Acrylic on canvas
96 x 72 in
This is one of my first large (6 foot by eight foot) Arctic Refuge paintings. In 1986 some friends and I traveled to Porcupine Lake at the headwaters of the Ivishak River, to start a float trip, which would became one of my most memorable Brooks Range trips. The sources for this painting were produced a day before a phenomenal blizzard hit on August 10. About fifty miles away, at lower elevation at Toolik Lake, winds were recorded as high as 102 miles per hour. The temperature went down to five degrees and about a foot of snow dumped. For two days my friends and I huddled in our tents and wondered if the wind would rip the fabric apart. After the storm subsided we dragged our boats over the snow and along a stream that led to the main river. It took several days to get our stuff about eight miles to the river. Since this was an early August trip, which is autumn in the northeast Brooks Range, I expected cold weather. I brought my white-gas stove heated painting box, which was essential for the few small watercolor sketches I managed.