Howard Sivertson's work: All Work » Giclee Prints » Books & Calendars

Howard Sivertson

Raised as a third generation commercial fisherman in Washington Harbor on Isle Royale, Howard worked hard as a young man harvesting trout and herring from the cold waters of Lake Superior. Unfortunately, there is no time or place for a dreamer in the demanding world of commercial fishing. "Quit your dreaming and pay attention," was the warning Art Sivertson continuously shouted to his son over the drone of the engines. Howard's visual studies of seagulls, clouds and wave patterns were interrupted just long enough to avoid the entanglement of hook lines, netting or anchor lines.

"I remember coming from Isle Royale to Grand Marais for my first day of kindergarten," recalls Howard. "Each student was asked to tell of his summer experiences. Finding myself at a loss for words when my turn came, I went to the blackboards and drew my Isle Royale adventures. It eventually filled three walls and most of the day. It was then that I realized how I could best communicate and share my experiences and feelings."

Those impressions and experiences were the inspiration for later educational pursuits. Howard completed studies at the Minneapolis School of Art and the University of Minnesota. He spent 25 years in commercial art before returning to the terrain of northeastern Minnesota in the late 1970’s. He lived alone in the woods for three years practicing his painting techniques and reclaiming his connection to the environment of his youth. In 1980, Howard settled in Grand Marais where he has been painting and writing ever since.

Howard works primarily in watercolor and oils either on location or in his Grand Marais studio. Both a landscape and narrative artist, he paints the scenesand historical tales of the North Shore, Isle Royale, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. "Artists are natural story tellers using painted pictures instead of word pictures," he explains.

Howard blends words and paintings to narrate local history in his four books: Once Upon an Isle, stories about the commercial fishing culture of Isle Royale, published in 1992; The Illustrated Voyageur, published in 1994 and reprinted in 2000; Tales of the Old North Shore, published in 1996;Schooners, Skiffs & Steamships: Stories along Lake Superior Water Trails was published in 2001; and Driftwood published in 2008.