Artists Magazine


Many landscape artists are well acquainted with the mix of joy and challenge that can characterize an outdoor painting session, but painting on-site in Antarctica and the Arctic regions is taking plein air to a whole new level. Canadian watercolorist David McEown knows firsthand how extreme—and exhilarating—the experience can be. Throughout his 30-year career, the artist has circumnavigated the Arctic Ocean, stopping to explore and paint in parts of Northern Canada, Alaska, the Russian Arctic, Norway and Greenland. He has traveled aboard expedition ships, sailboats and nuclear icebreakers, and even journeyed by ski as part of an excursion to reach the geographic North Pole.

McEown’s first trip to the Antarctic was in 2005, and he has returned every year since. At present he has very nearly circumnavigated that entire continent. All of these explorations have allowed the artist to observe and capture the world’s stunning icy wilderness through the medium of watercolor.

McEown has traveled to many other locations around the world, but of the various places he has encountered and painted, he’s particularly drawn to the polar regions for three main reasons, beginning with the awe-inspiring beauty

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