Wilderness
Expedition Art
                               "First Light" (private collection)
Missinaibi River south of James Bay, dawn September 11, 2001
                      24"x 36" acrylic (private collection)
This was my first sight of the sun after more than four days of cold     
rain and high wind
     "Conjuring House Rock" Missinaibi River, September 6,
2001                                              16" x 28" Acrylic (
private collection available for
resale
)

I spent much of this day painting and after finishing the long portage, paddled back
up into the gorge to see Conjuring House Rock from the water.  It is an ancient
Cree and Ojibwa religious site named for its resemblance to a Shaman's tent.  
It was rather bittersweet to be alone in such a place; despite the constant roar of the
falls, there was an unaccustomed quietude.  
           "River's End" Missinaibi River
Confluence with the Mattagami, sunset September 11, 2001
                   18"x 24" acrylic (private collection)
While my dinner cooked, I did a field painting of this scene from
which this studio painting was made . I heard of the terrorist attacks
two days later in the Cree village of Moose River
      "Trouble Bruin" Missinaibi River
          18"x 24" acrylic (private collection)
This cold wet and windy day started out with being
nearly trodden on by a bull moose (within 3 ft of the
tent) and finished with a frightening brush with
hypothermia. In between was this surreal encounter.  
As I approached a small rapid I saw what I took for a
rock on the shore approaching the rapid from river
right. It took several seconds for me to realize that it
was moving too fast for a rock. I spun into an eddy
and photographed as this enormous black bear crossed
the river. He didn't swim; he walked - the current piling
up around his muscular bulk.  He then noticed me and
approached to within 50 yards by which time I had put
away my camera and started to consider my options if
he continued to approach.  Unarmed and getting a bit
apprehensive, I spun out of the eddy at which point he
turned up the bank and disappeared.
"Curious George" 1 & 2 Confluence of the Nutilillik & George Rivers
                            Both 6"x 8" acrylic (
private collections)

One of the most striking characteristics of animals along the George River was
how often it seemed that they had never seen a human before. This squirrel
was a case in point.  He scolded me as I walked along a ridge near the Nutilillik
River and when I sat down to watch him, he just about went nuts. He
repeatedly raced up and sniffed my ankles before darting back to a rock or tree
to stare at me from as many perspectives as he could manage. The rest of the
crew was getting ready to depart so I finally left as I think he would have kept
at the game indefinitely.
                                "Passage of Matashu" 24"x 48" acrylic (available)
"Matashu" is the Innu word for a feared giant "Red Bear" that roamed the Labrador Peninsula until the early 20th Century; a remnant
population of Barrenground Grizzly. The tracks here were at our camp on the George River September 16, 2006. They were Black Bear
(and Caribou) and very fresh (we saw the bear as we came to shore). As I was doing a field sketch of the scene, the tracks and the
scudding clouds drew my mind into a reverie on all the things that had passed by here, starting with a silly "Far Side"-like image of the bear
and the caribou greeting each other as they passed. As my imagination traveled back in time, I recalled my friend and Boreal Forest
collaborator, Dr. Stephen Loring's research on the evidence of Grizzlies surviving in the region into recent times and could almost see the
great animal roaming down the shore .... and out of the picture.
   "Caribou Moon" Kamestastin, Labrador
                  
7"x 16" acrylic study (available).
On the highlands SE of Lake Kamestastin, Gary McGuffin and I
had been photographing a herd of caribou on this ridge. While
packing to head back to camp, I noticed the glow from the rising
moon and we set back up. Just as Gary mentioned that it was too
bad the herd hadn't been ten minutes later, another herd appeared
and as we held our breath not believing our luck, they crested the
ridge as the moon rose behind them
                             "Misurtuq Gold" George River
          24"x 34" acrylic (Collection of the Bennington Center for the Arts )

We saw many Golden Eagles on the George River, including one that soared under
us while we were all painting from the top of one of the tundra tors. It gave me the
idea for this painting, but it took another canoe trip to get the eagle shot - ironically
on the Rio Grande three months after returning from the George River
"View North" Harricana River, northern Québec
5" x 10" acrylic
(private collection): A small "I'll be
back" painting done from where I left the river after
abandoning my solo attempt to reach James Bay due
to high water and snow in early October 2002
"Coming Home" Harricana River 19" x 38" acrylic (available). The rapid here was listed on the 1981 trip
report I had as an RII - an easy rapid. The river had been rising fast and this narrow gorge squeezed the
mounting volume into a chaotic high-speed smorgasbord of bizarre hydraulics; the "haystacks" (standing
waves) were unstable, ripping themselves apart every few seconds, upwelling boils erupted chaotically and
at the bottom was an enormous whirlpool that generated a rapid running
upstream!  
While waiting for several days for the water to drop, I occasionally heard wolves singing, underscoring that
I was visiting their home. 10"  of snow
(and a "messenger" Lynx - the mind can go beyond its normal bounds
alone in the bush:-)
on the third day convinced me to head back to mine.
     "Migration Moon" Kamestastin, Labrador
  18" x 24" acrylic (collection of the Bennington Center for the Arts)

Adapted from the study, "Caribou Moon" and based on the large bull
directly under the moon in the low right of the study
"Coming Ashore" Caribou, Kamestastin
          
9" x 12" Acrylic study (available)
We intercepted a group of about 700 caribou swimming
the narrows of the lake at their traditional crossing point.
This bull and I surprised each other