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Mary Beth Michaels

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I visited the mountains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge twice, and the coast of the Arctic Ocean at both Barrow and the Mackenzie River Delta. Just to set one thing straight: I did not see a wasteland in any of these places. Instead, there is scenery to rival any place on earth, and an abundance of life.

I enjoyed being a part of that life, even if only for a few weeks. I have always liked drawing and painting out-of-doors. There is something very special in the experience, and the experience in ANWR was very intense. The light is strong since the sun is up all summer. The scenery is incredible. It can rain or snow any day of the year, yet the sun is powerful. The mosquitoes are voracious. We worked all day unless the rain or snow was heavy enough to interfere with the paint on the canvas. We were surrounded by ancient caribou trails, by mountains that had raised from even more ancient seabeds and by the busy summer life of the tundra. My memories of these places will stay with me forever.


East from the Canning River Looking West from Marsh Fork Lake Peters and Lake Schrader South from the Canning River Marsh Fork Mountain
East from the Canning River
Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1992
Looking West from Marsh Fprk
Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1992

Lake Peters and
Lake Schrader

Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1991

 

South from the Canning River
Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1992

 

Marsh Fork Mountain
Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1992
New Snow Carnivore Creek Chamberlin Creek 1 Chamberlin Creek 2 Chamberlin Creek 3
New Snow
Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1992

Carnivore Creek
Alkyd on canvas
24 x 20 in
1991

 

Chamberlin Creek 1
Alkyd on canvas
20 x 24 in
1991

 

Chamberlin Creek 2
Alkyd on canvas
20 x 24 in
1991
Chamberlin Creek 3
Alkyd on canvas
20 x 24 in
1991
Chamberlin Creek 4 Chamberlin Creek study A Bit of Tundra at Peters Lake Arctic Poppy Dwarf Fireweed
Chamberlin Creek 4
Alkyd on canvas
20 x 24 in
1991
Chamberlin Creek study
Pen and ink
9 x 12 in
1991
A Bit of Tundra
at Peters Lake

Pen and ink
8 x 5 in
1991
Arctic Poppy
Pen and ink
9 x 8 in
1991

Dwarf Fireweed
Pen and ink with acrylic wash
8 x 6 in
1991

 

Artwork ©1990-2007 by Mary Beth Michaels. Used with permission of the artist.