Artists find inspiration from many venues. Other art, personal visions, but most often from the world around them. Henry David Thoreau wrote about the trails he frequented, Warhol made designs from unavoidable pop culture and Bradford Washburn photographed the mountains he loved so much. It’s easy to tell where my cousin Iris Sutton gets her inspiration. Her large scale paintings with vivid colors of Alaska landscapes, animals and mushing culture hark to the raw beauty and grandeur of Alaska. A finisher of the Yukon Quest, she was chosen in 2012 to make the poster artwork.
Fish, long a common theme for Alaska art, surfaced in one of her recent paintings. A subject I also look to for inspiration, as well as sustenance. Here is Iris with her painting of salmon hanging, and a picture of salmon hanging before the smoking process.