At home again in my Copper Center, Alaska, studio I studied all the photo research and began sketching ideas for the Atmautluak painting. Several themes emerged; one was the sled dog race with the village in the background and the other was the village at night with northern lights overhead. I settled on the sled dog race because it showed the people at play and represented the entire community. I finally began to relax a little and became excited at the prospect of creating the painting, but I still worried about transporting everything I needed in a small single engine aircraft. More planning is still needed.
These are the original sketches for the Atmautluak project taken directly from my sketch book dated February, 1981.
Gail Niebrugge, Alaska Artist