The Alaska filtered photo image “Cassie Contemplates the Winter Woods” is based in Gustavus, Alaska. Being an Alaskan artist in a small remote community I am lucky to be surrounded by natural beauty, and get a lot of my inspiration from the breathtaking outdoors I call home.

This image is one of my early works.  I wanted to focus on the details of snow outlining tree branches and the wonderful black & white contrast everywhere I looked.

Here’s the story behind the image:

The day begins cautiously optimistic.  It’s been cold and blowing a wintry mix of rain and snow for 3 days straight; low, low ceiling pressing down and leaching the color from sea and sky.  But the morning dawns brighter and quieter, drawing us out of the house and into the winter woods.

Cassie the black dog stands in sharp contrast to the white snow on the path. Once the wind stopped, snow accumulated on the tree branches and now outlines each individual spruce needle and bare cottonwood limb.  Mixed with the fresh scent of spruce and pine is a whiff of woodsmoke and the salt air coming in from Icy Strait on the next tide.

Take a breath, pause, release and watch it float away.  Snow muffles the sound of our footsteps as we make the rounds, do the stations of the daily walkabout:  the group of cottonwoods over by the old cabin, the grove of big spruce on the way down to the river, the shapely alder filling in the understory.  Cassie is patient with me as I stop to admire the pattern of snow on spruce tips or spy on some little brown birds chittering on their way.  She pads a few steps ahead, then stops and turns to look back, making sure I’m still with her.  I take the shot that becomes image #1713, Cassie Contemplates the Winter Woods.

She leads the way as we finish our rounds and head back to the house, simultaneously filled with bright, clean tree-breath energy and the peaceful serenity of the winter woods.

Artwork by Alaskan Artist Lillian Ruedrich. Love this image? Buy it here as a 5×7 blank notecard. Or click here to purchase more Unique Alaska Artwork for sale.