Jon Van Zyle
During our stay at Denali Park as Artists-In-Residence, my wife and I experienced many days of intense smoke due to wildfires in the interior of the state. On some days we could see no further than five or ten feet ahead of us. Due to this 'close up view' of Denali Park, I felt it was necessary for me to produce a series of small, intimate, field sketches as opposed to the normal panoramic view so often seen. In my nearly four decade career as an Alaskan artist, I've done relatively few of these type sketches. However, I find myself doing more of them now as I get older. I hope these intimate views of Denali help visitors to look a little closer at nature.
— Jon Van Zyle, 2004
Jona Van Zyle
The unique opportunity to experience Denali in such an intimate manner necessitated the creation of special footwear for the park. To wander and explore in a non-intrusive way, to honor the park's past history and to respect and protect these treasured lands called for delicate yet durable mukluks.
Every tiny stitch and tiny bead is a special memory of the park. The gift of ten days and unimaginable adventures was awesome. The gift of wolves around our windows and doors was spiritual. I tried to capture and record these special moments in these magical mukluks which still dance my heart and soul through Denali.
— Jona Van Zyle, 2004
Jon Van Zyle and Jona Van Zyle came as a team, each bringing a variety of experience to this program. Jon has spent more than 30 years in Alaska, and is well known for his paintings, prints and posters depicting the state’s beauty. He completed the Iditarod twice and in 1979 was made the official Iditarod artist, a title he still holds today. Jona’s interests include ceramics, metal casting and graphic design. She honed her sewing skills working as a sailmaker and currently works with leather and beads to combine traditional clothing ideas with a humorous Alaskan twist. She has over 20 years of experience working with huskies, and has written and illustrated many articles about dog history and training for a variety of publications. Visit the Van Zyles' website.
This chalk pastel painting has a rusty orange acrylic underpainting which is then gessoed with Golden's Final Pumice Gel medium. Additional pumice dust was added to the gel medium to increase the coarseness and tooth of the substrate. The pastel colors were applied with a series of overlapping and intersecting strokes. By crosshatching the strokes on such a coarse surface, bits and pieces of the underlying strokes peek through which creates a sparkly look to the colors.
— Patricia Savage, 2004
Patricia Savage is a painter who is passionate about wild places and the species that inhabit them. She bridges the gap between science and fine art by portraying accurate biological relationships in her compositions. She has visited Alaska twice previously, and on one of the trips was the natural history artist for a four-week coastal cruise retracing the 1899 Harriman Expedition. Visit Patricia Savage's website.
Diane Canfield Bywaters
87.5 Mile Marker at Wonder Lake in Denali
Though the genre of landscape painting is traditional, my painting does not repeat what has gone on before — rather, the rich history of landscape painting inspires me to create a new direction. My unique direction incorporates not only a format that emphasizes the way we perceive with two eyes (the exaggerated horizontal format incorporating almost a 180 degree perspective) it also conveys, through my intensive understanding of nature, the feeling of the quality of atmospheric air, the spontaneous fleeting experience of being in nature, and a connection to a sense of place.
— Diane Canfield Bywaters, 2004
Diane Canfield Bywaters is a landscape painter with more than 26 years of experience of “on location” painting. She is currently a Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin. She has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad to paint dramatic landscapes to raise the environmental awareness of the viewer. She has been an artist-in-residence at several national parks, including Rocky Mountain, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Acadia, Hawaii Volcanoes, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Isle Royale, Glacier and Voyageurs. Visit Diane Bywater's Website.
Last updated: March 7, 2019