The First Online Giclée Offerings
Printed on 100% rag paper with archival inks
All images have a generous border for easy matting and framing
S/N – Signed and numbered limited edition – shipped flat
Open – Signed but not numbered – shipped flat
Prices include shipping in U.S.
The “DENALI SUITE” is now completed.
Lucky Puppies – The Denali Park Canine Patrol
LUCKY PUPPIES – THE DENALI PARK CANINE PATROL
I stood on the ice in the middle of Wonder Lake in Denali National Park waiting for the plane that would return me and fellow artist, Ralph Oberg, to Healy. We had five incredible days at the base of 20,310’ Denali. Few artists since Belmore Browne’s 1912 summit attempt have had such opportunities. My mission had been to observe a century old tradition of Park Rangers patrolling the vast Denali Wilderness with sled dog teams. I had succeeded in that and much more. The only thing I had not witnessed was the Park’s unique way of training an new litter by having them run free next to the adult dogs during their first year.
Three dark lines began emerging from the far end of the lake.
Left to Right: Adult Wheel Dogs: Sitken and Drachama
Free Runnng Puppies: (8 months old) Elsie, Gladys, Behnti, Kusko and Nucha
Each winter, Denali’s Park Rangers set out into the wilderness with sled dogs. In doing so, they are connecting the past with the present and preserving both the Native and Pioneering traditions of Alaska. When I began pursuing ways to present this unique story in my art, I found that many of the rangers were beautiful young women.
Jennifer Raffaeli was the Head Ranger when I began my inquiries. She said that if I really wanted to see the rangers and dogs working, I should “Meet her at Wonder Lake in March.” This invitation was spoken as though she were inviting me for coffee at the corner Starbucks. Unlike Starbucks, however, Wonder Lake is inaccessible in the winter unless you happen to have a serious long distance dog team, are a very competent back country skier or have access to a bush plane.
Denali Park maintains a kennel of around 30 big strong freight-type huskies. One litter of puppies is raised each year to replace the nine-year old dogs that are retired to a long list of waiting homes. These puppies are highly socialized, spending their first summer greeting 1,000’s of kennel visitors. When the snow is deep enough for the Rangers to set out on winter patrol, the puppies go too – running free next to the sled. What a a way for a husky to begin life!
There I was in the middle of frozen Wonder Lake with three dog teams approaching. Five free-running puppies were surrounding one Ranger. As they got closer, Julie Carpenter pulled down her face protection and flashed me a big smile. Every single husky did the same. The warmth from Julie and these dogs as they passed before the base of Denali is symbolic of America at its best. It was as though they were saying “Hurry Back!”
Under the Spell of Denali
8.75H x 14W (Limited edition of 100) $75
March 2019 I had the privilege of painting along the very route of the first ascent of Denali in 1913. The ascent was only possible with the aide of dog teams. The dogs you see in this painting are still hauling climbing gear today onto the lower elevation to facilitate climbers on this historic Northern Route.
No Time to Spare
8.75H x 14W (Limited edition of 100) $75
Not much has changed since the first ascent of the highest peak in North America, 20,310 Denali – except restoring the mountains native name. Dog teams are as essential to climbers today as they were in 1913. The title “No Time To Spare” applies not just to the incoming storm. It is also referring to rapidly melting snow. Brian Taylor and his powerful dog team need to haul 1,500 pounds of gear onto the Muldrow Glacier earlier each spring or risk being trapped by slush.
NEW LIMITED EDITION GICLEE
Six millennia before John Steinbeck wrote ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ with its imagery of the Joad family and all their possessions piled in and on a bastardized “Hudson Super Six” fleeing the worn out fields of Oklahoma, bound for California, a ‘Promised Land’,
an analogous drama played out on the western shores of Bering Strait.
Boethius, an old Roman, said, “History is a wheel”. It must be so.
The crude walrus skin boat was dangerously overloaded.
Barely a hands-breadth of freeboard showed above the frigid Chukchi waters.
The women hadn’t been inclined to leave anything behind–choppers, knives, and lamps–all made of stone. The men added to the prodigious load with weapons and tools, more stone, including a skin bag of precious obsidian. They were going to the New World, reportedly a bounteous land of endless promise, and were determined to arrive prepared for every eventuality–even a shortage of good stone.
Asia, the old world in their wake was history, the new world, the future, loomed on the horizon behind hazy mountain tops, sixty miles away,
across the cerulean strait.
Children clambered dangerously over bundles of bedding and skin tents. They hung perilously over the side trailing fingers in the water, and as children are wont, were impervious to warnings from elders who themselves were awash in adrenalin – giddy with anticipation. Laughter and shouts permeated the air as dogs and puppies dodged between paddlers’ feet – barking at swooping sea birds
– or just barking for the joy of it. JM
“Out of Asia”
OUT OF ASIA
By Veryl Goodnight
“Out of Asia” depicts an imaginary family from Northeast Asia, migrating across the Chukchi Sea to North America. This is a scene that would have taken place 6,000 years ago when dogs were vital to the survival of people living in Northern latitudes. The idea was inspired by Alaskan legend, Joe May. Among his many accomplishments, Joe won the famous Iditarod Dog Sled Race in 1980. During a visit to his home in May 2021, he presented me with his essay, along with a challenge to paint the first dogs arriving on American shores. VG
7.5H x 12W (Open edition) $66
“Hopeless Tangle” is about team dynamics. The lines went slack when the third dog got off the packed trail resulting in a tangle. While he is mortified as to the predicament, the youngster behinds him finds it quite amusing. The seasoned leaders, still on the packed trail, are patient, as is the musher. All are mutually dependent on each other.
The original painting is in a private collection.
The Gold Rush Dogs
11H x 22W (S/N Limited edition of 150) $130
“The Gold Rush Dogs” was inspired by Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.” It wasn’t until I began researching the history of sled dogs that I realized a black market for dogs during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 was a reality. Buck may have been fictional, but he represented 1000’s of dogs stolen “from Puget Sound to San Diego” and shipped to Alaska
to serve needs of men and women struck with gold fever.
I spent several years collecting photos of dogs that would have been likely candidates for theft – Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, and Great Pyrenees were among those that were most sought after, as were dogs of the Northland.
I commission a historic sled with plough handles and had leather collar harnesses made for my own recreational team of dogs. Professional musher, Rick St. Onge, modeled as the dog driver, with a 1,000-mile stare that was the hallmark of the gold seekers. To emphasize the diversity of the dogs, I choose a still life composition set, against the northern lights.
The final painting is large – 40H x 80L – so you can look into the dog’s eyes and let them tell their own stories.
“The Gold Rush Dogs” is a Tribute to the Dogs that Enable Our Dreams.
In July, 2019, Mancos, Colorado hosted a “BurroFest.” The event began with a short race and finished with the burros modeling for artists around town. I selected seven of the burros that competed, removed their tack and human partners and created “The Burro Brigade.”
Golden Plains of Yesteryear
I wanted to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the prairies that once held millions of bison.
The original painting, 30H x 48L, is currently in my gallery in Mancos.