Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier is just a short drive from the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park.  It is massive in size and easy to get to.  Ken and I hiked a mile to get as close to the base as possible by foot.  I am so happy to have him with me.  Today he took on the role of "Artist Sherpa".  I must say, every girl should have one :)  

Believe it or not, it was a tough decision trying to figure out what to paint.  I know that seems very odd standing near the base of Mendenhall Glacier and not knowing what to paint, but let me tell you (and show you) why.  Nugget Glacier is about 5 miles away and it's run off turns into an enormous waterfall just feet from where we were standing.  In this reality the falls were much more commanding than the glacier.  I always remember the observation of perception in life and this was a sure example.  I probably "broke" a few compositional rules with this one but I decided to paint both purely as a reminder of how "it's all relative".  

With Ken's help, while I painted and visited with some of the onlookers, we handed out at least 50 cards explaining the Artist in Residence Program and the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park.  People from Asia, Australia and places in between were made a little more aware of the partnership with the state and the arts.  

A few more photos to share the grandeur of sites not to be missed in Juneau.



Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Whale of a Day

The weather today was exceptionally gorgeous and sometimes there is just magic in timing.  We left the cabin to paint in the company of locals and visitors a like.  A stop a Auke Bay to visit the sunlit harbor and a quick painting of boats on getting ready to take people out.  I found a wonderful old fishing vessel or tanker with a little red on it edged by the tall spruce and far out lying mountains.  I chose to set up and paint there.  Ken wandered the area while I set up and painted.  The little town near Auke Harbor has just a few things to discover other than the natural beauty of the boats and docks.  It wasn't long before he came back with news of a wonderful Waffle House (and yes an amazing waffle) and tickets to board one of the scenic boat tours.

So I didn't have time to finish my painting on site.  I will finish it later for sure!  Until then, here's a sneak peak at my view.

  and another really good option ....

Alaska and Hawaii have a few things in common.  One being the distance to travel the lower 48 states, lower from here anyway.  Another thing is the whales that breed where it's warm and teach where it's cool.  Aboard our ship, the captain was surprised and almost as excited as we were to find orcas still in the waters and not far from the shore.  We watched a large pod for what seemed like an hour with a sensational back drop of Mendenhall Glacier.

It took these guys a few minutes to stop fishing before they realized the crowd they were keeping.  And yes, that is a lot of people in a little boat in that deep cold water.

So sweet and special to witness such majesty.

Our initial search on this little boat holding only 16 people was to find some humpbacks.  These orcas were such a delight but onward said Captain Nick.  Ashley, our naturalist, was explaining what we might see if we were lucky enough to find the enormous under water mammals.  Humpbacks would only show there backs and probably a blow from the spout.  It was unlikely that we would catch a glimpse of a tail but we did!!!  Not only did we see the tail but this!!!!!!!!  Which we were told would not happen.
Six times it happened!!    I'll share more photos later when I'm not on my IPad but I've got to say again... What a whale of a day!!!

As magnificent as a breaching humpback is the splash left.

So  fantastic.  So again, more photos to follow and most definitely paintings to come from this day.
Thank you again State of Alaska for this Artist in Residence opportunity.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Salt Chuck Falls

There's a salt chuck in the backyard. Sometimes the water is higher than ocean level, sometimes it is lower. This turns it into a reverse waterfall. It's very interesting to see this, but more fun to paint it. There has been at least 10 inches of rain in the last month so that the water is very high. If I could've painted the sound it would've sounded like that of a fast moving train with endless cars. The salt chuck itself is like a pond between a creek and the ocean. When the water of the ocean tide is higher than that of the creek or the pond, salt water seeps into the pond at a lower level. Freshwater sits on top of the salt chuck so the water is layered.  There are hundreds of salmon at the mouth and their fins are frantic.  

It was very powerful to stand balancing on the rocks staring this magnificent moment in the face to paint.  

And then the day was done. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Cabin in the Woods

Day two of our stay at the Ernest Gruening cabin in Juneau, Alaska. 

The Dept of Fish and Game came out to remove the seasonal fishing wier today.  There was a little comfort in the company that wasn't covered in fur.  They made plenty of noise as they wrestled with the swift current removing the 30' of the pipe structure.  At one time, I'm pretty sure we heard the sound of "splash!!! and  then a long AHHHHH", followed by laughter...wet laughter that is.

