Growing up on a remote island in Southeast, Alaska, with only my parents and dogs placed me in a unique position, making it necessary to entertain myself. I began drawing and painting at a very early age, and was self-taught through the use of many fine books and publications. The old cannery site where we lived was very picturesque, and the mountains, fjords and forests were spectacular, but the item that spawned my greatest interest was the variation of boats that came to visit. Most of those boats of that era were wooden hulled. The mailboat was an old "Yakobi". She came to be every two weeks as weather permitted, and there were many fishing boats. I took the opportunity to participate and gained a good deal of knowledge about the fishing industry in general, and the rigging and operation of the boats. My father‘s own boat was a wooden hulled Columbia River double ender of 36 feet, and I still have a soft spot for the old double enders, and the beautiful wooden hulls of the large halibut schooners. While out on the boats, I was always thrilled by the sea, the waves and the sky.
Upon leaving the island as a young adult, and moving to Petersburg, I was able to take extension courses for artists offered through the University of Alaska. Petersburg is the fishing capital of Southeast Alaska. The scenery around Petersburg is truly beautiful and its harbors are the home of more than 200 fishing vessels, a various age and beauty. Petersburg is called "Little Norway" as it founder was a Norwegian by the name of Peter Buschman. The town is located on Mitkof Island. There are many streams, bays, inlets, and fjords which, combined with the high mountain peaks would remind anyone of the scenery in Norway. Bearing this in mind, I opened Fjordland Studios in Petersburg and began my career. There where I painted boats, landscapes, portraits, and the Tlingit peoples receiving many commissions, as I worked in oil and acrylics using pallet, knife, and brush.
The state of Alaska purchased some of my works through their "One percent Art Program", which set aside one percent of the budget for new construction of state buildings. Other works may be seen at the Pioneer Home of the Ketchikan, at Senior Housing, Saint Catherine’s Catholic Church, Scandia House, and the Tides Inn of Petersburg, Bartlett Hospital, in Juneau, the Police Academy in Sitka, the library in Hoonah, Alaska, and in many private collections throughout the United States.
Since moving to Oregon in 2005, I have opened the "Studio at St James" (a small building, owned by and adjacent to Saint James Lutheran Church in the city of Myrtle Point) where I have been delighted to find an active art community in the area. Since arriving there I have had the honor of having my works excepted for display at jury shows in the Maritime and Expressions West exhibits of the Coos Art Museum. I am an active member of the Bay Area Artists' Association, the Artist Loft Gallery, where my works are displayed and sold, and the Coos Art Museum. I’ve enjoyed travel through the State of Oregon and the creativity, inspired by its many spectacular scenes, it’s interesting harbors and boats, and dramatic scenes at the river bars. I look forward to painting, and sharing my works with others and inspiring my group of students. I have actually taught drawing and painting in schools on a volunteer basis, and in my studios for 25 years and look forward to continuing that for years to come.
~Carol D. Howald