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.
The lupine are in bloom and the bees are buzzing. It’s a beautiful time of year in Alaska.
My show is up at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer!
There are quite a few new pieces, like this one:
And this one:
And many more.
Come by and take a look if you get a chance.
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!
It is a beautiful new year here at Twin Spruce; cold and clear and full of the promise of spring as the days get ever so slightly longer each day.
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I did. Paint more! Read more! Grow more food! Like everyone else I start off the new year with a great deal of enthusiasm for the year ahead and like (mostly) everyone else that enthusiasm starts to wane around February or so when winter stubbornly refuses to go away. And then March. And then April…Spring comes late up here and its easy to give up hope. But May eventually does come and this year I have so many reasons to stay enthused, because this summer looks to be an incredible one with our milk cow arriving, our vegetable production expanding, and my very first art show (details to come)! I can’t afford to slack off now or I wont be ready in time. I have paintings to paint, seeds to order, and a barn to plan and help build. So I guess I’ll just have to bundle up and get to it!
Misty Morning Tundra Swan (11×14 acrylic on canvas) is available to view or purchase at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska, along with several of my other paintings and prints.
So much going on here at Twin Spruce! Along with buttoning up the cabin and putting the garden to bed for the winter, the new studio is coming along nicely and I have been painting like crazy. We are headed down to Northern California to visit with family for the holidays, but when I get back I will update with photos of studio progress and several more new paintings. For now…
Have a whale of a good time this holiday season! And I will see you in the new year!
I am pretty excited! Looks like I will finally have a dedicated studio space instead of making due with the kitchen table, corners of bedrooms and living rooms, and even, this summer, a little cargo trailer parked in the driveway as a studio.
We bought a 10 x20 shed and plopped it down next to the garden and will be remodeling it into a studio space where I can finally spread out and really get down to business making some art. With this much space I should have space not only to paint, but to do sculpture, fiber arts, and bookmaking, too- all things I enjoy getting creative with.
Right now, it’s like a blank canvas, and I can’t wait to see what it becomes. I look forward to updating our progress as we install windows, French doors, flooring, cabinets, etc, etc…
Although my paintings are inspired by what I see around me, usually nature-inspired, sometimes the subject matter for my paintings is not specifically Alaska-related. This is an example of a piece with a more universal theme.
This painting, titled Atmosphere, is a mixed media piece on a cradled wood panel. Lady Atmosphere is draped with clouds. The draping is actual fabric (coated in a clear acrylic varnish for protection) and highly textural. There are collage elements as well. Each of the spheres represent certain parts of our atmosphere: carbon (black), water molecules (blue), nitrogen (yellow), and sunshine (gold). You cant really tell from the photo (which is a little dark) but the sphere being held in Lady Atmosphere’s hand is shiny metallic gold.
Of course, you can feel free to interpret it any way you wish. That is one of the wonderful things about art. It speaks to each of us in a different way, according to our own senses and experiences.
I have the atmosphere on my mind lately because of all of the smoke from the many wildfires in Alaska right now, some of which are too close for comfort, though not close enough for our immediate concern. I’m hoping Lady Atmosphere will see fit to shed some rain upon us pretty soon. We sure could use it.
Atmosphere is 11×14, mixed media collage on cradled wood panel, and is available for sale for $300. Inquire via email at email@example.com