What Color is Alaska in the Winter? Sketches From a Warm Car

Although it has been cold and windy here, I was determined to get out and paint the soft colors of winter in Alaska last week. I gathered my sketch bag and tootled off in our car with the heater on high.

The sun has long ago abandoned us and only touches the mountain peaks during the middle of the day.  I stopped to sketch the Matanuska River from the Glenn Highway. Most of the river is full of ice and the reflections are from ice polished by snow as it blows down the frozen river. Water is flowing under and around the ice, being fed by ground water and springs. No glacier melt adds to the flow when the thermometer hovers below minus ten degrees day after day.

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Mount Wickersham glows in the sunlight, causing colorful shadows.

Spruce trees are almost navy blue against the glow of the deciduous tree bark being lit by the weak sunshine. The sky is pale and silvery.

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I wasn’t sketching very long before the sun set at three in the afternoon. The weak blue in the sky gave way to a warm peachy glow as I sat snuggled up in my car, happy as a cat as I sketched with the heat on.

What color is winter where you are?

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