Showing posts from December, 2017

River Otter Portrait

River Otter Portrait (watercolour 8 x 5 in.)  Available as print I have always loved Otters. I love everything about them, but I have not been privileged to have close contact with them except as elusive neighbours of the Kemptville Creek Watershed in Grenville County, Ontario. At Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills we often find pairs of leaping prints with tail drag marks in the snow, and belly tracks where they've slid down the bank. We've followed their tracks to and from holes in the ice above the dam  - and once we found the gnawed shell of a Painted Turtle that they'd evidently been playing with on the icy bank below the dam. But then there was this one, found on 12 April of 2013, 2.8 km northeast of our place in Bishops Mills, on the shoulder of County Rd 18, where she had miscalculated the speed of a car. We brought the body home, took many photos of it as reference for a painting, as the eye was still fresh and bright, and then prepared it as a museum specime

NEW! Aleta Karstad's Nature Journal Calendar 2018

My art calendar for 2018 shares full pages of my illustrated nature journals for the first time - twelve pages selected from the years 1984-1998, when I painted and wrote in a horizontal, loose-leaf format. My journals speak for themselves, but the process is a labour of love. As I draw, paint, and describe nature, I pursue reality as if it were a vein of gold - if I depart from the details, I may lose the essence. That eye, that scale, that bract or petal, is unique to its time and place - and we become one, the observer and the observed. Spiral bound, and printed on smooth, heavy stock, this is a quality calendar, one that I hope you'll want to add to your library of art books after its months are finished on your wall. You can see all 12 months in the preview on its page at - and a 13th month as well, with my essay on illustrated nature journaling. Order the calendar online by clicking on this link for $19.95 plus taxes and shipping,  ....or contact me

Dumoine Partnership

Dumoine Partners (9 x 12 in. oil on birch panel) $750  3 August 2017 found me on the rocky riverbank of the Dumoine below the bridge at La Grande Chute, beside thundering whitewater in the company of three other painters, on the first full day of the art camp.  DRAW2017 (Dumoine River Art for Wilderness) was the first annual artists' retreat of the Ottawa Valley Chapter of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society,  and I looked forward to four more days, relating to the spectacular Dumoine River, and enjoying the company of fellow artists. The others were up on the higher rocks just behind me, inspired by the tremendous energy of the spectacular first falls of the long, straight, natural chute, which I had painted last year . To reach my ledge, one has to step carefully on smooth, snakelike roots, through a kind of doorway between trees. Just to the right as you pass through, and facing the river, there is a small inuk of stacked rocks, and a carved wooden sign, saying "in