Land of the Midnight Sun: Enda BARDELL
June 29 – July 25, 2021
Land of the Midnight Sun
I had the good fortune to be selected to spend 30 days in a solo residency at the Ted Harrison Cabin in July 2018. This was preceded by traveling for 2 weeks around the Yukon Territories by RV, taking reference photos for painting at the remote cabin on Crag Lake, near Carcross. There was not much time to paint during 2000 kilometres of driving and sightseeing.
We drove from Whitehorse to Jake’s corner, Tagish Road, Carcross, through Skagway Alaska, Haines Alaska, the northwest tip of British Columbia, back into Yukon, Dezadeash, Alaska Highway through Haines Junction, Kluane, Destruction Bay, through Chicken, Alaska, along the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City, and back south to Whitehorse, before settling in at Ted’s Cabin. This was quite an exciting adventure in the land where the mountains have no names and the rivers flow to who knows where!
At the log cabin, which Ted Harrison bequeathed to artists as an artists’ retreat, I immersed myself into painting the northern light, mountains and lakes in watercolour. The isolation exposed a new feeling of freedom and liberation but with challenges. Everything was green! I was accustomed to painting skies – stormy clouds and brilliant sunsets! I have been called the Queen of Skies! So how to make all this green more interesting – that was the challenge.
It was a great privilege to paint my work in this special place, having lunched with Ted Harrison a few years ago at Painters at Painters, Campbell River. I explored the original tiny cabin overlooking the lake and often thought about Ted painting there by the window sitting on a high chair. The new cabin had a massive 900 square foot studio on the 2nd floor, with an astounding view of Crag Lake, where I enjoyed the shifting light of the Land of the Midnight Sun and painted a substantial body of about 40 wilderness watercolours.
There is absolutely no place in the world, like the Yukon, Larger than Life, with such sweeping vistas of towering mountains, voluminous lakes and forests, where no man has trodden before. It is absolutely magical!