Sunday, July 03, 2011
Alaska...where do I begin?
Thank goodness for being a painter. I mean, I've been told I have something of a knack for words, but words do not aptly describe such a venture as painting, teaching in Alaska.
Some of the warmest, friendliest folks I've had the pleasure to meet and come to know. Hearty...embracing the weather that is Alaska...with full intent to push on paint regardless. Rain...chill, squalls, mist or what I heard them refer to as "socked in!" We were out there. Painting north of Anchorage...areas of Palmer, Wasilla, Willow...Hatcher's Pass, and Independence Mine.
Plans began within the first couple days of being back home to return next summer. The question is...will it be one, two...perhaps three different workshops offered? One north of Anchorage...one that covers south Anchorage to Whittier, Portage and Kenai? Whatever the case...if you have ever thought to travel...make this destination/workshop your aim for next year.
I will add photos over the next couple weeks...tell of the fun we had, share paintings, but of the 800 photos I have, I will be working on a DVD trailer to promote the workshop for next year.
My aim for these workshops was to build foundations for control, for expediency, to build confidence in the artists. Beginning with value driven limited palettes...then introducing Zorn's palette...next Payne's pigment soup palette, lastly the split-complementary palette.
Here are some pictures to wet your appetite...and a couple painting demos of mine executed...
Of course...to answer the first question right away, YES!!!! I did go fishing...and many thanks to Scott Thompson, artist and sportsman...bringing Kurt Jacobson and myself to the Deshka River...we catching five salmon in all...keeping but one very nice one that Scott caught, and you see what fine slabs on the grill such present!
...and...do click on images to see a larger better view...!
Next...here is some of our gang at work, or shall we say play? Serious play!!!
...and...of course I was there to instruct on painting methods and strategies..
Here...we are struggling with the decision where to set up. There just aren't enough places to paint in Alaska!!!
and of course...you are always reminded of the realities, you aren't in Kansas, nor Disneyland. Here...nature plays for real...but, to me that is part of the allure!
Its really not so scary, but Alaskans have their share of respect, not running up a lonely mountain trail thru thick brush...least not without protection. Let's just say, common sense...
...My wife Deb and I, spent time at this Alaskan Wildlife Conservancy Center where orphaned animals are rehabilitated, this curator was fielding questions while feeding two kodiak bears, sixteen months old...
...and...to finish off, I'll share one painting here in particular I like that I did at a waterfalls at Independence Mine in Hatcher's Pass. I was there to teach, and in so doing a particular obligation to restrict one's self as an instructor to stay within the bounds of what is being taught...the painting an example. On this one last day of the second workshop, I sensed opportunity to do one for me. Everyone was busy working on their own paintings, quite invigorated with a sense of what they needed to focus on. This one perhaps may be hard to yet see...but I am working to push edges and break or destroy form more.
Our umbrellas to shade and protect from above did little to prevent the freezing drizzle squall that came in sideways for about the last 15 to 20 minutes. I was very impressed, and proud to call my friends and fellow painters these Alaskan souls, who embrace their weather and look for no sympathy or quick escape. Karen Whitworth, a very fine painter herself...was painting next to me. When I looked over, at about the time my fingers were now quite numb...her hair was drenched and hanging...but no complaining from Karen. Not at all...she certainly sets a standard and maintains her own.
I took a paper towel and patted down the corner of my painting just so I could have it dry enough to sign my name. If you click on this one, you will likely note the droplets of water accumulating throughout the painting. Thank goodness oil and water do not mix!!!
20"x 10" oil on pumice panel...