Thursday, September 10, 2009

Newport's Ocean Drive

This was a small oil painting I did around the rocky coast in Rhode Island. I painted for several days in a row there, to capture the surf and rocks in its various moods. Each day the ocean and rocks look different. On this day, fisherman came and set up while I was painting, which created a natural focal point.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The opening of my solo exhibition, "Icescapes" at the Newport Art Museum was great fun and it was a joy to see so many old friends and acquaintances. Yesterday I gave a talk on my painting and experiences in the polar regions as part of the Museum's lecture series.

I'll be giving a talk again the evening of March 6 at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts, where there are two exhibitions of polar paintings, one of contemporary artists, designed for all ages, and one historical. I have a few journals and two paintings in the contemporary exhibition, "Polar Attractions." This group exhibition is well designed and contains an interesting and varied mix of contemporary polar art.

As for the Newport Art Museum exhibition, museum curator, Nancy Grinnel, did a beautiful job of hanging the Wright Gallery of the Museum, creating a show that fit with the architecture of the room. Here are a few more photos from that current exhibition:

Two more photos show parts of the three display cases that house some field sketches, watercolors and notes:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Here are a couple of photos of my exhibition, "Icescapes" at the Newport Art Museum in Newport, RI. One photo shows one corner of the Wright gallery, in which the original paintings are hung. The other photo shows one of three display cases, which hold journals, field sketches and notes. This display case features my trips to the North Pole.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Still in Franz Josef Land, we were lucky to come upon a group of walrus on an ice floe. The zodiacs went out, and slowly approached with the engines off and the paddles out, approaching as a silent group, and stopping at a distance, where they drifted for an hour or so. Unlike in the Antarctic, where the animals are not timid, here they have a long history of being hunted, both by people and occasionally bears. So often seals and walrus will plunge into the water before you can get close enough to really see them. This group of walrus stayed out on the ice, providing a great view of them all afternoon.

Among the pinnipeds (group including the various seals and walrus), they are second largest, second only to the elephant seals. Males in this part of the arctic reach 2200 pounds or 1000 kg, and females only 1322 pounds or 600 kg.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Franz Josef Land

Here are a few more pictures from Franz Josef Land, taken from the helicopter as it flew over Nightingale Sound, in the southwest portion. The ship is plowing through very light first year ice.

There was an open bridge, which allowed anyone on the ship to get the best view from the top deck. Above it was the "flying bridge" which was the open deck from which one could see in all directions. The "Kapitan Khlebnikov," is a Russian conventional icebreaker, which has six engines and can run at 25,000 horsepower when in thicker ice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Polar bear

A mother and cub were sighted off the port side of the ship and as we watched, they wandered in on the sea ice to check out the ship. They seemed quite curious, particularly the very young cub. It was a small first year cub, so it was probably the first time it had ever seen a ship. Few ships go to the Russian islands of Franz Josef Land, in contrast to Svalbard or Greenland, as it is quite far north, and there is quite a bit of Russian red tape to deal with to get there. Our ship was delayed a whole day in Murmansk because of it, even though arrangements and permissions had been arranged 5 months in advance. The person who had given permission for the ship to leave the dock, had since left the office. We were lucky to have the chance to visit this archipelago. But bears there are not too used to seeing people or ships.

The bear cub spent some time looking at the ship, even after the mother had decided there was nothing too interesting or tasty there, and had headed off, turning occasionally to see if her cub was following. The cub stayed at the ice edge for a while, regularly mewling (a cry almost like that of a cow, but much higher in pitch.) It finally turned and followed it's mom, and they wandered off into the distance, probably to resume their hunt for seals.