ANWR: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
a perfect landscape for art
People are hearing a lot in the news these days about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is some of the most remote country in the United States, and most of us know little if anything about it. I have dedicated a portion of my website to my ANWR landscapes, hoping people might learn something about the place from the perspective of a landscape painter.
ANWR (I prefer "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," but often find myself using the common shorthand ANWR, pronounced "anne wahr") is a big, beautiful, wild place, located by the Arctic Ocean in Alaska's northeast corner. Of several geographic features, perhaps the most significant ones are the mountains, the Arctic Slope and Coastal Plain, and the Continental Divide which runs north from the Rocky Mountains through the Selwin, Richardson, and British Mountains and ends up in ANWR and Alaska's Brooks Range. Overall, the Brooks Range is perhaps my favorite place, and ANWR is high Brooks Range, full of wildlife, and also with incomparable beauty. Much of ANWR is designated wilderness, but some parts, including the so called "1002 area" of the Coastal Plain, between the Arctic Ocean and the north side of the Brooks Range, are not. These days we hear news of proposals to open some of the land to oil exploration and drilling. Unfortunately, the oil fields would be located in some of the most densely populated wildlife habitat of North America.
Since 1985 I have traveled as much as a thousand miles in the Refuge, floating the Ivishak, Canning, Hulahula, and Kongakut Rivers, walking across the Continental Divide and along the Sheenjek River, upper Canning River, Marsh Fork Canning River, Ignek Valley, Katakturuk River, Camden Bay, Atigun River, Mt. Michelson, Mt. Chamberlin, Peters and Schrader Lakes, and various other places, including the 1002 Coastal Plain area.
I have divided this site into sections: field sketches produced while backpacking or floating; watercolors that are a bit more finished than the sketches; large paintings produced in the studio after the trips, and a field journal, in Adobe Acrobat pdf format, of text and small ink drawings from a 1988 trip to the Mt. Chamberlin area. Click the links below. I hope you enjoy your visit.
My Resume (Adobe Acrobat required).
Copyright James R. Behlke. All rights reserved.