Artist Jim Fowler: Interpreting the landscape

Posted: Thursday, February 01, 2001

"The trick then is when I pull it out to make it a complete painting without losing what I captured when I was outside."

-- Jim Fowler

Artist Jim Fowler has captured the panoramic sweep of Heintzleman Ridge and the subtle struggle of jackpines in the muskeg in a new series of paintings.

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will exhibit about 20 of Fowler's recent landscape and scenic paintings throughout February. An opening reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the museum.

Fowler carried his palette, paints and paper up Blackerby Ridge last summer to paint the view across the Lemon Creek Valley. He does most of his work in the field in one sitting, putting on the finishing touches at home.

"I set the basic composition, catch the atmospheric conditions," Fowler said. "The trick then is when I pull it out to make it a complete painting without losing what I captured when I was outside."

He's kayaked Inside waters and hiked up into the muskeg looking for inspiration. In the painting "Struggle," he depicts a quiet contest for survival.

"Those little jackpines always seem like they're struggling," he said. "They always have more dead branches on them than green, and they're struggling while the spruce nearby on slightly drier ground are thriving."

Fowler's paintings are done in acrylic on paper and range from more intimate scenic stills to panoramas. Some are the size of a full sheet of paper, 22 by 30 inches, others are half that size, 15 by 22 inches.

Fowler will be at the free opening reception Friday evening, and also will be available to talk about his paintings and answer questions from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the museum. Admission will be free Saturday, part of the museum's First Saturdays Free program this winter.

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is located at 4th and Main streets and is a program of the Juneau Parks and Recreation Department.

Riley Woodford can be reached at

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