Final Day Artist-in-Residence Denali

My final morning at Murie cabin, warm temperatures and building clouds signaled a new front approaching. The weather was no longer my concern, closing the ancient cabin leaving it better than I found it occupied my thoughts. Rules in the park, to discourage animal habituation, require all dishwater and liquid waste be disposed in the […]

Wolf Stalks Artist in Denali

The morning of my last full day to explore the park was the coldest yet, everything was bleached, whitewashed with frost. The chill melted in the morning sun as I made my final trip to Eielson. The road was tangled with buses, I carefully picked my way through the jams hearing the familiar drone of […]

Artist Hikes Mc Kinley Bar

Driving to Wonder Lake was a gamble with fuel that was worth taking, the mountain shown dazzling, clouds evaporated and gorgeous scenes were everywhere. I shot photos until my camera registered “card full”. Exchanging the full memory card for an empty one I parked the truck at the Mc Kinley Bar trail head, donned my […]

On the 8th Day Artist sees Denali

A heavy frost coated the ground in shimmering crystals as I hurried through the morning chores, the sun streamed, no clouds in sight and I was in a frenzy to see the mountain. Driving at daybreak the road was mine I was giddy with anticipation, cresting Stony Dome I gasped at my first glimpse of […]

Artist Alone in Denali

Temperatures dropped in the night the porch thermometer read 37º at 7:00am, dappled sunlight glowed on distant peaks, a strong wind pummeled the clouds. We loaded our packs, mine heavy with everything Bob and I shared the first week, plus a towel and items for a shower. We hiked to the top of the hill […]

Evening Sun Delights Artist at Murie Cabin

Bob and I spent our last evening together at the Murie cabin in Denali National Park sitting on the porch watching nature at work, the welcome sun warmed the ancient timbers. Bob has bonded with the squirrels who are in perpetual motion stocking their nests under the front stoop. He leaves in the morning on […]

Rain Challenges Artist in Denali

Rain pounded the roof on the sixth day of my artist residency in Denali National Park. My spirits hit an all time low. This was Bob’s last day at the Murie cabin we decided to take the bus to the top of Sable pass and hike down one last time. Mid-day the rain stopped, but […]

Sqirrels Facinate Resident Artist

After dinner, as was our custom, we sat on the cabin front porch and watched the clouds, the distant hills, discussed the weather, observed the shifting light, followed the movements of noisy Magpies as they flew from perch to perch, the Snowshoe Hares as they darted in and out of nearby shrubs, and the pesky […]

Artist Observations at Murie Cabin

After the round trip bus ride to Wonder Lake and back we settled into life around the cabin for the rest of the day. I explored the fresh water creek to the south again looking deeper into the water, noting reflections, shapes of stones, the beautiful singular Grass of Parnassus flowers sprinkled like white pearls […]

Artist rides Green Bus to Wonder Lake

Waking to the sound of rain dashed my spirit, the 5th day of my artist residency in Denali and my search for good light on the landscape was again thwarted. Low clouds covered Polychrome pass, the world was white on grey with black silhouettes. We reasoned that the weather might be better 60 miles to […]

Artist watches Golden Eagle Soar

Every day two Golden Eagles worked the updrafts between Polychrome Pass and the hill to the south of the Murie cabin. Mesmerized by their aeronautics, I could sit and watch them forever. I often thought how amazing it would be to soar with the precision of these majestic birds, riding up and down on the […]

Artist notes Abundance for Lynx

With the peak Snowshoe Hare population natural predators such as the medium sized wild cat Lynx, are on the increase. We knew from the condition of the bark stripped willow and alder around the Murie cabin and observing 10-15 Snowshoe Hare take cover every time we appeared, the possibility of seeing a Lynx was excellent. […]

Niebrugge Finds Beams of Sunlight

Bob and I hiked east climbing Sable Pass in Denali National Park pausing now and then to shoot a landscape photo when a beam of sunlight found its way through a hole in the clouds spotlighting a mountain or patch of fireweed. It was August 7 and the brilliant fuschia colored fireweed blossoms topped their […]

Artist Hikes Sable Pass

The morning of our fourth day dawned grey and wet, low clouds and poor visibility. We decided to gear up again in rain jackets and waterproof over pants and hike the road from the cabin to the east. This region known as Sable Pass has been closed to off road hiking since the formation of […]

Artist Cabin Residents

During our hike down the west side of Polychrome Pass rain began again in earnest, waterproof gear kept us sort of dry but the wind driven horizontal spray found ways to creep inside, wet eyeglasses limited vision and shooting photographs became unrealistic. We waved down a green bus and sloppily found a seat dripping water […]

Red Fox Greet Artist on the Road

Alone at the top of Polychrome pass we resumed our hike down the west side toward the Toklat River. Walking quietly I spotted a movement on the ground at the top of a knoll about 100 yards ahead. We stopped and glassed with binoculars. Soon two red fox appeared romping and playing on the spongy […]

Rain, Low Clouds Stymie Artist

All night rain soaked the dry earth turning the dust to a slimy mud, fed the thirsty trees and plants, and raised the volume and size of the East Fork River that raged louder just west of the Murie cabin where we were staying. Morning brought a lighter shade of darkness with a pause in […]

Artist Rides the Denali Green Bus

One of the perks for the Denali Artist-in-Residence is a bus pass. Using the bus schedule we could ride the road from Savage check point to Wonder Lake, get off anyplace and hail down the next bus when we were ready to ride again. It sounded great and in theory it was, but the practical […]

Look Down Through an Artists Eyes

Exploring around the Murie cabin I found a small fresh water stream to the south, below the bluff, that flowed over unusual rocks creating an interesting pattern as it twisted and braided pooling crystal clear here and there revealing wet cobblestones in various colors, some striped others flecked. I found many of these larger stones […]

Artist Bench on East Fork River

We woke to smoke, miserable thick lung biting air that stung eyes. I was determined to find something to use for painting subject matter and adjusted my expectations, forced my focus downward to smaller things. A hike around the cabin revealed some hand carved logs placed as benches with views of the East Fork River. […]

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