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Wildlife painting in Rae-Edzo

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Rae-Edzo (Dec 05/05) - Rae artist Ray McSwain is displaying his paintings of Arctic wildlife at craft shows in Yellowknife and Rae over the holidays.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Rae artist Ray McSwain is producing paintings of Arctic wildlife for sale over the holidays. He's been drawing all his life and took up painting almost a decade ago. - Daron Letts/NNSL photo

McSwain's colourful paintings depict Arctic wildlife, such as caribou, moose, whooping cranes, eagles, wolves and polar bears.

"The predators are the most popular," he said.

He also paints on antlers and paddles, sanding off the varnish and covering the painted surface with a sealant to protect the image.

A few years ago, Diavik commissioned some of his art cards, featuring a caribou and the Northern Lights, and BHP Billiton purchased one of his paintings.

McSwain started painting almost 10 years ago.

He's been drawing all his life. He started by drawing Conan the Barbarian comics as child.

He excelled in his art classes at Chief Jimmy Bruneau high school.

He designed the school's logo in his senior year and, later, the NWT Volleyball Association logo, as well.

McSwain's father, Louie Martin, of Ndilo, is a soapstone carver.

McSwain drove to Yellowknife for the craft sale at the Abe Miller Centre last month, where he sold some paintings and several art cards.

His next craft show will be the Christmas Bazaar at the Sportsplex in Rae next week.

He plans to produce a website to showcase his art early in 2006.