Portraits of the North

Portraits of the North

by Gerald Kuehl
  • biography
  • from-the-north
  • illustrated-art
  • indigenous

This is a truly unique book. It offers an incomparable glimpse into the experiences and history of more than one hundred First Nations and Métis elders from Canada's North —“the last generation born on the land.” These stunning graphite pencil portraits are rendered with love, respect, and painstaking detail, along with gripping intimate profiles assembled from oral accounts and anecdotes. Their poignant facial features, lines, and creases, weathered by the harsh outdoors and a lifetime of challenges, are like badges of their remarkable achievements, sustained resolve, inspired patience, and deep-set defiance to the hardships their people have endured for generations. The masterful realism of Kuehl’s work helps uncover the tales of these seasoned individuals—their many triumphs and trials—revealing in turn a greater portrait of life in the communities of Northern Canada, a compelling homage, and an enduring historical legacy.

A second book, Portraits of the Far North, focusing on the Inuit peoples of Canada, is scheduled to be released in 2019.


Gerald Kuehl, author

Gerald Kuehl is a self taught pencil artist who grew up in Pinawa, Manitoba. Over the past 30 years he has drawn everything from wildlife to hockey skates and old trucks. […] In 1996 he was commissioned by Molson Canadian to produce a poster commemorating the history of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. Gerald has produced a series of drawings of the fish and mammals of northern Canada for the Federal Oceans and Fisheries Department. Over the years Gerald's consuming interest in portraiture developed, which has proven to be "the most challenging but certainly most rewarding of all my subject matter." Because pencil lends itself to fine detail and subtlety of tones it allows Gerald to capture the extreme realism of his subjects leaving the viewer with a feeling of their unique spirit and character.


  • Gerald’s Indigenous pencil portraits are exceptionally realistic and appealing. They capture the essence and spirit of the individual, leaving you in eager anticipation of his next drawing. - Chief Jim Bear, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Link to review
  • A rare and fascinating visual journey of discovery awaits the reader. - Paul L.A.H. Chartrand, B.A., LL.B.(Hons), LL.M, professor of law, author, and historian Link to review

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Vidacom Publications

email: info@vidacom.ca

website: https://www.vidacom.ca/

rights available: World, excl. English and French

Additional Information

number of pages: 240

publication date: 06/23/2017

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book