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Byron Birdsall

 The watercolor paintings of Byron Birdsall are distillations of reality, scenes reduced to their basics with the integrity of the subject undiminished. In Birdsall's hands, light takes on a thousand forms, whether inspired by the relentless vertical rays of the East African coast, a hazy palpable dawn over Samoa, or the silent light of the winter Northland that illuminates but does not warm. It is the essential aspect of light that is at the heart of Birdsall's art. It is the life he gives this light that has cast him to the forefront of Alaska's art community and beyond. Working out of a studio in a log house on the edge of Sand Lake near Anchorage, the Byron Birdsall divides his time between sketching and painting, and trips to the field for stimulation. Sometimes the field is within walking distance, sometimes far into Alaska's interior, often to the Pacific Northwest, and not often enough to those other exotic worlds of his recently published book, "Byron Birdsall's Alaska and Other Exotic Worlds". While landscapes and cityscapes are Birdsall's forte, his love of history and fantasies about time travel have led to painting from archival material, resulting in many historical pieces. As contact between he former Soviet Union and the former Russian America has grown, Birdsall has found a compelling personal interest in this historical connection. His fascination focused on the iconography of Russian Orthodoxy, and he continue to explore the beauty and significance of this artistic expression in his own icon work. Byron Birdsall's paintings are included in the collections of a number of museums and public institutions, hang in corporate board rooms and atriums, are owned by royalty, presidents, new fans, loyal friends, and his mother-in-law. The printing of a US postage stamp in 1992, designed by the artist and commemorating the building of the Alcan Highway, was a personal high point for Birdsall, an avid stamp collector. Taku Graphics carries art cards that have been made from his limited edition prints.