors consisted of filling my school notebooks with sketches of ducks.  Then one day my father took me to one of the premier sporting goods stores, Abercrombie and Fitch, in New York City.  As we stepped off the elevator onto the 4th floor my love of fish and wildlife melded with art as I viewed a display of some of the finest wildlife paintings in America.

The more-real-than-life paintings of ducks, geese, grouse and other wildlife captured the thrill of the hunt better than any photograph.   I was spellbound.  That day remains one of my favorite memories of growing up and, I believe, was one of the most influential days of my life.

However, with the exception of one paint-by-numbers kit I received as a Christmas present -- a gift that very much intrigued me -- it was not until my senior year at Middlebury College that I actually picked up a brush and tried my hand at creating my own paintings.  I was looking for an easy course to offset my more demanding classes as a biology major.  Remembering that trip to Abercrombie and Fitch I decided to take a class called “Introduction to Oil Painting.”  Soon I learned to love the smell of turpentine as I surprised myself by painting images that actually looked a bit like what I was attempting to capture.  Of all the classes I took at Middlebury, that was my favorite. 

To get me started my mother gave me a set of oil paints and brushes that I retain to this day and art became a constant in my life -- always present in one medium or another.  At times it is watercolors, soapstone sculpture or woodworking.  Photography is a constant.  Today oil painting is my chief artistic outlet, supplemented by photographic images I continue to take.

I  paint many subjects using photographs as reference material.  However, since our plein air (painting outdoors) group, Fresh Air, has been getting together on Saturdays to paint en plein aire, I have been pushed to rely less on photographs and experiment more.

I try to fill my life -- from computer screen savers to the walls of our home, from magazine subscriptions to visits to art galleries -- with quality artwork. I yearn to continue to grow in my artistic efforts and plan to continue painting as long as God grants me the opportunity.

I've divided samples of my artwork into four galleries:  Road Trips, Plein Air, Portraits and Studio.  The Portrait and Studio galleries include subjects mostly done from Karen's or my photography collections.  The Road Trips gallery is somewhat of a blog about my travels painting across Alaska, Canada and the lower 48 states.



We have added a blog to our web presence, Alaska and Beyond Through Artists Eyes.  This link will take you to the blog, but off this website.

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