Gregory I. McHuron (Artist-in-Residence, 1994)

Artwork shows a bull moose in a nature scene
"Isle Royale Bull", 16” x 35 ½” oil painting, 1994

NPS/Gregory McHuron

Isle Royale Reflection

"I prefer painting on location as much as possible because the drama and excitement which occurs all around me is difficult to recreate in a studio environment. When I paint these rapidly changing scenes, I try to put into each of them the feelings and excitement I felt while watching the scene unfold. If I can capture that particular feeling, then I know that those viewing my works will come to feel some of the emotions and excitement that motivated my wanting to record this particular fleeting moment.

Isle Royale is a wonderful place to step back in time, reflect, and learn about oneself. My main intent in going to Isle Royale was to study how light was affected by being close to a large body of water, as well as being close to sea level, because I live in the mountains of Wyoming at 6700 ft., with very thin atmosphere. I was most fortunate in having the opportunity to be on the island on two separate occasions, which allowed me to build on my first experiences and observations.

The Dassler cabin is situated in a perfect location that affords an extended view of the north end of the island and is isolated enough for artists to be alone for extended periods of time with our thoughts and our work. Travel by canoe and by foot allows us to really slow down and enter the rhythm of the island.

The immediate influence on my work was a change in the temperature of my palette as the light and shadows tend to be much warmer on Isle Royale than what I was used to. Due to the humidity and different flora, the temperature changes required me to sharpen my powers of observation, to think about how and why the light is affected as it strikes various objects and surfaces.

What the long-term influence will be, who knows? I am sure some will be dramatic while others will be subtle—either way they will be ongoing. Would I return? In a heartbeat—in order to paint with more knowledge and emotion rather than thought."

-Greg McHuron*


About the Artist*

Gregory "Greg" McHuron was an Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence from August 5th to August 27th, 1994. He was a plein-air painter born in Syracuse, New York but grew up in Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, and California. Gregory graduated from Oregon State University in 1968 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and a background in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife. In 1973 he moved to the Jackson, Wyoming, area where he worked primarily in oils and watercolors, emphasizing wildlife and landscapes as his subject matter.

McHuron was elected to membership in the Society of Animal Artists in 1979 and participated in SAA shows in New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Vermont. He also exhibited in national shows with Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited, as well as many others. He was the winner of the Old West Museum Award of Excellence in 1984 and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation Stamp Award in 1985 and his work is included in public and private collections in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Greg passed away in 2012.

Learn more about Greg and his work on his personal website.

*[Source for all Greg's page content: Root, Robert and Jill Burkland, editors. (2000). The Island Within Us. Houghton, MI: Isle Royale Natural History Association. p 68. Print.]


Last updated: January 28, 2020

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