These huge miniature watercolours,
five to twenty times life size, are painted from authentic objects that were washed up on the particular shore where you grew up or worked or honey-mooned or vacationed, anyplace in the world.

This isn't a typical "wildlife art" painting,
but a new kind of highly realistic, exquisitely detailed large watercolour or oil, that, because it is an enlargement of unfamiliar small objects, passes on the wall as an abstract - a little more along the "fine art" side than a bird painting ever could be - symbolic of the diversity and balance of nature.

Each painting is accompanied by the original still-life arrangement
of the specimens that Aleta painted from, displayed and protected in a shadow-box frame, meant to hang with or near the painting, and by identifications and life history information about the species in the composition.



- the knife-sharp immediacy, the almost-magic realism, the "looking closer than you'd ever look at it yourself" of a semi-abstract high-realist 'Drifted series' painting from your favourite beach, riverbank, or rocky shore.

To see details of this painting, click on areas of interest.

[Drifted Lake Erie] [Cepaea snail] [Zebra Mussels] [Aquatic snails] [Fish vertebra and Potomogeton] [Mallard feather and Zebra Mussels] [base of Mallard feather with Potomogeton] [cornucopia with clam shells]

Drifted Lake Erie, 1993 watercolour 90cm x 70cm
the first of the "Drifted" series, this painting is owned by Bruce and Beth Townsend.

To commission the painting, you beach-comb the shore, gathering a sample of dried drift, pack it carefully, and ship it to Bishops Mills. There Aleta selects an arrangement and does the painting, while Fred identifies the species represented and assembles accounts of their natural history. The painting, shadowbox-framed arrangement, and identification list are shipped to you, while the remaining specimens are accessioned to represent your locality in our museum collection.

instructions for commissioning a Drifted! painting.

Aleta Karstad,
Bishops Mills
Oxford Station, Ont. K0G 1T0


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next Drifted painting: Sombrio Beach Drift

Drift poem by FW Schueler

Aleta Karstad

more watercolours by Aleta Karstad