October 6th, 2008 talkingfox
I got a new camera for my birthday! It’s a Canon 40D and I seriously love it. It has a whole lot of features but not so many that it overwhelms me.
While I’m adjusting to the new lenses and stuff I’ve been digging through the piles of raw shots that I had stockpiled and cropping and whatnot as needed. I’ve even managed to find a few keepers in the bunch!
I started 2 series in Alaska, which are very much about life in the North. The first I call “Hidden Support” and looks to the nature of animals in support of people in Alaska, notably the paleolithic. Without fauna, mega and modern, people would never have been able to survive in the Far North. In addition, the modern Northern societies are still supported by animals that lived eons ago in the form of Oil. Agriculture in Alaska is still pretty minimal. So past present and future , Alaska is supported by the bones of animals.
Here’s a few examples from the series:
Ghost Bear 2008
Fossil Spine 2008
Sea Lion Skull 2008
In addition to the ‘Hidden Support” series I’ve been editing another series all wound around light refracting within and shining through Ice. I think it plays off the bone pieces well not only visually but conceptually as well. The Ice represents the pressures of the environment in living in the Far North. Everything one does is wound around a seasonal deadline that will not be pushed to suit a person. So what we end up with with the 2 series together is Hidden Support and Obvious Pressure.
Ice 3 2008
Ice 4 2008
Even though I’m still getting used to the new camera, sometimes I can still get a good one….this was taken in my best friend’s house. The eyes were not manipulated. All I did was to desaturate the other colors. In addition, the wonderfully creepy dolls eyes in this terracotta sculpture were set looking forward. They do tend to follow one about the room…which I think came through.
Watcher by the Door 2008
As always prints are available on My Imagekind Gallery
And as always I welcome your opinions, comments and critiques!
September 5th, 2008 talkingfox
Since I’ve moved my art production seems to have slowed a bit. Gee, it couldn’t have a thing to do with the 100 lbs each of fruit and veg that I’ve put up this season could it? 😉
I’m afraid that living in the state of Agritopia after 6 years in the sub arctic zone has brought out my hoarding instinct. I must confess, however, that the many jars of vividly colored produce appeals to my aesthetic instinct as well. All that and it just flat tastes better than the commercially canned stuff.
I’m working on the GFCF cookbook as well…and I gotta tell ya my DH loves research and development days.
Be that as it may, I have still managed to get a few pieces done and I’ve quite a few more on the drawing boards.
I’ve started digging into the reference shots that I took while living in the Alaska interior and the ones taken on my recent trip through the Yukon and Northern BC.
This is the most recent painting.
Birch Catkins Mixed Media 2008
I’m finding that very loose brushwork used to create a lot of detail is getting to be my most used technique and tends to make said detail a little less stiff to the eye. It also gives my aspie penchant for twiddling with stuff a place to go that is productive. I’ve also been noticing that over the last few years that my work has been moving from and expression of how I feel and more into an example of how I see.
I like the way that this piece moves. It invokes spring breezes even with the main focus being on the botanical aspects. It’s peaceful without being static. It’s also a study in complementary color relationships without getting in your face. Overall I think it works.
Birch Catkins detail
Click on the image for a closer look
I’ve also been getting some of the photos that stand on their own finished.
Spring Anemones 2008
Click on the image for a closer look
I do tend to see the world in macro…these flowers were only 2 inches or so in diameter. They were the first wildflowers that I saw of the season and were bravely blooming next to a motel parking lot in Tok, Ak
As always I welcome your opinions of the work, positive and negative alike. And again as always prints of these pieces are available at my Imagekind gallery
May 20th, 2008 talkingfox
In 48 hours I’m moving away from Alaska.
Part of me is happy to be going to a place where it doesn’t get below 20F often and one doesn’t have to shovel out in the winter or worry about avalanches, volcanic eruptions, frozen pipes and automobiles or getting stomped on and/or mauled by wildlife.
Another part of me is sad to leave a place of such breathtaking beauty. This place fills up my soul through my eyes.
Living in Alaska pushed my work into areas that I said that I would never go, mainly into landscape.
I don’t know how I could have avoided landscape work living here. Every day brought a different and more intensely beautiful vista, even in the middle of town.
I think it’s all about the light. There is a color of light that’s pervasive here that is usually reserved for a few fleeting days in the very early spring in environments further south. It’s a sort of pinky- golden color and being as there are so many white barked birches , it’s reflected back everywhere. In the winter even snow dumps acquire alpine glow. Add to that the extended sunsets (hours and hours!) and well, even the big 64 box of crayons wouldn’t be sufficient to render it. The sky is always doing something utterly amazing.
One thing that I found impossible in working on the Northshore series was capturing the sheer magnitude of the larger views. Trying to catch color as it was ended up looking garish on the page. Seriously…the color is so very intense that even photography doesn’t seem to quite catch it or ends up looking less than, well, real.
There is not a film on the planet that can even approximate the living blue of glacial ice.
It seems that Alaska will not allow itself to be taken out of context.
In response to this I ended up focusing on small moments rather than the grand view.
This is an example of that and is the last piece in the Northshore Series:
Barnacles, Bladderwrack and Basalt
Mixed media on Paper 2008
Okay before you say “gee it looks just like a photograph” Look here:
Barnacles, Bladderwrack and Basalt detail
Mixed Media on Paper 2008
I’ve heard Alaska described as brutal, savage, and uncompromising. I think it’s more supremely indifferent. It has an extreme and vital sense to it that is separate from human doings. The place thunders under ones feet.
I’ll miss it….except for when the mercury hits -50.