Assiniboine Riverbank


$44/month to rent
$650/to purchase

Aleta Karstad

8″ x 16″

Item ID: 51134


Born in Guelph, Ontario in 1951, Aleta learned her love of nature through helping her wildlife pathologist, Lars Karstad, with travels and field work. After the three-year Fine Arts course at Central Technical School, Toronto, she began to work in biological illustration at the National Museum of Canada, and in 1973, married biologist Frederick W. Schueler. They have been residents of the Bishops Mills since 1978, and are very involved in recording local natural history. In 2002, they opened Bishops Mills Natural History Centre in the old General Store building. Aleta’s books have been drawn from her illustrated natural history journals, and since 1995 she has been teaching her method.

Aleta and her husband Fred are currently travelling on the maritime leg of the 30 Years Later Expedition ( She is painting full time on this expedition and producing five paintings per week, which she uploads to her blog ( from which she runs a week-long e-mail auction for each piece to support the 30 Years Later Expedition.

About Assiniboine Riverbank:

“20 October 2014 found me painting in late afternoon sunshine on the north bank of the Assiniboine River at Long Plain First Nations Reserve, southwest of Edwin, Manitoba. I sit on a rock amidst short grassy Carex, about 2 metres above the current water level, my feet making prints in the damp mud growing with scrambling Knotweed, at the edge of a small stand of reed-like Sandbar Willow.

My painting spot is 5.56 km upstream of where the Energy East route would cross the river. The Highway 305 bridge is downstream to my right, the muddy prairie river sweeping beneath it, still in flood conditions after this summer’s heavy rains. Cliff Swallow nests encrust the vertical concrete of the outside of the span in the middle of the bridge, with circular mud-marks of nests that have fallen from other sections of the span. Fred has come back from looking around upstream, and is perusing the sandy mud bank opposite me, moving in and out of sight in the tangled river-edge forest of tall autumn-yellow Ash trees. Three Greater Yellowlegs fly peeping noisily up from the waters edge as he scans the mud carefully for mussel shells, finding only a single small worn-down fragment.

As I settled in to paint, my biologist husband Fred wandered upstream on this shore of the river, to where the bank became a vertical clay dropoff. I lost sight of him among the trees as he climbed the bank from the narrow beach across from me. The flooding hadn’t left much for him to find in the way of fresh water mussel shells, but he noted our westernmost Ostrich Fern on the brink of the bank 3.5 m above current water level.

Fred returned with a few huge leaves from an Elm sapling, and one small creamy mushroom cap near ground level of our favorite edible species Hypsizygus ulmarius (Manitoba Maple Knothole Oyster) which we’ve been expecting to reappear as we travel back east. I had made good progress on the painting, but had to pack it up unfinished to hurry east – next day the Red River in Winnipeg, and then Shoal Lake and Kenora.” – Aleta Karstad

Additional information

Dimensions 18 × 1 × 15 in
SKU: A-51134 Categories: , ,

©2020 Art Gallery of Burlington All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?