Through September 30th a collection of my watercolor paintings and field sketches of wildlife is up at the Blue Hill Library. This includes the glass cases in the Howard room, which show actual field journals and other inspiration from my creative process.
Where the Wild Things Are: Connections with our Fellow Beings in Sketch and Watercolor at the Blue Hill Public Library starting Thursday September 2nd and going through September 29th.
Michael Boardman says that he finds inspiration in wild places. “Where the wild things are. That’s what gets my creative spark going, places that are pristine enough to support communities of life that don’t walk around on two legs. Places where you can feel humbled and unimportant.”
For over 20 years he has field-sketched, drawn and painted animals from Baxter State Park to Eastern Africa. “Fortunate alignments” have allowed him to connect his artwork with science and conservation, such as artist residencies in Acadia National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve in Alaska. These experiences have given him insight into the effects of climate change on wildlife populations. A recent artist residency in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has led to his art becoming a voice for protecting that endangered landscape from resource extraction.
Michael’s training as a Maine Master Naturalist gives him insight into the interconnected nature of wildlife and landscape, and this comes through in his work. A former resident of Blue Hill and graduate of the George Stevens Academy, Michael is looking forward to bringing his work back to where his muse began.
The show will be in the library’s Britton Gallery and Roland Howard Room, including the glass cases, available for viewing during library hours subject to the Howard Room schedule. For more information contact the library at 374-5515.
With the help of a generous project grant from the Maine Arts Commission, Creative Images Photography (Brian Beard) and I have been working on a project to showcase both my work field sketching birds and our connection to the arctic through those birds. Here’s a preview featured in this year’s Art in the Arctic online exhibition.
My friends at Alaska Wilderness League recorded my talk as part of their Geography of Hope series. I cover my trip up to the coastal plain, the project I was involved with, birds I met and how all this connects Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to our homes in the lower 48. Featuring lots of my sketches and artwork!
Watch here: Michael Boardman Geography of Hope
Hot off the presses, a six card set of images inspired by my residency in Arctic Refuge.
Each 5″X7″ card is printed on heavyweight stock and comes with a mailing envelope and field sketch on the back. Reproduced form my original watercolor paintings.
Help fund my trip back to the arctic!
I am honored to be chosen as a featured artist for the USF&WS exhibit Art in the Arctic at Venue in Fairbanks. I’ll have 5 pieces from my residency in Arctic Refuge, sharing gallery space with 5 other excellent artists, in the theme of migratory birds. Ill also be doing a talk on the residency and. drawing workshop on Feb 29th, all proceeds going to the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.
My friends at the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Fairbanks, AK have asked me to share my experience in the refuge this summer, as part of promoting the online Arctic Bird Festival. I will be doing several talks in Anchorage and Fairbanks, am featured in the promotion, and designed the poster you see here. If you are interested in what it’s like to be a bird on the coastal plain, see all the great content, stories, videos and more here: www.arcticbirdfest.com
During my stint at the Canning River Bird Camp, a team from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska (the lovely and talented Allyssa Morris and Lisa Hupp) were filming some material for the online Arctic Bird Festival – see next post.
Following are 2 videos from my time in the refuge-
An introduction to Canning River Bird Camp
and a wonderful piece on y time in the Refuge as Artist in Residence
wonderful taste of the experience of working in Arctic Refuge!
From mid June to early July of 2019 I was stationed at the Canning River Bird Camp in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, at the very top of Alaska. My second residency with the Voices of the Wilderness program, I was working with the ornithologists studying and sketching all the migratory birds that travel to the arctic coastal plain to breed and raise their young. The coastal plain in an incredible environment, unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Once our plane works it way through the massive Brooks Range, the landscape opens up into braided river channels, pools of meltwater and a vast flat expanse of treeless tundra, where no plants grow above 8″. But there are plants, and wildflowers, and mosses, and lichens growing their way through the cold and wind. There are geometric patterns in the permafrost where melting and refreezing have created polygons of tundra. There are countless paths of caribou migration, carved into the landscape over thousands of years. And there are birds, SO many birds, who are drawn to this unique wilderness to build a new generation. I’ll be lecturing about my experience in the Arctic Refuge, showing images and artwork from my experience, so keep up on our events page to see the latest. It is such an important place with so much life.
Photo by Lisa Hupp, USF&WS