To see more of my artwork visit www.AngeliniStudio.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Artist-in Residence Juneau, Alaska

August 10th, 2015.  Today Ken and I begin a new adventure.  I give great thanks to the State of Alaska for having the vision to share in the wealth of a government owned cabin.  Not just any cabin I might add. Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening (appointed by FDR in 1939) and his family had a cabin built overlooking the Lynn Canal between Almaga Harbor and Peterson Creek.  The  cabin is also known as Eaglerock due to the abundant eagle life as well as fish, whales and bear!  It is nestled in the moss laden spruce trees with the Canal out one side and a salt chuck on the other.  

Walking into the Ernest Gruening Cabin was like stepping back in time.  Give me a year in this sweet moment.  Reading family memoirs and the living history of Eaglerock I hear my words form as though someone has spoken them before me.  I can hear the laughter of the children visiting and running along the beach.  I sense Dorothy's (Ernest's wife) hospitality and adventurous spirit and feel that she is here with me.  Dorothy, being an artist herself and Ernest, a writer, their home fills me with a true sense of my creative spirit.  I can hear the peace from all the elect that came to visit including John F Kennedy.  I can almost hear his warm New England voice saying "Yes, this is the peace we fight for."

     Definite warm fuzzies despite the rain.
Painting, Day one.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

American Portrait Society Conference




What a great opportunity to attend the American Portrait Society Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, May of 2015.  There was an unending amount of talent there.  Quang Ho, Jeffery Heins, Michelle Dunaway, David Kasaan and so many more.   It was great to see some of my favorites demo and to now have some new ones.   
Of greatest interest to me was to witness the varied approaches to painting a portrait.  Some start with the eyes, others with a basic oval and a few markers for feature placement.  The ones that excited me the most were those who attack the basic shape by blocking in colorful planes of the face.  Watching what looked like a chaos of color and temperature evolve into a beautiful woman or a character of a man, intrigued me beyond measure.  I certainly can see a new direction for my own work.  
The first evening's paint off consisted of 15 artists painting 5 separate models.  Three artists at each one and all in their own style, they painted away with limited time.   Some were at the advantage of fast alla prima work but even those who's style is slower were able to complete beautiful paintings.  

The weekend progressed to include mini workshops, mine to be the figure drawing that was guided by Lei Colli Wight and Kerri Dunn of Immmmmmm Atilier.  After volunteering to assist in this class I was very excited to hear that Lei will be teaching a workshop in Kethikan, Alaska this summer.  It's going to take some real work but I hope I can make it!  I was excited to hear about the models, Alaska native women...that would be perfect to continue my all ready started body of work.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rebirth of a Blog

Winter was long.  Very long.  Jan, Feb, March...but as April turns to spring and spring into summer, sown seeds begin to grow.  

I have neglected my blog as I've just not had much to say.  Not much positive that is.   I have to admit that I stuggled through darkness and isolation in my little town in Alaska this winter.  Whenever I felt really low, I would force myself into the studio and fight the desire to dwell.  Whenever I felt good, I spent time in my studio practicing my work.  All in all, I try to rely on the saying "If I don't have anything good to say, say nothing at all."    The good news is, I'm back!  I figured there is a time for every season and although this is not my favorite season to be in I would ask what is the best thing I could do with it be.  The answer was a relentless, grow.  Brushstroke by brushstroke, my goal was to grow.   

So, as spring came, so did opportunities.  A wonderful woman saw some of my work and asked me to paint her family portrait.  It's always an honor to be asked and I have been diligently (and quietly) working on that.  

Also in April, Linda Jay Jackson of Helping Hand Nepal teams up with Rene Haag of Blaine's Art in Anchorage.  Up to thirty artists are scheduled to paint daily and then all paintings are donated and auctioned off to help aid those in Nepal.  This is my 4th year taking part in the event but this year's earthquake has made the need far greater.  

I started this painting using one of Linda's photos from a previous trip.  She is an amazing photographer with a earth sized heart. This painting, and the paintings of all the other artists, will be available for viewing on May 15 at www.blainesart.com   You may call or email bids after the 15th and bids close on May 29.  100% of proceeds benefit the health and well being of those in Nepal.  You can also donate direct to www.hhnepal.com

                                                                  "Woven Lives"
                                                           12x12   1/2" Gallery Wrap

On a side note, at the church I attend there is a pastor who has made numerous trips to Nepal.  He and his team were in the air on their way to Nepal when the devasting earthquate hit.  Their flight had to turn around and at the next available moment they flew into Katmandu and then the airport was closed again.  They are trekking to the less visited villages to help as they can and then returning to the city.   Perfect timing for those who are able and want to help.