I had fun with this little painting in honor of the annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Available to view or purchase at the Art Shop Gallery, Homer, Alaska.
I really enjoyed painting this large raven. The background is a moody blue-grey streaked with golden yellow, and highly textured. Available for viewing and purchase at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska.
Really big octopus.
24 X 48 Acrylic on canvas, $1200, available at Art Shop Gallery, Homer, Alaska.
I was lucky to spot a large pod of belugas in Cook Inlet a few weeks ago. With no pack ice to camouflage them in the summer, they really stand out with their bright white color and can be easily sighted splashing and rolling as they hunt their fishy prey. Such charismatic little whales, I can help but smile whenever I see them. With the corners of their mouths naturally upturned, I like to imagine they are smiling back at me.
One of my very favorite places on earth is the Tongass National Forest. It is the largest national forest in the US at 16.7 million acres and is also the largest intact temperate rain forest ecosystem in the world. A visit to the Tongass, located in coastal SE Alaska is pure magic. The forest is dominated by huge stands of Sitka Spruce, Western Red Cedar, and Western Hemlock. Though logging has been an important influence on the Tongass in the past, large portions of the forest are now protected by the Roadless Rule. In addition to being home to three Alaska Native nations, the Tongass is a vital part of the cycle of salmon species in Alaska. The Tongass filters and cleans the abundant rain water as it flows into rivers and then the oceans. The many rivers are vital habitat for young salmon, which then migrate to the oceans, and after several years feeding, return to the rivers to spawn and die. Their bodies then return nutrients to the Tongass in a beautiful never ending cycle.
If you ever get a chance to visit Southeast Alaska, I highly recommend a hike through the Tongass, where you can enjoy the unparalleled natural beauty, breath the fresh air, and dip your toes into icy streams that lead to dramatic rocky shorelines. It is a true gem.
Here is a little sneak peek at a few of my paintings that will be debuting in June at my show at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, AK. See if you can tell from these little slivers what the whole pieces are!
Did I give you enough of a glimpse to guess? See these in their entirety and more at the show!
Opening is Friday June 5 and show runs through the end of the month. I hope to see you there!
I have some exciting news to share! It has been recently confirmed that I will be having my very first show in June! The opening will be the first Friday of June (June 5th) and running through the end of month at The Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska! I am pretty excited as this is a big step for me as an artist. Homer is such a supportive and welcoming community and I am so happy to be a part of it.
I have been busily working on some new work to debut at the show, so I wont be showing these pieces here until after the show, but in the mean time, I can show you this new piece currently on display in the Art Shop Gallery:
This piece was inspired by one of my very favorite things to do–Tide Pooling! I just love exploring tide pools along the rocky coastlines of Alaska. So many fascinating, colorful creatures. It is a great thing to do with kids, and I’ve loved introducing my children and grandchildren to this wonderful natural experience. I cannot begin to do it real justice in a piece of art, but this is my attempt to capture a tiny bit of the amazing microcosm that is a tide pool. In addition, the piece also depicts the surge of migrating salmon as they push through on the incoming tide. I hope you enjoy it, and it inspires you to get out and explore a tide pool, beach, reef, or seabed near you!
New painting to share.
I just can’t get enough of these amazing birds. They will be taking off by their hundreds and thousands, heading south soon in their raucous yearly migration. It’s quite a sight, but I hate to see it happen, not only because I love seeing them around, but because it means summer is at its end, and fall is here, with winter close on its heels.
The colts are just taking their first tentative flights, so I figure we have a few more weeks with these beauties yet, so I’m greedily drinking up all of the sightings I can. And then it’s only memories until next spring when they arrive en masse again.
The painting, Sandhill Crane Sunset, is 12×24 acrylic on canvas and is available for purchase. I haven’t decided yet if I will be making prints available for this title. If so I will post that info along with the picture info in the gallery.
One common question visitors or newcomers to Alaska often ask, when spotting marine mammals in coastal waters, is “Is that a seal or a sea lion?”
To answer that, I will describe them both for you and then give you some tips to tell the difference.
These are harbor seals, which are the seals you will most commonly see in the parts of Alaska most folks visit. They are grey-brown and speckled, with large eyes, and tend to hang out alone. You will most likely spot them just sort of hanging out in the water, peeking above the waterline, or moving quietly around, disappearing and re-appearing here and there. They are distinct from Sea Lions in that they have no ear flaps. If you see one out of the water (rare-they spend the majority of their time afloat) they move awkwardly, scooting and flopping along on their bellies because of their short front flippers and their hind flippers that point straight behind. For this reason they avoid going ashore and prefer to stay in the water where they can swim quite gracefully. Harbor seals average around 300 lbs at adulthood, with males slightly larger than females.
Next, Sea Lions:
This is a female Steller Sea Lion (or lioness). Steller sea lions are golden brown in color, with darker brown points (extremities), and can often be seen actively swimming in the large, mixed age and sex social groups in which they live. They have long front flippers they use to propel themselves through the water and small ear flaps. Unlike seals, sea lions can often be spotted hauled out on rocky shorelines, docks, or navigational buoys. They move on land by rotating their hind flippers forward so that they scoot on all fours and can move fairly quickly on land. They can also be quite loud and rowdy, with males reaching up to 1200 pounds and growling or roaring their opinions to the much smaller (around 500 lbs) but equally vocal females.
In my paintings, I have tried to convey the very different impressions one gets of these two often confused marine mammals. I’ve painted calm, soothing icy water gently surrounding the floating seals, and a sea lioness actively hunting as she dives in pursuit of her prey, while turbulent water swirls around her.
I hope this helps you to spot the differences and be able to identify two of Alaska’s beautiful and charismatic marine mammals.
Both paintings are available for purchase. Details in the Gallery.