In 1988 I began a series of trips to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to paint from the landscape. Within minutes of arriving at Schrader-Peters Lakes on my first trip, I knew I’d found an incredible place to paint. There were composition possibilities in every direction. The variety of color and geological formations could provide a lifetime of working material.
My landscapes are completed in the field, whatever the size. Quick drying alkyd paints have proven to be a fairly good substitute for oils. I enjoy painting deep space vistas and like to deal with water and changing skies.
Very few people have been to the Refuge, and the public has almost no idea what the place looks like. My goal has been to demonstrate that the high Arctic is not a barren wasteland, and to draw attention to and preserve the beauty of the Arctic Refuge.
David Mollett is a painter and printmaker working with strongly delineated form, light, and expressive color. He was born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska from the age of 10. He completed his B.A. in art at Reed College in 1975, and studied at the New York Studio School of Painting and Sculpture. He is a Professor of Art at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he teaches printmaking and drawing.
Over five decades, Mollett has painted extensively in the field, from remote sites in northern and western Alaska to the countryside near Aviginon in Southern France. In the studio he explores relief and intaglio printmaking, and experiments in two-dimensional relief constructions in found materials.
Mollett has exhibited in nearly 30 solo exhibitions and in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. He is a member of the artist co-op, Bowery Gallery in Chelsea in New York City, and owns Well Street Art Company, an artist studio and gallery building in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Mollett has created a dozen “One Percent for Art” projects for public spaces throughout Alaska, including a 9×30-foot painting, Rainbow Creek, for the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, and, in collaboration with Jessie Hedden, a large stained glass installation for the Margaret E. Murie Building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
His work is held in the collections of the Alaska State Museum, Alaska Airlines, Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum, BP, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, Progressive Insurance Corporation, Trenton State College, New Jersey, and the University of Alaska Museum, as well as in many private collections nationwide.
Learn more about David Mollett and his work at www.bowerygallery.org/mollett.html.
Artwork ©1988-2023 by David Mollett. Used with permission of the artist.