• Supplies
March 6, 2023

The Icy Fjords Palette

The Icy Fjords Palette is a collaboration between Art Toolkit and the Art of Soil and is inspired by the glacier-carved landscape of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords.

By The Art Toolkit Team

An open Icy Fjords Palette filled with ten paints, a drawstring bag, and a card with the “Icy Fjords” watercolor art on it, on a white background.

The Icy Fjords Palette is a collaboration between Art Toolkit and the Art of Soil and is inspired by the glacier-carved landscape of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords.

The Story Behind This Collaboration

Maria Coryell-Martin, Founder

The moment that Wyoming-based soil scientist and the Art of Soil founder Karen Vaughan and I connected, we knew we wanted to collaborate. Our shared passions for art, science, and education were a perfect jumping-off point. Karen and I mused about what fun it would be to collaborate on a limited-edition palette that could support our passions. I immediately thought of Inspiring Girls* Expeditions, a program I’ve worked with both as an instructor and advisor since 2009.

I worked with Karen to select ten colors inspired by the glacier-carved landscape of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords, where I have instructed with Inspiring Girls* Expeditions for their Girls* in Icy Fjords program. These colors capture the elements of earth, sea, rock, ice, and vegetation of the coastal mountains.

A woman in a hat and puffy coat talks and gestures while holding a notebook open to a sketch of underwater creatures.
Maria demonstrating sketching techniques with Inspiring Girls* Expeditions. Photo by Erin Pettit

A Custom Engraving for the Icy Fjords Palette Lid

The custom lid design is inspired by the landscape of the North, where Maria has spent time sketching, teaching, and traveling with scientists and youth expedition groups. Using the Art of Soil’s handmade paints, Maria painted the “Icy Fjords” watercolor that is printed on the included tri-fold book, then simplified the design into a line drawing for the palette lids.⁠

Closed blue palette on a table with a painted insert card and drawstring bag.
The Icy Fjords Palette lid, insert card, and drawstring bag.

Paints by the Art of Soil

This Pocket Palette comes with ten Standard Pans filled to the brim with handmade, soil-based watercolor paints by the Art of Soil’s Karen Vaughan and extra mixing space. The ten colors included: Shine, Goethite, Sundowner, Hematite, Basalt, Deep Blue Sea, Blue, Sprout, Coastal Water, and Titania.

Swatches of each of the ten Icy Fjord paints.
Swatch card of the Icy Fjords Palette.
Four color mixes from the Icy Fjords Palette.
Color clouds created with colors from the palette.

Mix a range of blues for big skies and mineral-rich icy waters. Create rocky textures with Sundowner, Hematite, and Basalt, and mix colors into Sprout for varied vegetation. Use soft purples for shadows or sunset with Sundowner, and create white accents with Titania for snow-capped peaks and icebergs. Explore, experiment, and have fun!

About Karen

Soil scientist and paint maker Karen Vaughan is an associate professor of soil science at the University of Wyoming as well as an artist and jill-of-all-trades at the Art of Soil. Karen is a classically trained pedologist whose research traverses applied environmental biogeochemistry and pedology through the exploration of soil evolution and ecosystem processes across scales. She also works collaboratively to explore the distribution and implications of diversity and inclusion within the field of soil science.

A woman stands in a dry field, one foot on a shovel, smiling into the sun at the camera.
Karen Vaughan

Karen is a community-taught pigment forager and paint maker and is thrilled to be on this mineral journey with all the other movers, shakers, creatives, and makers. When not working with soils, pigments, and paint, she can be found traversing the trails of southeastern Wyoming while trail running, skiing, biking, or wandering with her two children and husband.

See more of Karen’s work on the Art of Soil website.

A Collaboration to Support Inspiring Girls* Expeditions

This collaboration supported art, education, and science as 10% of each sale went directly to supporting programs by Inspiring Girls* Expeditions. Inspiring Girls* Expeditions leads tuition-free multi-day expeditions for high school girls* that interweave science, art, and backcountry travel. Led by professional women scientists, artists, and wilderness guides, the teams engage in scientific and artistic inquiry about the environment around them. Learn more about the impact every donation will make, and discover how to get involved on the Inspiring Girls* website.

Program participants clustered in kayaks hold up their paddles over the frigid water.
Inspiring Girls* Program Participants in Kayaks.

* Inspiring Girls Expeditions welcomes cisgender girls and transgender, agender, Two Spirit, nonbinary, intersex, and genderqueer youth.

An artist sites on a rock, dipping a paintbrush in a Pocket Palette.

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